Be our guest, Be our guest, Put our service to the test………
Those of you who know me will know I have a (not so secret) love of afternoon tea. So when ‘Tale as Old as Time’, the Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea rolled into town and pitched up at London hotel The Kensington I knew I just had to book up – and fast!
Priced at £35 per person, extremely reasonable for such a one off experience, Tale as Old as Time is an afternoon tea with a magical twist and takes it’s inspiration from all the loveable characters from the iconic Disney movie.
The setting for the afternoon tea was simple, elegant and cosy. It was an intimate setting, with only ten tables per sitting, meaning the staff can give you their full attention throughout. Log fires sizzled in the background as we were presented with the menu and had a few minutes to order our drinks and salivate over the feast that lay ahead.
The afternoon tea started with a selection of savoury nibbles which were:
- cheese and onion soufflé
- bite sized venison pie
- beef ragu and saffron arancini
Whilst these may all have been small in size they were certainly big on flavour. Delightfully rich they definitely whet your appetite for the next course…….
Now if you ask me afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without some finger sandwiches, and there were some good old classics on offer here which were:
- smoked salmon and crème fraîche
- roast chicken with cranberry
- cucumber and cream cheese
- egg mayonnaise and cress
We were even lucky enough that Mrs Potts and Cogsworth kept us company whilst we polished off the last of the sandwiches……
Whilst all of the savouries on offer were delicious, and we certainly didn’t have a problem eating every last one of them, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the main thing that draws me to an afternoon tea is the cakes – I have the sweetest tooth imaginable and always get excited when I see the cake stand appear at the table .
Bucking the usual afternoon tea trend of scones and clotted cream, we were instead presented with two sweet brioche baguettes each, accompanied by apricot preserve and chocolate pot. These were delicious and it was nice to see something different on the menu, but they were so big that we could only manage to eat one each.
The cakes themselves were so well thought out and really brought the magic of the film straight to your table. The full range of mini cakes on offer were:
- vanilla and gold jelly
- ‘try the grey stuff’ white chocolate mousse
- chocolate clock tart with chocolate ganache
- coconut and chocolate snowball macaron
I loved how so many of these were linked to scenes from the Beauty and the Beast film. For example the little coconut macaron referenced the classic scene featuring Belle and the Beasts flirtatious snowball fight. The vanilla and gold jelly was presented in a shot glass with a rose petal set into the jelly itself and then cream was poured on top straight from Mrs Potts’ spout. The little mini Cogsworth tart was delicious and he looked so cute that I almost felt guilty eating him.
But without a doubt the star of the show for me was ‘the grey stuff’. If you’re an avid fan of Beauty and the Beast you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, and will remember the scene where during dinner the loveable candlestick, Lumière, recommends that Belle “try the grey stuff, it’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!”. Well ‘the grey stuff’ turned out to be a little cup of white chocolate mousse topped with grey whipped cream, or as I called it, a little cup of heaven!
A special mention needs to go to the staff who quietly moved around the restaurant ensuring that we were all having the best possible experience, nothing was too much trouble for them and they got fully into the magic of the afternoon. They even gave us ginger biscuits to take away, shaped and decorated just like Belle’s yellow ballgown.
I’ve devoured more afternoon teas than I can remember and this is without a doubt up there in my top three all time favourites. After all, who doesn’t want to spend the afternoon eating cakes surrounded by some of the most loveable Disney characters of all time?