The Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea at Balthazar London

If my sister was ever to give up her day job, I have no doubt that the world would quite rapidly gain a shiny new cake-maker, jewellery-curator or make-up artist extraordinaire. She may not be a blogger or writer but her list of artistic talents far extends mine. For her loved ones, this means slab upon slab of home-baked loaf cakes and sumptuous fresh lunches and for me, specifically, it means a free makeover every time she and I go anywhere together.

Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea Balthazar

Cut from the same cloth, she too hates to waste her annual leave but she’s less for the foreign escapades and more for the London foodie ones. So it was no surprise that she was the first of us to hear of the creative, new make-up inspired afternoon tea hitting London this summer – the highly anticipated Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea at Balthazar London.

Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea, London

I am rarely one to talk or care much for beauty chit-chat but I must admit, at least half of my (rather small) make up bag is filled with Bobbi Brown cosmetics and in her quarter century of trading, her cosmetic empire has amassed cult status among millions of loyal customers around the globe. It was in honour of 25 years of the brand that the Bobbi Brown afternoon tea was launched at the London branch of her favourite New York brunch spot, Balthazar.

best afternoon teas London

For my sister and I, it was a return to Balthazar London, as we had dined there for brunch once before and, as is the best way with any afternoon tea, we arrived starving to waiting staff, who seemed genuinely proud and excited about this limited edition tea on offer.

My sister nudged me two or three times to take more photographs and blog about the tea but I politely declined. After a run of afternoon tea experiences on the blog ranging from the gold afternoon tea to the Spanish afternoon tea, the London bus afternoon tea to the summer-scented afternoon tea, this was one afternoon where I was planning to retire, eat and enjoy.

Pot Rouge Macaron Bobbi Brown

But then I heard it was Afternoon Tea Week this week and…well….if the world is kind enough to oblige this tasty tradition with an entire dedicated week, then it’s only right I do my part to contribute and share the scone love 😀

unique novelty afternoon tea London

After a brief run through of the menu and enquiry from the staff regarding dietary requirements, we got perusing the tea choices and our hungry mouths were salivating from the outset when the waiter told us that if we wanted more sandwiches or scones after completing our servings, all we had to do was ask and they would happily top us up.

limited edition afternoon tea

Most afternoon tea aficionados will know that second rounds of scones and sarnies, whilst highly tempting, are often a challenge to conquer. I for one am always surprised at how quickly I start to feel full during afternoon tea. Nevertheless, there is something so hospitable about the generosity of venues so willing to keep dishing out the goods until all customers leave content.

The sandwiches came in thick chunky fingers so are perhaps not suitable for those of you easily prone to developing carb babies but for bread lovers like us, this was only too welcome in our ravenous state.

Balthazar London Afternoon Tea

And after a brief taster of the wholesome plain and raisin scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, we proceeded to demolish the upper deck of the 3 tier cake stand before our appetites could betray us any further.

However, given that Bobbi Brown herself paired up with Balthazar’s head pastry chef to help design indulgent, patisserie versions of some of her most popular items, it would have been rude of us not to spend a moment or two guessing which Bobbi Brown products the desserts had been inspired by. It is a most surreal moment when the same black eyeliner you are wearing at the afternoon tea is dished up on your plate in the form of a chocolate and blackberry Sachertorte eyeliner!

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Chocolate Dessert

Those of you who use Bobbi Brown products may recognise some of these cakes from the contents of your own cosmetic bags but I can assure you that this shimmer brick is a much tastier alternative, built of champagne-infused rhubarb. And the praline, mango and passion foundation stick is far better placed on your taste buds than your cheeks.

make up theme afternoon tea London

Bobbi Brown Make Up Lesson

As part of this limited edition afternoon tea experience and with the tea being held strategically, just around the corner from Balthazar, all Bobbi Brown afternoon tea guests are entitled to a complimentary make up lesson at the Bobbi Brown store. Unfortunately, the two-minute or so walk from Balthazar to the store was barely enough to burn off the tea we had drunk nevermind the carbs and cakes consumed.

Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea Make Up Lesson

Book ahead for your make up lesson rather than just rocking up and taking a chance like we did but despite our cheeky last-minute antics, I was met by a highly enthused make-up artist, who put me under no pressure to purchase anything (and indeed I didn’t) but she did give me some really valuable pointers as to the colours and styles that could potentially suit me better and when I have a good excuse to refill my make up bag, I know who I’ll be returning to for a fuller make up lesson so I can finally relieve my sister!

Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea Menu

The Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea is only running until the end of September so hurry along there to sample this photogenic tea experience; if you happen to have a make-up pro in your tribe or know a bride-to-be looking to enjoy an afternoon of decadence and some make up pointers before her big day, this might be just the experience!

Have you been to any unusual theme afternoon teas before and are you celebrating Afternoon Tea Week?!


25 thoughts on “The Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea at Balthazar London

  1. WOW, just WOW! Talk about a beautifully different tea 😉
    I love the sound of a chocolate and blackberry Sachertorte eyeliner. And champagne-infused rhubarb, mmmm… It’s incredible how continually-innovative hotels and restaurants are, with their afternoon tea concept. There’s never a dull moment, is there? I also quite liked Cutter and Squidge’s take on this favourite foodie tradition (it involves biskies and dream cakes) and of course the classic Pret a Portea at the Berkeley for a fashionable twist! xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:12 am

      Isn’t it fab Ayushi?! I’ve been to Cutter and Squidge though not to the tea and I cannot believe I still haven’t tried the Pret a Portea one – it looks so sexy and stylish that I’m not sure I’m cool enough!! 😀 They really are innovative and I can’t imagine it’s easy to make pastries look like make up and actually keep them realistic but they did a stellar job!

      1. Of course you’re cool enough! Perhaps our next catch up with our tea-loving friends should be over a full afternoon tea spread. Mmmm

  2. I confess I’m rather partial to an afternoon tea (or two!) and this looks delicious. Love the Bobbi Brown theme idea and make up demo offer. You could make a whole afternoon of it if you did both 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:14 am

      I don’t blame you Suzanne – I’m partial to about 20! It works out really well how they the restaurant and the shop are just a stone’s throw away from each other so it’s absolutely ideal for anyone wanting a bit of pampering and heaven knows, I could use some tips at applying make up neatly – I was far better at eating it!

  3. This is such a great idea! I must admit, when I first read the Bobbi Brown title I didn’t know what to expect, but I love this. So much fun trying to identify the different makeup items and the fact that you can get a makeover afterwards is lovely. This would be great for a hen do!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:16 am

      I know what you mean Emily. When my sister first told me about it, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my thing as although I do own and use make up, it’s not something I have any in depth knowledge about and really wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea (mind the pun!) but I was really impressed at what a great job they did with these cakes whilst still keeping it so tasty and the service was genuinely wonderful so it ended up being such a fun afternoon 🙂

  4. What a great idea for a girly day with your sister! The cakes look INCREDIBLE!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:17 am

      Thanks Jess! It was really good fun (and really weird when I was tucking into an edible version of the eyeliner that I wear most days! The regular one the next morning felt so boring not being made of chocolate) 😀

  5. I love the idea of this!! What a cute tea and everything looks beautifully made! I just had an Austrian themed tea at the Delaunay which was lovely.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:18 am

      Ooooh, I love the sound of that Angie! I’ve brunched there quite a few times but never been for tea but if the cakes and coffees in Vienna were anything to go by, I think it’d be right up my street! I loved this make up themed tea – so innovative and cleverly done. Just when you think you’ve seen or heard of all kinds of quirky afternoon tea themes, someone somewhere comes up with something brand new and creative 🙂

  6. Yum! That looks amazing! I absolutely have to try that out.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:20 am

      It really was Mandy! I often think that with afternoon teas, it’s easy for places to fall into the trap of looking creative and intricate but not actually tasting any good but with this one, the sandwiches and scones were classic and tasty and the flavour of the cakes completely lived up to their dainty appearance 🙂

  7. this is for my best friend:) make-up and tea:)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:20 am

      It is absolutely PERFECT Tanja for anyone like that who loves both – my sister is the same, loves make up and cake so I’m not surprised she found out about this one before I did 🙂

  8. The blog-force within your sister is strong 😀

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 16, 2016 — 9:21 am

      Honestly Emma, the baking blog world is missing out – I did try and tell her once but I think she was more keen to just bake the cake rather than write about how she baked it and photograph her way through the process – still either way, my family and I get to reap the rewards so I won’t push my luck 😀

  9. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries August 18, 2016 — 10:47 am

    Your sister sounds amazing – would love a sister who bakes cakes and creates scrumptious lunches … As for the afternoon tea, everything looks plain delicious!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 19, 2016 — 7:09 pm

      Aww thank you Miriam! That’s so kind of you to say and I must show her this comment when I see her this weekend! The tea was fabulous – pastry chefs are so talented as it must be so fiddly making cakes that look like this 🙂

  10. Wow, this looks amazing!! I love the look of that shimmer brick cake!! How creative. And gosh, how lucky you have a sister that supplies with you delicious homemade cakes and makeovers. 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 19, 2016 — 7:19 pm

      Thanks Anna! You should get a whiff of the white malt cheesecake she made last weekend when I had a bbq at home – it was divine! Yes the restaurant did such a great job of making this cake look like one of the actual shimmer bricks! And without compromising on the taste at all, which was so light and delicate 🙂

  11. I love a themed afternoon tea and never heard of one like this before! Glad I don’t live in London, I’d be rolling around with all the cake I’d eat if that were the case! :s K x

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 25, 2016 — 9:16 pm

      Don’t even – I pretty much AM rolling around with cake belly these days! Really need to try and cut out some of these foodie indulgences but as you say, the temptation in a city like London is just immense (but who am I kidding, I can sniff out dessert wherever I am!):mrgreen:

  12. Oh wow this looks so cool! I visited Balthazar for afternoon last Christmas but it wasn’t Bobbi Brown themed! This looks really nice though!!
    Would recommend the chocolate themed afternoon at the Hilton on Park Lane if you are a chocoholic like myself it’s divine!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) February 16, 2017 — 7:00 pm

      Omg yes, I’ve been to that chocolate tea at the Hilton & I loved it!! It was of the first ever ones my hubby and I went to together after we met & I think it was fantastically presented, total chocolate heaven & great value! I wasn’t sure how realistically anyone would be able to make cakes look like cosmetics but I was very impressed at just how striking a resemblance there was to some of the items in my own make up bag!

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