‘Tis the season for giving but, if we’re all being honest, it’s also the time for treating yourself. And what better way to tick both boxes than by taking yourself out for a Christmas themed afternoon tea with your family or friends? The Resident picks London’s best Christmas afternoon tea experiences
Words: Andrew Zuccala
1 The Ritz
The afternoon tea experts will be leaving no stone unturned this year with their Christmas festivities. Every guest gets treated. Adults receive a complimentary glass of Champagne on arrival and each lucky child gets a Ritz Teddy Bear to bring home. Take a seat within their iconic tea rooms and enjoy being treated to a beautifully designed feast for £75 or £49 for kids. Afternoon Tea will be served from Saturday 26 November to Friday 30 December 2016 at the 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm sittings. And if you’re fast enough to book their Christmas Day afternoon tea then you’ll witness Father Christmas handing out presents to all the children as well.
150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR; theritzlondon.com
2 Searcy’s at The Gherkin
If you’re not a fan of eating delicious scones, cakes and sandwiches inside an old windowless room then take a trek up the Gherkin for a thoroughly modern take on afternoon tea with panoramic views of the city. The top two floors of the London landmark will be transformed into an icy Christmas hideaway where guests will have the chance to win a real diamond. This is set to be a sleek and stylish day out for £65 per person.
30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP; searcysclubthegherkin.co.uk
3 Muriel’s Kitchen
Muriel’s Kitchen is making Christmas casually cool and comforting with their super affordable festive afternoon tea. Indulge in luxurious finger sandwiches of smoked salmon and cream cheese or refreshing cucumber with cracked black pepper and before swapping those classic cakes for more festive treats including delicately spiced mince pies and a mini Christmas Pudding. Make it a real celebration with a glass of Prosecco or a clever tea-laced cocktail for only £19.95 per person
36 – 38 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TT
1-3 Pelham Street, London SW7 2ND
30 Hill Street, Richmond TW9 1TW; murielskitchen.co.uk
4 Lord’s Cricket Ground
Treat the cricket lovers in the family to Lord’s festive afternoon tea in their iconic Long Room overlooking the grounds, priced at £54 or £65 with Champagne. Enjoy a traditional high tea with all the trimmings, including freshly baked scones with homemade jams and Cornish clotted cream, a plethora of pastries and all your favorite pots of tea.
St John’s Wood Road, London NW8 8QN; lords.org
5 The London Edition
The London Edition’s Scandal Water Afternoon Tea will continue to run through the festive season and while it might not be Christmas inspired, it most certainly captures the mood of this time of year. Taking place in the oak clad Punch Room, you’ll feel as if you’re brooding by the hearth on Christmas Day. Be sure to try one of their tea infused punches which have been meticulously paired to the afternoon tea at only £35 per person.
10 Berners Street, London W1T 3NP; editionhotels.com
6 Sketch London
Sketch is going big this Christmas season with an enormous installation taking over the entire space. The team at sketch never disappoint when it comes to originality and quirk with this year’s ‘The Night Before Christmas’ theme taking over the entire space. The afternoon tea will take place in the fairy-tale themed Woodland Forest so if you’re looking for something a little left of centre then book this one as soon as you can.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG; sketch.london
7 York and Albany
For the ultimate in afternoon decadence, guests at York and Albany’s Gingerbread pop-up can indulge in an elegant Festive Afternoon Tea from 3 November. The menu, which is also available in the restaurant, includes stem ginger and cranberry scones with clotted cream, a selection of traditional finger sandwiches, gingerbread macarons, parkin, crème brûlée and the cabin’s signature gingerbread men. Guests can choose from a choice of fragrant loose leaf teas or, for an optional supplement, a glass of prosecco to finish off the festivities.
127-129 Parkway, London, NW1 7PS; gordonramsayrestaurants.com
8 The Lanesborough
From 25 November until New year’s Day, the award-winning afternoon tea will take a festive twist, as Head Pastry Chef Nicolas Rouzaud recreates Christmas classics in the form of delicate pastries. The tea includes spicy Christmas muffins, apple and cinnamon doughnuts, mulled wine and pear cake, chocolate coconut fingers, orange mousse spheres and Croustillant caramel sable, alongside festive favourites such as mince pies, chestnut tart and praline Rocher. Served with a chilled glass of Taittinger Champagne, the Festive Afternoon Tea £65 per person.
Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia SW1X 7TA; lanesborough.com
9 Strand Palace Hotel
What better way to celebrate the start of the Christmas season than with Festive Afternoon Tea at Strand Palace Hotel, which has been serving afternoon tea since 1909. The hotel is the perfect central location for a treat after Christmas shopping or before heading to the theatre, with a choice of festive flavours including turkey and cranberry sandwiches and sweet treats featuring mince pies, stollen bites and a rich brandy fruit cake. Available daily for £29.95 per guest.
372 Strand WC2R 0JJ; 020 7379 4737; strandpalacehotel.co.uk
10 Lanes of London
This year, Lanes of London are hosting a Prosecco Festive High Tea, allowing guests to experience their full festive high tea with free flowing fizz at the glamorous Grade II listed building. Expect limitless prosecco, assorted sandwiches including ‘Beetroot Toast Bread with Salmon & Cream Cheese, scones and an assortment of pastries such as a ‘Milk Chocolate and Clementine Christmas Present’ and the ‘Chestnut Mont Blanc’. The Festive High Tea is priced at £39 per person, while their Prosecco Tea will be £49.
140 Park Lane, London W1K 7AA; lanesoflondon.co.uk
11 The Chesterfield Hotel
Enjoy the Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea at this intimate five-star hotel before popping down the road to enjoy Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland attraction. There’s also a Little Prince and Princess Afternoon tea that includes peanut butter and jam sandwiches, scones, cupcakes and a choice of hot chocolate, tea or soft drink. The Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea costs £38.50 per person.
35 Charles Street, London W1J 5EB; chesterfieldmayfair.com
12 La Suite West
The wellness destination and boutique hotel is launching a their Winter Afternoon Tea menu at the Vegan RAW Restaurant. La Suite West’s restaurant ‘RAW’ offers a tastefully designed, contemporary health experience within the hotel’s upscale and minimalist surrounds. Indulge in a healthy alternative afternoon tea for £29 per person which includes vegan mince pies, citrusy non-alcoholic mulled wine and hot winter spiced scones. It has all the same tastes as your traditional high tea but without all the guilt thanks to the healthy twist.
41-51 Inverness Terrace, London W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com
The InterContinental’s limited edition Christmas Unwrapped Afternoon Tea blends many much-loved Christmas Day hallmarks to create a culinary journey through this anticipated British tradition. At £42 per person, this festive delight will include the likes of a dark chocolate torte drum (complete with mini drumsticks) and strawberry filled swan-shaped choux buns.
1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY; parklane.intercontinental.com
14 The Arch London
The chic boutique hotel located minutes from Oxford Street and Marylebone Village is the perfect place to take tea during your Christmas shopping trip. Indulge in festive treats including Chocolate Yule log, mulled wine poached pear and Cinnamon spiced cupcakes with freshly baked scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. Sandwiches and savouries include smoked salmon blinis, roast turkey and cranberry, honey baked ham with piccalilli; and Stilton cheese straws. Christmas Afternoon Tea is priced at £25 per person or £39 with a glass of Taittinger Nocturne Sec and will be available from the 1 December until the 8 January. Their afternoon tea is available all day in the hotel’s Martini Library, Hunter 486 restaurant or Salon de Champagne lounge.
50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch W1H 7FD; thearchlondon.com
15 The Gilbert Scott
Kick off your afternoon tea with a mulled wine bellini at Marcus Wareing’s brasserie in one of London’s greatest landmarks, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Feast on a selection of Great British delicacies such as Mrs Beeton’s cheese butterflies, Jaffa and Eccles cakes and peanut brittle choc ices, all for £29 per person.
Euston Rd, London NW1 2AR; thegilbertscott.co.uk
16 The Goring
Having served afternoon tea since the day the hotel opened in 1910 you can cab be assured they have mastered the perfect menu. And this year they are taking their afternoon tea to new festive heights with crustless sandwiches full of roast turkey and stuffing and honey glazed gammon and fig relish while bringing in the obligatory mince pies. But be blown away by the desserts. Try out the chestnut snow man, pistachio Christmas tree, gingerbread snowflakes, blood orange bauble and The Goring’s specialty Christmas cake. From 22 November, guests can enjoy this festive high tea for £42.50 per person.
15 Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW; thegoring.com
17 The Dorchester
Have your afternoon tea with a side of Christmas carols at The Dorchester, where finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and mince pies are served with Laurent-Perrier Champagne, for £65 per adult and £35 per child. And try their Christmas Carols afternoon tea for £75 per adult and £39 per child for something a little bit more special.
53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com
18 Tipsy Tea at Mr Fogg’s Residence
Give the gift of a unique G&T afternoon tea experience with Tipsy Tea at Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair. Guests will enjoy an intriguing and unique selection of champagne and gin teas served alongside a selection of sandwiches, cakes and macarons. From £40 per person.
15 Bruton Ln, London W1J 6JD; mr-foggs.com/residence
19 Jumeirah Carlton Tower
For visitors or Londoners looking to indulge in a Christmas treat or simply escape from the festive frenzy, Jumeirah Carlton Tower will be serving up a Festive Afternoon Tea in its relaxing Chinoiserie lounge from 20 November to 31 December with live music from the hotel’s resident harpist. Served daily from 3pm to 6pm, the tea features seasonal savouries, scones and pastries, including Santa Claus is Coming to Town – a white chocolate and cinnamon Santa’s hat; Frosty the Snowman – coconut financier and meringue snowman; and Glitter and Gold – glazed mandarin tart with blood orange curd.
Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9PY; jumeirah.com
20 K West’s Hotel and Spa
In celebration of the snowy season, the hotel has put a sparkling spin on its Glam Rock Afternoon Tea. The tea will feature savoury mini halloumi & turkey sliders and roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes on focaccia as some of the savoury options. These will be followed by a procession of desserts including Orange & cinnamon panna cotta shots, chocolate truffle lollies with raspberries, chocolate cherry apples, cocktail mince pies and vanilla bourbon filled chocolate coffee cups. Studio Kitchen’s Festive Afternoon Tea will be priced at £24.50 per person. Alternatively, enjoy the tea with a glass of Prosecco for £31.50.
K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX; k-west.co.uk
21 Kensington Roof Garden
Celebrate the festive season with a Christmas themed Afternoon Tea at The Roof Gardens. From 12pm–5pm on Saturday 10 December, guests are invited to lose themselves in the three themed Gardens 100ft above Kensington High Street, before taking their seats in the heated Tudor Marquee for a delectable assortment of sweet and savoury treats with a festive twist. Those looking to add some sparkle to their afternoon can upgrade to a Champagne Afternoon Tea for an additional £10. A roaming live band will ensure that guests are well and truly full of Christmas spirit, performing festive favourites throughout the afternoon. The Roof Gardens Christmas Afternoon Tea is priced at £35.00 per person, and tickets can be bought in advance from Design My Night.
99 Kensington High Street; virginlimitededition.com
22 Royal Garden Hotel
Have yourself a very merry afternoon at the Royal Garden Hotel’s Park Terrace Restaurant Lounge and Bar, which overlooks Kensington Gardens. The festive afternoon tea, on offer from 1 until 24 December, includes homemade Christmas pudding and cinnamon scones, mini mince pies, walnut and brandy slices, mulled wine pear trickle, and an impressive selection of 15 fine loose leaf teas. Park Terrace’s afternoon tea has been awarded a Highly Commended certificate at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2016 in recognition of its outstanding quality. The entire experience is priced at £31 per person, or £41 per person with a glass of Théophile Roederer NV Champagne and strawberries with a balsamic drizzle.
2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT; royalgardenhotel.co.uk
23 Brown’s Hotel
Throughout December, Brown’s Hotel will be presenting a traditional afternoon tea within their English Tea Room. Sit amongst Brown’s Christmas wonderland and Indulge in some freshly baked scones, mince pies and crustless finger sandwiches whilst listening to the resident pianist making their way through the classic Christmas tunes. Afternoon tea starts at £55 with a special Christmas Day celebration for £75.
33 Albemarle St, Mayfair W1S 4BP; roccofortehotels.com