London’s New Antony Gormley-Inspired Afternoon Tea Really Is A Work Of Art

April Curtin April Curtin


We’ve always worshipped food as an art form, but this mouthwatering masterpiece takes it to the next level…

Tea and cake at The Rosewood has always been of the finest standard, with their Art Afternoon Tea having previously being crowned the best in the UK (just look at the Van Gogh tea they created earlier this year). The five star luxury hotel in Holborn continues to impress with their latest culinary creativity, inspired by celebrated British sculptor, Antony Gormley, who currently has a landmark show at the Royal Academy of Arts.

See also: The very best afternoon teas in London.

Executive Pastry Chef at The Rosewood, Mark Perkins, has collaborated with the Royal Academy to mark the new exhibition celebrating the life and work of the internationally acclaimed artist. The exhibition is the most significant display of Gormley’s works for over a whole decade, and pastry king Perkins has taken inspiration from these artworks, as well as elements of Gormley’s life, to develop the collection of pastries served in the Antony Gormley Afternoon Tea.

Photo: Rosewood London

Served in the elegant surrounds of the hotel’s Mirror Room, guests can enjoy a selection of mouth-watering finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and a wide selection of Mariage Freres teas. This will be followed by a series of show-stopping desserts inspired by some of the Gormley’s masterpieces…

Body and Fruit (1991-93)

Photo: Patricia Niven 2019

This incredible piece will be displayed at the centre of the Royal Academy exhibition, hanging just centimetres from the floor while weighing several tonnes! Perkins’ incarnation of Body and Fruit will take the form of a light and airy chocolate mousse. Inspired by Gormley’s time studying Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the pastry king has infused notes of Ceylon tea into the mousse, paired with mandarin jelly, praline cremeux and hazelnut financier, with a chocolate coating. Exquisite!

Full Bowl (1977-78)

Photo: Patricia Niven 2019

It is in fact Gormley’s German mother who inspired this pastry, which celebrates the famous Black Forest Gateau. Made up of chocolate sponge, cherry compote, whipped white chocolate and vanilla cream, the cake is decorated with a swirled chocolate decoration brushed in blue to represent the layered pattern made from the 40 stacked ‘bowls’ in the original artwork.

Matrix II (2014)

Photo: Patricia Niven 2019

This monumental installation is made of intersecting rectangular dark steel mesh grids and will be suspended above head height. Perkins incorporates the structural element of this artwork in his corresponding pastry, which is influenced by English orchards. A latticed chocolate decoration will sit on top of ginger jaconde sponge, filled with pear jelly, caramel cremeux, vanilla glaze, and pear bavarois.

One Apple (1982)

Photo: Patricia Niven 2019

Perkins has also created four different apple pastries, in homage to Gormley’s One Apple. These include an apple mousse, blackberry cheesecake, praline choux, and apple compote at the end. Presented on a marble tray and sprayed with silver to create a sculptural feel, they represent different stages of transformation.

All these pastries definitely look too good to eat… but also too good to resist, and we will definitely be giving them a try!

Photo: Patricia Niven 2019

Location: The Rosewood,252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN. Nearest station is Holborn. See it on Google Maps
Opening hours: The Art Afternoon Tea is available Mon-Fri 2.30pm to 5.45pm, Sat-Sun 12.00pm to 5.45pm
Entry: £60 per person
More information: on their website

Featured image: Patricia Niven

Food & Drink