Variety is the spice of life, and we fancied a bit of spice in our lives so we booked an afternoon tea with a difference at Maison Touareg, a Moroccan restaurant in Soho. Tea is an important part of Arab culture so we had high hopes.
The afternoon tea is only offered at weekends 12:30 to 5:30pm and it’s quite a small place so it’s advisable to book. We had a voucher offering 2 for one with a glass of bubbly – full price is £21.50.
The ambience felt authentically Moroccan – with ornate lamps, dark colours and cushions everywhere.
There were 14 teas on offer which is more than we have found in much grander places – descriptions and provenance were lacking and most were fruity - but a fine selection. Charlotte had the Orange Blossom; Caroline, Turkish Apple (a tea commonly found throughout N Africa and Turkey); Mo, Berry and then later Mint and Dave, Cardamom and Lemon and then a Lemon and Ginger. They all came in authentic teapots with the traditional glasses to drink from. We were offered refills, hot water and were allowed a second choice of tea. The apple had real bits of fruit in it and the mint was made traditionally with whole mint leaves – overall we were impressed. 25/30
Rather than sandwiches Maison Touareg serve a selection of savoury pastries and wraps. There were falafel, chicken and lamb kofte wraps, spinach parcels, and mini chicken and feta pasties. They were all nicely presented and very tasty. However, there was some confusion in the descriptions from the waitress and the 2 cake stands had different things on them so sharing proved complicated! No refills but there was a good selection and plenty of food. 23/30
There were no scones, of course, but there was a sweet chicken pastry which bridged the gap between savoury and cakes and was surprisingly nice.
The cake selection continued the traditionally Moroccan theme with baklava, a date crunch and some custard pastries. The menu also promised a “homemade Moroccan orange blossom cake with orange saffron marmalade & rose cream” which wasn't quite as special as we had hoped. So much so in fact that we didn't realise we had had it and we enquired of the waitress where it was. The cakes were pleasant but a bit meagre and with not much variety. 15/30
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at the Maison Touareg. Service was friendly and willing (if a little confused at times) and the atmosphere and decor was attractive and added to the experience. At £12.50, we did find it value for money, and although a Moroccan Afternoon Tea is something of a novelty, it was done well and didn't feel contrived at all. We all enjoyed this and would be happy to go back.
An interesting twist on afternoon tea No refills
Good value for money Limited selection of cakes
Nice setting and atmosphere A bit pricey without a voucher
7 out of 10