As it approaches my one year wedding anniversary I am starting to hit various memory points that all led up to my big day last June. This included my last dress fitting, my first hen do, my second hen, Robs Stag do, my final meal as a single Miss Reddin, my last night as Miss Reddin…..the list is endless!! Its nice to have so many memories throughout this month as it brings smile after smile to my face culminating in our wedding day which was just amazing! I only I wish I could remember more, have taken more of it in but it zoomed by in a flash. Remembering is made that bit easier nowadays with Facebook, Timehop and the like, reminding you of what you did and who you were with this day last year, two years, 10 years ago. Makes reliving memories that bit more automatic! I love my daily Facebook reminder of what fun I had. Last Monday Facebook, and numerous of my lovely friends, reminded me that it was a year to the day when I had met up with my university friends, a dear friend from secondary school, my mum, sisters and a close family friend. The destination was one of pure class and luxury – the Palm Court at the Langham Hotel, a stones throw away from Oxford Street.
I had painstaking researched venues for a Hen do in London (as did my fiancé) and everyone who knows me knows that I love my afternoon tea (who doesnt??). Id fancied the Afternoon tea bus but that was fully booked and then Rob came upon the Palm Court and the opulence shone. Bake Off Creme de la Creme was on at the time too and the Head Chef of the Palm Court at the time Cherish Finden was on our screens so the venue was perfect.
It was an excuse to don a fancy frock and head up to London for an afternoon of exquisite pastries, tea and champagne, I mean a girl only gets married once so it was champagne all around!! When we arrived my bridesmaid had decked everything out with Bride to be confetti and badges and even a sash for me to make it more special.
We started off the Wedgewood Afternoon tea with an amuse-bouche of apricot and natural yoghurt panna cotta. The savoury selection was absolutely out of this world. No plain ham sandwiches at the Langham!! We had truffled duck egg brioche, smoked salmon, asparagus and rye cracker, classic cucumber, cream cheese and chives, corn-fed chicken and golden sultana on carrot bread and lastly peppered beef pastrami and red Leicester coleslaw on caraway and cocoa bread. The cocoa bread was gorgeous and so different but my favourite was definitely the smoked salmon. The best thing was that the staff brought around plates full for seconds! Had to pace myself though – sweet pastries were next.
We started dessert with the lightest, most divine, scone that I have ever tasted. Jam and then cream obviously (do not get me started on the whole jam/cream argument). I only managed one though as I knew what was coming next!!
The pastries looked too good to eat, although eat them I did! And you had to eat them in the order prescribed by Cherish, designed to be eaten to build up the tastes and finish with an expresso! The Wedgewood Wild Strawberry was a petite strawberry and pistachio cream macaroon, delicately painted. The Butterfly Bloom was a shortbread tower with salted caramel that stood tall on its end and adorned with rice paper butterflies. Just melted in the mouth. The Yuzu for You was a new one for me. I’ve heard lots of raving about yuzu but never tried it myself. It was an intense citrus flavour which was wonderful and cut through the dark chocolate. The famous Langham Chocolate Mousse with Yuzu curd that was in a small roll, seemed to be sprayed with a deep purple coating and then adorned with hand crafted tempered chocolate. The Hathaway Rose was a perfect lemon classic Victoria Sponge with a raspberry and lime jam that resembled a battenburg cake in design with a tempered chocolate topper adorned with roses. Last but by no means was the Paisley Parcel, a classic opera slice with expresso reduction, which really did bring an amazing meal to a divine end.
As it was my special day the chef had also prepared a gorgeous slice of cheesecake with chocolate writing saying Congratulations. I was so full I just had to share it with the rest of the hens! But what simply made this day absolutely unforgettable was when Chef Cherish came out and I got to have my photo taken with her! I even got to have a chat with her – she is just so sweet.
Makes for one hen do I will truly always cherish.