SECONDS AT SWISSÔTEL

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A month and a half after my first visit to Swissotel’s Crossroads Bar for their well-known high tea buffet, I jumped at a chance to revisit for new-and-improved seconds.

During those six weeks there appears to have been a powerful and organic revolution. Front of house management and new head chef Joshua Askew most likely had much to do with the remarkable leaps in service and food quality, and whatever it took to get up to this new level of lavishness and professionalism was well worth it.

As before you were lead to an immaculate table on arrival and given menus with the choice of a chocolate cocktail or mocktail to start, and this time with another complimentary hot chocolate shot that was the perfect creamy and frothy prelude to the buffet. A wide and unlimited selection of quality T2 teas, both hot and cold, are ready to go.

Compared to last time there were more (and rather moreish!) savoury selections and new desserts on the menu, over a dozen available. I had to admire the masterful creation of the individual sweets. The clean layers and flavours of the cakes, the sweet richness of the chocolate selections, the meticulously-made baby macarons, the textbook-perfect textures of the cheesecake and mousses and meringue… the variations in flavour combinations and use of more tart fruit and salted flavours to offset the sweetness was heavenly. There’s absolutely something for everyone, even for the simplest, no-frills chocolate fountain + fruit combo enthusiast!

Patissier staff in crisp uniform came regularly to refill consumed plates with care and pride, and was a far more welcome sight than dishes left empty as I noticed last time. Wait staff had also seemingly metamorphosed from the unacceptably inattentive larvae-stage hosts to fully-fledged elegant and genuinely hospitable staff fitting of Swissotel’s five star standards. As I observed the room the only interactions between servers and patrons noted were beaming smiles and exchanged “thank you’s” – just as natural and artful service provision should be.

Now you know your girl’s got your back (and BMI), and I’ve sampled a little of everything on offer so you don’t have to pig out in front of your lover or friends. My personal favourites were:

  • chocolate chip scones – starting with these fluffy and only gently heavy babies. My mother and I were surprised to find we really enjoyed them as scones are usually far too dense and bready for my liking. Slather with Hanks strawberry jam and double cream, you’ll be smitten!
  • raspberry opera slice – interesting chocolate-free version with very well-balanced tart and sweet layers of cake and creams
  • hazelnut profiteroles – I would’ve eaten half a dozen if I could! Perfectly crisp shells with deliciously soft choux and flavourful hazelnut cream homggg
  • white chocolate baked cheesecake and chocolate delice – go straight for these if you want that rich, chocolate overdose STAT.

Take your sweet-toothed friends for maximum tries and minimal serves of each dessert selection, or just that one special person you want to go on a sweet getaway with on any day of the week. Book in advance!

Special thank you to Laura, Ross, & Eric for your wonderful hospitality and memorable high tea experience.


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