Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children’s book by British author Roald Dahl. It is a traditional Christmas day movie for children in the UK. The book was made into a movie starring Gene Wilder in 1971. It was remade starring Johnny Depp in 2005. Recently it is a hit musical that opened in London and is currently on Broadway. One Aldwych partnered with the musical to create a themed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea. Each item served is representative of the whimsical story of Willy Wonka and does not disappoint beginning with the Charlie Cocktail.
The Charlie Cocktail is Dalmare Whiskey, Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco, chocolate bitters, grapefruit juice, cherry syrup and topped with champagne. As soon as I saw this I knew this wasn’t the average afternoon tea. I did not partake and immediately regretted it when seeing one being served nearby, dry ice adds to the presentation and with a little imagination (and some champagne bubbles) I could have been floating. Next time! This time I had chocolate tea, a blend of Indian Assam, Chinese Yunnan Black, Peruvian Cocoa nibs and Madagascan Vanilla. So good!
Afternoon Tea includes a collection of sweet and savory. Willy would have been impressed with the chef’s savory creations: smoked salmon with crème fraiche, egg mayo in a sweet brioche bun, heritage tomato on a pastry base, roast beef and mustard on chocolate rye, leek and stilton mini quiche. The sweet platter is a visit to Wonka’s Chocolate Room! It included Eaton mess, cocoa bean financiers, blueberry brioches, lemon and raspberry cake pop, candy floss, scones with Devonshire clotted cream, mini chocolate caramel milkshakes with a striped straw and of course the magical chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango puree. Scrumdiddlyumptious for sure!
The service was wonderful. Don’t be shy, seconds are encouraged… but you may not want to demand “I want it now!” or call the server an Oompa Loompa. One Aldwych is a four-minute walk from Covent Garden Tube in London’s West End. Book early, reservations fill quickly. You may choose to sit upstairs or request your tea in the lobby bar. Watching the movie before attending will add to the fun, but don’t lick the wallpaper when you are leaving!
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