- Beautiful location
- Wide variety of teas and coffees
- Pleasant service
- Prompt seating
- Casual atmosphere
© Rachel Coyne
The Orangery is located within Kensington Palace
grounds, at the far west end of Hyde Park.
Hours: Afternoon tea is served from 3-5pm daily.
Reservations: Reservations are not accepted, but we were seated right away when we arrived around 3.15pm.
Dress code: Come as you are (there were some who were dressed up, and others were in jeans and sneakers).
Telephone: 020 3166 6112
There are several options on the menu for afternoon tea, and we went with the traditional Orangery Tea, which consists of your choice of tea or coffee, cucumber sandwiches, a fruit scone with clotted cream and jam, and a slice of their signature Orangery cake. Each food option is brought out separately, which works out nicely since each individual's pot of tea contains enough for three cups. There is a wide variety of teas to choose from, so there's something for everyone, even if you don't consider yourself much of a tea drinker.
The cucumber sandwiches are served with a mild cream cheese and are sort of bland overall. But since you're there for the pastries, it doesn't really matter! Their fruit scones (which is code for raisins) are served warm and aren't the traditional dry and crumbly scone you might be expecting. They're surprisingly moist and delicious with the strawberry jam that accompanies them. The Orangery cake is a basic yellow cake with a thick, sugary frosting that has just a hint of an orange flavor. It's the perfect sweet ending to the afternoon tea, but be warned that it may put you into a temporary sugar coma once you're finished. The menu also offers a variety of other cakes and biscuits, and while they all looked delicious, the Orangery Tea was far too filling to even entertain the idea of sampling more.
© Rachel Coyne
I can't imagine a nicer location for a relaxing afternoon. The Orangery is located on the far west end of Hyde Park (near the Round Pond), so be sure to take a walk through the park on your way there. Situated just a few yards away from the entrance to Kensington Palace
, the Orangery was built in the early 1700s for Queen Anne as a sort of greenhouse for her gardening, but evolved into a dining house that was used for various parties and entertaining. The path leading up to the Orangery is surrounded by a lush green lawn and elegantly pruned trees, and you truly feel like royalty as you approach. The inside is just as impressive, with its intricate carved detailing and arched doorways. But the casual and friendly atmosphere prevents anyone from feeling out of place or underdressed.
The service at the Orangery is very friendly and knowledgeable. They'll answer any questions you have about the teas or the food, and our waitress didn't even roll her eyes when we asked her to take our photo at the table. Each course of the tea was brought out once we had finished the preceding one, and we never felt rushed to leave the table.
Our afternoon spent at the Orangery was the perfect way to cap off a week's vacation in London. The tea options seem a bit overpriced for what you get, but you're paying for the ambiance, as well. How often can you say that you dined in a palace?