With Afternoon Tea Week 2018 running from 13-19 August 2018, The Resident picks out London’s most exciting new afternoon tea experiences, plus a few cheeky special offers…
Lead image: Midsummer Night’s Dream Afternoon Tea at Swan, Shakespeare
1 Art Afternoon Tea, Rosewood
Rosewood London’s award-winning Art Afternoon Tea is back with a new look and a new menu, this time inspired by the distinctive styles of Cubism and Pop Art. Hosted in the iconic Mirror Room, the new Art Afternoon Tea has been crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins. Embark on a culinary journey through these renowned styles, featuring three expertly made Cubism pastries – a macaron filled with mango and lime pate de fruits, a chocolate tart and a raspberry choux finished with an edible version of Picasso’s The Weeping Woman – and three Pop Art pastries – an Andy Warhol-inspired Black Forest Gateau, a banana cheesecake inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke, and a Yayoi Kusama yuzu creation. Priced from £58pp.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
2 Midsummer Night’s Dream tea at Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe
This summer Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe is hosting an afternoon tea parlour and gin pop-up bar inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Located on the restaurant’s top floor with river views, the Balcony Room has been transformed with flowers, trees, toadstools and butterflies. Titania’s Tea Garden will be in service for afternoon tea, serving sandwiches of buttermilk poached chicken, Scottish smoked salmon and Clarence Court egg mayonnaise, as well as wild mushroom and leek quiche. Sweets include salted caramel Opera, blackcurrant jam and violet macaroons, rhubarb and custard chouquette with angel wings, and scones served with clotted Devon cream and midsummer berry jam. Afternoon tea is priced £35pp. Running until 2 September.
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside SE1 9DT; swanlondon.co.uk
3 The ‘Choc Swap’ Afternoon Tea, London Marriott Park Lane
Choc on Choc is launching the UK’s first deliciously decadent ‘choc swap’ afternoon tea made entirely of chocolate at the London Marriott Park Lane Hotel for Afternoon Tea Week. Enjoy a selection of Lanes of London’s delicious finger sandwiches, scones and pastries alongside Choc on Choc’s chocolate cucumber sandwiches, chocolate biscuits, chocolate custard creams and a chocolate scone, which oozes jam when you slice through the middle. Each part of the chocolate afternoon tea is handmade from the finest Belgian milk and white chocolate. The Choc on Choc ‘Choc Swap’ Afternoon Tea will be available 12pm-5pm throughout National Afternoon Tea Week (13-19 August 2018) at the London Marriott Park Lane priced £39.50pp. The Chocolate Afternoon Tea will also be available to buy as a set via choconchoc.co.uk for £30.
140 Park Lane W1K 7AA; lanesoflondon.co.uk
The Langham, London’s fresh new take on afternoon tea, SeasonaliTea, is a super seasonal take on the art of the afternoon tea. Served in the glorious Palm Court, the tea features savouries, scones and patisserie all created with the very best ingredients when they are at their absolute peak. Summer delicacies include sandwiches with Cackleberry Farm egg with summer truffle, while the selection of five sweet treats will include Chouxtime, using the La Burlat variety of cherries, and Rolled into One, with Oakchurch Farm strawberries and Madagascan vanilla. Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Gravett has also reduced the use of refined sugars and fat to make it all a little lighter. The selection of teas offered changes too, and Palm Court will feature seasonally-changing floral displays. From £55pp.
1c Portland Place, Regent Street W1B 1JA; palm-court.co.uk
5 Truffle Afternoon Tea, The Hari
The Hari is launching a Truffle Afternoon Tea, the first of its kind in London, in celebration of Afternoon Tea Week. Designed by Executive Chef Claudio Covino and Head Pastry Chef Riccardo Zanetti, the tea will be hosted at the hotel’s Il Pampero restaurant, using summer truffle from Italy in each of the savoury and sweet treats. The menu includes savouries like burrata with truffle, beef carpaccio e truffle bruschetta and arancini truffle, as well as sweets like hazelnut bignè, caramel salted truffle and milk chocolate bombolone. The Truffle Afternoon tea is priced £65pp (or £75pp with free flowing Prosecco) and a available from 16 August to 16 September 2018.
20 Chesham Place; SW1X 8HQ; thehari.com
6 Floral Afternoon Tea at Radio Rooftop
ME London’s Radio Rooftop has created a Floral Afternoon Tea exclusively for Afternoon Tea Week. The menu includes afternoon tea classics with a Spanish twist in a nod to ME’s heritage, such as Manchego and quince sandwiches, Iberico ham on tomato-infused bread and Rosemary and manzanilla olive savoury muffins. Desserts include light, floral flavours such as lavender scented crème brulee and rose layer cakes, plus orange and cranberry buttermilk scones. The menu is ideal for enjoying on Radio Rooftop’s famed terrace in the London sunshine, which has been transformed into a Summer Garden for the season. Available from 14-20 August 2018 priced £28pp.
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; melondonhotel.com
7 Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea, aqua shard
The new Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at aqua shard starts with traditional finger sandwiches including Cackleberry farm egg and truffle, and Devon crab and cucumber brioche, as well as mini crumpets served warm with smoked salmon and cream cheese, plus freshly baked scones. Adorably themed sweets include a Strike Me Pink Victoria Sponge, Back to Front Zoo Golden Syrup Tart, and Fairground Candy Floss with popping candy. It’s all served on a custom-made tea stand with an umbrella on top, silver booted feet below, and illustrated crockery, and champagne flutes come with a little kite attached. You can also choose to add ‘medicine’ to your glass, with three homemade liqueurs of Rum Punch, Lime Cordial and Strawberry. Priced £49pp (or from £66 with a glass of champagne) and available until April 2019.
Level 31, The Shard 31 St Thomas Street SE1 9RY; aquashard.co.uk
8 Summer Afternoon Tea, InterContinental London – The O2
InterContinental London – The O2 on Greenwich Peninsula has launched a new summer afternoon tea that takes fresh fruits such as mango, strawberries, coconut and cherries to create a mouth-watering menu. Served in the ground floor Meridian Lounge overlooking Canary Wharf and the Thames, the menu includes sweets such as alphonso mango and lime sphere, Valrhona chocolate and cherry opera, strawberry crème brûlée and a piña colada baba. Alongside a selection of homemade scones and sandwiches, you can choose from a menu of 34 specially selected teas, including the Rainforest Lumbini and Vanilla Tea from the East India Company, which is intrinsically linked with the Docklands. Priced £35pp or £48pp with a glass of champagne.
1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0TW; iclondon-theo2.com
9 Heritage Afternoon Tea, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
The Rotunda Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square has launched the Heritage Afternoon Tea, a traditional, yet sumptuous afternoon tea experience curated around the iconic building’s history. Mapping historic trading routes, you’ll be able to experience teas from the foothills of the Himalayas with the finest Darjeeling from Makaibari, and Earl Greys from the highlands of Malawi. The handcrafted bone china tea service, designed by British designer Richard Brendon, is laden with traditional finger sandwiches created by Rotunda’s new Executive Chef David Greenhill. Seasonal pastries include strawberry and sansho, apricot and verbena in an almond sponge, passion fruit ganache atop chocolate sablé and chocolate mousse, plus scones with seasonal jams and clotted cream. A selection of champagnes are available by the glass. From £35pp.
10 Trinity Square, Tower Hill EC3N 4AJ; fourseasons.com/tentrinity
10 Pa-tea-sserie Afternoon Tea, The Wellesley
The Wellesley in Knightsbridge has not only relaunched its Pa-tea-sserie afternoon tea, to celebrate its extensive menu of bespoke tea blends, it has also added unlimited Pimm’s. The hotel’s in-house tea sommelier Leo Mattera has teamed up with pastry chef Manuele Schiavowe to create the menu, which features intricate pastries such as a tartlet filled with diced apple and passion-fruit jam, topped with a chocolate disk and covered in a ganache dome infused with the Churchill Blend; a crème patisserie-filled vanilla savarin enriched with a homemade syrup infused with Organic Chamomile Flowerstea; plus a macaron using notes from the Wellesley Blend tea to create the rose-scented filling. The Pa-tea-sserie also features handmade sandwiches, scones and that unlimited Pimm’s (for 1.5 hours). Running until 2 September priced £30pp.
11 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LY; thewellesley.co.uk
11 MarTEAni Afternoon Tea at DUKES LONDON
The Drawing Room at DUKES LONDON has introduced the MarTEAni Afternoon Tea. Created in partnership with The East India Company, the afternoon tea plays on the infamous connection with the martini and DUKES LONDON, serving three beautifully crafted mini martinis. Each of the martinis will be a mix of The East India Company Gin and infused vermouths: The Lemon Martini is paired with sandwiches (including egg mayonnaise and watercress, smoked Scottish salmon, and Coronation chicken); the Orange Marmalade Martini is paired with scones; and the First Romance Tea Martini – vermouth infused using The East India Company’s First Romance tea, a black tea with fruits and flower petals – is paired with the pastries/sweets (including doughnut praline, a shot of raspberry and pistachio truffle, and peanut chocolate delice, plus freshly baked scones). The MarTEAni is £42.50pp, available daily from 12pm-6pm. Champagne afternoon teas and alcohol-free afternoon teas are also available.
35 St James’s Place, St James’s SW1A 1NY; dukeshotel.com
12 Spanish Afternoon Tea, COMO The Halkin
COMO The Halkin in Belgravia is serving up a unique take on the British tradition of afternoon tea created by the Michelin-starred team at the hotel’s restaurant, Ametsa with Arzak Instruction. The restaurant, a collaboration by Elena Arzak and her father Juan Mari Arzak, has created an afternoon tea menu drawing on the principles of Basque cuisine. The usual sandwiches have been replaced by a selection of savoury tapas, followed by series of desserts that look as beautiful as they taste. Taken in the Halkin bar and lounge, each afternoon tea is served with a choice of Jing Teas. Served daily from 2.30pm-5pm priced £34pp (or £40 with a glass of Cava). In celebration of Afternoon Tea Week, COMO The Halkin is offering 25% off Afternoon Tea, which can be booked through afternoontea.co.uk
Halkin Street, Belgravia SW1X 7DJ; comohotels.com/thehalkin
13 Celebration Afternoon Tea, The Royal Horseguards Hotel
The Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall is celebrating Afternoon Tea Week by offering 20% off its authentic afternoon tea experience throughout August. Served every day from 1pm, the lightest afternoon tea option, Her Majesty’s Own Troop (£25pp), includes smoked salmon blinis, finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and skewered chocolate drizzled strawberries. You can also choose the The Royal Horseguards tea (£39pp) or Celebration Afternoon Tea (£45 with a glass of Taittinger Champagne and a token birthday cake inscribed with your own personal message), both featuring traditional finger sandwiches – including honey roast ham and mustard, London smoked salmon and dill crème fraîche, and hen egg mayo and watercress – as well as pastries and scones.
2 Whitehall Court SW1A 2EJ; guoman.com
14 G&Tea Menu, The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel is offering 25% off its two afternoon tea menus in celebration of Afternoon Tea Week. The G&Tea menu (usually £39pp) includes a cheeky earl grey gin martini alongside an array of traditional finger sandwiches, including smoked salmon, pickled cucumber and ricotta, prawn cocktail and roast ham with cheddar, alongside cakes like fruity summer berry millefeuille and white chocolate meringue tart. Pastries, scones and a delicious raspberry and gin sorbet also feature, plus, of course, fresh loose leaf teas. The Palace Tea (usually £33pp) includes finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries, scones and fresh loose leaf teas.
372 Strand WC2R 0JJ; strandpalacehotel.co.uk
15 DIY Biscuit Icing Afternoon Tea, The Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Cafes
The Biscuiteers Icing Cafes in Notting Hill and Battersea are offering their Confectionery Afternoon Tea alongside a DIY biscuit icing session. The tea includes miniature versions of Biscuiteers most loved cakes, patisseries and iced biscuits, including handpiped macaron, salted caramel brownie, rose and strawberry Victoria cake, violet and blackcurrant entrement and Amerena cherry bakewell tartlets. Upgrade to the DIY biscuit icing session and, much like a pottery café, you can get creative by choosing from the daily selection of biscuit designs, icing colours and an array of delectable decorations. Afternoon tea is £28.50pp; the DIY icing upgrade is £10pp.
194 Kensington Park Road W11 2ES & 13 Northcote Road SW11 1NG; biscuiteers.com
16 CUTcakes & Tea, 45 Park Lane
Dorchester Collection’s contemporary Mayfair hotel, 45 Park Lane, has recently launched its first ever American afternoon tea CUTcakes & Tea. Served in the modern American steak restaurant, the novel-tea – see what we did there? – replaces delicate porcelain, dainty sandwiches and piano music with a feast of delicious American teatime favourites – including a craft beer menu. Menu highlights include black truffle grilled cheese, Wagyu beef sliders, a Cola Cake with Caramel Corn and S’mores, all created by Executive Chef David McIntyre. From £55pp, served Monday to Saturday at 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
45 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1PN; dorchestercollection.com