We had a lovely, lovely experience at The Orangery over the bank holiday weekend. Manger Lukas took time to answer questions, give suggestions about things to see in London and make the experience very special for us. Especially for my mom. My dad passed away recently and Lukas took the time to hear about her first visit to The Orangery, many years ago with my dad. Our family has always felt The Orangery was special, but this perfect afternoon tea is one we will remember for a very long time.
Kensington Palace Orangery
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Nov 28 2011
Though now largely dominated by tourists, Kensington Palace Orangery retains all the grandeur you’d expect from a former royal, alfresco entertainment space. Imposing colonnades, vaulted ceilings and a spacious terrace make it a lovely place to stop for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
The latter is a relatively simple affair, with sandwiches, scones and orange-themed petits fours arriving all together on a tiered stand. It’s not the best spread in town (the orange-flavoured scones were particularly unpleasant), but the setting helps things along.
Breakfast focuses mainly on pastries, and lunch options are equally brief. Our seasonal mains included a goat’s cheese, fig and pomegranate salad (wonderful once we’d asked for additional figs) and a convincing combination of warmed smoked salmon, green beans and new potatoes. The filling, tasty food is elevated unquestionably by the incredible backdrop.
Kensington Palace Orangery The Orangery, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
- Venue phone:
020 3166 6112
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open Mar-Oct 10am-6pm daily. Nov-Feb 10am-5pm daily
Tube: High Street Kensington or Queensway tube
Main courses £8.75-£13.50. Set tea £15.15-£34.45
Kensington Palace Orangery
- The Orangery, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
- 020 3166 6112
- The Orangery, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens
- Kensington Palace Orangery
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:5
My husband & I went to the Orangery when we went to London in Nov 2012. It was the most beautiful experience that we had. The food, service & their tea was just unbelievable. I wish I had asked what kind of tea it was. Everything was just great. Service was great also.
I really am surprised by some of the reviews below. We went to the orangery in September and it was wonderful..The staff were extremely good, helpful and friendly, but not intrusive. Personally, I found the prices good for afternoon tea in London, and the quantity of food perfect for afternoon tea, a light offering of delicious, quality food along with a nice glass of champagne. My friends and family, who are not from London, enjoyed it and my wife and will certainly be returning.
Do not waste your money here; food, tea and service the worst I've ever had in my short life! It's a shame you can't give minus stars/points to places like this.
HORRIBLE was our time yesterday at the Orangery. I have been to the Orangery on occasion over the last seven years and have never had such an awful experience. First, I noticed right away that there was new management/catering. The menu was brief and expensive (compared to what was previously offered). The few cakes they offered by the slice were outrageously expensive (as was the rest of the menu) for the price of £4.95 I got the smallest slice of chocolate cake (and practically flavourless). My friend had the champagne tea and I cannot believe what she got for £30.00. I could barely see the food and none of it was good--bland, dry scones, sandwiches per usual and the three tiny cakes were ok, but so tiny I could hardly see them. Service was AWFUL. My friend received her tea and food while I sat waiting until I asked a waiter to bring my slice of cake. Then I was told by the waiter that he did not take care of my table...bla, bla, bla...I finally just sad, look, whoever is responsible, just please bring my cake! He returned and practically dropped the plate on the table and walked away. The sad thing is that as a Londoner, it was always a nice place to end up with friends or family after a lovely stroll through the park. It was never cheap, but you definitely got better value for money as well as a wider selection of items under the old management. Now, I really feel like a massive pawn in their game of 'well you are here for the atmosphere, so we will rip you blind on the food and drink'. But, I am no fool and will not be back.
We had a terrible experience at this restaurant today with terrible customer service from the manager Lukas. Before walking to the Orangery we checked on the Orangery website the breakfast times. It stated breakfast was until 11:45am so we knew we would make it in time. We arrived at the restaurant at 11:30am and immediately asked one of the employees if we could still have breakfast and he assured us yes. We were seated and our orders taken for breakfast 15 minutes later. The waiter then returned a few minutes later and advised us that a hot breakfast was not available. We said that we were told breakfast was available on arrival and also on the website it says breakfast is available until 11:45am. The waiter went and raised this with the manager, Lukas. Lukas then came to our table and his manner was instantly patronising and dismissive. He immediately said ‘look, I can’t do a hot breakfast for you’ in a sarcastic tone which made us feel like we had asked for something which was completely unheard of. It felt like he thought he would be doing some massive favour. He was not apologetic at all. We voiced our frustration as it says on the website breakfast is served until 11:45am, we asked if we could have breakfast as soon as we arrived and also our order was taken for breakfast. He immediately was on the defensive and said to us not to yell at him. My wife, who is pregnant, definitely did not raise her voice at this time. Lukas was very patronising and when we said it says on the website breakfast is served until 11:45am he said ‘I know what my website says and 11:45 means last orders at 11:30’. We decided to leave as Lukas was being rude and we only wanted breakfast food. He continued to be rude to us and defending himself. I voiced our frustration in a non-emotional and calm state yet Lukas kept trying to defend him and his staff’s actions. He ended up making my wife cry as he was dismissive, rude and patronising. He should firstly not have staff say ‘yes breakfast is available’ when we arrived at 11:30am, and if the times are so strict the first staff member should have taken our order instantly when we arrived. My wife said to Lukas that this was terrible customer service and if his attitude had been apologetic and offered us a free pot of tea or something as a gesture it could have been a completely different situation. Managers usually come and make the situation better not much worse. We left angry, upset and disappointed. We live 5 minutes walk away and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon tea two weeks ago (if you're happy to wait in line and put up with overpriced food).
Took my daughter here as a special treat - what a mistake. Sandwiches were indifferent (cheese and pickle?!) scone dry and heavy, cakes just ok but nothing special.The glass of champagne was nice, as was the tea, but this was a very disappointing rip off at over £47 for two. The manager was also extremely rude about my daughter's puppy - we were sitting outside and the puppy was sitting in my daughter's bag, not disturbing anyone.While I accept that the manager had the right to object, he did not have the right to shout and be aggressive. Thans to a very kind family who offered to take the dog for a while we did manage to finish our tea but would never, ever, return
I've been here a number of times now for lunch, tea and cake or afternoon tea and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The cakes are delicious and beautifully displayed, the range of teas is really excellent - including some of the rarer and more exclusive teas stocked by Fortnum's, and the service has always been fantastic. Having tried many, many restaurants and cafes during the seven years I've lived in London, this is by far my favourite and I have probably recommend the Orangery to everyone I know!
A fairly basic 'tea' with only one choice of sandwich filling, one scone, two small cakes. Two of the choices of tea were made with a tea bag!!!! and no refills - we were expected to pay (very mean considering they only had to provide another tea bag and boiling water!) We have had far, far superior afternoon tea experiences (notably in The Library (previously GLC building now Marriott Hotel) so were disappointed that we chose this one for a special 60th birthday celebration. Tourists wanting a 'royal' experience might be impressed but, sadly, we all felt a bit let down especially considering we had paid over and above the actual prices booking via Virgin Experience days which included a visit to the palace.