Tale As Old As Time - A whimsical Afternoon Tea (Kensington Hotel, London, England)

I just recently went for some well-deserved vacation to the UK. I started in London, meeting up with some friends, and then headed over to Scotland. In London, I used the opportunity to try out some afternoon tea - where better than in England ;)

My first afternoon tea was actually not really planned and it was not a traditional one which made it even more adventurous and interesting. I did some research on afternoon tea in London and asked some friends and even specialists on Instagram. I wanted to find a great traditional afternoon tea to enjoy with some friends (and I did find it - the Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea at the Park Room of the Grosvenor House - highly recommendable, will write a post later on it). However, by looking around I found also a few special themed afternoon teas such as the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea (themed after Alice in the Wonderland) at the Sanderson Hotel, Indian Afternoon Tea at the Park Grand Hotel, and this one.

Thank you to the Kensington Town House to offer such a delightful afternoon tea experience :)

Disney's Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea - Tale As Old As Time - is served at the beautiful Kensington Hotel. I saw it and immediatelly fell in love with the theme and the decorations, including Chip (a teacup with a small crack) and Mrs. Potts (a teapot), Lumière (a candelabra), and Cogsworth (a pendulum clock). But unfortunately, they are completely booked out for months in advance... I was really lucky that a spot opened up during my stay in London.

Tale As Old As Time (the main theme song of Beauty and the Beast) tells Bell's story. The afternoon tea includes some tasty finger sandwiches and pastries, but instead of scones with clotted cream and jam they serve sweet brioche baguettes with chocolate creme and apricot preserve. This shall remind you on the french bakery in Bell's hometown. And then, there are four different pastries, all representing some special scenes or referring to specific moments of the movie. In addition to all that, the staff will bring you two decorations to the table: Luminière (that even lights up) and Cogsworth. They also serve nice tasting loose leaf tea what I really appreciated (not every afternoon tea serves loose leaf tea...). The staff was very attentive and accomodating, explaning the afternoon tea and the treats, drawing connections to Beauty & the Beast's storyline, decorating the table and offering to take pictures. The lounge of the hotel and atmosphere were also very suitable and comfortable.

Here is a list of what the afternoon tea included:

  • Three bite size appetizers, served before the actual three tiered afternoon tea etagere is brought out (a small venision pie, beef ragu & saffron arrancini balls, and a small cheese soufflé)
  • First tier of the etagere: Instead of the traditional scones, sweet brioche baguettes with apricot preserve and chocolate cream, referring to the French bakery in Bell's home town.
  • Second tier of the etagere: Traditional finger sandwiches (smoked salmon & crème fraiche, chicken with cranberry, cucumber & cream cheese, and egg mayonnaise & cress)
  • Third tier of the etagere: Four special pastries refering to moments of the Beauty & the Beast story
  • Loose Leaf Tea selection from "Rare Tea Company"  
  • A take home marzipan cookie in form and color of Bell's dress

The story of the pastries:

  • A chocolate ganache tart in form of a clock (a small version of Cogsworth)
  • A cocount & chocolate macaron referring to Bell and Beast's playful snowball fight scene
  • A small teacup in form of Chip (with an actual small crack ;) ) with a grey mousse inside and a labe "Try the grey stuff" referring to the song "Be our guest" 
  • A gold jelly in a shot glass with an edible rose petal inside (refering to the symbolic rose and its last petal) that is served with some cream poured by Mrs. Potts spout

I highly recommend this afternoon tea. It is well afordable for what is served and you will not leave hungry (even though they do not offer seconds on the sandwiches). My favorites were the small venision pie, the salman and the chicken finger sandwiches, and the macaroon. It is whimsical and maybe a little overpowering at times. To be honest, I also did not care much for the grey mousse and the gold jelly with cream even though it was presented lovingly. However, everything together I felt really comfortable, enjoyed the food, the tea, and the time!

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