The Mondrian Sea Containers Hotel stands proudly on London’s Southbank and offers great, if sometimes a little grim (not their fault, the London weather) views of the city. Their resident bar Dandelyan is well known for some of the best cocktails in the capital courtesy of the award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana. Now Dandelyan is branching out into afternoon tea with the Wyld Tea, a botanical take on the classic British tea. I went along on the first weekend to try it out.
The Dandelyan bar itself is a retro affair with rich fern green walls, pink leather banquettes and copper fixtures – designed by Tom Dixon no less. It’s a beautiful room, and has riverside views. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable and were happy to cater to any request.
I had the non-boozy afternoon tea as I’m off the hard stuff for a while (in my old age hangovers are just too real). The selection of loose-leaf teas from Camelia’s Tea House was excellent and included a lemongrass infusion, citrussy Earl Grey, a peppermint blend and fresh breakfast tea – these were served in pretty, 70s-inspired Portmeirion China cups.
The savoury bites were a delight and consisted of of elderflower compressed cucumber and burnt herb cream sandwiches, rocket, ham hock and piccalilli vegetable butter sandwiches as well as a very tasty welsh rarebit. Each bite was packed with flavour – I’ve honestly never had a better cucumber sarnie.
The sweets were just gorgeous and, again, 70s-inspired. A Blackcurrant and Verbena Battenberg Cake was the star of the show, a sophistacated take on the slightly tacky pink and yellow cake we’ve all had before. There was also a Rose Blancmange and Caraway Shortbread, a Pine-scented Baked Alaska with Berries and a rich Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse with Candied Grapefruit. All were beautiful and delicious.
Overall the setting, the crockery and the food made this such an enjoyable experience. Usually I expect to be disappointed by the savoury afternoon tea options, because really how tasty can you make a finger sandwich? But all the food in the Wyld Tea was fabulous.