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The V&A Dior exhibition is one of the hottest tickets in London at the moment, so when we were offered the chance to sample the Baglioni’s Afternoon Tea with passes to 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' we just couldn’t say no…
Along the road from Kensington Palace, the Albert Hall, and Hyde Park, the Baglioni was the perfect place to stop during an afternoon of sightseeing in Kensington. We were welcomed on arrival and seated in the chic Brunello restaurant. It's a contemporary room lined with mirrors, warm lighting, and modern art. We were glad to have visited on a Friday as we were told the pianist would soon be arriving to entertain guests.
Traditional, Champagne and Romantic afternoon teas were all on offer, but we had booked the Italian Twist, a menu inspired by the origins of the hotel.
We started with a glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut NV, a delicious Italian sparkling wine and the first twist on a traditional offering. Our waiter explained that we would be served our afternoon tea in stages, with the scones and tea arriving after the savoury and sweet options: the idea being that we could take our time enjoying the sparkling wine before exploring the tea menu.
The eagerly awaited afternoon tea stand arrived swiftly: a modern design in black and silver, with three tiers of sandwiches and Italian treats. After being talked through the menu, we tucked into the selection of savouries, highlights being the salmon, cream and chives, and the focaccia with bresaola and mozzarella.
Next onto the sweet treats, and the Italian theme really came into its own. The crisp pastry cannolis and sfogliatina were particular favourites, filled with a delicate ricotta cream and an indulgent chocolate ganache. The mini tiramisu was a real treat and guaranteed a taste of Italy.
Having finished our sparkling wine, we perused the loose leaf tea menu and opted for a blend: two pots of Darjeeling Earl Grey. The Brunello had recommended the scones as the final course and it worked really well. They arrived warm with a selection of condiments and could be enjoyed straight away. The traditionalist at the table tried the sultana scone with jam and cream; I fully committed to the Italian Twist and chose the plain scone topped with the famous Nutella.
We took our time over the afternoon tea, enjoyed the music and made sure we had room to polish off everything on the cake stand. We were then presented with our V&A Dior Exhibition tickets and set off for the museum. The museums were close enough to walk to, and a breath of fresh air was most welcome after our leisurely afternoon.
As we arrived at the V&A there was a real buzz around the exhibition, with people eagerly requesting access and waiting for a glimpse of the famous collection. We felt lucky to be ushered straight through, as tickets to the event are like gold dust and the dates keep selling out.
As soon as we entered we could see exactly why the event had proved so popular. With a staggering number of items on display, the exhibition moved through various rooms, each with surprising and innovative ways of displaying the collections. Just when we thought we must have seen everything we would enter another room full of dazzling designs and fabulous fabrics. We spent a long time in the ballroom gallery trying to pick out our favourite item, but we were really spoilt for choice.
Afternoon Tea at Balgioni Hotel with a guaranteed ticket to the sold out Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at V&A museum cost £67 and is available every day until 31st March 2019.
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