The Queen I’m referring to here is of course, my superstar friend, Harriet Thorpe who you’ll recognise from Ab Fab and other epic TV shows and West End shows, so how fitting that we were invited to enjoy the new Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea at the Royal Garden Hotel, adjacent to sprawling Kensington Palace where Queen Victoria once lived.
Never one to miss a banquet, Prince Alexander (!) who was off school for the summer, insisted that he join us, too! He was both our our Food Taster and Jester rolled into one-that kid sure knows how to crack a joke. Just look how much he adored his non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice, in a champagne flute no less. Bless. He even enquired when he might feel drunk, ‘just like Mummy’ (thanks son)!
…The prettiest of afternoon teas tells the story of Queen Victoria’s adventurous appetite, and it was a culinary history lesson in itself as we learned of Victoria’s lifelong love for whisky, her unusual Sunday lunches, and even her most favourite pies.
Here comes the history lesson:
In 1840 during the Queen Victoria’s reign, the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell looked for a way to overcome, ‘that sinking feeling’ between breakfast and dinner as people of that time usually only had two meals a day.
The solution was a small pot of tea and light snack taken privately in her boudoir. This soon became a habit and she started to invite friends to join her. The menu also centred around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets and of course, tea. Before long, all of fashionable society had caught on and nearly 200 years later, here we are!
Made only with the freshest and finest ingredients, our Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea featured assorted sandwiches and savoury pastries, raisin and cinnamon scones, a selection of sliced fruit and fine loose leaf tea as well as champagne too (cheers), making for the most decadent and delicious of afternoon feasts.
Newly vegetarian Alexander opted for the veggie child’s version (which was generous enough for two children), and mine was veggie too having recently veered from veganism to vegetarianism. Harriet enjoyed the meat and fish-based Afternoon Tea.
I love the pomp and ceremony of Afternoon Tea, of smelling the fragrant teas patiently waiting for consumption in jars (we both opted for English Breakfast but enjoyed sniffing them all), and were wowed by the delicate, perfectly formed and utterly decadent small bites we devoured with each course.
Harriet is the BEST, BEST, BEST company: she makes me roar with laughter unsurprisingly, and gives the greatest advice (remember this post?). She’s also been a tremendous friend to me since we first met several years ago, supporting me through some of the hardest times of my life. She’s also never missed a milestone moment in my career, or a birthday yet. Utterly beautiful, bold, smart, and brave as they come, I feel lucky to have Harriet in my life.
I also felt lucky to have had this Afternoon Tea in my life. We all did.
With beef or mushroom consumme/ tea followed by muffins, egg vol-au-vents, pineapple, strawberry and orange slices, bread and butter pudding, cranberry tart, chocolate cake made with ganache and butter cream, orange jelly and light and refreshing champagne, it was a feast to behold.
The menu is even printed on the exact same paper Queen Victoria would write her letters on.
A statement afternoon tea if ever there was one, and in the regal Park Terrace Restaurant, book now and enjoy feeling like royalty for a few hours. You deserve it!
This was a complimentary afternoon tea for all in return for this honest review. I have a long-standing relationship with the Royal Garden Hotel.
If you book your own Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea between Monday and Friday, you will receive a complementary cocktail or glass of Champagne when you quote ‘Honest Mum’ or ‘MumBoss’. This ends October 30th 2019.
You can enter below to win a Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea of your own for 2 people worth £96.
Prize consists of the Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea for 2, with complimentary upgrade to a glass of Champagne each or the signature ‘Queen Victoria Tipple’ each. Please make the booking at least 24 hours in advance, giving any dietary requirements.
Please note Vegetarian themed tea is available however all vegan options will not been themed. Prize is non-transferable, there is no cash alternative. No travel arrangements covered.
Ends at midnight August 30th 2019.
If you do not respond to the notification email within 7 days, a new winner will be randomly selected.