Since our trip started in London, it only makes sense to start my Europe posts on London! London has so much to offer, the streets are filled with high end shops and boutiques, the iconic double decker buses and the hoards and hoards of tourists. Besides finding authentic British fare, I had another mission in London – to have afternoon tea!
I tried to book a seating at the Ritz 5 months before our trip but surprise! ALL BOOKED UP! How could that be? Somewhat disappointed, but the search must continue. I found several locations with great reviews such as the Brunello Lounge in the Baglioni Hotel and the tea room in the famous Claridges hotel…but due to the schedule conflicts, I decided to check out the Orangery, a very casual eatery that serves afternoon tea.
Located next to the beautiful Kensington Palace Garden, this high-ceiling tea room offers a wide selections of tea along with a wide array of cakes and tarts, all for a very reasonable price. It’s a very casual yet elegant environment, terrace seatings are also available. Don’t expect the traditional high tea experience where you use gorgeous bone chinaware and have a designated server who probably refills the tea for you. The Orangery is basically a restaurant where you can order breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They serve tea and sweets a la carte, and the afternoon tea service runs from noon-5pm daily.
We met up with our friends around 1:30pm and none of us have had lunch yet. I ordered the 3-tiered Signature Orange Tea (£15.15) – “An assortment of finger sandwiches, signature orange scented scone with Cornish clotted cream & strawberry jam. Finished with a variety of dainty afternoon tea pastries. Served with a choice of teas or coffee.
Recommended tea – Rooibos breakfast (Orange tea)”
The scone was different from what I’ve had in the states, it was more cakey but slighty denser, fluffier than the buttery crumbly texture I’m used to. I actually really liked the Orangery’s version, it was so tasty with the clotted cream and strawberry jam.
The finger sandwiches were all divine. So simple but everyone of them made a lasting impression.”cucumber, cream cheese and chive on poppy seed bread; poache salmon and dill on onion bread; and sliced ham with grain mustard mayo on sun blushed tomato bread” Joe ordered a plate of the assorted sandwiches, see below picture, top left (£9.15).
Onto the sweets!
Custard and apricot tart, mini chocolate gateau (middle right). Just the right amount of sweetness, YUM!
The Orangery Cake (bottom left) – The signature cake. A simple orange scented cake. The perfect light cake with tea. (£4.67)
Coffee and Walnut cake (bottom right) – Both flavors came through loud and clear. Great texture, slightly sweeter than the other desserts, really delicious! (£5.20)
Loved the mini orange trees on the tables. The freshly squeezed lemonade was very refreshing.
Kensington Palace, Kensingtom Gardens
London, Great Britain