Thanks to Anna, the VII Duchess of Bedford (the first to partake in afternoon tea in the early 19th century), we have a beautifully evolved British tradition that is enjoyed by countless numbers all over the UK. However, when I think of afternoon tea, I have recurring visions of standard finger sandwiches with cucumber, egg and cress fillings, traditonal plain scones and clotted cream. All well and good: but it’s about time afternoon tea was injected with some excitement. We were looking for something creative, and that’s exactly what we got at Kona at the Taj Residences: not only one of the best looking, but one of the tastiest afternoon teas I’ve ever had.
Traditional finger sandwiches have been transformed to represent the diverse London we live in today. Kona’s Royal afternoon tea offers a selection of four fillings, including coronation chicken with golden sultanas, smoked Loch Fyne salmon and rocket, cured Gressingham duck with redcurrant jelly, Cornish Yarg and tomato with Branston pickle, and English cucumber with mint cream cheese in beetroot bread. All of which were delicious, but my favourite had to be the duck, which had a sweet taste and tender texture.
As if part one of this delightful afternoon tea wasn’t lavish enough, next to arrive was a 3-tier stand of indulgent treats, each one crafted with incredible detail.
Starting from the bottom of our three-tier stand of heavenly bite-sized dainties, we set off with chocolate chip scones, which had a delicate crumble to the outside, and a soft, spongy centre. Golden-topped Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve completed the taste perfectly.
To follow, we had a variety of cakes and pastries, which included a homemade Jaffa cake decorated with a white chocolate crown, a glittery Battenberg, and a Victoria sponge covered in a light layer of smooth chocolate. The third and final tier consisted of a raspberry Bakewell tart, elderflower jelly with strawberry mousse, and a white chocolate-covered mocha praline.
Kona offers a wide selection of beverages to accompany your afternoon tea. We opted for a glass of champagne to start, followed by a specially-selected green tea. The service at Kona goes above and beyond: the staff are very attentive, and regularly topped up our drinks for us.
Visiting Kona was an absolute delight, and one that I will be returning to experience again: a lavish affair that I’m sure Anna, the VII Duchess of Bedford, would more than approve of.
51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences, London, SW1E 6AF