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The Orangery, Kensington Gardens

Posted on: 28th Apr 2014

The Orangery in Kensington Gardens is one of the most idyllic, elegant settings for afternoon tea in London, with a lovely outdoor terrace offering panoramic views of the palace and its gardens. The Orangery was once the setting for Queen Anne’s glittering court entertainment and its soaring vaulted ceilings, imposing Corinthian columns, and classical 18th-century architecture are a magnificent backdrop for afternoon tea.

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            The English orangery afternoon tea (£22.65, or £32.50 with a glass of champagne) consists of an assortment of sandwiches, including smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and cress, honey roasted ham with English mustard and cucumber and mint; orange-scented and currant scones served with Cornish clotted cream and English strawberry jam; and an assortment of pastries. There’s also a gluten-free option.

            You can choose from a range of black and green leaf teas, including Royal London Blend (a blend...

ESPA Life Spa at Corinthia

Posted on: 28th Apr 2014

ESPA Life at Corinthia at the 5* Corinthia Hotel in the West End is much more than ‘simply’ a spa, and offers fitness, nutrition and complementary healthcare, in addition to luxury spa treatments. Spread over four floors with an area of 3,300m?, the grandeur of ESPA Life is simply breathtaking, with soft curved walls, black Tunisian marble and textured leather – all stunningly beautiful and cutting edge. Bathed in natural light and sculpted from dramatic Italian Calacatta white marble with champagne leather furniture and warm glowing fires, the futuristic lounge is a destination in itself.

Corinthia spa

            The spa has exclusive beauty and dining areas (with a café), no less than 17 treatment pods, discreet private spa suites, state-of-the-art gym, nail studio and a Daniel Galvin hair salon. Most dramatic of all is the stunning 9m steel swimming pool sunk into highly polished black marble,...

Books for Cooks

Posted on: 21st Aug 2014

Books for Cooks is a Mecca for cooks, chefs, foodies, gourmets and gluttons, being dedicated to cooking, cuisine and food. The shelves are crammed from floor to ceiling with over 8,000 tasty titles, while a comfy sofa is provided for browsers seeking inspiration. Once discovered, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without Books for Cooks.

            The shop was founded by Heidi Lascelles in 1983, when a bookshop selling only cookery books must have seemed a decidedly risky venture in Britain’s culinary wasteland. Heidi quickly gained an enviable reputation and a large international clientele for her willingness to track down books from around the world and despatch them to international buyers in far flung corners.

            The lovely shop also smells great, thanks to its ‘cooking the books’ – not literally – but the staff do put recipes to the test in their kitchen at the back of the shop and sell...