This week we flit up to the emerald airfields of Hampshire to eat our fill of dinky scones, cakes and finger-sized sandwiches, with jet-set boutique bolthole the Aviator‘s new afternoon tea. If we weren’t already in love with this luxury hotel’s sky-high bar and sophisticated steampunk style we certainly were after they put on quite the spread…
Style Silver belle
Setting Airfields of Farnborough
Why this week? Peach and Earl Grey mousse, passion-fruit meringue pie, egg-mayonnaise sandwiches on pumpkin bread… Need we go on? If you’re not already boarding a Farnborough-bound train with a rumbling stomach, fork poised for the attack, you’re made of stronger stuff than we are. The Aviator‘s pastry perfecter Tom Stephens has crafted tiny, edible works of art to wolf down with your tea and the requisite (and exquisite) cream-laden scones are present and correct. Book a break at the Aviator this week to arrive in time for the launch and you can take advantage of a two-for-one offer (with a three-course dinner) at this Hampshire hotel – you’ll be grateful for the extra night to sleep off any overindulgences
Our favourite bites Due to extensive research, we at Smith can declare that the Aviator has the best afternoon tea in Hampshire. Three tiers of joy are filled with edible finery – tomato and goats cheese sandwiches and chicken mayonnaise on onion bread to start, followed by cakes that seem like the brainchild of a very well-to-do Willy Wonka. Carrot cake has been fashioned into a tiny garden, the chocolate and hazelnut bavarois contains a layer of pancake and the basil and plum sponge will make you rethink the sweet and savoury divide. If all that isn’t decadent enough, you can pair your patisserie with a glass of champagne.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ’Our jaws plummet upon entry. We’re looking at a dramatic central staircase that comes pouring out of the first-floor balcony in a curve of cream. Above, another three circular balconies ring the space up to the rooftop. For a moment, we wonder how we’ve ended up in the New York Guggenheim, then a slick-suited concierge scoots into view and pinpricks our wonderment with a beaming welcome. We’re led up the grand staircase, past the flickering open fire and velvety sofas to the first-floor front desk. At some point while we’re signing forms and handing over cards, two cocktails miraculously appear beside us – I swear I didn’t see anyone come over with them.’ Read the full Aviator review…
You say ‘Friendly, helpful and efficient staff. A high standard of accommodation in a modern cool style. Offers a glimpse into the world of private jets.’ (Jeffrey, BlackSmith, stayed 31 August 2012) Read more Aviator guest reviews.