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June 2021 / Food & Drink / by Liz Skone James

CHARITY: Time for Tea at Petersham Nurseries

Oh, how we’ve missed those little luxuries like a proper afternoon tea. For a slightly different take on the most English of traditions, head down to Petersham Nurseries this month. Their new afternoon tea will help to raise funds for conservation charity Elephant Family and awareness of their new campaign, CoExistence. Over the past five years, a collective of artists in the jungles of Tamil Nadu, Southern India, have carved majestic life-size elephants from dried lantana camara, an invasive species of weed which chokes their forest habitat. Two of these are on display at the restaurant, and the remainder of the majestic herd of over 100 sculptures are now being sold to raise funds which will enable people to live in harmony with wildlife globally. The tea has a distinct Indian influence, with a hibiscus bellini to start, spring pea and potato samosas, coronation chicken flatbreads and mushroom idli, a pillowy rice and lentil cake topped with wild mushrooms. Drawing on Southern India’s abundant seafood traditions, there will be crisp pani puri dough balls filled with Portland crab, while the Scotch egg is reimagined as a delicately flavoured kedgeree Scotch quail egg. Rum Babas, Earl Grey tea cakes, banana and turmeric macarons, mango layered slices and coconut eclairs will round off the feast.

£55 per person, £10 of which will go to Elephant Family. Floral Court, WC2E (petershamnurseries.com)