Published: 09:16, 03 August 2017
Most people's idea of afternoon tea likely includes a few modestly sized sandwiches, a couple of scones with cream and jam, and a few small cakes to polish off at the end.
All that forms the backbone of the menu at Creams British Luxury, which opens at Bluewater shopping centre on Friday, but there's more to this seemingly traditional tearoom than meets the eye.
We went along to a special preview day earlier this week to sample the menu.
Creams' unique selling point is the decor, with chandeliers and furniture befitting of a swish hotel lounge, and teacups and plates that wouldn't look out of place in a Beauty and the Beast dance number.
The signature order is the traditional afternoon tea, which is indeed the classic mixture of sandwiches, scones, and cakes - the latter of which are particularly good.
What took our reporter out of his comfort zone were the 'freakshakes', available in multiple variants, of which he chose chocolate.
It's an absolute workout: a milkshake with a huge slice of chocolate cake attached to the top of the glass, with an Oreo cookie, a slab of chocolate, Smarties, and a Ferrero Rocher wedged into the icing, plus a generous helping of whipped cream.
Think of the cake from the film adaption of Roald Dahl's Matilda, amplify it considerably, and you're on the right lines.
Having one alongside an afternoon tea is probably unwise, but those who feel confident in their eating abilities can take on the store's 'Freakshake Challenge' - polish off the whole thing in two minutes or less and get it for free.
Most who pop in once it opens will probably be more reserved with their orders, with paninis and wraps available for those lacking quite such a sweet tooth.
The usual array of hot drinks are on the menu, too, and boxes of macarons, chocolates, and more can be bought as part of novelty gift boxes for friends and family.
Operations director Teyeb Aleem, who came up with Creams alongside brother Unzar back in 2012, is confident that the latest opening will prove popular.
“There’s a big gap in the market for a high quality, high class tearoom aimed at millennials seeking to replicate the sophisticated lifestyles of the celebrities they see on TV and online, and follow on social media,” he said.
“Creams British Luxury aims to fill this gap and do it in a fashion that ensures young people can savour a taste of the celebrity high life without having to venture outside of their local city centre or shopping centre.”
Creams British Luxury opens at Bluewater - upstairs and just a few doors down from the entrance to the cinema - on Friday.
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