Kensington Palace & Orangery
On Sunday, I decided to cross two items off of my list for London; the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and Afternoon Tea at the Orangery.
Although I had excellent intentions to be at the Palace an hour before it started so I would get a prime spot, I found myself meandering to previously unvisited places in Hyde Park, as well as getting stopped to talk to a boy on a bench overlooking the pond with the swans. Luckily, people weren’t lining up to the side gates, only at the front ones, so I got a prime spot for all of the action.
The whole thing at the Palace lasts about 45 minutes (you can also choose to follow the new guard from their prior location, I believe), but I don’t think you would be missing out if you had to leave after 15 minutes or so. You might, however, miss out on a rendition of the Star Wars theme.
Since I had a few hours before our tea reservations, I decided to check out Kensington Palace, since it is right there and I walk by it all of the time. Initially, I thought it would just be a pretty palace to look at, but then I walked in and found out (possibly rediscovered) that it is where Queen Victoria grew up. I have already mentioned that she is one of my favorite royals, and touring the rooms where she grew up, reading snippets of her journal entries…it was an amazing way to spend an afternoon. I learnt a lot, but I think my biggest takeaway is that I want to rewatch The Young Victoria, and Mrs. Brown and I want to read some biographies on this incredible woman!
As for the tea, Sydney and Molly were already there when I arrived, then Lucy and Kailea came not long after. My reservation had been for 4 people and it kept saying there was no availability when I tried to change it, but the maitre d’ said it was no problem and brought us straight to a bigger table.
Since I enjoyed the darjeeling so much, I ordered the Afternoon at the Palace tea, which was perfectly delicious.
After having been so full after our previous tea, we were a little disappointed that there wasn’t enough of everything for us each to try it, and that you had to pay extra if you wanted more of anything, but everything that we did get was amazing.
The mini sandwiches were each on their own bread, so the salmon and cream cheese was on a bagel, the super delicious chicken was in a wrap, the cucumber and cream cheese had white bread and the egg was in a little bun.
We each got two scones, one with raisin, one plain, that we all covered in clotted cream and jam, as we continuously assure ourselves is the custom. The desserts were where it got tricky. I missed out on the lady finger, but the lemon mousse, the strawberry shortcake and the pink checkered things were delectable.
It was definitely a beautiful location and a lovely experience 🙂