How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought, if only I were slimmer, younger, prettier? We all do it, more so as we are living in a society where the likes of Instagram have made everything about appearance, not to mention the fact that cosmetic manufacturers, diet guru’s and cosmetic surgeons make a living off the back of our insecurities. It is not until you get into your thirties though, that you begin to accept yourself and realise “Beauty is found within.” This may sound strange coming from someone who adores clothes, shoes and make up but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you dress someone up, their character and heart is what makes them beautiful, or not, as the case may be. Disney has encapsulated this thinking in Beauty and the Beast, whether you are talking of the 1991 Disney animation or the 2017 live action picture, staring Emma Watson with a fabulous enhanced soundtrack.
I always love a good Disney movie and the recent remakes have made me nostalgic for those times when I believed fairy tales came true. I therefore couldn’t contain my excitement when I heard that The Kensington Hotel was hosting a Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea. My excitement was short-lived however when I discovered that every date had been fully booked. Luckily for me though, they released further dates due to the popularity, so after almost a year’s wait, I finally got to go.
Upon arrival, we were ushered to our table, past a rose in the bell jar and each table had been dressed with a red rose and biscuits decorated with marzipan to look like Belle’s dress. Champagne was brought to us, along with tea and coffee.
The amount and variety of food at this tea was fantastic and they had gone to great lengths to theme as much of it as possible. The tea began with warm savouries which included bite size venison pie, beef ragu and saffron arancini and cheese souffle, served on a plate garnished with rose petals. We then moved onto sandwiches, which the staff were happy to replenish. Instead of scones, there were sweet brioche baguettes to fit in with the scene in the movie, where Belle goes to purchase baguettes from Marie.
The sweet tier of the cake stand, always my favourite, was where the theme really came to life and included, white chocolate mousse served in chip, vanilla and gold jelly complete with rose petal, and cream to garnish it, served in Mrs Potts, a snowball macaron and a chocolate clock tart.
What made the whole tea all the more Instagram worthy were the Cogsworth and Lumiere props they brought to the table. The only thing that let them down here was the fact that they didn’t have enough of the props to go round and therefore they took them to use for another table before the end of the tea.
I chose my outfit for the day to fit in with the enchanted rose element of the movie and wore a black midi dress with rose print from Miss Selfridge and completed the outfit with pink suede shoes from Oasis and a pink cross body bag. I accessorised with a beauty and the beast necklace from the Disney Store by Danielle Nicole. My hair was loosely based on a Belle hairstyle, that I found instructions for on YouTube. My perfume was a Beauty and the Beast one from Marks and Spencer.
Beauty boxes and subscriptions to them are currently very popular with Glossybox and Birchbox being two of the most famous. While I love the idea of getting a box full of beauty surprises each month, I am not keen on being tied into a subscription and also there will inevitably be products you don’t use. However last year when the new film was released, I couldn’t resist this one off, subscription free, Beauty and the Beast themed box from Latest in Beauty. The box included Burt’s Bees lipstick, Caudalie moisturising sorbet, a gold compact mirror, Gold Lust dry Shampoo, Soigne nail polish, Gatineau exfoliator and L’Occitane rose hand and nail cream.
There is nothing wrong with making an effort with your appearance and enjoying beauty products but always keep in mind that true beauty lies within. In a world where celebrities are idolised and body image is always a hotly debated topic, shouldn’t every young girl be reminded that beauty isn’t only skin deep? Let’s hope we all realise that and appreciate what we have ‘before the last petal falls’.