Afternoon Tea at Royal Albert Hall
Afternoon tea is one of my favorite things to do when I'm in London. Ever since I was a kid I used to love the idea of having a lavish tea party and would host pretend ones with all my dolls and stuffed animals. I was constantly asking for tea sets from Santa.
Afternoon tea has now become a London tradition that I've been practicing since 2016. You get your choice of tea, (typically English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and other unique teas that the place you go to may offer) that come brewed in your own little pot. You then get a three-tiered tray filled with traditional pastries like sultana scones served with clotted cream and jam, english cucumber, egg, and salmon finger sandwiches, and a variety of desserts like petit fours typically placed on the top tier.
Traditionally, you start with the sandwiches first, and then work your way up to the top tier. By the time you get there though, your stomach is bursting from all the sugar, and goodness. But this doesn't stop you because all the eclairs and tiny little cakes look so good you can't let anyone else eat them. After you sip your tea, some people opt for a glass of prosecco or a soda just to finish everything off.
With so many places in London offering Afternoon Tea its often difficult to choose where to go. I usually go to Cafe Concerto, you can find their locations all over London, but this time my friend Sam suggested we try Royal Albert Hall and I wasn't opposed because it was something new and different. Here you get a tour of the hall and the tea experience for a total of $54 (44 pounds). Its a bit expensive, but worth the money to see the inside of one of London's most historic arenas.
Royal Albert Hall is situated in the borough of Kensington. You can't miss it, it's the big round red thing and you can literally see it from any angle at Hyde Park. The red dome is laced in gold molding allowing for an even more royal effect. It's named after Prince Albert, who lead the Great Exhibition in 1851. The Exhibition was essentially a display of culture and art, moreover what Royal Albert Hall does today. So many famous concerts have been held here, from the Proms to Adele. It's just an unreal feeling being somewhere where history has literally taken place.
We happened to be there on the premiere date of a video game (I'm unsure as to which one it is, not a video game buff but I do love the Sims and Mario Kart) Lots of people were getting the arena ready, doing sound checks, all in anticipation for the premiere of this game. We also got to see the Royal seating area and the Queen's waiting room, where the Queen sits in the arena and where she chills out when she's waiting for the show to begin.
After the tour, we made our way to the tea room. It was decorated like it was quite literally fit for a queen. Pink and blue china lined each table along with linen napkins and fresh flowers. If you're as girly as I am, you're literally in paradise...oh and the food was good too.
Bottom line, if you go to London this is definitely a must see. You get to walk in a building where musical legends did and you get to have the British tea experience all in one. You also get to spend the day in Kensington, one of the most beautiful London boroughs. I'm not sure if I would do it again just because of the price, but a one time experience is better than nothing. It took me three years to see it, but it's off my list now.
Polka dot dress is from Primark.
Bag is Longchamp