If you were going to experience one afternoon tea in London, I can can hand on heart say that The Orangery is the place to go.
I am not taking away from the other afternoon tea’s I have experienced, because each one is very different and holds a different appeal.
But if you want to experience a true afternoon tea, with an authentic British atmosphere to go along with it and feel like you’re part of something of heritage, than without a doubt The Orangery is the best place to go.
If you are a tourist and ticking off afternoon tea is on your to do list please make this your stop.
Is it the location?
Well being based in the grounds of Kensington Palace; the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, certainly helps.
Looking out of the huge floor to ceiling height windows that overlook the perfectly manicured lawns without a doubt has great charm.
And the 18th century architecture of the building definitely gives that grandeur and magnificence of a setting.
So yes it very well might be the location.
Is it the afternoon tea itself?
With the option of a Pimms afternoon tea you couldn’t get more quintessentially British- especially with Spring and Summer literally around the corner.
The addition of mint in their cucumber sandwiches was mind-blowingly magnificent. Their smoked salmon and cream cheese mini bagels were delightfully consumed and of course lets not forget the must haves- coronation chicken and the British favourite; egg mayonnaise and cress rolls.
My big test for an afternoon tea is always the scones. And The Orangery passed this test with flying colours. They provided us with two raison scones and two plain, and they were all beautifully fluffy and warm.
The Cornish clotted cream melted nicely in a thick layer on top and with a touch of English strawberry jam it was my perfect scone.
With the accompaniment of a selection of cakes and desserts, which Little London got his mitts into, we were all extremely happy with our tiered afternoon tea stand.
Along with my chosen tea I couldn’t have asked for a better selection.
I decided on the eucalyptus zest tea, which was light, refreshing and utterly delicious. It’s made from the finest rooibos blended with eucalyptus leaves, orange blossom and orange zest- and yes it tastes as scrumptious as it sounds. If not better actually!
So yes, it certainly could be the afternoon tea itself that makes me declare it the best place to go.
Maybe it’s the atmosphere?
With attentive waiting staff who are helpful, courteous and more than willing to get involved taking a snap or two, you don’t feel uncomfortable at The Orangery. Even with a child in tow.
There is space between the tables to not feel cramped, or overheard if you’re deep in conversation. But at the same time it’s nice and open so you can enjoy a bit of people watching- a favourite past time of mine!
The huge windows allow streams of light to come in which warms up The Orangery on a sunny day and it feels like you could be sitting outdoors but without the brisk cold British wind. Best of both worlds really.
So yes it could be the atmosphere.
There is not one thing I could fault with the afternoon tea at The Orangery. It’s faultless. And that’s why it has to be the champion of afternoon teas.
It hits the spot with everything you might possibly want from an afternoon tea and then it throws in history, location and atmosphere on top.
It’s a place to go for celebrations (well, we all know Mother’s Day is coming up), a place to meet up with friends, a place to take non Londoners to and a place to enjoy with your family. It ticks every single box.
And with children being able to pop to the Diana Memorial playground afterwards it just can’t really be topped.