Afternoon tea inspired by popular cultural activities is becoming increasingly popular from fashion to theatre and even to photography. Le Méridien Piccadilly has recently announced a new ‘Unlock Art’ partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in London. The RIBA has curated the ‘Unlock London: A City in Pictures’ exhibition showcasing a stunning selection of 17 black and white images. Taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s to 1960s, these images show some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
To celebrate this partnership, a special new afternoon tea has been created inspired by the exhibition. The tea served was Jing tea, one I’ve never come across before, but oh my how cute are the teapots and teacups! There is a large selection of teas, so many it was hard to choose from but I went for the Jade Sword, an immensely bright, fresh and versatile green tea.
The sweet treats included a ‘Helen of Troy’ Orange and Poppy Seed Cake (absolutely delicious by the way!), Carrot Cake and the Traditional British Bakewell Tart. Let’s not forget the scones, which were light and fluffy and just the way a scone should be – mine was even smiling at me! The sandwiches were just as delicious as they look, especially the Norfolk duck eggs and mustard cress one.
After eating, chatting and enjoying the spread of tasty delights, we were given an insight to the background behind the photographs in the exhibition. From a Penguin Pool at London Zoo by Lubektin to an Edwin Smith photo of St Paul’s Cathedral. These are just two of my favourite images from the exhibition, but all of them are inspiringly beautiful. All of the images in the exhibition are from RIBApix, which provides easy access to a world-class collection of more than 85,000 digital images from the RIBA.
‘Photography and architecture are linked because both are interested in composing forms, lines and textures into a unity. Photography, one could say, is building with light. Eric de Maré (1910-2002) Architectural photographer and author.
We went in the Oak Room for a workshop, for which we picked a photo from a selection to explore angles, lighting, reflection and depth to then practice the technique. My photo explored capturing a moment with great timing and framing. The Oak Room also just allows for architectural detailing to be captured.
If you like tea, architecture or photography then this exhibition and afternoon tea definitely worth a visit and a perfect combination. My dear readers, if you do fancy visiting I can offer you 20% off the afternoon tea, just let me know if you want to visit!