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Tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace

I am recently back from London and decided to have afternoon tea at a favorite of mine. The Orangery is now operated by a company called Tea Palace and I was very disappointed. My tray of pastries, scones and finger sandwiches was not only sparse on food, but it was dry (like it was from the day before.) The price is still high, but I never minded paying that before because the selection of goodies was so vast and so fresh. I guess I will be looking for a new favorite tea spot next time I am in London.

Posted by
2391 posts

I am so sorry to hear that. I enjoyed lunch and a glass of wine in the Orangerie on my first solo trip to London years ago after visiting Kensington Palace. I guess I'll stop telling people to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by
608 posts

We just went there last week, and although I have never been there before, I was also a bit disappointed. I enjoyed the tea and the scones, but did not care for any of the sandwiches or the pastries. I've had much better food at tea in the States. I was also disappointed by the quantity, because for the price of the tea, we were both hungry soon after.

Posted by
234 posts

Ah, thanks for sharing that info. We had planned to having tea at The Orangerie in five weeks, but those plans are now dashed. No need for a disappointment.

Posted by
419 posts

Yes, thanks for sharing your experience. I will cross the Orangery off my list for my December trip and go elsewhere.

Posted by
3580 posts

I was disappointed when the crypt cafe at St-Martins-in- the-Field switched from fresh scones to all cold,refreshments. The Orangerie may be ok for lunch?

Posted by
1288 posts

Oh noo...I have such great memories of the Orangery. I too will stop recommending it. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by
526 posts

I, too, was looking forward to having afternoon tea at the Orangery. I am going in April, so will have to cross them off my list. So disappointing.

Posted by
1246 posts

All the Teas on line looked boring. Go to Choccoywoccydoodah near Soho for fabulous cakes and chocolate in their café.

Posted by
1246 posts

The Mad Hatter's Tea at the Sanderson does look like fun! Much better than very thin sandwiches with the crusts cut off and tiny scones! I'll have to try it when I go back to London! Visitors need a Tea to be a special event!

Posted by
2125 posts

The most disappointing aspect of this thread is reading how many people are deciding to avoid the Orangey simply due to a couple of disappointed posters.

I've no idea idea what it's like but it's somewhat of an overreaction

Posted by
8293 posts

Nice dainty sandwiches are the norm for afternoon tea. It isn't lunch ... it's afternoon tea, a small meal to keep you going until dinner, which could be at 7:00 or 8:00pm (or later) in a lot of households. My sister-in-law in the UK used always to whip up a batch of scones for afternoon tea in what seemed like 7 minutes and they were always small beauties. She spent one Christmas with us in Montreal and nearly froze to death. I have a picture of her making scones in our kitchen, wearing a big sweater and with a cozy fur piece around her neck.

Posted by
4690 posts

I agree Ramblin On - seems like total overreaction.

Posted by
80 posts

The tea at Highclere Castle was wonderful. 25 pounds each, so many sandwiches and desserts it's hard to finish. The quality of the food was impeccable. Great glass of Champagne and, of course, tea. Gracious service in the Coach House. Not in London, but if you are touring the castle, I highly recommend. An extravagence, but so glad we did it. You must prebook with your visit to Highclere.

Posted by
46 posts

We had a wonderful afternoon tea at The Wolseley (Piccadilly) when we were last in London. Wonderful service and wonderful food - fresh sandwiches, melt in your mouth scones, and yummy pastries. Tons of food, too much really. Added a glass of champagne and it was perfect! Highly recommend! (27.50 pounds or 38.50 pounds with champagne - turned out to be our dinner, so didn't feel bad about cost! Probably similar to cost at the Orangery.)

Posted by
1069 posts

My sister and I were planning on going there next June, and I don't want to abandon it based on one post. Other recent experiences that can corroborate?

Posted by
1069 posts

Thanks Emma! My sister was more interested in the 'palace' aspect, but she might be persuaded.

Posted by
327 posts

FWIW, the current National Geographic Traveler magazine mentions The Orangery as one of three spots for scones in their London mini-guide (Best of the World issue, December 2016/January 2017).

On a personal note, this past September, DH and I very much enjoyed our High Tea experience at The Orangery. His required gluten-free variations (for celiac) and mine was the traditional selection with five finger sandwiches, two scones, a macaron, a slice of cake and a mousse. The food was fresh, delicious and plentiful (and the service memorable) --- just as I had remembered from a previous visit. Sorry to hear that several other posters were disappointed with their experience.

Posted by
2658 posts

I wouldn't avoid it from one or two opinions. We have always had great Afternoon Teas there. If you look at the reviews on Open Table they are all good.