The weekend after my family left my slowly recovering self (check out my Hospitalized in London post for more information) was when my schools had their Yorkshire trip. With how I was feeling I decided to stay instead of spending three days at a hostel and lots of hours in a bus + walking up a hill to go to yet another house and gardens. Now, I’m not knocking historic house and gardens, but they often have quite a walk and I don’t need that many in a short period of time. Anyway, while looking for something to do I stumbled upon The Kensington’s “Tales as Old as Time Afternoon Tea.”
To add some context, Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. I like to think of it as my favorite, but that is until I remember Alice in Wonderland is a Disney movie as well. For some reason I connect both the book and movie to Lewis Carroll and nothing else. Some time next year I will be going to a Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea so keep an eye out. Oh, and did I mention I am also obsessed with all things tea and afternoon tea related? No? Well I am. Thus, this tea was perfect.
The Tales as Old as Time Afternoon Tea is £42 a person or £54.50 with a glass of champagne. This doesn’t include the tip (20%), any tea inspired cocktails (£14 each; I didn’t try any, but they looked decent), or the £1.50×2 bus or £2.40×2 tube ride to get there and back. In all, it cost about £50 to £52. I go into the money side so you realize why I won’t be doing this or anything similar the rest of the year. At least not while alone in London. Sadly, I used the last of my extra-fun savings.
You see, I went to this afternoon tea twice. It was amazing both times, the pre-appetizers are delicious whether you are a vegetarian or not, the baguettes are soft and moist, the chocolate topping is divine, and their deserts, specifically the Cogsworth chocolate tart, is to die for. The second time I went, my friend had me asking for seconds (which the waitress nicely gave us) and she almost cried while eating it both times. The snowball macaroon, “Try the Grey Stuff” while chocolate mousse in a Chip cup, and last rose petal jelly thing with cream from Mrs. Pott’s were all good as well. Although, don’t eat the petal jelly thing without the cream (I did that the first time around) because it tastes like nothing.
If you look at the Instagram photographs as well as the ones in this post, my clothes and table set up changes. Going twice did allow me to me to try both their Cloud and English Breakfast tea which were both great. You get your own silver tea pot that is even refillable. I’ve been to a few afternoon teas, specifically in Orlando, that either give you only one pot (Disney) or one little refillable cup, saying you could get anyone’s attention (some small place in downtown Orlando). Additionally, I also got a second of their ginger-bread or ginger-snap (I can’t tell the flavor) cookie covered in marzipan and painted like Bells dress. Most of all though I got to have the experience with someone I care about.
The reason I went a second time was because my best friend Araya begged me to go with her. She was on the Yorkshire trip and I didn’t know how much she liked Beauty and the Beast or afternoon tea since she had never been, so I didn’t know to ask. In the end she convinced me to go again two weeks later. It was definitely worth it for a fun day with my friend in Kensington. We walked around, took pictures of expensive cars, had tea, and went to the V&A Museum. I also learned that afternoon tea is much more enjoyable with a friend, but always worth it.
Oh, and not only did we dine with Chip and Ms. Potts, but as you’ll see in the photographs Lumiere and Cogsworth joined us as well. They don’t start out at the table, they come a little after the food, but timing works perfectly. Your waiter will even place them and offer to take a picture of you and the table. I suggest going later because there is a one hour and forty-five minute time limit for your sitting that will last a bit longer if there isn’t anyone waiting for your table. Similarly, there is only a limited number of characters, so if you go later (around two-thirty p.m. instead of the twelve p.m. I went the first time) you will probably get to keep your character’s the whole time since it is less busy. This isn’t always true, some places are always busy or pick up later in the day, but that was my experience.
Since I went twice I can accurately recommend the Town House at The Kensington: Tales as Old as Time Afternoon Tea. Boy that is a long name. However, I must also inform you that come December of 2018, they will be changing the theme to something more winter themed. Once the season has past, the staff doesn’t know if Tales as Old as Time will come back, or if it will change again. Here’s hoping it comes back, but regardless, I have faith it will still be amazing. Plus, a quick google search will give you other Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea, you just have to leave London.