Afternoon tea in high spirits

High Spirits Afternoon Tea

It is a well-known fact that bringing booze into the equation improves almost anything, and Paramount – the bar and restaurant at the top of London’s iconic Centre Point building – has got this well and truly covered with the launch of its High Spirits Afternoon Tea.

The Centre Point building was looming large over London when The Shard was just a jagged-shaped twinkle in Renzo Piano’s eye. And from the Paramount restaurant and bar, which covers the whole of the 32nd floor, drinkers and diners have panoramic views across the capital. There’s even a handy little leaflet on every table guiding you through the sights you can see from your seat!

The venue’s new Afternoon Tea offering includes alcohol in every element, so make sure you don’t have any important meetings planned for after your visit! The novel treat costs £28 per person (or £42 including a cocktail of your choice) and guarantees guests a good time 32 floors up. Tipsy sandwiches include gin and orange-cured salmon with lemon butter on lemon bread; whisky-smoked ham with wholegrain mustard on tomato bread and even a Bloody Mary on wholegrain bread! Scones are served with Cointreau and orange jam. Hic!

ParamountBar-7 smallThe decor in Paramount could be described as a bit dated, but as you lie back on the sprawling sofas, or sit gazing out of the floor to ceiling windows, you’re hardly going to bother staring at the walls too much! Just sit back and enjoy the selection of delectable cakes and pastries brought out on a traditional tea trolley which include naughty treats such as Coffee Baileys and Cream – Bailey’s mousse, chocolate mousse, crunchy caramel and coffee crumble; Raspberry Cranachan – whiskey crème fraîche, raspberry and Chambord purée and crunchy oats; Amaretto Sour – Amaretto tiramisu and lime mascarpone; and Brandy & Cherry Cola – rich cherry and brandy compote, cola jelly, cola granita and sherbet. What sweet-toothed alcophile could say no?!

Created by Head Chef Kryzsztof Zachwieja, this tea is not for the faint-hearted (or light-weighted)! And at 385 feet from ground level, it is also one of London’s highest afternoon teas.

However, if boozing in the afternoon isn’t really your thing, or you would just prefer not to toddle yourself tipsily down Tottenham Court Road after a business meeting, Paramount’s restaurant offers one of the most delectable lunchtime menus we’ve seen in a long time, and there’s an array of fruit juices and soft drinks to keep you as clear-headed and calm as you like!

ParamountDiningRoom-12 small-1Having sampled the scrumptious pan seared fois grois, delicious iron bark and chickpea lasagne, and deliciously tender Salt Marsh spring lamb, we can categorically say each dish at Paramount is cooked with such delicacy and precision, and such attention to flavour, ordering off the menu is like feasting at the final of Professional Masterchef! Service is attentive without being overwhelming, and there’s a good wine list in case you do fancy a different type of tipple.

Be it breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or just a few drinks, Paramount is a destination often left in the shadows of its higher viewing platforms in recent years, but wrongly so. And with the introduction of the most appealing afternoon tea in town, it seems Londoners in-the-know have started to flock to the top to indulge in the (very) high life once more!

The High Spirits Afternoon Tea is served 2.30-4.30pm daily, and a traditional version is also available. For more information on menus, or to book a table, see



Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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