Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tea for One Tour of London: Cupcakes & Cocktails at Quince

Midway through my tea tour seemed like a great time to take a breather from the crustless sandwiches and focus my afternoon attention on my favorite thing: cupcakes. Quince in the May Fair Hotel offers a twist on the afternoon tea experience with its Cupcakes and Cocktails.

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And I was excited to have Kelly from American Cupcake in London join me for cupcakes and cocktails on Thursday. Actually, Kelly was gracious enough to take me to a few of the great London cake places beforehand so we were already pretty wired up on sugar by the time we got to Quince.

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The entrance to Quince is filled with loads of the quince fruits (I thought they were lemons. And had a total DUH! moment when Kelly said, “I think they are quince.” For what it’s worth, I am not entirely sure I have ever seen a quince.)

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Chic and dark, Quince seems like the kind of place the Mad Men crowd would hang out in if this were the 60s and this were Manhatten. I nestled into the plush banquette and prepared myself for cupcakes and cocktails.

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The Cocktails: There are four cocktails featured on the Cupcakes and Cocktails menu, all inspired by the traditional coffee and tea served at afternoon tea. For the coffee-loving crowd, the Caramel Espresso Martini is flamed on the top with brown sugar for a crème caramel crust. Kelly ordered this drink and liked it!

The remaining cocktails are tea-inspired. The Peppermint Tea Martini is refreshing peppermint tea with crème de menthe while the Chamomile, Spiced Rum and Pomegranate is served hot.

I ordered the Peach Iced Tea. (Which I think was non-alcoholic.) I enjoyed the reach peach flavor of it. It tasted almost like a peach nectar.

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The Cupcakes: We were served four flavors of cupcakes: vanilla, coconut, raspberry, and chocolate.

Between Kelly and myself, we have eaten a lot of cupcakes in a lot of different places. I think we both know good cupcakes. And we know bad cupcakes too. And after few bites of each cupcakes, it was obvious to both of us that these were the latter. There was no flavor in them. The only flavor that was clear to either of us was the freeze-dried bit of raspberry atop the raspberry cupcake.

The cupcakes were disappointing, almost to the point that store bought cupcakes would have been better. In a city where there are some amazing cupcake bakers doing some amazing things with the frosted treats, it would be a great opportunity for Quince to partner with some of them to feature truly great cupcakes.

Reservations: I booked all of my afternoon tea reservations (except for the Ritz) using the Afternoon Tea website . You can book all of your teas using this website and take advantage of special offers on the website. I highly recommend using it; my experience with its services was flawless.

Attire: The vibe in Quince is sleek and casual. The crowd in Quince was equal parts business and pleasure.

Near the Milestone: Nestled in the heart of the posh Mayfair section of London, The May Fair Hotel and Quince, Green Park and Hyde Park are nearby and perfect for an afternoon stroll. And if you can snag a dinner reservation, Nobu is right around the corner.

For more information on afternoon tea or Cupcake and Cocktails at Quince, visit their website {here}.

Afternoon Tea Fun Fact #3: There are few quirky rules when it comes to etiquette and afternoon tea. Modern tea etiquette dictates that afternoon tea is to be served any time from 2:00pm to 5:00pm with the host or hostess making and serving the tea. If two different teas are being offered, the most important of the lady guests is asked to pour the second pot. (How do you determine the second most important lady?) Milk must always be offered, but never cream, and if milk is taken, it should always be put in the cup first. Sliced lemon should be available and sugar should be on the table for those who must have it. {VIA}


  1. These sadly clock in as the WORST cupcakes in London!

  2. MadeWithPink.comMay 4, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    Thanks for the review. I had thought about going to Quince with some friends, but if bad cupcakes are to be served, I will definitely give it a miss. Hope the people from there are reading this and do a cupcake overhaul!

  3. That is so disappointing! how can you have a dedicated cupcakes and cocktails menu and serve bad cupcakes? this just doesn't make sense to me! but the interior looked quite cool and your peach iced tea sounded very refreshing!

  4. I would definitely wait on going there until they get better cupcakes. They should really reach out to some of the cupcake bakers in the city and get some good cupcakes!