Our Review Of The Orangery At Kensington Palace

Fancy being a prince or princess for the day? Chances are the idea of chilling out in palatial surrounds would be totally irresistible, so come with us as we experience a very regal afternoon tea at The Orangery Kensington Palace, recently reopened after a huge refurb.

The Orangery Restaurant London | DesignMyNight

Googled 'Kensington The Orangery afternoon tea' and landed on our review? Keep reading to hear our thoughts.

Our visit coincided with a balmy May morning, and as we strolled through a heaving Hyde Park, Kensington Palace was a welcome sight. Going up the hedge-lined Wiggly Walk (we had no idea this existed, what a name…), through the stunning sunken garden and umbrella-dotted outside terrace, proved to be a fun way to enter the venue. Once inside, you’re greeted with a bright, airy space with soaring ceilings. The layout was a little unusual, with fin-shaped dividers sectioning off tables, while teardrop lamps gave things a luxurious feel. White-washed walls highlighted majestic columns and intricate detailing, including flowers and carvings by sculptor Grinling Gibbons. There were also indoor orange trees, a nod to the restaurant’s past life as Queen Anne’s opulent greenhouse, plus pops of mustard and teal. In case you’re wondering, the dress code is relaxed, although we would encourage picking something nice off the rails.

Afternoon Tea Orangery Kensington Palace London | DesignMyNight

We felt very lucky to have followed in the footsteps of royalty.

In keeping with the noble surroundings, we opted for a Royal Afternoon Tea (£68 per person) which included a glass of Ridgeview English sparkling wine. Fun fact: this was the official vino served for Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, so seemed very fitting for our visit. My mum and I remarked how delicious this golden tipple was ("very gluggable"), and we took our time appreciating the fresh citrus notes. Although The Orangery Kensington Palace menu only stated classic and vegan afternoon tea options, you could also tweak to make it vegetarian, which was definitely appreciated my side.

Once the multi-tiered masterpiece landed on our table, we couldn’t help but admire the presentation. Just imagine a gold cage housing three traditional fine china plates, each promising a series of tempting treats, some of which you might not expect to see at a traditional high tea. The reason for this is because The Orangery pride themselves on biodiversity and using ingredients from nearby areas, plus ensuring local artisan producers are fairly represented. We were off to a good start with the seriously smooth English cucumber, cream cheese and dill finger sandwich, dainty and well executed, followed up by an equally as refreshing minted pea finger slice. Our comforting free range egg mayonnaise, served in bridge roll (kinda like a hot dog bun) was stuffed to the max with silky goodness and topped with salad cress. The carrot hummus on a sliced wholemeal bagel, our waiter’s pick of the bunch, excelled with drops of pickled carrot, giving it a salty sour edge. But torpedoing up the ranks for us was our pea, edamame bean and asparagus mini quiche. The vivid green mix was very easy on the eye, plus we adored the crumbly pastry (impressive as was 100% vegan) and earthy texture.

Afternoon Tea Orangery Kensington Palace London | DesignMyNight

The dreamiest of eats at Kensington Palace's Orangery afternoon tea. 

It wouldn’t be afternoon tea without, er, actual loose-leaf tea so my mum and I shared some flavourful Hope & Glory organic English breakfast, a full-bodied mix of Assam and Ceylon. You get at least two cups per teapot (sometimes three), and the petite vessels were ideal for keeping those pinkies up too. As we let our blends brew, our attention turned to the middle layer of the tray. Now, don’t know about you, but sometimes cutting and filling scones can be a faff, so we loved the fact these were all taken care of for us. The fluffy mouthfuls were generously smothered in indulgent Cornish clotted cream and dollops of blackberry preserve that was sourced from nearby estates; it received a massive thumbs up from us.

Working our way up to our final layer, let's talk about the puddings. I scanned The Orangery London menu in advance and was particularly looking forward to the lavender éclair. It did not disappoint, people, from the contrasting lemon centre and dried herbs to the pillowy texture. It wasn’t too fragrant or overpowering, a testament to the chef’s skills on offer here. Unfortunately, the chocolate desserts were unavailable, but we didn’t mind as the replacement strawberry choux delivered on all fronts; a vivid pink sphere hiding a creamy berry mousse core. Bet you thought we were done? Oh no, as the signature raspberry Victoria sponge, favoured by the legendary queen herself, showcased a sensationally light cake featuring defined, intricate layers. The vegan blueberry shortbread was a pretty, fruity finale to our visit, made especially fitting due to the orange cream piped on top.

Afternoon Tea Orangery Kensington Palace London | DesignMyNight

Kensington The Orangery prices are included throughout our review.

We opted to close our day at The Orangery restaurant London with vanilla chai, following the team’s recommendations. We were offered milk but in our opinion this aromatic, slightly sweet pour was best enjoyed without. Also, in case you didn’t know, the teas are refillable (and sustainable) so feel free to taste your way around some seriously robust and uncommon quaffs.

The DesignMyNight Digest

We’re not going to beat around the bush, The Orangery London's afternoon tea was very special indeed. We received amazing service from Nesa and the team and when you take everything into consideration, we feel the cost was extremely reasonable. This architecturally important gem should be on everyone’s hit-list, whether you’re a tourist or have lived in the capital forever. There’s a clear emphasis on respecting the environment, something the monarch himself feels passionately about, plus The Orangery London photos speak for themselves in terms of the interiors.

  💰 The damage: The Royal Afternoon Tea is £68 per person, plus service charge.

  📍  The location: The Orangery, Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4PX.

  👌 Perfect for: Treating family to somewhere special.

 ⭐ Need to know: The restaurant also has a fab dinner offering. 


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