Weekends. How precious they are. Come 5pm on a Friday evening the whole weekend lies ahead of you; a glorious 48 hours to be filled with whatever takes your fancy. Yet it can be taken away so quickly, eaten up by ‘adult things’ such as cleaning (who wants to clean midweek?), trips to the tip (after moving into our own home we always seem to hoard copious amounts of cardboard) and catching up with friends who no longer live in one place.
The one question I never seem to be able to find the answer to is why do 48 hours at work never pass by at the same speed? If you can’t slow down time then you might as well fill it with niceties, especially when you’ve been working all week long.
A quintessentially English pastime has to be afternoon tea, which has evolved recently from simple tea, sandwiches, cakes and scones to afternoon tea for men (here’s a few suggestions) and every theme you could think of (there’s even a space themed one).
This year my favourite Disney film was re-made into a live action blockbuster starring Emma Watson and has to be one of my favourite films of the year (I saw it twice). Imagine my delight when I was informed that there is a Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel called ‘Tale as Old as Time’ (click here to find out more) which, you guessed it, serves up treats that pay homage to this classic love story.
Almost too good to eat? Of course not, all good things have to come to an end!
I’ve tried out quite a few afternoon teas over the last couple of years and what I loved about this one (apart from the theme which just elevates afternoon tea to a whole new level) was that it was served in courses. The first course was savoury: Bite-Sized Venison Pie, Cheese Souffle with Roscoff Onion Pissaladiere, and a Beef Ragu & Saffron Arancini served with Lemon Creme Fraiche.
Then they brought out a cute array of Beauty & the Beast themed sweets: Vanilla & Gold Jelly presented in shot glasses with the ever-symbolic rose petal immersed inside, served with cream poured from Mrs. Potts spout; ‘try the grey stuff it’s delicious’ White Chocolate Mousse; Spiced Snow Ball Macaroon; Coconut & Chocolate and a marzipan Cogsworth face cheekily grinning back at you.
This was also served with finger sandwiches (a staple classic) and brioche baguettes with chocolate spread, which made a welcome change to scones.
The overall quality of the items was excellent however some were lacking flavour. The Vanilla & Gold Jelly tasted of nothing and the ‘try the grey stuff it’s delicious’ chocolate mousse again was quite bland, which was disappointing as it was presented beautifully in a Chip mug. However, I’d give 10/10 for presentation and creativity, as all the items linked in well with the film and made the whole experience very fun and Instagrammable. I kept waiting patiently for someone to come out dressed as the Beast, as that would have made my day…maybe the Kensington Hotel could add in an extra part of the package, a meet and greet the Beast! No? Just me? Perhaps not classy enough for SW7…
The props were brilliant!
The price of this afternoon tea from 1st January 2018 is £38.50, which has gone up from the £35.00 we paid recently. Some may find this a disgusting price for tea, cakes and sandwiches but I think it’s worth the price tag for something so unique and we easily spent 2 hours there, so you can make a day out of it. Also, the hotel itself is lovely with warm, friendly and attentive staff plus you’re not crammed in like some other afternoon tea venues.
Now to finish it all off, some of my favourite quotes from the film:
“Take it with you so you’ll always have a way to look back … and remember me.” – Beast
“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell!”– Belle
“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” – Narrator
“Here’s where she meets Prince Charming, but she won’t discover that it’s him ’til chapter three!” – Belle
I’m always on the lookout for other unique Afternoon Tea experiences so please comment below!