What: It’s Disney meets Kensington with The Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea at Town House. Based on the award-winning Disney film, and my personal favourite, Beauty and the Beast, which you’ll see touches of throughout.
New? The Afternoon Tea has been totally sold-out since its inception last year, luckily for you though, they are now taking bookings in July and August.
First Impression: Town House at The Kensington is a really nice venue, opulent but understated at the same time, covered in interesting art and décor; definitely somewhere the beast would’ve hung out before the curse.
On The Menu: Highlights of the exclusive menu are a Spiced Snow Ball Macaroon made with Coconut and Chocolate (Belle and Beast’s snowball fight), a Chocolate Clock Tart with Cogsworth’s face on, and Town House’s ‘Try the Grey Stuff’ White Chocolate Mousse inspired by the song Be Our Guest. Savouries include Bite-Sized Venison Pie, Cheese Soufflé with Roscoff Onion Pissaladière, and a rich and delicious Beef Ragu and Saffron Arancini served with Lemon Crème Fraiche.
The Look: There are subtle touches mixed in with the obvious to tie the tea together; pale blue crockery is a nod to the colour of Belle’s dress while the cream is served in a Mrs Potts teapot, Cogsworth and Lumiere table hop for pictures.
What We Ate: For the first time ever at an afternoon tea scones were missing, in their place was Marie’s Sweet Brioche Baguette with apricot preserve and chocolate spread, referencing the local baker from Belle’s hometown in the film. They were nice and reminded me of Jaffa Cakes but nothing should replace the almighty scones at afternoon tea.
They were nice and reminded me of Jaffa Cakes but nothing should replace the almighty scones at afternoon tea. I was really looking forward to the cheese soufflé but it was more like a cheese quiche in pastry which was nice enough but not what was advertised, no complaints on the sandwiches and the venison pie was delicious.
My absolute favourite was ‘Try the Grey Stuff’ a super sweet, creamy white chocolate mousse topped with grey cream and served in a cute Chip tea cup. I felt bad eating a chocolate ganache Cogsworth but just don’t make eye contact, macaroons are always delicious and the jelly with a rose petal was a nice nod to the famous dying rose in Beauty and the Beast. What We Drank: A selection of Rare Teas is available but we went all out with a glass of Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut NV Champagne.
Go With: Fans of Beauty of the Beast seems too obvious to say but…liking the film would surely increase your enjoyment of the tea, although I took my aunt who’d never seen it (HOW?) and she still enjoyed the tea greatly.
Where: Town House Kensington, 109-113 Queen’s Gate, Kensington, SW7 5LP www.townhousekensington.com
Final Word: I can see why The Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea is so popular, Brits love afternoon tea and everyone loves Beauty and the Beauty so it’s a match made in heaven but it is worth its Afternoon Tea of The Year Award? I’m not so sure. I enjoyed the look of the tea and how the theme of the film of tea tied in with the food but nothing I ate was really delicious or memorable unfortunately.
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