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'I tried a festive afternoon tea with desserts that look like Christmas ornaments'

Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea at the Pan Pacific’s Orchid Lounge <i>(Image: Amy C/PP)</i>
Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea at the Pan Pacific’s Orchid Lounge (Image: Amy C/PP)

The festive Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea at Pan Pacific’s Orchid Lounge was a truly enchanting affair.

Christmas lights adorning the exterior of the hotel captured the magic of London during this festive season.

What set the afternoon tea apart for me was the unique Asian options on the menu. Traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches is always delightful, but the two paths on the menu at Pan Pacific allow you to opt for something different.

We decided to try the traditional sandwiches as well as the Siu Mai Basket and Bao - which had the most delicious range of flavours.

News Shopper: Main course during the afternoon tea
News Shopper: Main course during the afternoon tea

Main course during the afternoon tea (Image: Amy C)

Following a welcome drink of sparkling Nyetimber wine, we set our sights on the tea menu.

The variety of teas to choose from was extensive, and we decided to try a range of them – including our favourites “Emperors Breakfast“ and the “Orchid Lounge bespoke blend”.

The staff added a lovely touch by placing the teapots on little tea lights, ensuring that our tea remained hot throughout the experience.

The attentive staff consistently ensured our tea-cups were topped up, and they were more than willing to guide us through the menu, making it feel like more of a journey rather than a simple sit-down affair.

We enjoyed also a pair of scones each with cream, jam and a very tangy marmalade.

News Shopper: Afternoon tea at the Orchid Lounge
News Shopper: Afternoon tea at the Orchid Lounge

Afternoon tea at the Orchid Lounge (Image: Amy C/PP)

The highlight, undoubtedly, was the Christmas inspired desserts. When they arrived, I couldn't believe how beautiful they looked—like tiny Christmas ornaments that seemed almost too pretty to eat.

The desserts resembled works of art, and the presentation on mirrored plates elevated the visual appeal.

The desserts were not just visually appealing; they were also a departure from the norm, featuring chocolate with fruit inside and various other unique treats rather than just a typical cake.

One dessert that particularly stood out to me was styled like a kaleidoscope. Removing the lid allowed us to marvel at the intricate details of the sweet treat inside.

However the Festive Forest, with layers of Biscoff and pecan, was my favourite of the set.

The pink Christmas tree in the background and the details on the dining set added a floral vibe to the overall afternoon tea experience.

The atmosphere in the Orchid Lounge was pleasant and classy, with the Christmas decorations enhancing the festive spirit.

The Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea, curated by Executive Pastry Chef Francesco Mannino, was a masterpiece.

News Shopper: Outside the venue
News Shopper: Outside the venue

Outside the venue (Image: Amy C)

From the Festive Forest with layers of Biscoff and pecan to the Southeast Asian delicacies like pillowy steamed siu bao buns and dumplings, every element showcased Chef Francesco's creativity and skill.

The afternoon tea experience makes the perfect setting for a catch-up or a special event during the festive season over some savoury bites and unique blends.

The festive Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea at Pan Pacific (a short walk from Liverpool Street) will run until January 6.