The Kensington hotel part of the Doyle collection group has introduced a new ’80 Days Around The World’  Afternoon Tea.

Kensington Hotel‘s Afternoon Tea menu draws inspiration from the worldly travels of Phileas Fogg – the protagonist in Jules Verne’s 1872 novel “Around the World in Eighty Days”.

In the first series, which runs until the beginning of next year, you get to explore London, Paris, Rome and Cairo through your taste buds.

The food journey starts in London, with a traditional puff pastry beef pie appetiser – warm and tender pulled beef served in a copper sauce pot topped with puff pastry.

It’s followed by parmesan gougere (a profiterole like pastry) filled with tomato cream from Rome and Paris, which is light and very pleasing. The final appetiser is a small ball of classy falafel with tahini aioli from Cairo. I found the tahini tone was rather mild, almost absent, but nevertheless complimenting the falafel spices well.  

Tempted by the petits gateaux selection I decide to move on to the sweet plate before sampling the sandwiches. First on my list is a little stripy square with blackcurrant jellied glaze around.

It’s introduced as Opera Mont Blanc, which would be from Paris obviously. It is light with creamy layers and a spongy biscuit, a lovely combination of various textures. Although Opera Mont Blanc is traditionally made with chestnuts, this is definitely more on the berry side.

Next in line is a rose and raspberry swirl from Cairo, a very light mousse with a pistachio sponge inside. Personally I’m not a fan of rose flavours in desserts but I appreciate the crunchy pieces of pistachio and the delicate raspberry tone to the mousse.

The swirl is followed by the mini tiramisu in a glass cup with feather light cream filled between well-moistened layers of sponge. You can taste the tiramisu preparation was perfectly timed to allow enough time for the flavours to mingle but before the layers deflated.

I overhear a lady dining solo at a neighbouring table enquiring about the tiramisu and the banoffee pie, and if she could have one more for each of them.

I don’t blame her but you do get quite a lot on the tier stands, and this is me saying that before I even get to the sandwiches. So I don’t know how she managed it. I finish my mini tiramisu and move onto the sandwich collection, leaving Banoffee Pie from London for later.

The sandwiches representing London consist of classic smoked salmon and chives cream cheese . Pesto, sun dried tomato and mozzarella come from Rome, the bullet proof Italian combination packed with flavours.

Cumin hummus and caramelised onion from Cairo, is probably my favourite, the hummus adding a refreshing texture to the sandwich working as both a sauce and flavour enhancer.

And there’s mustard mayo with ham and pickled gherkin from Paris, I am not quite sure what makes it French, perhaps the mustard? But it is quite flavoursome and as nice as sandwiches get.

Once the amuse-bouche plate is finished, a lovely waitress replaces the top plate with warm fruity and plain scones wrapped in a cloth with seasonal homemade jam, it’s plum today with fresh clotted cream on the side. The scones are quite an impressive size, I only manage half of the fruity scone, which with apricot pieces with the rest was going home with me.

I leave my most favourite petit cake for last, Banoffee Pie from London. With white glaze and a roasted half a peanut on top, it looks fairly simple from the outside but on the inside it is delectably filled with rich peanut butter caramel on a crumbly tart. It’s simply perfect. I would certainly have a few of those if I had any space left.

In fact the whole of the sweets plate pleasantly surprises me. I find quite often the cakes in afternoon tea sets can be overwhelmingly sugary and just blunt in any other flavour.

Occasionally, pastry chefs can also be guilty of using the same sponge recipe and just cutting it into various shapes and forms for different cakes. However, on this occasion each mini cake is poles apart from the very core, including even the sponge.

If you love afternoon tea this spot is definitely a place to have it, £58 gets you a lot of compelling little portions. Tea is beautifully presented in white and turquoise striped china cups while dishes served on hot air balloon printed plates. There is also a secluded dining table with mini hot air balloon ornaments to match the theme.

Kensington Hotel serves teas by Rare Tea Company, many of which come from sustainable farms and macro plantations around the world producing only a few kilograms per season.

Even if you are not an afternoon tea fan the spot is still worth a visit for a drink, lunch, dinner or just normal tea, the setting is stunning with large windows in the dining area letting plenty of natural light in, which reflects on the classy beige and magnolia décor creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Kensington Hotel, 109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP