Etched into memory from that night was my trip to the toilet – and it wasn’t even the stained glass in the cubicle. As I went to the sink, a gentleman appeared, opened the faucets, poured soap in my hands, handed me a towel and closed the faucets for me. It was rather odd, and it was unfortunate that the food wasn’t nearly as memorable.
Camera: Nikon D40 – 50mm lens
The interior of Espelette is gorgeous, its elegance perfectly highlighted by the high windows overlooking the street. The blue hydrangea planted just outside give it even a little glimpse of fairy tale air. Throughout our afternoon, the service was also great.
Yet everything else fell a bit flat (except the champagne – that was nice and fizzy). The sandwiches were in no way ingenious – smoked salmon, coronation chicken, cucumber, ham, and something else I sincerely can’t even remember which shows just how boring it must have been. Maybe I just thought that being within 100m radius of Helene Darroze meant things didn’t just come out of a Tesco store. The bread was also cold and lifeless.
Things picked up a little bit when the deserts came in. The scones were rather nice, and so were the preserves. The macaroon was hard, when you would expect it to be soft and even crumbly. The chocolate dessert, which reminded me of a Ferrero Rocher, was the highlight of the tray, but even that wasn’t amazing. The lemon cake was refreshing but overly syrupy, and, in all honesty, overall the impression was that everything was made some time ago and left in the fridge for when they would be served.
Then again maybe all afternoon teas are underwhelming. For 55£ a head tho, I would really expect something else.