I first became aware of just how delicious dessert can be was a couple of years ago in Savannah, Georgia, when a friend took me to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. In the moodily lit room sat girls dolled up glamorous/retro, guys ordering chocolate martinis and jazz oozing through the space. The entire vibe was yummy. (You can see some gorgeous pictures of Lulu’s here.)
Janis and Laura organised a London bloggers meet-up there earlier this week. Foodie bloggers like Claire from Crumbs, Sarah from Maison Cupcake, and Laura from How to Cook Good Food. I also caught up with WestLondonMum, South of the River Mum, Not a Notting Hill Mum, Cari Rosen, Working London Mummy, Maggy from Red Ted Art and Uju from Babes About Town.
The parlour is just off reception and is furnished with deep-dish sofas and comfy chairs. In the middle of the space is a dramatically lit table of desserts. For the Christmas season the hotel was featuring a gorgeous Christmas pudding, mini rhubarb crumbles, rhubarb jelly with a pistachio biscotti, bread-and-butter pudding, and lemon meringue pie, among other delicacies.
Edd Kimber aka The Boy Who Bakes and Winner of The Great British Bake Off 2010, contributed a pudding of the month recipe: traditional homemade mince pies. (These had a bit too much pastry for me – I prefer the open-faced version.) The real winner was a chocolate mousse type pudding that was served in a tiny bowl made of chocolate. Claire of Crumbs declared the bowl delicious.
I had the champagne jelly, a pale yellow serving in a shot glass with a bright red raspberry at the bottom – light and subtle with a tart finish when you reached the berry.
The experience is a refreshing change from the usual wallet-emptying experience of socialising around the Green Park/Park Lane quarter. You get one trip to the dessert table for £10, or pay £15 to have puddings with an accompanying pudding wine. Several groups of women sat around the room, drinking Champagne and tasting all the versions. While the setting and the menu might fit more readily into the image of a girls night out, I did see a pair of gentlemen at one of the tables. The appeal of chocolate-y puddings, it appears, doesn’t discriminate.
The Pudding Parlour at The Athenaeum, Green Park, Mon-Fri 20:00 – 23:00, Sat 21:00 – 23:00, closed Sun.
Organiser Janis from Really Kid Friendly – 5 star venue and surprisingly affordable
Organiser Laura from London-Baby – the perfect alternative to a drinks date
Laura from How to Cook Good Food – loved the food and the soft flattering lighting
Working London Mummy – “Each pudding is a piece of beauty”
Sarah from Maison Cupcake – “it’s a hen party for those who don’t want to go to a hen party”
I was one of a group of bloggers hosted by The Athenaeum free of charge, but the opinions in this review are my own.