A few weeks ago I was invited to new Russian restaurant Mari Vanna for the launch of their afternoon tea menu. I love going for afternoon tea. At least, I love the concept but I’m frequently disappointed – I’m not overly into sandwiches and I often find cake too sweet for my taste, and don’t get my started on cupcakes or – horror of horrors – cake pops.
So it was refreshing to have a different sort of afternoon tea at Mari Vanna. First let’s start with the tea (substandard tea being another bugbear of mine!). No worries here as it is supplied by the Rare Tea Company.
The savouries were delicious, with a lot of fish options which suited this pescetarian nicely. There was a blini with smoked salmon and cream cheese, herring on rye toast, and pirozhki, little pastries with either meat or fish.
I would happily just eat the savouries, but the sweets were very tasty too. Their speciality is honey cake, a delicate spongy layered cake (top left in the picture).
What I really loved was the ambience and decor of the place. It was as if you were in your granny’s front room, if your granny happened to be a wealthy but eccentric old Russian matriarch. It managed to feel at once homely and decadent. Staff were very hospitable too.
I couldn’t stop pointing my camera at things, so here are a few of my shots:
Tea with sweets and savouries comes to £35, which is a standard price for a nice London afternoon tea especially given it Knightsbridge location. Alternatively you can have tea with a selection of jams and honey for £10, which is the sort of thing I might spontaneously pop in for if the Harrods sale had gotten a bit much for me and I needed calming down… Otherwise I can see the Mari Vanna afternoon tea as perfect for a celebration or catch up with close girlfriends. If you really want to celebrate, there’s always the champagne option for an extra £10.