I first met Cherish Finden when she was at the Langham Hotel, she has since been a judge on Bakeoff: The Professionals, wielding her ruler and terrifying the contestants.
Pan Pacific London Hotel
Pan Pacific is one of the newest five star luxury hotels in the City. Just metres away from Liverpool Street station, its prominent location for business travellers to London. The hotel has 237 rooms and has several Singapore themed dining options, including afternoon tea which we review below. And they are pet friendly too.
Original Art in Pan Pacific London
Normally, hotel art blends into he background and lies unnoticed. Here, I was struck by the collection of Chinese brush paintings and the art behind the concierge. This piece, Summer, is one of a series of seasons. His modern Chinese ink painting with bold colours are very striking and similar in style to one of my art teachers. It has inspired me to start up painting again.
All the staff were briefed about the art and we worked out that the Chinese art was the work of Han Tian Heng, the founder of the Han Tian Heng Art museum in Shanghai.
The artist that painted the large piece behind the concierge is from Toronto (but they didn’t have his name) and he also painted all the headboards in the bedrooms.
Singaporean Afternoon Tea in London
Cherish has recently joined the Singaporean owned Pan Pacific London hotel as the Executive Pastry Chef, where she has designed a beautiful afternoon tea.
Served in the Orchid Lounge in the hotel lobby, you get a choice of a traditional afternoon tea selection or a Singaporean inspired option.
To kick-off, a surprise amuse-bouche. She cheekily serves up an egg filled with jellies and gels made with unusual flavours, a nod to the South East Asian kopi tiam favourite breakfast of a soft boiled egg. Where else do you get an amuse bouch at an afternoon tea?
The tea menu is carefully curated by the Rare Tea Lady with some very unusual choices, like the Sri Lankan hand rolled and the Satemwa summer harvest from Malawi. In addition, I was surprised by their selection of English Sparkling wines. We sampled the 2015 Breaky Bottom Brut Cuvee Jack Pike and the 2016 Rathfinny Estate Blanc de Noir, both delightful and available by the glass.
Instead of sandwiches, we had a curry puff, a pastry filled with curried potatoes and a baked char siu soh, a pastry filled with sweet roast pork, a very popular dim sum dish. In the steaming baskets, there is a vegetarian option of an artistic mushroom puff and some steamed dumplings.
This was followed by the stunning “Taste of Umami”, a sesame shortbread with soy sauce caramel. Not just beautiful but deliciously light shortbread with those unexpected flavours. I’d buy a box of these.
Scones, you must have scones for afternoon tea. Cherish presented plain and matcha scones with not clotted cream but not the regular jams but with homemade kaya, a coconut and pandan curd, much loved by Malaysians and Singaporeans.
And finally, the show-stopping festive afternoon tea patisseries. These are so beautiful, artistic, delicately assembled and bursts with flavour with each bite.
All throughout the afternoon, we had the most friendly and attentive service from the team which we learnt, mostly had moved there from the Four Seasons hotel. Augustin was efficient and knowledgable, a testament to his training.
Cherish has done it again. she and her team have delivered a stunning festive afternoon tea. I have no doubt that with this, she might win the best afternoon tea in the UK again.
Afternoon tea in the Orchid Lounge at the Pan Pacific London starts at £72 per person.
Pan Pacific London
London EC3A 7AB
Tel: 020 7118 6888
EatCookExplore was a guest of the Pan Pacific London