Afternoon Tea || The Orangery
Last week, I hosted a blogger's event at one of the prettiest spots in London: The Orangery at Kensington Palace Gardens. Have you ever been? Because I hadn't and I was floored! A real treat for anyone, not just us bloggers - though it is the perfect blogger-friendly venue, what with all those white walls and crisp linen tablecloths.
So, after much research online, I came across the Orangery and learnt a little of its history. Originally built as protection for Queen Anne's citrus trees during the winter, the venue fast became the ideal location for fashionable court entertaining in the 1700s. With its classical 18th Century architecture and spectacular garden backdrop, you really can't blame the Queen for choosing to entertain her guest in what was a rather glamorous greenhouse. Flash forward a couple hundred years and the location is just as magnificent and still attracting fashion's elite (apparently Mulberry and Balmain have had catwalks there, they say).
Well after finding all that out, I had to pay a visit myself! I'm not entirely sure how, but I managed to convince my boss to let me out the office mid-week for a trial of this too good to be true venue. Win! So on one of the sunniest days of the year, with my bag pack in tow, I travelled to dine where royals have before me.
Time for some afternoon tea for one, thank you please.
The tea was delicious, the setting was stupendous and the ambience was elegant. Only downside was that I sat by myself. Have you ever been to a restaurant on your own? I never have and I didn't know how to behave. I've waited in restaurants alone for late friends before, even up to 20 minutes but for some reason it felt very different when I knew I was completely by myself. I had my paper with me and was more than happy to do my daily crossword and sudoku puzzle but I was very conscious that I was by myself. But oh well, more food for me I guess! After a slightly self-conscious 10 mins, I relaxed into my lovely afternoon out and started to enjoy my own company. I was even brave enough to snap photos of my table and surroundings, oblivious to potential stares from passers by. It was a rather pleasant and relaxing way to spend a mid-week afternoon!
Once my work was done and I had practically licked the fine china plates on my table, I decided to take a stroll through the gardens. Or rather what I thought was a simple garden but really turned out to be a maze that I was stuck in for 20 minutes. Apparently Queen Anne must not have wanted her guests to leave because neither I, nor those around me, knew where the exit was. A woman literally clambered through the hedges to get out, I'm not kidding.
Nevertheless, on such a sunny day, I had no problem wandering around lost in Kensington Palace Gardens. I couldn't wait to go back and host my event, which turned out to be a hit mostly because the venue was TDF. Thank you to the Orangery for providing me two lovely afternoons at your restaurant. I can't recommend them enough. What a lovely hidden gem in London I've stumbled across, one I'm looking forward to visiting again soon xo