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October 2021 / Food & Drink / by Liz Skone James

NEW OPENING: Showstopping Teas

Baker to the stars, Lily Vanilli is set to launch a decadent afternoon tea in the green marble-lined Grand Saloon at the newly renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane this month. Lily’s menu, which will be available to non-theatre goers, too, takes inspiration from the Regency period, with sweet treats including delicate pink lemonade tarts with elderflower jelly set with tiny hand-cast, gilded chocolate cherubs. Meanwhile, the savoury offering sees the likes of a signature Lily Vanilli puff pastry sausage roll made with Cornish sausage meat, roast bacon lardons and a cider vinegar deglaze. Warm scones are served with salted whipped butter, as well as the usual cream and homemade jam. Rounding off proceedings, a trolley will roam the room serving scoops of heady absinthe mint choc chip ice cream, made to a top-secret recipe. And everything will be served on a tea service designed by British designers Kit and Willow Kemp, featuring mythical characters taken from costume design illustrations for the theatre’s ballets, comic operas, pantomimes and Edwardian musical comedies over the years. Lily says: “I love the fact that the tea is made up of classics that everyone genuinely wants to eat: jelly, ice cream, cake, custard and sausage rolls… I can’t wait to see the theatre come to life, with guests sitting in the incredible Grand Saloon to get stuck in and revel in the hedonism and decadence that the Regency period was so well known for.” As if you needed an excuse to get yourself back down to theatreland…

The Grand Saloon, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, WC2B (thelane.co.uk; lilyvanilli.com)