London: The Orangery

18 Jul

I wanted to do afternoon tea at least once in London, since England is after all the birthplace of afternoon tea. My friend suggested The Orangery in Kensington Palace, which is dated from the 18th century and has quite a lovely regal setting. It was apparently once Queen Anne’s greenhouse and entertaining pavilion. They don’t take reservations so we had to queue under the scorching sun – and it was really hot, felt like 35 degs celcius!

I’m sorry I wasn’t very diligent in taking nice pictures of the place, as I was too bothered with sweating especially since there wasn’t a/c inside either. But the place decked up entirely in white is really pretty!

There was an orange tree on each table as a centerpiece, which actually blocks your entire view of your dining companion sitting opposite from you. Pretty hilarious.

The view from our table. Would probably be lovely to seat outdoors on a cooler day, since it overlooks the lush and manicured Kensington Gardens.

I shared the Signature Orange Tea Set (£15.15) with a friend. It comes with an assortment of finger sandwiches, hand-made afternoon tea pastry, a signature orange scented scone with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a choice of tea or coffee. My favourite part was probably the sandwiches and to be honest I felt the scone was too dry. I wanted an iced tea since it was really hot but they ran out of ice (like seriously) and half of their cold drinks on their menu. I guess they weren’t prepared for the sudden change in weather since it was still freezing cold the day before – that’s London weather I suppose.

This was my friend’s Scone with Raisins. I thought this was better than the signature orange scone.

Londoners sunbathing on the grounds of Kensington Gardens.

The Orangery’s probably more known for its setting and history than its actual food. We wanted to also visit Maison Bertaux and Bea’s of Bloomsbury for tea but unfortunately we didn’t have the time.

Price: $$
Location: The Orangery, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens W8 4PX
Website: http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/Foodanddrink/Orangery

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