I met up with the lovely Kathy of the eponymous Kathy YL Chan blog while she was here in London for a visit. Knowing her penchant for desserts, we first met at Maltby Street for St John’s famous custard doughnuts before wandering over to Borough Market in search of something savoury. Somewhere in between the two markets, after much discussing, a booking was made for afternoon tea at William Curley (the patissier-chocolatier) in Belgravia. On weekends, and it was a Saturday when we met, they open up their Dessert Bar and offer a dessert tasting menu for the afternoon. On all other days, they still sell their delicious chocolates, cakes and ice creams.
When we got there later that day, we settled into our table (the seats at the six-seater bar had already been booked up) and ordered a hojicha latte (Kathy) and a house blend tea (me) to get us in the mood for the desserts. We chose to share one menu between the two of us, which turned out to be just the right amount of dessert for two girls who’d previously been feasting on doughnuts and pork pie.
We started with a quenelle of Green Apple Sorbet, all tart and just slightly sweet in a good way! It was immensely refreshing.
Next up was a Vanilla Pannacotta with Red Berry Compote and Champagne Granita. The pannacotta was very softly set, making it more like a pudding with the zingy compote and yes, straight up champagne ice. A very adult dessert.
That was followed by an Apricot, Pistachio and Chocolate Pave with Marinated Apricots and Lemon Thyme Ice Cream. I loved the use of the seasonal fruit and the entire combination was delicious, especially that ice cream.
Our final main dessert was a generously portioned Passionfruit Tart and Mango Casket with Passionfruit Sauce and Guava Sorbet. That tart was delicious as was the casket filled with a mango fruit, mousse and cake and with a heart of chocolate ganache. I knew Curley was well known for the incorporation of Asian flavours into his chocolates and this was a good example of this.
A selection of Petit Fours finished off our afternoon dessert tea. All the bites were just perfect: a blackcurrant and juniper chocolate, a pistachio dacquoise sandwiching chocolate cream, and raspberry financiers.
The quality of the desserts was excellent and it’s not a bad deal at £15 for the dessert tasting menu we shared (drinks not included)! It’s obviously not your traditional afternoon tea but it’s a fantastic alternative. William Curley’s original shop is in Richmond and while there are cakes available to purchase there (along with his chocolates and ice creams), there’s no dessert bar there.
Do take a look at Kathy’s post on the rest of that Saturday!
William Curley Dessert Bar
Weekends only from 1pm
198 Ebury Street
London SW1W 8UN