travel · U.K.

London Gems: The Orangery at Kensington Palace

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” – Samuel Johnson

With my trip to London and Cornwall coming up in about a month, I thought I’d go through some of my favorite London places to visit. For those of you who have been, I hope you find something different that you missed last time. For those of you who haven’t been, I hope you add something new to your list!

Note for all you fly-over staters: Use layovers to your advantage! If I know I have to make a stop (or two) on the way to my final destination, I try to tack on an extra day or so in another bucket-list city. Flights in and out of London are plentiful and typically cheaper – if you can add a day or so, do!

My list of places to visit in London is ever-growing. I make a point to star wish-list places on my GoogleMaps and my London map is to the point that it might as well just be one giant star. There is so much to do that the quote above really is remarkably apt – if you go to London and think it’s boring or that there’s nothing to do, you really have given up!

The Orangery at Kensington Palace

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I stumbled across The Orangery at Princess Diana’s Kensington Palace while I was in-between classes during my summer abroad. It’s attached to Hyde Park, London’s giant sprawling park and is on the way to so many other worthy stops that it makes a perfect break for breakfast, lunch, or tea.

The Orangery is the only royal residence that can be dined in – it’s an 18th century building once used by Queen Anne for soirees.

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c/o HRP.org

Breakfast and lunch are a la carte but I suggest afternoon tea. Afternoon Tea is always a little expensive in London and The Orangery is really no different. For about £27, you’ll get a pot of tea and a tier of goodies to choose from. For one person, it’s a bit of a feast of little finger foods but after all the walking you’ll be doing (even with the Tube!), you’ll be happy to have it all to yourself.

I opted to eat outside on the patio and opted for the Earl Grey Blue Flowers, otherwise known as Lady Grey. It’s a black tea with blue mallow flowers – a little citrusy from the bergamot and a little sweet from the blossoms. It came with a little pot of cream and cube sugars plus a waiter who called me Madame.

To munch on: triangle sandwiches of cucumber-mint, ham and mustard, egg and chicken salad, and my favorite, smoked salmon and cream cheese.

For sweets: really wonderful currant and orange scones with clotted cream and jam (I could live on these) plus a couple slices of Victoria Sponge, a few mini custard tarts, and cannelles. If you’d like to recreate these, I’d suggest scrolling through the Great British Bake Off’s website for recipes as they’ve all been featured on the show!

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c/o the Orangery as my camera had died!

From here, you can visit Kensington Palace (Princess Di’s residence) and its lovely gardens (which are free if you’re all fancy-housed out!) and head north for Notting Hill and Portobello Market, or, head south towards the Thames for leafy lined row houses, museums, and Royal Albert Hall.

Up next: one of my favorite little places…Chelsea Physic Garden!

 

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