Ahead of the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast film, the 5* Kensington Hotel in West London collaborated with Disney to create a themed afternoon tea “Tale as old as Time”. The tea was a massive hit and sold out straight away and I was absolutely gutted that I missed out on tickets. However, last year they extended this magical afternoon tea for another year and I managed to snag tickets to treat my friend for her 21st birthday.
This whimsical afternoon tea is inspired by the characters and scenes of the film and comes complete with charming Mrs. Potts and Chip Potts dish-ware to accompany you. Set in the Town House dining room which is a beautifully designed restaurant with the interiors reflecting the buildings natural charm and and English Town House aesthetic. Our table was right next to an open fire which really made you feel comfortable in this grand setting. There was a relaxed, intimate feel to the tea despite the fact that every single table was full as the staff really went out of their way for every single guest through the door.
The tea itself is a French twist on a classic afternoon tea starting with a trio of savoury starters including a bite sized venison pie, a beef ragu & saffron arancini with lemon crème fraiche and a cheese soufflé with roscoff onion pissaladière. Each part was utterly delicious but the star of the show has to be the venison pie which just melted in your mouth. After finishing our savoury starters we were left to enjoy our loose leaf tea and the setting before the pièce de résistance arrived! A three tiered stand topped with the most incredible selection of themed sweets.
The first layer featured Marie’s sweet brioche baguettes instead of the more traditional offering of scones. Served with an apricot preserve and chocolate filling they were absolutely divine and a real treat. I am not a massive fan of scones so I loved this clever nod to the film and welcomed the change. The next layer featured a selection of traditional sandwiches including smoked salmon & crème fraiche, chicken with cranberry, cucumber & cream cheese and egg mayonnaise & cress. If you have the room they even come round and offer you more sandwiches but we were saving ourselves for the sweets.
The third and final layer features an array of whimsical treats based on different characters from the film. A Cogsworth chocolate tart, a coconut and chocolate macaron, vanilla jelly with a rose petal as an ode to the enchanted rose and a sweet Chip filled with the most delicious creamy white chocolate mousse. Everything we ate was utterly delicious and rich in flavour but my favourite had to be the white chocolate mousse which was so light and fluffy. I also loved the Speculoos marzipan dress cookie which you could take home to enjoy later – a nice little memento for the afternoon although mine didn’t last very long.
Overall it was a wonderful afternoon and I would highly recommend for avid Disney fans or for those just looking for a nice treat to enjoy with friends and family. The theme was perfectly executed and not overdone or too gimmicky and each element complimented the last. I loved the special additions of Lumiere and Mrs Potts which just added to the whole experience and every single bite I had was absolutely delicious.