Oh So French! Afternoon Tea, Kensington Hotel

South Kensington is the most obviously French area of London so it seems fitting that the Kensington Hotel has introduced an “Oh so French!” afternoon tea. This delightful offering celebrates the culinary traditions of France and pays tribute to the cultural character of the neighbourhood.

The £35 menu includes:

Selection of savouries

  • Goat’s cheese vol-au-vent puff pastry shell filled with creamy goat’s cheese & swiss chard
  • Pissaladiere crispy flat bread base with caramelised onions & anchovies
  • Quiche Lorraine with bacon, onion & cheese
  • Pan Bagnat crusty pain de champagne with tuna, olive oil, tomatoes & quail egg
  • Croque monsieur pan-fried ham & Gruyere finger sandwich with tomato tapenade

Selection of sweets

  • Passion fruit madeleines shell shaped sponge flavoured with vanilla & passion fruit
  • Rose macaroons with fresh berries pastel pink macaroons, with rose petals & wild berry butter cream
  • Strawberry millefeuille layers of crisp puff pastry with crème Chantilly & strawberries
  • Paris-brest baked almond choux with hazelnut crème patisserie
  • Cherry & pistachio clafoutis freshly baked clafoutis with Provence figs & toasted almonds

Aux Merveilleux de Fred brioches

  • Plain & chocolate chip brioches from Aux Merveilleux de Fred with apricot jam

There are plenty of tea varieties to choose from, and for an extra £10 you can make the tea experience more decadent with a glass of champagne.

Often, afternoon tea is a sickly sweet experience, but I loved that the ‘Oh So French’ menu included a range of delicious savoury bites. Particularly tasty were the cheesy and light vol-au-vents, and the cute mini croque monsieur that was so good I would have liked a full sized version.

The brioche buns were a surprising change from scones, and I did miss the traditional English counterpart. But the French are deservedly known as the finest pastry chefs in the world, and this was represented well in the top level of treats on the afternoon tea stand. My favourite were the exotically flavoured madeleines and the luxurious little millefeuille.

I always find the Kensington Hotel staff welcoming and the dining rooms are comfortable and relaxing. The ‘Oh So French’ afternoon tea suited me perfectly, fuelling my love of French food and entertaining me for an afternoon of fun in London.

More information and book here.

Fashion Forward Afternoon Tea, The Kensington Hotel

With the arrival of the Savage Beauty exhibition at The V&A, London has gone McQueen mad. The elegantly chic Kensington Hotel is celebrating the iconic fashion designer with a decadent afternoon tea inspired by the collection. Located just a short walk from the museum, it is the ideal place for a spot of tea following a trip around the show.

Walking inside this quietly regal hotel I was amazed I had never visited before. The hotel is decorated with appealing art work and attractive furniture and we sat in a light window table, in the corner of the hotel’s new Town House restaurant. Around us huddled guests were excitedly demolishing their stylish afternoon meal.

A range of exotic teas were on offer, but feeling patriotic we opted for classic earl grey, made with fragrant tea leaves. Happily settled in our comfortable seats and sipping our tea, we were delighted when the highly anticipated cake stand of treats arrived. The special tea includes traditional finger sandwiches, warm from the oven scones, savoury nibbles and immaculate hand-crafted cakes created with the McQueen designs in mind. I loved the pale blue pastel striped crockery which contrasts with the dark and glamorous cakes.

Luckily my guest for the day was an expert sandwich taster, and she nodded her head in approval as she tasted the soft and flavoursome cucumber, smoked salmon and chicken sandwiches. I am a sucker for scones and loaded them high with jam and cream. They tasted just-made and were the perfect crumbly consistency. Needless to say the other three scones didn’t last long! The mini pastries were truly beautiful, a selection of a few carefully made treats: a fondant iced cake in the form of one of Alexander McQueen’s must have studded clutch bags; Butterfly Chocolate cupcake presented in the style of the Butterfly Hat by Philip Treacy seen at McQueen’s Spring/Summer collection in 2008, and; a delicate hand-decorated biscuit inspired by a McQueen dress.

The waiters were attentive and accommodating ensuring we had enough clotted cream and jam at all times! They were happy to box up our remaining cakes for take-away when we couldn’t finish it all.

If you are looking for the ultimate fun girls day out in London, tickets to the McQueen show and a booking for the matching tea at The Kensington Hotel would make the perfect itinerary.

More information and book in your fashion forward afternoon tea here.