Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea at Town House, South Kensington

I wanted to go to the Town House for their Beauty & the Beast themed afternoon tea when it first launched and due to its popularity, it’s still running! Ash booked a table for my birthday and the earliest we could get in was May – almost three and a half months after my birthday! In short though, it was worth the wait.

Our sitting was at 4pm and while we waited for our table to be ready, we sat in the beautiful lounge. There were three other groups (two couples and a 50th birthday party of five) also waiting, but none of us were left for long and a wonderful man called Thomas soon came to collect us and escort us through to our table.
We upgraded to the Champagne afternoon tea, but there were also a selection of cocktails to choose from, if that’s what you prefer. As soon as our flutes were filled, we chose our teas: Dragon Pearls green tea for Ash and Rooibos for me (I couldn’t get enough of it when I was pregnant). There was also coffee and hot chocolate available.

The afternoon tea experience began with a plate of hot savouries: a bite size venison pie; a beef ragu arancini with lemon crème fraiche; and a cheese soufflé with onion pissaladière. I was pleasantly surprised that the cheese and onion mini tart was my favourite, as I do really like arancini. This one needed a bit more crème fraiche so it wasn’t so dry. These little morsels set us up nicely for the cake stand which followed.
The finger sandwiches were very traditional, while the sweet elements all bore reference to the film. And the sandwiches were so good, that we had two rounds each! Completing the usual smoked salmon & crème fraiche, cucumber & cream cheese and egg mayonnaise was a lovely chicken & cranberry filling (my favourite) – all on a mixture of white and granary bread.

Instead of scones, we had brioche loaves – after all, the film is set in France and Belle is seen walking through the market with an armful of baguettes. The loaves were served with a pot of chocolate ganache and apricot preserve – and of course, I had to try both. The ganache was dark, but quite bitter, so not a lot was needed. The brioche themselves were lovely and light – and still warm!
Then it came to the sweets! Anyone that knows me will know that I have a massive sweet tooth and the little cakes and pastries are usually my favourite part of any afternoon tea – no sugar comas on my part. But when I say that this time I preferred the savouries (both hot and sandwiches), that says it all. We began with a really yummy coconut snowball macaron, filled with chocolate ganache and covered in desiccated coconut. We followed that up with the Cogsworth clock chocolate ganache tart, decorated with marzipan features. Those two were definitely pick of the bunch. We were invited to Try the Grey Stuff – it’s Delicious. I can tell you now that it looked better than it tasted. Served in a little Chip teacup, we sampled a white chocolate mousse, topped with grey foam (not too sure what that was) – both very similar in texture and the mousse wasn’t airy enough for me. There was also a vanilla jelly pot with real rose petal in the middle – to signify the magic rose. We were told to pour cream from Mrs Potts onto it, but I still don’t know why... there was no theatrics and it didn’t add anything to the flavour.

However, when we arrived, there was a beautifully wrapped speculoos cookie in the shape of Belle’s dress, covered in marzipan and gold lustre and decorated with red icing roses, to take home. I ate mine as soon as we got in and it was incredible – and all I’ve been able to think about since! I would happily have another two or three of those (in one sitting)!

I have to say, I was expecting the chinaware to match the film, but it was very cute – blue candy-striped cups and saucers. The characters did join us during the tea, with a working Lumière and Cogsworth on the table – and of course Mrs Potts and Chip, part of the tea. In terms of having a theme, I’d have to say that the Town House are on par with the Sanderson (one of my all-time favourite tea haunts) and if you have the opportunity to book in, you will enjoy it!

The tea is priced at £38.50 per person, or £50 to upgrade to Champagne afternoon tea. I think the cocktails were priced at £12-14.

Love, Lucy xx

1 comment

  1. What a lovely birthday surprise! I actually really wanted to book this for my Mum's 50th April but I heard mixed reviews (mostly bad) so I left it. This review has definitely turned it around for me though, so I'll have to see if there are still tickets left!

    The chicken and cranberry sandwich sounds delicious, as do the sweet treats. Warm brioche and chocolate ganache would go down a right treat right now!! Glad to hear you had a great time, and super lovely photos too! xx


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