Afternoon tea is one of the most beautiful traditions in England that I have come to love. Tiers of cakes, pastries, finger sandwiches and delicious scones with clotted cream…all accompanied by some amazing tea. I’ve always been in love with the idea of sitting down in a lovely environment and enjoying this amazing treat. The first time I had afternoon tea was actually this past summer – my boyfriend took me out to the Capital hotel in Knightsbridge and I felt like a complete princess. It was the best surprise I got… apart from then being taken to the Shard and enjoying the amazing view. Unfortunately, although we had an amazing time and felt like royalty, I have no photos to share with you all – but hopefully I will go back there and be able to write a whole blog post about it. Ever since then – we try and enjoy some afternoon tea every couple of months if there is an occasion! Both of us love it and we enjoy bringing loved ones and showing them this tradition as well! A couple of weeks ago – on Easter Saturday, my boyfriend, his brother and myself went for a wonderful afternoon tea at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. We had never been, but the reviews were great and the fact that it had a live residential pianist convinced us to go there. The three of us had been to afternoon tea once before on my boyfriend’s birthday (blog post in the future) so we already knew what to expect 🙂 When we got there we were very happy by how easy it was to find and loved that the Kensington Gardens were literally next door – we enjoyed walking through Hyde Park after all the treats we indulged in. Since it was Easter Saturday, the Park Terrace Restaurant (in which they serve afternoon tea) had a very big chocolate display in the middle which consisted of chocolate easter eggs and bunnies. The pianist was there when we arrived and I must say right off the bat it beat my expectations. Since we were selecting from afternoontea.co.uk, the choices were endless and I really wanted to go back to the place we went for my boyfriend’s birthday. Nonetheless, trying out a new place is always great – and this place won me over. The pianist was playing without any music notes & some of the music was from popular films (like phantom of the opera) with a classical twist. It made us relax and enjoy the moment even more. Upon being seated at our table we were presented with a tray of teas to choose from – all of them were in little glass vials so that we can select the one we would like to drink. They had a range of black, white, green, blooming, chai and even matcha tea. All the loose leaf teas are placed in their own tea bags to omit the need of strainers & come in beautiful china tea pots. Blooming teas come in clear glass tea pots for you to enjoy the beauty of the blooming flower. I chose the Peach flower blooming tea, which I loved not only because it was beautiful to look at, but also because it was very light and perfect with all the sweet pastries at the end. Paulius (my boyfriend’s brother) chose Jasmine tea & Jonas (my boyfriend) chose snow white- a white tea with hints of green leaves. Although it doesn’t sound too impressive it was amazing! As the teas were arrived (with hot water always present to fill up our teapots) we were then served a plate each of 8 different mini sandwiches – YES, 8! Normally there are about 4 or 5 for each person, but here each of us got 8! Can’t complain – they were all amazing! ranging from salmon and cream cheese, roasted bell peppers to coronation chicken, sweet onion and parmesan. I must say these were truly amazing. And then… … came the tier of freshly baked scones wrapped up in a white tea cloth alongside strawberry and pineapple jams & deliciously decadent clotted cream. A selection of cakes- we got several slices of fruit cake, chocolate brownie, banana and lemon loafs. These were indeed delicious, but after the scones I was way too full to try and finish all of them. Good thing I had 2 hungry boys with me! The last things we dug into were the beautiful deserts and cakes. As it was Easter, they served us a selection of easter treats. At the Royal Garden Hotel they have specific dates on their website that states when they have themed pastries and cakes. We got served a rose cheesecake, wonderful battenberg cake, a lemon meringue with lemon curd, fruitcake and marzipan tower and a berry jam biscuit. All of these were amazing – the battenberg was by far my favorite as I am a marzipan lover.
This was the perfect treat for all of us to experience on Easter. Being surrounded by beautiful music, wonderful service and enjoying amazing food in good company made this a memory to remember forever. I would definitely recommend the Royal Garden Hotel for afternoon tea to anyone! The atmosphere, the location and the food was amazing. The price was pretty good as well – not too expensive at £26/person. They also serve a royal tea selection which consists of the same afternoon tea menu alongside a glass of champagne & strawberries with balsamic glaze for an extra £10. For those interested- this is their Menu. Let me know if you have been or are planning to go here for afternoon tea! I hope you do – it’s definitely worth it! I will be doing a blog post on the place we went for afternoon tea on Jonas’ birthday in the future and also on the experience in the Grosvenor house hotel – which is where we are going in a couple of weeks time with Jonas, Paulius and their sister and mother who are coming to visit us in the UK. Hope you enjoyed this blog and treat yourself to this wonderful British tradition! -Paula