It’s always great to find a new place to eat that looks as gorgeous as the food tastes. A friend of mine invited me to have lunch with her at a tea room in Dulwich recently. She told me it was called ‘Le Chandelier’ and it has loads of beautiful vintage chandeliers hanging from the ceiling that you can buy. Now, I love a chandelier. I would have one in every room in my house if my husband would let me, so I was really looking forward to seeing how they made this work in a tea room.
When I arrived I was amazed. You know how you feel when you walk into a shop and just want to check out every corner and look at every detail on the walls and each unique piece of furniture? That’s how I felt – I wanted to buy it all and stay all day!
As you walk in you’re greeted by a huge refectory table covered in freshly made cakes. This IS a tea room after all and you can’t have tea without a slice of cake! On offer was a selection of French patisseries and English classics – coffee cake, carrot cake, poppy seed and a very popular red velvet cake. There was also Le Zuzu, which is a cranberry and Yuzu tartlet made with shortbread dough, almond cream, cranberry compote and Zuzu souffle finished with pistachio. Next time I’ll be trying the roasted apricot and rosemary upside down tart or the roasted fig shortbread – there is such a choice, it’s hard to choose just one!
When it came to tea there were no less than 34 varieties to choose from. They are selected by tea master, Edward Esler, from family owned farms in India, China, Taiwan and Japan. I had a mint-scented green tea, which was just the ticket. There’s a range of fair-trade South American Monmouth Coffee too, as well as a ‘small but special’ wine list incase you fancy some fizz.
The décor is relaxing with oversized mirrors, distressed wooden tables, and a mismatch of wooden kitchen chairs. There are also comfy armchairs set up with tables, which is where we sat for the afternoon.
Upstairs there’s a Moroccan room, which is available to hire and is a completely different feel to the tea rooms downstairs. Tray tables and low-level seating are adorned with big squashy cushions. The walls are painted in an earthy pink shade with stunning red chandeliers that create the perfect evening dining atmosphere.
The menus provide breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch and dinner and if you’re vegan or follow a gluten-free diet, there’s also a special afternoon tea for you too. I had Eggs Florentine on Soda bread, followed by a slice of poppy seed cake. Delicious. I can’t wait to go back – I’ll be having more cake possibly a chandelier to boot!
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Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor
View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor