Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea, Soho Sanctum Hotel

Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea, Soho Sanctum Hotel




20 Warwick Street

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon as myself and Ollie (my partner in crime on this adventure), entered the Sanctum Soho Hotel to a very warm welcome. This cheerful and stylish London boutique hotel, is based in the heart of the West End on Warwick Street, and has recently launched a temping Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea.

Now before anyone jumps to the presumed conclusion of gallons of sugary tea, the WI and cake stands littered with french fancies and buttered crumpets, this is all together a very different approach. One that promises an afternoon of relaxation and significant smokey indulgence.

We were guided through to the restaurant area where we took up a spacious booth, and were immediately presented with 3 bottles of Jack Daniel's whisky: standard Jack, Gentleman Jack, Single Barrel, and a bucket of ice, two cigars and two silver tankards. As the waiter departed momentarily to get our menus, he uttered the dangerous words ‘help yourself...’

He had given us the green light to let rip with the whisky. If only he knew how controlled and well-governed we both are, when comes to matters of much whiskey...

Having been given carte blanche on the whiskey front, it was time to enjoy our starters from the 3-course menu. We began with a Poached Oyster with Bloody Mary Relish, Seared Steak with Peppers and Mushrooms on Toasted Sourdough, rounding things off with some Mini Smoked Salmon, with a Caviar and Watercress Bagel. These bite-sized portions were perfectly suited to some relaxed grazing and whisky swilling, before the main dishes arrived.

Next up were the mains of Lamb and Potato Hotpot (which was my particular favourite), the Mini Sanctum Beef Burger with Mustard Seed Relish, a Rabbit, Pancetta and Leek Pasty, and Roast Beef and Horseradish-stuffed Yorkshire Pudding. These savoury mouthfuls balanced brilliantly against the whisky with their hearty flavours and decent seasoning.

After all that beef and burger goodness, what better than some Twice-baked Chocolate Fudge Cake with Jack Daniel's lce Cream. The cake was warmed and the ice cream was only slightly flavoured with the whisky so not too overpowering, and acted as a good sugary lift to end of the meal.

At this point, we were asked if we would like a final tanker to take to the roof garden, where could enjoy our cigars. The roof of the Sanctum is spacious, well laid out, and has many distractions such as a hot tub and TV to keep you entertainment on long summer nights. Unfortunately it was a little too cold that evening to spend too much time on the roof, so we finished the cigars quickly and made our way back to the warm hospitality of the hotel's restaurant before heading home.

The price is £50 plus service for standard Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea. There is the option to upgrade to £80 for a tasting series of Jack Daniel's and a top cigar. Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea is available 7 days a week from 2 - 6pm.

**Reviewed by:** Mark Rushton