Nov, 2010 20

drink/eat, know how Anyone for Tea at the Palace?~almost

One of the most enchanting places in London for afternoon tea, a light lunch or cake and a glass of wine is hidden in plain sight 50 feet from Kensington Palace, in Kensington Gardens. It’s called The Orangery and it will charm you with its views and simple beauty right outside its ceiling to floor windows.

This oasis of bright calm directly off the sometimes frantic High Street Kensington will welcome you after a tour of Kensington Palace, or perhaps before a walk through the gracious paths of Kensington Gardens. This garden is a vast expanse of gorgeous trees, a duck pond, a pirate ship playground for the under 8’s (sorry ladies Johnny Depp does not hang out here); all on the edge of Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana.

The Orangery feels a bit Venetian in architecture, offering shelter for fruit trees growing inside with its windows overlooking the back of Kensington Palace and the edge of the garden. The food offerings are limited to light lunch and snack items along with wine and tea, but it’s the atmosphere in this quiet spot that will offer you something a bit special for a short rest and chat with your traveling companion. It’s perfect if you are on your own, too. A couple times I have gone on my own and enjoyed a glass of wine while reading my newspaper and pausing to look out at the gardens just outside the expansive windows and have felt most welcome and comfortable.

Then, you can say that you had tea at the palace~almost.

TO GET THERE: Take the  District or Circle Tube line to the High Street Kensington Tube stop. It’s about an 8 minute walk to the Palace and the Orangery from there. As I recall, you come to the top of the escalator or stairs and go out the main exit of the Tube station and turn right heading down High Street Kensington for about 8 minutes. The Palace and the Orangery are on the opposite side of the street as the Tube station exit.

HOURS: March to October, everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and November to February 10:oo a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Come along with me….London calling….


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