Having grown up on Winnie the Pooh books, I was very intrigued when I heard that The Phelman and the V&A had teamed up in honour of A.A Milne’s beloved bear. The Phelman was hosting a Silly Old Bear Afternoon Tea experience inspired by a multi-sensory and playful exhibition exploring the magical world of Winnie and his friends at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It sounded right up my street and I couldn’t wait for the adventure.
The Phelman is located right opposite South Kensington Tube and the hotel itself is a beautiful London townhouse, bringing together home comfort and luxury. It is a short walk from the V&A, The Science Museum and if you fancy a spot of luxury shopping, Harrods is only a 15-minute walk.
When my friend and I arrived, we were given a scrumptious menu with an A3 Winnie the Pooh colouring sheet of paper complete with crayons. We might be 30 but we couldn’t have been more excited – this brought us right back to our childhood. The menu consisted of pastries, scones and sandwiches – all with a Winnie the Pooh twist. We couldn’t wait to tuck in!
When the afternoon tea set arrived, it was a sight for sore eyes. A true Winnie the Pooh moment, with colourful and beautifully decorated pastries with a basket with scones and more goodies. Everything was well thought out from the wooden slab that hosted the pastries and sandwiches to the Winnie the Pooh basket – all a nod to the classics we used to see on screen.
First up were the sandwiches. We had a tasty cucumber and yogurt combo, a honey roasted ham with grainy mustard and a classic cheese and tomato. These were a perfect start to the feast – just enough to leave room for the rest of the afternoon.
To accompany our sandwiches, there was a large selection of tea to explore. I went for the Phelman’s Earl Grey which was rich and worked well with the sandwiches. My friend went for the white apricot tea which was a white tea with a beautiful fruity aroma.
Next up was a flower pot filled with delicious warm scones. We had all of Pooh’s favourite accompaniments to spread on our scones – honey, marmalade, strawberry and blueberry jams and a heavenly pot of whipped clotted cream.
The pots were filled with scones with juicy raisins and plain ones – both delicious and crumbly to the touch.
Next up was what we were looking forward to – the pastries. First up was the Buzzing bite – a meringue and marzipan bee. It was too pretty to eat but that didn’t stop us. The meringue was crispy and soft in the middle and the marzipan was light and had a wonderful almond flavour to it. Next up was Tigger-Oo – a delicious and fruity passion fruit-shaped striped macaron which was filled with creamy passion fruit cream in a light crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle macaron.
Next up was Eeyore’s sweet treat – a delicious creamy chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate crumble all sat on a zingy fresh orange compote. Chocolate and orange = match made in heaven. Finally, Winnie’s cupcake – a lemon cupcake with a fresh vanilla topping. Moreish and light at every bite.
To end the sweet treats were the Hunny pops. These were rich honey parfaits filled with white chocolate mousse and covered in caramel lollipops. We could have eaten a few more of these!
Having finished our afternoon tea our adventure was far from over as we were now heading to the V&A to explore Winnie the Pooh and A.A Milne’s creation.
The exhibition was filled with children and parents – something definitely for everyone with the parents exploring their childhood favourite bear and their children learning about the wonderful characters. The exhibition is filled with games and puzzles for everyone.
The V&A experience is timeless and has the universal appeal of the much-loved bear. There are books handwritten by A.A Milne when he first started designing and creating the characters, old classic short films, quizzes and much more. A wall totally dedicated to the story behind the creative partnership of A.A Milne and E.H. Shepard brought to life through sketches, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics, and fashion.
This afternoon tea is a must for all Winnie the Pooh fans. On until 8th April, go and explore the wonderful adventures of both A.A. Milne and Winnie.
La Trattoria by Alfredo Russo
15 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, London, SW7 2LA