Tonight is my festive Nutcracker outing to the Royal Opera House with Lucy. Year after year I think her excitement will wane a little but no, she’s as giddy as ever! Having spoken about my love of The Nutcracker ballet before, I will once again take this opportunity to urge you to go and see it if you ever get the chance – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I now spot Nutcrackers wherever I go and was especially glad to see Claridge’s have put on a fine display this year:
And how about this incredible edible biscuit set from Biscuiteers – almost too good to eat!
To complement many of the big productions at the Royal Opera House, the resident chefs develop menus inspired by a particular ballet or opera. There have been White and Black Swan cocktails to sip before Swan Lake, the Knave’s jam tarts accompanied Alice in Wonderland and now a Nutcracker Afternoon Tea is being served throughout December. From the ROH website:
“Inspired by characters in the ballet and the current vogue for Cannelés bordelais in artisan coffee shops, the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea is full of surprises. Our pastry chefs have devised a rum and vanilla drum cake complete with an edible toy-soldier’s drumstick; an old chocolate box favourite is given a sophisticated makeover in a bonbon of dark chocolate walnut; and there’s a sumptuous take on Gateau Opéra made with white chocolate and Perigord truffle.
Naturally, we have not forgotten younger visitors. The children’s tea includes sandwiches, scones, popping candy Christmas tree cupcakes, candy cane meringues and a Sugar Plum Fairy lemonade flavoured with pomegranate and blueberry.”
Isn’t it wonderful and it encapsulates so much that is utterly magical about Nutcracker. If, like me, you won’t be able to sample the delights of Tea at the Opera House, a Christmas Tree Cupcake recipe has been published on their website.
I am planning to channel my inner child and go completely over the top with decorations – it’s the one time of year you can get away with it so make the most of the opportunity! The Royal Opera House invites you to share your creations on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #NutcrackerAfternoonTea. You can see the menus currently being served for each production over on the Royal Opera House website and if you can’t make it to London for the ballet then check your local cinema listings as it will be broadcast live around the world this Wednesday, 16th December.
In the meantime I will leave you with my favourite scene from the ballet; The Waltz of the Snowflakes. Enjoy!