Glass indulges at The Kensington Hotel for their 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea

AS we arrive at the extraordinaire that is The Kensington Hotel, we are transported through a world of exquisite vintage-esque interiors that feature decorated animal plaques and a gallery of paintings. Yet this is only the beginning.

Seated amongst a room of flowers, velvet green plush chairs and floral wallpaper, it appears just like a dreamlike spring scenario, the perfect destination for a tea break. We are here today to experience The Kensington Hotel’s 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea, and we are quite frankly excited.

The Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon TeaThe Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea

This new venture for the Hotel is the first of many in their new series of adventurous seasonal teas. With inspiration from the global travels of Phileas Fogg, the protagonist from Jules Verne’s 1872 novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days”.

As a glass of Perrier-Jouët Blason Rose NV is being poured before our eyes, we have the chance to scour the menu of speciality teas and delicacies prompt to their arrival. Beautiful illustrations fill the card and seamlessly match the theme of the room we are currently sitting in. There is also a section at the bottom to explain how The Kensington strives to responsibly source all its ingredients including seafood, poultry, cheese, vegetables, and fruit.

The Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon TeaThe Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea

Once our glasses are poured, a great, tall stand of mouth-watering delights appears on the table, and we can’t wait to take a trip through. To begin, a Classic Beef Puff Pastry Pie inspired by London is my first reach, which they have also so kindly altered to a mushroom vegetarian option for my guest. It’s a great taste of home and a perfect beginning, but we are now eager to tickle our tastebuds with global creations.

Next, is a Parmesan Gougere filled with Tomato Cream from Paris and Rome, with a delicate choux-like pastry shell, and a tangy, blush-coloured, soft centre, and a Ta’ameya (falafel) with Tahini Aioli from Cairo. Both of these are too hard to leave anything behind- a great choice to include within the platter.

Once these are devoured, we move on to the sandwich’s plate which has been cut so evenly and filled to the brim. For London we have Lemon & Chive Cream Cheese with Smoked Salmon, Paris is Mustard Mayo with Ham and Pickled Gherkin, Rome has Sundried Tomatoes, Green Pesto and Mozzarella, (my personal favourite), and finally Cairo with Cumin Hummus with Caramelised Onions. As delectable as they sound, they taste even better and were the perfect size to place alongside the rest of the spread.

The Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon TeaThe Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea

Just when we thought it couldn’t get much better, we move onto the sweets plate and saved the best until last. For London, we have a classic Banoffee Pie, with a crisp base, a layer of gooey toffee and a gleaming shell of banana mousse on top.

Next is an Opera Mont Blanc from Paris made of sweetened chestnut puree, whipped cream and a sourly sweet blackcurrant glaze, the definition of what dreams are made of! After is a jar of Tiramisu from Rome, an iconic dish that was made to perfection, but finally is a Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Twirl from Cairo which I am considering travelling to Egypt just to have again.

As we finish off the tower of plates, we are served a selection of fine teas. I opt for the Malawi Spearmint tea, from the Satemwa Estate, which features elegant mint leaves, that gain their delicate tendencies from the rolling, green hills of the Shire Highlands which they are grown on. We also get a Dragonwell green tea from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, that has its fragrant leaves picked in the early Spring before the first rains, leaving a fresh sweetness with rich green vegetal flavours and a subtle note of hazelnuts.

The Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon TeaThe Kensington 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea

Now it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without my favourite treat, scones. As they arrive, fresh, wrapped up in a cloth package, you can smell their warmth off them. Served with smooth, thick seasonal jam that has been homemade and a side of the best-clotted cream we have ever tasted, they are the perfect round-off to a great day.

If you need a break or a relaxing foodie experience, I would recommend a trip to The Kensington Hotel for a memorable afternoon tea.

by Alicia Tomkinson

You can book a table for 80 Days Around the World here.