A few weeks ago, my friend and former uni housemate Eboni came to visit me for a few days as she’s moving from Iowa to Paris to work as an au-pair for a year! As she had never been to London, we tried to squeeze in a few stereotypically British experiences, including proper afternoon tea (I am happy to report that she’s also now officially a fan of fish and chips and addicted to the Great British Bake-Off).
We decided to opt for the Kensington Close Hotel as it offers a pretty good deal when you book online (£12.00 per person) and is quite convenient location-wise when you’re about and about doing touristy things anyway.
The interior isn’t quite as nice and stylish as the Ampersand Hotel, but you get to sit in an area near the bar with lots of comfy chairs and tables, and it felt fairly relaxed and quiet when we were there.
We ordered our tea and five minutes later were presented with two teapots and lots and lots of food! First up were the sandwiches, which were really classic looking finger sandwiches on white and wheat bread – starting out with an egg salad filling that was almost surprisingly good (I feel like egg can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, but these were great), ham with mustard, cucumber and cream cheese and finally smoked salmon. All found our approval.
Moving on to the scones, we got a very classic looking plain scone, a massive octagon shaped one with raisins and a sort of tear shaped scone with chocolate (and possibly hazelnut?) pieces in it. They were all three really tasty though we both only got through about a quarter of the raisin one as it was huge and we were getting dangerously full at that point.
Finally, we managed to battle our way through the sweets – a little cream & fruit tartlet, a chocolate eclair and a piece of carrot cake. My favorite was probably the carrot cake – not too dense, really tasty frosting and I loved the crunch on top. The tartlet was also really nice and tasted a lot more interesting than I suspected at first glance.
All in all I think the Kensington Close offers a really good deal – the price really only showed in that everything was maybe slightly less dainty and refined, and the tea selection isn’t huge and only includes tea bags – though you do get change your tea throughout if you want! But other than that I think the value is amazing – you get a whole lot of tasty food for a fantastic price while still having the quintessential British afternoon tea experience.