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Afternoon tea review: Alexander McQueen tea at The Town House restaurant, Kensington Hotel

Read our review of the new 'fashion forward' afternoon tea at The Kensington Hotel, which celebrates the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.

The Town House restaurant at the Kensington Hotel is celebrating V&A’s latest star exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, with a Fashion Forward afternoon tea which will run alongside the exhibition until August.

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The restaurant has recently had a full refurbishment and the plush soft furnishings, white linen and central open fire make it an elegant, luxurious space to spend an afternoon. 

Light-as-air scones come with generous pots of clotted cream and a seedless strawberry jam which is so fruity it feels more like a compote. The perfectly cut finger sandwiches have delicate fillings of crab, smoked salmon and lobster. The kitchen has included lots of quirky homages to McQueen design: the theme is very much edible luxury – savouries include tiny gold-painted quails eggs inspired by a Swarovski-encrusted bird’s nest headdress, while on the sweet side there is a delicate cherry genoese modelled on a studded and skull-adorned McQueen clutch bag. The centrepiece is a dense red velvet and rose cupcake, decorated with edible butterflies, which pays homage to Philip Treacy’s famous red butterfly headdress for McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2008 collection. The rest of the tea carries on the luxurious theme with little fois gras cornets, raspberry and red pepper macaroons and a creamy buttermilk pannacotta.

The tea selection is comprehensive and served in delicate china which has been specially commissioned for the new restaurant. As the hotel is only a five minute walk from the V&A, it’s the perfect place to start or end a visit to the exhibition. 

Star of the show: Gold quail’s eggs

Scone rating: 8/10

Perfect for: dressing up and being seen

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Price: £35 without champagne