My afternoon tea experience at The Kensington in London was a special one. I’ve been to over 30 (yeah, I know!) afternoon teas in 11 cities across five countries and yet, I’d never had afternoon tea in the birthplace of the tradition.
That changed when I went to London for a few days. And the first place I went to? The Kensington.
Afternoon tea at The Kensington will always be special to me since it was my first in London but I hope you’ll see it’s special in its own right.
As the hotel name suggests, The Kensington Hotel is located in Kensington. It took me only around 20 minutes to walk to Kensington Palace, 15 minutes to Harrods and just around 5 minutes to the Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s safe to say, The Kensington is in a prime location.
Before checking into the hotel, I took a walk along Queen’s Gate, a major road in South Kensington and where the hotel is located. I was in awe and admired the endless rows of white townhouses.
Back at The Kensington, I was happy to have a table by the window, where I could see those townhouses. Inside the building, it felt homey. I didn’t have to try hard to pretend I was in my living room looking out the window at the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the furniture and decor are classy but modern… kind of like how I’d prefer to decorate my living room.
Of the usual options served at afternoon teas like English breakfast, Darjeeling, and herbal teas, I went with Kensington Earl Grey, a delicate blend scented with oil of Bergamot.
Rare Tea Co, a London based tea company provides teas for the hotel and a few other Doyle Collection properties.
The Kensington offers one afternoon tea package, though there are options for gluten-free or with a glass of champagne. This review shows the regular afternoon tea.
To start with, smoked salmon gougere with horseradish creme fraiche and wild mushroom & leek tart with aged Parmesan were served.
The Savory – (four varieties per person)
Dorset crab and avocado with lemon puree, Wiltshire ham & tarragon mustard & pea shoots, braised salt beef with English mustard & cornichons, cucumber & cream cheese on white bread with baby watercress.
I loved the look of the sandwiches, all colorful and with microgreens on top. All four sandwiches were pretty filling! (My schedule only allowed me to have tea at 5:30 pm, so with the amount of food, I couldn’t bring myself to eat dinner after afternoon tea.)
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Freshly baked scones with strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream. The cream was so good, I just wanted to eat the whole container of it.
The Sweet – (five varieties per person)
Carrot & walnut cake with a cucumber & cream cheese icing, vanilla & raspberry macaron, dark chocolate & cherry panacotta with sea salt caramel, Victoria sponge sandwich, plum Bakewell tart with frangipane & almonds.
Though most of the pastries were things I’ve had before, the Bakewell tart was new! This is an English dessert.
Tableware fit in nicely with the ambience of Town House. Cups and plates were an elegant pastel blue while tables were covered in white tablecloth. Food was served on a traditional three tiered afternoon tea tray and live flowers at every table added a nice touch.
Staff were friendly and hospitable. It was late in the day when I had tea so everyone seemed to be busy getting ready for guests to have dinner, but still managed to make me feel welcomed.
Yes. Fast and free WiFi is easy to connect to.
Social Media Aspect
The Kensington Hotel posts regularly on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Also check out Town House’s own Instagram account for updates and delicious food pictures.
Relaxing in a London townhouse environment for afternoon tea at The Kensington is the perfect option after a morning of museums and exploring the Kensington neighborhood.
Another thing I loved about afternoon tea at The Kensington was the fact that it was just like all the other afternoon teas I’ve had all over the world. This meant that all were traditional!
Cost: £35 (about USD $50 at time of writing) for Afternoon Tea at The Kensington (in this review)
Tea Time: Daily 12 – 6 pm at Town House
109 – 113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington
London SW7 5LR
Note: A big thank you to The Kensington for providing the afternoon tea for this review. As always, all views and opinions are my own.