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Let them eat cake!


You can now experience our Food Hero Eric Lanlard’s exquisite afternoon tea on board Azura, Ventura and Britannia

A platter of sweet and savoury treats at Eric Lanlard’s afternoon tea

‘Under certain circumstances, there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.’ So begins Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady – and nearly a century and a half later, many would still agree. Particularly if it’s award-winning master pâtissier Eric Lanlard’s speciality afternoon tea on board a P&O Cruises ship.


After a phenomenally successful launch on Britannia earlier this year, Eric’s sensational afternoon tea has now launched on Azura and Ventura. On each ship, it’s served in the sophisticated and stylish Epicurean Restaurant – the perfect place to experience high tea at sea.


It’s the ultimate treat – but as you’d expect from the imaginative ‘Cake Boy’, there’s a bit of a twist. Keeping the core elements of this quintessentially British institution – the savoury, the patisseries and the scones – Eric has introduced some surprises to elevate the humble afternoon tea into something utterly decadent and indulgent. ‘I wanted to create something that’s unique. To get the ‘wow’ factor to match the glamour of the beautiful ships,’ Eric explains. ‘And obviously it’s all about the taste. I wanted to excite people.’

Passengers enjoying Eric Lanlard’s afternoon tea

There are two mouthwatering menus to choose from. Menu 1 begins with smoked salmon and dill macaroons, roast beef brioche and savoury cheese éclairs with brie and red onion marmalade, followed by a platter of exquisite pâtisseries. Expect such delights as lollypop-shaped cakes topped with candyfloss, dark chocolate teardrops, raspberry mousse with meringue and orange-infused almond cake. And to finish, lemon-scented scones with clotted cream.


If you go for menu 2, expect smoked salmon in spinach bread, tomato and baby mozzarella tarts, and the somewhat surprising dark chocolate macaroons filled with smoked duck breast, raspberry and cucumber, which should prepare your palette for the sweet round. Chocolate cannelloni with caramelised apple, lemon meringue trifle, pistachio and strawberry tarts, and delicate French financier sponge cakes infused with lemon and cardamom. And finally, traditional raisin scones with clotted cream.


With two such diverse and exciting menus, how can you possibly choose? You might just have to go twice. And to make it really special, you can even accompany your afternoon tea with a glass of fizz.


‘I know I’m a French man, but I’m a proper anglophile,’ explains Eric. ‘Of course, there’s some inspiration from the glamour of French patisserie behind it – but it’s still a very British afternoon tea because that’s what I wanted. I want people to take afternoon tea in a glamorous place, listening to beautiful music and, you know, watching the sea just sailing by.’


Eric’s afternoon tea costs £15 per person and can be booked in advance via the cruise personaliser.