The Best Afternoon Teas in London
Another Afternoon Tea Week is upon us, so frock up and indulge...
Photo: Petersham Nurseries Richmond
1 Luxury Regency Afternoon Tea at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, West End
Served in the Grand Saloon, Drury Lane's afternoon tea is created by Lily Vanilli and starts with madeleines topped with lapsang-souchong glazed salmon, and bitesize canelés with whipped ricotta and pickled beetroot. For the sweet treats at the end, a trolley will roam the room serving Absinthe mint choc chip ice cream by the scoop
Cost: From £49
Address: Catherine Street WC2B 5JF
2 Traditional Afternoon Tea at The Savoy
Taken in the Thames Foyer, The Savoy serves up an elegant tea that is both traditional and fresh. expect the likes of cucumber with green pea hummus on mint bread, as well as crab, caviar and dill on brioche. Finish on a red fruit crown that comes with foraged elderflower, as well as the indulgent signature savoy chocolate fudge cake.
Availability: Wednesday to Sunday
Cost: From £70
Address: Strand, WC2R 0EZ
3 Cherish Finden's Kopi Tiam at Pan Pacific, City
Accoladed pastry chef Cherish Finden (ex-Langham & Bake Off: The Professional Judge) infuses a traditional English afternoon tea with Singaporean influences. Her Kopi Tiam afternoon tea leads with bao, dim sum and choux, and finishes on sweet treats that look like tiny sculptures, and the current offering are inspired by the nearby Jubilee Superbloom installation. You can also have a traditional English afternoon tea which comes with the same chocolate-y, creamy, sugary works of art.
Availability: Monday to Friday 1pm & 3pm; Saturday & Sunday 12pm, 2pm & 4pm
Cost: From £72
Address: Pan Pacific, 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB
4 High Chai at Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
Rooted in West Bengali tradition – the province of India in which the resturant's Executive Chef Vivek grew up – High Chai at Cinnamon Bazaar brings notes of fire and spice to the traditional tea-time spread. Finger sandwiches are replaced with fragrant treats likes the Kadhai spiced paneer roll and inventive chaat bites, followed by sweet delights such as Shrikhand cheesecake and saffron macarons.
Availability: Monday to Sunday 12pm-4pm
Address: 28 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS
5 Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea at The Franklin, Kensington
Take a tumble down the rabbit hole with The Franklin London's afternoon tea inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the recent exhibition at the V&A “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”. Offering an imaginative twist on what a modern-day Alice might have eaten after her adventures in Wonderland, enjoy choices from a fluffy bun filled with crab meat to a caramel cupcake decorated with a white rabbit and caterpillar.
Availability: Monday to Sunday 2pm to 4pm
Cost: From £50
Address: 24 Egerton Gardens, SW3 2DB
6 Hotel Cafe Royal, West End
This West End hotel serves its afternoon tea in the exquisite Oscar Wilde Lounge which is still in its original 1800s glory (including wine stains on the ceiling’s paintings from raucous nights back in the day). The room is worth a trip on its own. The hotel is currently serving a traditional tea to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. If you're lucky, watch out for pianist on the room's baby grand tapping out no-so-modern classics like Toto’s Africa.
Availability: Wednesday to Sunday; 12pm-5:30pm
Price: From £70
Address: 10 Air Street W1B 4DY
7 Garden Afternoon Tea at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Combining the charm and romanticism of the English countryside, Petersham Nurseries' Garden Afternoon Tea is as celebratory of Britain's bounty as the setting is. With the nurseries’ wild gardens for a backdrop, tuck into the likes of black Iberico tomatoes, three-cornered leeks and mozzarella bruschetta and clementine and pomegranate cake with mascarpone. And don't forget to stroll around the grounds after.
Availability: Saturday & Sunday
Price: From £45
Address: Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB
8 Champaign Afternoon Tea at Searcys at The Gherkin
Putting the ‘high’ in high tea with its stunning 360-degree views across the City of London, afternoon tea at Searcys at The Gherkin is as feast for the stomach and eye. Enjoy a selection of mini savouries, indulgent pastries and sweet treats such as Searcy’s signature Victoria sponge, which you can pair with English sparkling wine or Whispering Angel rosé – either a glass or go bottomless.
Availability: Selected dates; 12.30pm-3pm
Price: From £55
Address: 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BF
9 The Petersham, Covent Garden
This one comes with all the simple elegance and florally charm as the tea served in its Richmond sibling, just a bit closer to the city. The Petersham's afternoon tea raises funds for a rotation of charities, this year it's charity 1000 Bamboo Villages which seeks to restore restore vast swathes of degraded land in Indonesia. To munch, you've got the likes of egg and asparagus tramezzino, goat cheese and plum chutney tramezzino, and fresh berries millefoglie.
Availability: Thursday to Saturday; 3pm-5pm
Price: From £55
Address: Floral Court, 27 King Street, WC2E 9DS
10 High Palms High Tea at The Landmark London
A quintessential London afternoon tea held in the Landmark London’s eighth floor glass atrium. Dine on smoked Scottish salmon, egg mayonnaise and mustard cress filled finger sandwiches followed by raisin and apple scones with Cornish clotted cream, English strawberry and mint tartlets, peach and lemon verbena choux with Chantilly cream and black cherry and vanilla bakewell tarts - delicious.
Availability: Monday-Friday 3pm-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 1pm-5pm
Price: From £59
Address: 222 Marylebone Road, NW1 6JQ
11 Superbloom Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, City
This one is a floral spin of the hotel's Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea, created in celebration for Her Majesty's Jubilee. The traditional tea is served under the domed ceiling of the luxe Rotunda Lounge, which is a delightful space, which comes with live music during tea service time. You can take your afternoon tea up a notch by booking a private roof terrace that comes with a view of the Tower of London and the Thames.
Availability: Served Friday to Sunday 2pm-5pm until September 18
Price: From £50
Address: 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ
12 Floris London 22 Afternoon Tea at The Parlour Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Embankment
A sensory tea created in collaboration with perfumers Floris London, this one is based on the scents found in the Queen’s garden and taken in hotel’s stunning Victorian parlour. Tuck into garden peas, lemon and mint gougère and truffle duck egg and mayo on briochette as well as smoked salmon, asparagus, horseradish and Avruga caviar on pain de mie. For desserts, try the blackcurrant and Tonka mousse; oat, home and apricot primrose hat and a violet Battenberg.
Availability: Monday to Sunday 12pm-5pm
Price: From £55
Address: 5 Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HN