One of the joys of a visit to London is enjoying afternoon tea. This is multiplied exponentially if it is combined with a magnificent historical location. One of this writer’s favorite London destinations for afternoon tea is The Orangery at Kensington Palace. The Orangery was constructed by Queen Anne in the gardens of Kensington Place between 1704 and 1705. It is a beautiful greenhouse so as one can imagine, there are many beautiful windows in the building.
One of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, the Duchess of Bedford is credited with the tradition of afternoon tea and it is done very traditionally at the Orangery. Afternoon tea is served from 2-6 p.m. There are two options, the English Orangery Afternoon Tea which includes sandwiches, scones, sweets and of course tea. The Royal Afternoon tea adds a glass of Champagne, Spumante or Pimms. The cost of the tea is between £24 and £34.
The presentation is the traditional three tiered tray with sandwiches on the first layer, followed by the scones with clotted cream and jam and then the sweets. The tables have crisp white clothes and napkins and it is all very upper crust. If you plan to visit Kensington Place, The Orangery is the perfect place to complete or begin the entire experience. Having done it several times, it comes highly recommended.