When given the offer of ‘Afternoon Tea for 50p?’, it’s rather hard to say no. One might add even rude to say no. I thought the gamble of my hard earnt 50p was worth the risk. Frankly even if I was just handed a Freddo I'd be winning.
You may or may not have heard of Scoff & Banter, either way let me tell you right now why they are the hottest, most foxy loveable rogues around. If you are in the slightest bit patriotic, this is the place for you. Their current campaign ‘How Very British’ smashes any other restaurants out the park, with their motto being - ‘British food in all its eccentric Britishness’. Heavens above, how smashing is that.
Just look at the campaign pictures. The 5 characters are based on signature Scoff & Banter dishes, each hand-painted to represent the quintessential British world of Wind and the Willows, Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland. Adorable! Scoff & Banter will you marry me?
So here's how it happened...
For Scoff & Banter's soft launch they are offering 50 teas for 50p as part of a series of events planned in the first 8 weeks of their new opening. They currently have six restaurants and this cheeky one is hidden behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, offering you their first ever Tea Rooms. Well I say - jolly hockeysticks. Let me tell you about my experience.
When you arrive and are greeted with a glass of prosecco followed by the words 'It's unlimited', you know it's going to be a swell evening.
With the wining well underway it was time for the dining, and boy were we dined.
1) TO START
Spiced scallops, cauliflower beignets
Lobster brandy soup, warm cheese scone
Sticky Beijing fillet of beef
Poached British free-range egg Florentine (v)
Lamb cutlet, mint, lemon and Cyprus parsley crust
Warm caramelised onion tart (v)
No we didn't pick one of them, we had them all, every single one, apart from the oyster. The scallop was the clear winner for me, perfect texture, bold flavours and immaculate presentation, bish bosh bash. Lobster soup, I'm terribly sorry but my old chum (Alice) found you a tad fishy. You are a lobster so it makes sense. Personal preference on that one I suppose - To fish or not to fish?
2) THE MIDDLE MAN
Next up were the sarnies from which you could pick two each...
Chicken Caesar, rosemary focaccia
Oak smoked ham, English mustard and rocket, tomato bread
Free range hen’s egg and watercress, white bread (v)
Rare venison, gin and tonic relish, rye bread (My choice)
Cucumber, white bloomer (v) (Alice's choice)
Steak, balsamic onions, toasted multigrain (My choice)
Smoked salmon, crayfish and dill crème fraîche, toasted bagel (Alice's choice)
Sorry, gin relish, blooming marvellous! Obviously the venison was the clear winner here, Alice might have something to say about that, being vegetarian and all.
Having mentioned my slight obsession with gin to our charming waiter Fabrizio - who was wonderful by the way - He scurried off reappearing with this gin infused, slightly dangerous looking cocktail. That's what you call service, what a star. Whatever it was, it went down a treat.
3) SWEET TREATS
Full? Pleaseeeee. I've got a major sweet tooth. I'm a dessert over starter's girl any day. The way to my heart is through banoffee pie, just on the off chance you were wandering, which of course you were... not. Anyway here's the menu...
Fresh strawberry tart, whipped cream
Chocolate whisky cake, candied orange (My choice)
Lemon meringue, blackberry compote, lime syrup (v) (Alice's choice)
Trifle, roasted balsamic strawberries (My choice)
Sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel ice cream, macadamia nut brittle (v) (Alice's choice)
Poached rhubarb and custard, ginger bread biscuit (v)
Dark chocolate crème Chantilly
Raspberry and Prosecco jelly
The Lemon meringue was star bake for me. Lime syrup what a cracking idea, after all lemon and lime are a match made in heaven. The third wheeling blackberry compote was the perfect wingman, preventing anything too citrusy from hip-hop happening.
4) SCONEY WONEYS
Can't get much more British than these bad boys now can ya? Here's the selection...
Pecan and apple (v)
Maple syrup and sultana (v)
Vanilla (v) (Alice's choice)
Seville orange (v) (My choice)
Valrhona chocolate (v) (Alice's choice)
Cheddar cheese (My choice)
Dear Scoff could you please give some more oomph to the vanilla? The cheddar was perfection though so don't hate me too much. Constructive criticism and all. The scones were served with the usual jammy condiments, not forgetting the clotted cream. Scones are scones, need I say more, they are always a favourite.
5) AFTERNOON TEA WOULDN'T BE TEA WITHOUT TEA. DUH.
My loyalties lie with breakfast tea, today however I strayed. Rooibos Tiramisu won my heart. By jove it was scrumptious. An unusual taste, not an everyday drink, but the perfect combination to be devoured alongside your weekly calorie intake.
Let's just all take a moment to breathe, step back and marvel over the gorgeous teapots. They are polka dotted, I can't cope.
All in all I think we can agree money well spent. The good news is you're not too late. From the 11th-17th August it's Afternoon Tea week. Spiffing. The lovely Scoff & Banter will be opening their doors on the 15th of August for a special champagne tasting day, drown yourself in Moet and have a jolly good day old bean. Book here.
If you can't make it for tea, why not try their recipes from home? They've got your back. Click here for the Bread & Butter pudding recipe.
Follow the Banter and see what you can bag yourself @ScoffandBanter.