Restaurant of the Week: The Lane
Our restaurant of the week is The Lane, the shining star of Covent Garden’s afternoon tea scene.
Restaurant of the Week: The Lane
Situated in the newly reopened Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Lane has become quite the hotspot for theatre lovers. The 17th century venue underwent a restoration project headed by Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd Webber in 2019, and only resurfaced in Covent Garden again this summer with the West End debut of Frozen. Now, with a newly decorated entrance and theatre, as well as all-day dining hub The Garden and the Cecil Beaton Bar, Theatre Royal Drury Lane is back like never before.
Take a trip to The Lane this season for a taste of the new Regency Afternoon Tea, which you can savour in the beautiful Grand Saloon. The venue, which boasts a pastel backdrop of pink and green, shimmering chandeliers, stucco ceilings and imposing neoclassical columns, should be an entry on any tea-lover’s bucket list.
The Regency Afternoon Tea menu was created by artisan baker and cake designer Lily Vanilli, who has been turning heads since 2008 with her beautifully ornate confectionaries. Her takeover of The Lane is no different, as she interweaves key features from the theatre’s new interior with Regency aesthetics to create a menu fit for any duke or duchess in the making. Everything from crockery (custom fine bone china decorated with mythical creatures designed by British interior designers Kit and Willow Kemp) to the colour of frosting has been impeccably thought out to the very last detail.
Start the experience off with a drink or two from the vast selection on offer – keep it classic with a pot of Regency Breakfast Tea, cleanse the palate with a glass of crisp jasmine iced tea or take the party up a notch with some champagne. Or simply indulge and try them all for the full experience.
The main event is kicked off with a sweet and savoury selection of treats, which are brought out all together so that guests can dine at their leisure. The servers encourage you to tuck into the Lily Vanilli sausage rolls or scones first (as they are served warm), and they definitely set the bar for the rest of the meal. The sausage roll, comprised of Cornish sausage meat, roast bacon lardons and cider vinegar deglaze, comes flaky and salty, and the sugar-topped scones come with salted whipped butter, cream and jam.
This is followed by goats cheese and pickled beetroot canelés and pickled fennel madeleine topped with lapsang-souchong glazed salmon and caviar, which are both as decadently delicious as they sound.
Fancy something sweet? The tried-and-tested sticky toffee pudding, covered in caramel and hiding a custard centre, is a reimagined national classic that is bound to be popular with anyone who tries it. But if you want something with a kick, you’ll love the pink lemonade tart topped with elderflower jelly – a zingy treat that breaks up the more sugary notes on menu.
The highlight of the sweet selection is a rich dark chocolate sponge cake, which is decorated in pink and green in honour of the Grand Saloon. A slice of chocolately goodness with an added biscuit crunch and salted caramel finish, the cake is only made all the better by the chocolate gold cherub sitting atop it.
Round off the experience with the ultimate palate-refresher: absinth and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Served on shell-shaped silver dish, the potent concoction is as beautiful as it is strong.
The Final Word
Whether you’re looking to live your wildest Bridgerton dreams, escape the busy city or satisfy a sweet tooth, the afternoon tea at The Lane will cater to your every want and need. All you need do is ask.
Afternoon tea is £49 for adults and £35 for children, and is served daily in the Grand Saloon. For more information and to book, please visit thelane.co.uk
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