Patricia Niven, Rosewood London
Patricia Niven, Rosewood London

These Delicate Tea Time Desserts Mirror Modern Art

Patricia Niven, Rosewood London
Patricia Niven, Rosewood London

If you've ever wondered what one of Alexander Calder's mobiles might taste like, you now have a chance to find out. Rosewood London just launched a new permanent project called "Art Afternoon Tea." This tea time, which is being held in the hotel's fine dining restaurant, Mirror Room, features delicate pastries based off the works of five notable artists. Patrons can nibble on sweets inspired by Calder, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Rothko, and even Banksy. While we're not entirely sure an elaborate tea-time pastry fits in with Banksy's brand, each dessert attempts to capture the essence of each artist's work.

“I was inspired by the prominent art scene in London and by the captivating contemporary and traditional art pieces that are featured throughout Rosewood London,” the hotel's executive pastry chef Mark Perkins told Condé Nast Traveler. “The idea really progressed from there and great consideration went into deciding upon which art genres and movements we wanted to focus on. I settled on modern art, as it offers many interesting shapes, colors, and designs.”

Art Afternoon Tea starts like any traditional midday meal, with scones and tiny finger sandwiches—but the desserts at the end are truly one of a kind. The line-up starts with a play on Banksy's Girl With a Balloon and consists of a white chocolate cube filled with vanilla cream croux, salted caramel, and chocolate cremeux. On the outside, a tiny sugary illustration of the iconic girl looks as if Banksy spray painted it himself.

Calder's famous mobiles are recreated with pistachio bavarios, cherry jelly, pistachio sponge sprayed with red chocolate, and chocolate flourishes that remain suspended on top of the bright cone structure. Cassis jelly, yuzu curd on a white chocolate tart come with pastel polka dots that mirror the famous work of Hirst. Kusama's recent mirrored installation at London's Victoria Miro galleries can be seen in the form of a chocolate sable biscuit and chocolate crispy water, with milk chocolate mousse and passion fruit cremeux, covered in a bright yellow glaze. A layered coconut and raspberry sponge cake filled with coconut mousse and fresh raspberries, then wedged between two thin slabs of chocolate, echoes Rothko's work with color blocks and lines.

Diners can enjoy these colorful desserts while surrounded by 3D artwork by Simon Bingle and Beat of a Wing by Bran Symondson. To experience this edible museum visit for yourself, you can make a reservation with the restaurant for $57 per person.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

John MacDougall, Getty Images
Stolpersteine: One Artist's International Memorial to the Holocaust
John MacDougall, Getty Images
John MacDougall, Getty Images

The most startling memorial to victims of the Holocaust may also be the easiest to miss. Embedded in the sidewalks of more than 20 countries, more than 60,000 Stolpersteine—German for “stumbling stones”—mark the spots where victims last resided before they were forced to leave their homes. The modest, nearly 4-by-4-inch brass blocks, each the size of a single cobblestone, are planted outside the doorways of row houses, bakeries, and coffee houses. Each tells a simple yet chilling story: A person lived here. This is what happened to them.

Here lived Hugo Lippers
Born 1878
Arrested 11/9/1938 — Altstrelitzer prison
Deported 1942 Auschwitz

The project is the brainchild of the German artist Gunter Demnig, who first had the idea in the early 1990s as he studied the Nazis' deportation of Sinti and Roma people. His first installations were guerrilla artwork: According to Reuters, Demnig laid his first 41 blocks in Berlin without official approval. The city, however, soon endorsed the idea and granted him permission to install more. Today, Berlin has more than 5000.

Demnig lays a Stolpersteine.
Artist Gunter Demnig lays a Stolpersteine outside a residence in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.
Patrick Lux, Getty Images

The Stolpersteine are unique in their individuality. Too often, the millions of Holocaust victims are spoken of as a nameless mass. And while the powerful memorials and museums in places such as Berlin and Washington, D.C. are an antidote to that, the Stolpersteine are special—they are decentralized, integrated into everyday life. You can walk down a sidewalk, look down, and suddenly find yourself standing where a person's life changed. History becomes unavoidably present.

That's because, unlike gravestones, the stumbling stones mark an important date between a person’s birth and death: the day that person was forced to abandon his or her home. As a result, not every stumbling stone is dedicated to a person who was murdered. Some plaques commemorate people who fled Europe and survived. Others honor people who were deported but managed to escape. The plaques aim to memorialize the moment a person’s life was irrevocably changed—no matter how it ended.

The ordinariness of the surrounding landscape—a buzzing cafe, a quaint bookstore, a tree-lined street—only heightens that effect. As David Crew writes for Not Even Past, “[Demnig] thought the stones would encourage ordinary citizens to realize that Nazi persecution and terror had begun on their very doorsteps."

A man in a shop holding a hammer making a Stolpersteine.
Artisan Michael Friedrichs-Friedlaender hammers inscriptions into the brass plaques at the Stolpersteine manufacturing studio in Berlin.
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

While Demnig installs every single Stolpersteine himself, he does not work alone. His project, which stretches from Germany to Brazil, relies on the research of hundreds of outside volunteers. Their efforts have not only helped Demnig create a striking memorial, but have also helped historians better document the lives of individuals who will never be forgotten.

Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
60 Years Later, a Lost Stanley Kubrick Script Has Been Found
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images

A “lost” screenplay co-written by famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has been found after 60 years, Vulture reports.

The screenplay is an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella Burning Secret, which Vulture describes as a reverse Lolita (plot summary for those who forgot high school English class: a man enters a relationship with a woman because of his obsession with her 12-year-old daughter). In Burning Secret, a man befriends an adolescent boy in order to seduce his mother. Zweig’s other works have inspired films like Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (which the director claims he "stole" from Zweig's novels Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl).

Kubrick’s screenplay adaptation is co-written by novelist Calder Willingham and dated October 24, 1956. Although the screenplay bears a stamp from MGM’s screenwriting department, Nathan Abrams—the Bangor University professor who discovered the script—thinks it’s likely the studio found it too risqué for mass audiences.

“The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover, making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface,” Abrams told The Guardian. It's worth noting, however, that Kubrick directed an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in 1962, which MGM distributed, and it was also met with a fair share of controversy.

Abrams said the screenplay for Burning Secret is complete enough that it could be created by filmmakers today. He noted that the discovery is particularly exciting because it confirms speculations Kubrick scholars have had for decades.

“Kubrick aficionados knew he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed,” Abrams told The Guardian.

The Guardian reports that Abrams found the screenplay while researching his book Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film. The screenplay is owned by the family of one of Kubrick’s colleagues.

[h/t Vulture]


More from mental floss studios