“Tale as old as time” afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel
To celebrate the release of the new Disney live action remake of Beauty and the Beast in March, the Kensington Hotel are hosting a wonderful “tale as old as time” Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea, complete with Lumière candle stick on each table, the grey stuff served in a Chip teacup and double cream poured from a Mrs Potts teapot. You only have to check out the pics on the @townhousekensington Instagram page to see just how amazing this experience is. As soon as I saw this afternoon tea was even a thing I just knew I had to book straight away. Lucky enough I was able to spot a date in July that timed right alongside my birthday, after some hinting to the husband, he booked us in. Looking back we were incredibly lucky to snap up one of the newly released dates back in February as they get booked up so quickly! On that note, just a few days ago they have released more dates running from December 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018 and there are still dates available so if you want in on this (I have just checked!) get booking online soon! Click here to see available dates.
This experience is hosted at the Townhouse, a beautiful lounge, bar and restaurant situated within the Kensington Hotel in South Kensington. From the moment you walk into the lobby we were warmly greeted by the doorman and the receptionist was only too happy to direct us to the Townhouse lounge. We had actually arrived 25 minutes early but we were shown straight to our table, a quaint table for 2 set up with beautiful cups and saucers and a red rose. The rooms where tea is held are just beautiful, very bright and airy with a grand fireplace and part of the room set up like a library, which with Belle in mind was just too perfect. There weren’t a huge amount of tables set out which was ideal as it meant the room felt full enough without being sat on the table next to you, and probably adds to why the afternoon tea gets booked so quickly!
So, onto the tea itself. The experience was priced at £35 per person or £45 if you wanted a glass of champagne. We were attended by a very charming waiter called Martin, he first offered a selection of loose leaf teas and champagne. I opted for the champagne option and earl grey tea, my favourite! Shortly followed by a savoury course consisting of a bite size venison pie, beef ragu and saffron arancini with lemon crème fraiche and cheese soufflé with riscoff onion pissaladière. All 3 were so delicious and were surprisingly filling.
Next up was the main attraction, the three tiers of Disney deliciousness I had seen in so many posts, and they did not disappoint. We started on the bottom tier, we each had 2 sweet brioche mini baguettes served with an apricot preserve and warm chocolate pot, next a selection of finger sandwiches filled with smoked salmon and crème fraiche, chicken and cranberry, egg mayonnaise and cress and cucumber and cream cheese. One of each sandwich each was ample, especially with the last and richest desserts still to come. So on the very top tier we each had a ‘try the grey stuff’ a white chocolate mousse served in an adorable Chip teacup, a spiced coconut and chocolate snowball macaron, a Cogsworth chocolate ganache tart and a vanilla and gold jelly served in a shot glass topped with optional double cream poured from Mrs Potts herself. Now, for some reason the only difference to what I have seen in other images and reviews is that the speculoos dress cookie topped with marzipan was presented to us at the end in a cellophane bag. Not that it was at all an issue as there was no way I could have devoured anything else after all I had just eaten. Unfortunately because I didn’t get the cookie until we were about to leave I didn’t manage to get a picture of it and it got a little smooshed in my bag on the way back to our hotel, however still edible and delicious.
All in all a good time was had, it was definitely an exciting and whimsical spin on your regular afternoon tea. My husband had never had afternoon tea before and even he said he was thoroughly impressed and couldn’t believe how full he was. Safe to say we didn’t need to eat until the next day! Each slot allowed an hour and 45 minutes however we had booked the 4pm slot which is the last of the day, because they didn’t need to clear us out to seat another booking we ended up being just over 2 hours. It was a lovely and relaxed afternoon, the wait staff were extremely attentive and very friendly. I would absolutely recommend this experience to any Disney lover of any age and it was certainly a unique birthday treat.