If you’d like to enjoy a cup of tea in a typical formal English setting, in a conservatory-like building with high glass doors, surrounded by beautiful gardens at that, then the Orangery Restaurant at Kensington Palace is the place to go to.
If you go for the afternoon tea option, you will find the foods presented on a classical three-tier plate, with the sandwiches at the bottom, the scones in the middle, and the sweets on top.
Together with the tea selection (a focus on black teas), the types of foods included (finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries), and their presentation (the classic three-tier plate), the afternoon tea at the Orangery is one that would be considered traditionally British. This usually special experience is slightly thwarted by the lack of craftsmanship and flavour invested in the foods, but the charming ambience does make up for it.
Go there for the atmosphere if nothing else, and perhaps only a pot of tea (which they offer separately for just under £4) will be enough to breathe in and appreciate the scenery.
Area: Kensington, West London
Closest tube: High Street Kensington (District and Circle line); Queensway (Central line); Bayswater (District and Circle line)
Address: The Orangery
London W8 4PX