September 24, 2011

London: High Tea at the Kensington (part 1)

I've been lucky enough to set foot in London four times now, and until this most recent trip, I'd never had high tea!

Thankfully, my friend LaShauna set me straight and made a reservation for us at the Kensington Hotel in London's South Kensington neighborhood.

The Kensington has a lush, gorgeous, warmly welcoming room or two when you first walk in--blazing fireplace, plush seating, and peaceful quiet.

When we arrived for our 3p reservation, we had the entire room to ourselves. We were delighted to find our table was the posh place right by the bay window.

Tea comes in 3 courses at the Kensington--finger sandwiches, sweets, and scones. Yes please! And of course, tea. All the tea you could drink, FYI. And I can drink A LOT of tea. ;)

I started with one of my favorites: Earl Grey. It came out in my own pot, with a handled tea strainer that rested on the table. This is the first time I used a fancy-schmancy one like this! The infuser rests right over the cup as you pour, straining out any stray bits of the loose tea leaves.

The sandwiches were 5 types: pastrami & watercress, ham & mustard, smoked salmon & cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and the classic cucumber. Pastrami was a surprising choice to both of us, but a lovely nod to New York :) This was also my favorite!

The ham had a sweet sort of pickle relish with it--not my thing but still tasty. I think this was LaShauna's favorite.

The smoked salmon was very, very....smoky. Super smoky. Wow. I couldn't finish it.

The egg salad (egg mayonnaise, as they called it) was very good--I think we both put this at the top of our list--even though I'm apparently missing a photo.

The cucumber was good, but very basic. My mother Mum usually sprinkles some herbs on hers and it really gives it an edge.

We each had four finger sandwiches--delicious but still in no way filling. Time for the second course, which, despite the menu, was scones, not sweets! Fine with me! That post is coming up tomorrow--moderation in all things and all that!

The Kensington Hotel
109-113 Queen's Gate
South Kensington, London SW7 5LR
Tel: +44 (0) 207 589 6300
US Toll Free: +1 877 849 6258

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