If you’re trying to eat healthily this January, you may have to schedule a brief interruption to experience the new Flavours of Asia Afternoon Tea at The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian.
This offering is available from January 5 to February 9, either to take-away from the hotel or to dine in at their lounge, Peacock Alley, for £50 per person or £25 for the children’s version, with gluten free and vegan options available. The menu has been designed to celebrate Lunar New Year on Tuesday February 1 and will mark the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese zodiac. Last year was the Year of the Ox.
This tea includes a selection of options that are inspired by the auspicious date. There are definitely no boring cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Instead, expect six inventive savoury options including Thai curry quiche, toasted cashew and coconut, as well as a wrap with pulled pork, Asian slaw and sriracha dressing, or a blini topped by cured salmon, wasabi mayonnaise and yuzu pearls.
They’ve also designed six colourful sweet things. The Lantern cake references the Chinese Lantern Festival, which starts on the day that marks the end of the New Year, also known as Spring Festival Celebration. It’s a light and spongy sweet coconut, gula melaka (coconut sugar) and pandan Parisienne
As well as Plum Blossom and Gold Ingot cakes, there’s also another red confection, created to resemble a Firecracker - once used to scare away evil spirits. This one is a petit gateau, with apple compote, jasmine and vanilla. It’s served alongside the Mandarin, with its bright green latticed leaf. It’s no easy-peeler, but is filled with mandarin jam and tie guan yin (a variety of oolong tea) infused pearls.
They’ve also created a take on the mooncake, which is traditionally eaten at Chinese festivals. Traditional fillings for this pastry might include red bean paste but Peacock Alley’s special Year of the Tiger version is stuffed with a dramatic-looking mixture of black sesame, kumquat and ginger.
Of course, they have included the prerequisite scones, in relatively conventional flavours of buttermilk and lemon and ginger, along with fruits of the forest jam and cream. The jam goes on first.