Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My first afternoon tea at Kensington Palace's Orangery

English Orangery Afternoon Tea
It is probably one of the things that every true Londoner-at-heart hopes to experience at least once in a lifetime: A real British Afternoon Tea. I researched quite a few places, but finally decided for The Orangery at Kensington Palace and off I went for my first High Tea experience together with my London friend Culture Girl. The Orangery is a beautiful baroque building and located in one of the most beautiful parks in London, Kensington Gardens and just next to William and Kate's home, which of course left my friend and I giggling and wondering whether we might catch up with them during afternoon tea but unfortunately they did not really decide to join us this day so... maybe next time :D

The Orangery entrance

Walking towards the building on the straight path aligned with trees leading to The Orangery, I almost felt like a royal princess myself. Almost ;) We arrived quite early, about 10 minutes after official opening times, but almost all tables were occupied, so probably it really would be best to get there quite on time to be sure to get your table. And we went on an ordinary Monday afternoon so... As far as I remember they don`t do reservations. At the entrance, a lovely receptionist welcomed us and immediately led us to a free table, next to a lovely American couple and their teenage daughter.

Having had a look at the menu online, we had already decided on the sort of afternoon tea we wanted to have (The English Orangery Afternoon tea), so we were served quite quickly. I just adore the delicate dishware and heavy (silver?) cutlery, it really makes you feel like you are experiencing a true English tradition and maybe the food tastes even better when you use such pretty plates and cups ;). As far as I remember you can even buy dishware, plates and cups at the Orangery or the Kensington palace's online shop.
The Orangery Menu

As usual, I had my favourite of all black teas, Earl Grey, with milk and sugar. Starting off with the sandwiches, I absolutely loved the salmon and cream cheese ones, but the cucumber and egg sandwich were really delicious as well.

We then continued with the scones - first time for me there - and I was absolutely stunned how filling they are! Although I had prepared for quite a feast and did not even have lunch before we went for our Afternoon tea, I did not actually manage to have both, I stopped after the first one as I was afraid that I wouldn t manage to try the cakes as well :D As there is a little fight of which one of the toppings comes first, I decided on the following :

Scones with cream and jam
(As I do with my jam sandwiches pretty much) First comes cream, then jam on top. As our final, we had a few lovely tea pastries, such as fruit biscuit cake, chocolate pastry and creme brule pastry. A very satisfying experience I have to say - and very cosy as the whole atmosphere invites to relax and chat about, we quickly lost in conversations and really only realized how much time had passed, when all our pastries were gone and we both decided to check our phones.

The Orangery Hall
 Just a hint for those who always seem to be needing the 'loo' (toilet in British English) when they are in a lovely cafe or restaurant... it is quite hidden and reminded me a bit of one of those festival trailers the first few seconds I saw it and probably the only downside point that I would give this lovely orangery as it is outside, a bit annoying when it is drizzling or raining. To get there you need to leave the beautiful orangery hall building from the reception door's side, turn left and again left and DON T WALK PAST the small, rather hidden entrance, it is made for wheelchair users as well so it is quite visible (just for someone like me who was probably running just a tiny bit too quick around this place and I ran past the entrance, I was in a bit of a hurry :D

Here a few details in case you would like to visit this fantastic place, I've inserted a quick location map by Google Maps, no worries, it is really easy to find:

Kensington palace
Nearest tube stations:
High Street Kensington
Notting Hill Gate

Opening hours:
November to February: 10.00 - 17.00
Breakfast 10.00 - 11.45
Lunch 12.00 - 14.00
Afternoon Tea 14.00 - 17.00

The Orangery
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
London W8 4PX UK



No comments:

Post a Comment