As soon as the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ afternoon tea in London was announced in the news early in February 2017, I knew I had to save up and go. Little did I know how popular the ‘Tale as Old as Time’ Afternoon Tea at the Town House Kensington Hotel would be that I was shocked to find out that it was fully booked until the end of November 2017. I was terribly upset until I signed up for a newsletter that notified me about more tables in May and was greatly relieved to secure a table for two in June.
My friend and I were seated in what looked like the library of the lounge, which was fitting for the theme of the afternoon tea. Not only were there only two tables occupied during our afternoon booking, but I noticed that all tables were set further apart to allow guests to have private conversations.
“And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair
As the dining room proudly presents
Your [afternoon tea]”
First to arrive at our table was the savouries: bite-size venison pie, beef ragout & saffron arancini lemon creme fraiche, and cheese soufflé roscoff onion pissaladiere.
“Be our guestBeef ragout, cheese soufflé
Pie and pudding en flambé…”
“Soup du jour, hot hors d’oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve”
In lieu of the traditional scones, we had Marie’s Sweet Brioche Baguettes (a reference to the song ‘Belle’ when the baker yells: “Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!”) with Apricot preserve & chocolate pot.
For sandwiches, we had: potted argyle smoked salmon & creme fraiche, roast Devon Red chicken with cranberry* (I don’t think that’s what we had but I can’t remember what it was), cucumber & cream cheese, egg mayonaise & cress.
I was most excited to get to the plate of sweets. We each had:
- Cogsworth: chocolate clock tart (chocolate ganache)
- Enchanted Rose: vanilla & gold jelly
- A spiced snowball macaron (coconut & chocolate)
- ‘Try the grey stuff’ (white chocolate mousse)
- Belle’s dress: speculoos with marzipan
Overall, my friend and I enjoyed our afternoon tea experience although we did not think the music playing in the library/salon was right for the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ afternoon tea. I’m sure they could have played the soundtracks from the live-action film and animation but the staff would have been fed up by the end of March!
Afternoon tea was set at £35 per person, which is the average price around London for something quite fine. It will go up to £38.50 this December. There will also be a more festive Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea for the month of December 2017. Although it appears that ‘Tale as Old as Time’ has been fully booked for the rest of this year, it will continue until next year so those who have not had a chance can still try for 2018.
Address: 109-113 Queen’s Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5LR