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The 10 best London Afternoon Teas

  • Food & Wine
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

The 10 best London Afternoon Teas

  • Food & Wine
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

The 10 best London Afternoon Teas

  • Food & Wine
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

British people are well-known for their love of a good cup of tea, with afternoon tea being something of an institution. The perfect choice for celebrating a special occasion, the beloved tradition has evolved over the years with many offering much more than the standard sandwiches and English Breakfast tea. If you’re looking for a great day out, London has plenty of experiences to choose from and luckily for you, we’ve compiled just some of our favourites including the likes of Claridge’s and Hush Mayfair.

Claridge’s

No doubt that when you think of afternoon tea, the suede wallpapered walls of Claridge’s spring to mind. David Ox, managing director of Winged Boots, says that it’s everything you could ever want from an afternoon tea. “It’s superb. A good, old traditional afternoon tea that’s wonderful for anyone. I went with my wife and her family and we all loved it.”
 
A variety of finger sandwiches, pastries and warm scones with Cornish clotted cream accompanies a wide range of teas on offer. Of course, the acclaimed Marco Polo gelée is sure to please your palate. Cane sugar, black tea infusion, lemon juice and fruit pectin are slowly cooked together with the resulting red spread sure to bring back plenty of childhood memories. Luckily, jars are available to purchase too.

The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel

Known for its fine food and innovative chefs, The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel is a top choice for afternoon tea lovers. Served in The Thames Foyer you’re very much at the heart of one of London’s most iconic hotels, complete with finger sandwiches, homemade scones and seasonal cakes and pastries.
 
Crafted by executive pastry chef, Ludwig Hely, your taste buds are sure to be tantalised with the raspberry chocolate eclair a hit with those in the office. What’s more, you can also request to dine in The Birdcage if you so wish. With tables and seating centred around a larger-than-life bird cage complete with a tapestry carpet and decadent ceiling, this choice is as eccentrically British as they come.

Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel

Award-winning fare can be found at Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel. A more informal and relaxed affair, the afternoon tea is served in The English Tea Room and is as quintessentially British as they come. With Queen Victoria said to have often enjoyed a brew or two here, we’re in no doubt that you’ll be feeling like royalty as soon as you sit down. There’s more than 17 teas to work your way through along with a selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries. Fillings include Aberdeenshire smoked salmon, Burford brown egg, coronation chicken and cheddar and mustard.
 
That’s not all though as there is more than one package on offer. A champagne version is also available and is the perfect choice if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Whether it be an engagement, a birthday or an anniversary, a few bubbles is a brilliant addition to such splendour. Wood panelled walls and antique fireplaces merge wonderfully with contemporary artwork and soft furnishings such as Paul Smith floor lamps which provide the cherry on top to what is set to be an unforgettable few hours.

Sanderson London

Make sure that you’re not late for a very important date, especially when heading to Sanderson London for afternoon tea. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatters Tea Party lets your imagination, and your taste buds, run wild.
 
Taking place on a covered forecourt, you’re able to indulge in some al fresco dining with dishes such as Mad March Hare Vanilla Pocket Watch Macaroon, Strawberry Jammy Dodger and smoked salmon scotch quail egg sandwiches. We recommend the chocolate tea cups which come full of either white or dark chocolate. Ideal for chocoholics, everything is edible… it’s like living in a dreamworld. Wash things down with Alice’s Exotic Fruits “Drink Me” potion or a glass of champagne, and you have everything you need for a picture-perfect afternoon tea.

The Wolseley

Whether you want to enjoy a traditional cream tea or celebrate with a champagne alternative, the selection at The Wolseley is certain to exceed expectations. Handmade fruit scones and various tea blends come as standard.
 
We recommend the Best of British Afternoon Tea. With a menu comprising Victoria sponges, sherry trifles, strawberry tarts and sandwiches such as coronation chicken, cheddar and pickle and roast beef and horseradish, this is a wonderful choice for foodies wanting authentic flavours of England.

Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel

Drawing inspiration from Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford who some say invented the popular service, Anna’s Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel is wonderful for times when you fancy nothing more than a pot of Darjeeling and a pastry or two with loved ones.
 
Taking place in The Park Room, you’re able to indulge in a range of scones, sandwiches, cakes and tea blends that have been expertly crafted by executive pastry chef, Dale DeSimone. Along with this, the English splendour is brought up a notch or two thanks to the amazing views of Hyde Park with the whole family able to get in on the action as there’s also a miniature tea specially created for children. Alternatively, for a more grown-up affair, there’s also an eclectic tea-themed cocktail menu to work your way through too.

Hush Mayfair

Leave the stresses of London life behind and treat yourself to a Gin and Jam Afternoon Tea at Hush Mayfair. Bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase G and T, this modern take on a well-loved institution features a host of signature cocktails, sandwiches and sweet treats all infused with loose leaf tea and lashings of the gin.
 
After being welcomed with a fruity gin cocktail named Kensington Gardens which includes Hush gin, lime, cranberry, vanilla and Wendy Brandon strawberry jam, you’ll be presented with an array of sandwiches, scones and preserves plus a selection of cakes. Think smoked ham with onion jam and watercress on tortano sourdough followed by raspberry ripple lollypops and passion fruit jaffa cakes. Winged Boots’ marketing manager Lauren Godfrey says: “Hush Mayfair’s Gin and Jam Afternoon Tea is perfect for gin-loving couples and groups of girlfriends. The food and Wedgewood teapot of tea is delicious, but when teamed with the array of gin cocktails and Blades at Hush tea-room’s modern and vibrant 1930s-inspired décor, it makes for one memorable afternoon. This is certainly one of my favourite afternoon tea options in the city.”

Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, London

An unbeatable location, delicious dishes and the chance to dine in one of the most famous buildings in the world, afternoon tea at Ting in the Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, London is nothing short of spectacular.
 
Delightful dishes such as the lemon lavender tart, cherry blossom roulade and more than 30 types of team can be found on the British Summer Time Afternoon Tea menu, along with a choice of Veuve Cliqot, Duval Leroy and Bollinger champagne. Oriental flavours are also added into the mix with various green teas and oolong teas available to indulge in too.
 
This venue is situated 128-metres above the ground, and because of this you can expect fantastic views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, The City of London, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.

The Berkeley

The Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley is a legendary afternoon tea with an additional dash of couture fashion. With seasonal menus changing every six months, you’ll be feeling Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter ready as soon as your meal is served.
 
The Spring/Summer 2018 menu, as created by head pastry chef Mourad Khiat, features a wealth of biscuits and pastries as well as the traditional finger sandwiches, scones and pastries you would expect. A selection of loose-leaf tea is also on hand to indulge in. If that wasn’t enough, the Prêt-à-Portea: High Fashion Bakes and Biscuits book is also available to purchase which includes 20 recipes and baking techniques you can do at home to recreate the magic.

The Ritz London

The Ritz London is great all-year round for afternoon tea however, the Christmas version is nothing short of spectacular. While it’s pained us that we’ve just written the ‘C word,’ this hotel really knows how to do it well. From the grand Christmas trees and wreaths in the lobby to the pianist tinkling the ivories complete with carol singers, it’s a very special occasion that’s sure to be loved by families, couples and groups of friends alike that are after a Christmas treat. Taking place on The Terrace, you’ll be able to tuck into a range of sandwiches, pastries and cakes surrounded by traditional 18th-century antiques for a little extra luxury. It may even become your new festive tradition.
 
But what makes the afternoon tea here particularly seasonal? Mince pies, Christmas cake and a spicy tea blend ensures you’ll be feeling warm and cosy in no time. Oh, and how could we forget that the little ones get a Christmas teddy bear complete with a jumper and a hat to commemorate their time here?
 
If any of these afternoon teas have caught your eye, we’re able to book these fantastic experiences for you. Simply enquire here or call one of our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985 now.

Tagged: UK, The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, Claridge's, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard London, Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard, a brew with a view, Indulge with afternoon tea at The Ritz
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