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Afternoon Tea at Warren House – a Country House Retreat in Kingston:
It was probably foolish to try to walk from Kingston upon Thames town centre to Warren House. Almost the entire route is uphill. But, wise to the indulgence of afternoon tea I really wanted justification. By the time I turned the corner into Warren Road I felt suitably vindicated. As I walked along the drive toward the house I couldn’t help smiling. This is the kind of place that should serve a good afternoon tea, a picture perfect Victorian mansion.
On this beautiful Summer’s afternoon, tea was served on the terrace. A wonderful setting, if I’m honest I would have been happy to sit all afternoon with nothing more than a cup of tea. Chocolate dipped strawberries were a nice touch, though!
And, of course, I’d never turn down a glass of champagne.
Afternoon Tea at Warren House includes a reasonable choice of teas, all properly served as leaf tea in Bodum teapots. We loved the little egg timer to allow you to work out exactly how long your tea should brew (there are three timers with different coloured sand for different types of teas).
The tea tower is a traditional mixture of sandwiches, scones and patisserie.
Finger sandwiches came with three different fillings. Goats cheese and roast pepper, smoked salmon with cucumber and dill crème Fraiche and ham with English mustard mayonnaise. My favourite? The smoked salmon mixture which worked really well with the cucumber adding a little crunchiness. And, we were offered extras…
Plain and fruit scones were prettily presented with two choices of homemade jam and clotted cream and with a side dish of butter. Miniature in size, these were just a little dry and crumbly for our taste. But there again, that was a great excuse to add more clotted cream. We both loved the bellini jelly (the large pot on the plate, which turned out to be a kind of naughty palate cleanser.
Patisserie was as fine as anything I’ve tried in London. Four small cakes which looked immaculate and which, more importantly, tasted delicious. Green apple mousse was a soft, fluffy, piquant mouse on a light sponge base while the poppy seed cupcake was a tiny buttercream topped mouthful. And, not one but two chocolate cakes. While the milk chocolate and Earl Grey tea mousse was delicate and light, I particularly liked the rich, dark, hazelnut chocolate tart with a coco nib tuille.
Afterwards, we went for a stroll around the immaculate gardens. Warren House is the kind of place where you could always find a pocket of space for yourself, full of hidden gardens, water features and pretty floral displays
Well worth visiting for afternoon tea, you can also dine in the restaurant or stay overnight at Warren House. It is predominantly used for functions and events and when we were having tea, there was a small wedding party in progress. A quiet, peaceful location well away from the town centre, I’m sure it provides an excellent setting for celebrations and special occasions.
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7HY
Disclaimer – we were guests of Warren House for afternoon tea, but were not required to review. All views are editorially given.
For more information on Kingston upon Thames, go to www.kingstonfirst.co.uk/ 020 8547 1221
Afternoon Tea at Warren House starts from £28.95 for the Classic Tea, with special offers sometimes available online. To book call 020 8547 1777 or go to www.warrenhouse.com