London’s hottest hangouts are always reinventing that age-old tradition of afternoon tea. Here are the latest and best on The Resident’s radar…
Lead image: Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Opera Afternoon Tea
1 The Lady Penelope Afternoon Tea at InterContinental London
The Lady Penelope Afternoon Tea at InterContinental London at The O2 was launched to celebrate Thunderbirds Day on 30 September, but is sticking around until 30 October. Delicious themed treats include a Tracy Island coconut pineapple verrine, FAB 1 pink bonbon torte, Lady Penelope macarons. A selection of finger sandwiches, such as honey roasted ham with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on pain de mie, mature cheddar cheese and pickle on carrot bread and truffle egg mayonnaise on a brioche bun are par for the course, as are homemade scones with Cornish clotted cream and pink Champagne and strawberry preserve. You can also opt for a specially created Lady Penelope cocktail; choose from the 30 minutes after noon, a twist on a classic Cosmopolitan, and the Alias Mr Hackenbacker, a fashionable autumn cocktail packed with apple, pear, and cinnamon flavours. £31pp or £44pp with a Lady Penelope cocktail.
1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0TW; iclondon-theo2.com
2 Halloween Afternoon Tea at Royal Lancaster London
Re-launching following a mega £80 million re-‘vamp’ – Royal Lancaster London is ‘thrilled’ to announce the hair-raising Halloween Afternoon Tea. Built in 1967, the hotel is also celebrating its 50th Birthday, hence it’s turning the clock back to the 60s this Halloween. The spooktacular afternoon tea, inspired by classic 60s horror movies, will play out with Alfred Hitchcock classics flickering from a projector and The Little Shop of Horrors’ Audrey sitting on your table. Enjoy ghoulish gourmet treats including Axe-Carved Beef with Horseradish, Pitch Black Pudding Scotch Egg, plus sweet treats like the Black Sunday Battenberg and Night of the Living Tart. You can also win a free Christmas Afternoon Tea by snapping and sharing your Halloween Afternoon Tea – in black and white – with the hashtag #WeAlwaysScare. £35pp including loose leaf teas and a glass of champagne. Available from 17-31 October, 2pm-5.30pm.
Lancaster Terrace W2 2TY; royallancaster.com
3 The WICKED Afternoon Tea at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
In celebration of WICKED the musical’s recent promotion to London’s 11th longest running show in theatre history, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has launched a WICKED afternoon tea. Created by Executive Pastry Chef Paul Thielblemont, the tea celebrates the Witches of Oz with themed treats including a matcha and hazelnut finger topped with Glinda’s sparkly shoe, Elphaba’s milk chocolate mousse and caramel hat and The Good Witch’s dark chocolate choux, as well as a selection of sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, rose petal jam and lemon curd, all accompanied with selection of over 40 rare teas. Available in The Rosebery Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park for £53pp (kids, £28).
To book call 020 7201 3828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Searcys Laurent-Perrier Afternoon Tea
Searcys, connoisseurs of all things bubbly, celebrates its 170th birthday this October with a number of champagne-themed events across the UK, including a Laurent-Perrier afternoon tea experience in London. The immersive afternoon tea experience, guided by a charming Victorian Butler, will feature a champagne fountain, as well as Lauren-Perrier experts to pair the afternoon tea offering with champagnes and a riddling challenge (a tried and true method to ensure a champagne holds a clear, crisp colour). There’s also the chance to win your very own magnum bottle of Laurent-Perrier. The Laurent-Perrier afternoon tea experience includes three glasses of champagne, a full afternoon tea offering of finger sandwiches and gourmet sweet treats. Available on 21 & 22 October only from 1pm-3pm & 4pm-6pm, priced £75pp.
30 Pavilion Road, Knightsbridge SW1X 0HJ; searcys170.co.uk
5 The Candice Brown Afternoon Tea at Dalloway Terrace
Dalloway Terrace has collaborated with Great British Bake Off winner 2016 Candice Brown on their latest afternoon tea, featuring creations such as the feta and courgette scone with thyme clotted cream and the orange and cardamom scone. Innovative sweets include peanut butter and jelly profiteroles alongside lemon, Half Hitch Gin and poppy seed drizzle cake plus meringue kisses filled with cream, chocolate and curd. Sandwiches include chicken and chorizo with tarragon mayo, leek and smoked haddock tart with gruyere, plus egg and bacon rolls with egg mayo. Available 12pm-4pm daily priced £35pp or £45 with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV Champagne.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
6 Opera Afternoon Tea at Jumeirah Carlton Tower
Jumeirah Carlton Tower is celebrating the V&A’s latest headline exhibition – Opera: Passion, Power and Politics – with an operatic afternoon tea package. Available until 19 November 2017, the Opera Afternoon Tea features a selection of mini croissants filled with Brie de Meaux and grape chutney, bruschetta of fontina cheese, heritage tomatoes and basil and beetroot cured salmon on pumpernickel bread with quail’s eggs. The sweet stuff includes an Earl Grey tea and prune crumble tart, Medovik honey cake, a Mascarpone panna cotta and limoncello jelly, as well as a chocolate and praline gateau. Homemade scones, clotted cream and traditional preserves round things off. Served daily in the Chinoiserie lounge from 3pm-6pm for £45pp or £55 including a Don Giovanni cocktail, ticket to Opera: Passion, Power and Politics V&A and mini MP3 player preloaded with opera music that you can keep.
Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge SW1X 9PY; jumeirah.com
7 Farmacy’s Plant-Based ‘High’ Tea
Farmacy in Notting Hill has launched a 100% plant-based ‘High’ tea with a pot of hemp leaf tea on arrival. It’s the first London restaurant to serve CBD (Cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive constituent of the flowering plant cannabis, which is renowned for its feel good potential and health boosting benefits. The ‘High’ Tea will also include several of Farmacy’s home-made CBD chocolates and a tea-infused cocktail, as well as a selection of savoury plant-based treats including raw quiche filled with organic spinach ‘cream’, smoked carrot and chickpea blinis and pulled jackfruit and pickled chilli tacos. Desserts include strawberry and cashew mousse, lemon ‘meringue’ pie, plus banana and maca caramel cake, as well as warm scones with coconut clotted ‘cream’ and pineapple and apricot jam. The afternoon tea is free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. Many items are also gluten free or can be made as a gluten-free option on request. Served Friday-Sunday from 3.30pm-5pm for £35pp.
74 Westbourne Grove W2 5SH; farmacylondon.com
8 Pop Art Afternoon Tea, Timmy Green
Australian all-day diner Timmy Green in Victoria has launched a new bottomless Pop Art Afternoon Tea inspired by pop artist Peter Blake, the legend behind the famous album sleeve for the Beatles’ bestselling Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Served on limited-edition Peter Blake designed fine bone china, the afternoon tea will encapsulate the British design icon’s signature bold colour palette through a series of handmade delicacies including mini sandwiches like chicken with crispy bacon, pistachios and avocado cream. You’ll also enjoy Pop Biscuits with bespoke iced decorations showcasing Peter Blake’s world-famous motifs, date scones and a platter of desserts like rainbow sponge with fresh buttercream. Available Mon-Friday from 3pm-6pm priced £25pp, £30 with a glass of Prosecco or £45 with bottomless Prosecco for up to two hours when ordered for the whole table.
Timmy Green, Nova Victoria, 11 Sir Simon Milton Square SW1E 5DJ; daisygreenfood.com
9 Vegan Afternoon Tea at La Suite West
La Suite West’s Nosh Garden Kitchen has recently been refurbished and has launched a new wellness menu using superfoods and products that are additive, egg and preservative free, high in vitamin content, naturally flavoured, dairy and gluten free and not heat treated. You can also take the vegan delicacies out and about in your very own picnic hamper, should we enjoy an unseasonably warm day this autumn! Enjoy a selection of sandwiches, including Barbeque Tempeh with rocket salad and scrambled tofu with mustard cress, as well as scones, strawberries and the chef’s selection of desserts which vary daily, featuring the likes of chocolate brownies and carrot cakes. The Nosh picnic basket is £25pp (a pre-authorisation of £50 is required at the restaurant for guests to pick up the picnic baskets, which will be refunded once the basket is returned).
41-51 Inverness Terrace W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com
10 Il Tetto’s Italian Afternoon Tea on Selfridges’ Rooftop
Selfridges has just launched its latest rooftop restaurant collaboration with renowned restaurateur Des McDonald. Il Tetto, the new modern Italian restaurant, will offer brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner seven days a week. The Italian-style afternoon tea features hearty savouries like ciabatta toast with whipped salt cod, grilled focaccia with Sardinian ham and black fig and, of course, pizzetta margherita. There’s also a herb scone with ricotta, walnut and honey, plus fruit and plain scones with sour Italian cherry jam and clotted cream. The sweet stuff includes cannoli filled with fig jam and mascarpone, chocolate and hazelnut mousse, caramelised hazelnuts, a caramelised apple choux bun, orange and polenta sponge and lemon and ricotta cheesecake. Available daily from 1pm-6pm daily priced £28pp or £33 with a glass of fizz.
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB (express lift from the ground floor Fragrance Hall); iltetto.co.uk
11 The Hari Hotel’s Italian Afternoon Tea
The Hari Hotel, nestled in the heart of Belgravia, has launched a new afternoon tea with an Italian twist. Served in the hotel’s foodie hub – Italian restaurant il Pampero – ’Napolitea’ nods to its surroundings with both traditional and contemporary elements. Designed and crafted by The Hari’s pastry chefs, an array of sweets, include ricotta chocolate cannolos, bombolini (Italian filled doughnuts) and the impossibly light chocolate sfogliatelle. Mushroom and truffle arancini and classic bruschetta sit alongside refreshing melon and Parma ham for savoury bites. Guests will be fuelled with tea and for a boozy option, bottomless Prosecco is available. ’Napolitea’ will be available from 2.30pm – 5pm every Thursday – Sunday. Napolitea is £35 per person. Napolitea with Bottomless Prosecco is £45 per person. Please book 24 hours in advance.
20 Chesham Place, Belgravia SW1X 8HQ; thehari.com
12 Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at Sanderson
Sanderson relaunched its Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea earlier this year with new additions including the mocha chessboard gateau, chocolate and pistachio blue caterpillar, Alice’s cinnamon, apple and peach ‘Drink Me’ potion and Tweedle Dee lemon curd financier. Served in the hotel’s restaurant and courtyard garden, you’ll discover menus hidden inside vintage books and whimsically decorated sandwich plates filled with King of Hearts parmesan croque-monsieur, scones and smoked salmon Scotch quails eggs with caviar and cream cheese. Tailor-made-teas are inspired by the characters, like the ‘Alice’ China black tea, as well as a range of Perrier-Jouët champagne and Wonderland-themed cocktails. Served daily from £48pp (£35 for kids aged 4-11).
50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3NG; 020 7300 5588; morganshotelgroup.com
13 Aquavit London’s Nordic Afternoon Tea
Aquavit London, inspired by the cuisine of Nordic countries including Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, has launched a new afternoon tea drawing on the tradition of ‘fika’ – the art of the Swedish coffee break. The afternoon tea features an assortment of open sandwiches such as gravlax, shrimp skagen and venison tartare on rye bread, as well as traditional Swedish pastries like semla (cardamom buns filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream) and Punsch-roll (crushed cookies and punsch liqueur wrapped in marzipan then dipped in chocolate). There are also fluffy marshmallows dipped in chocolate and seven different types of cookies. Choose between three different afternoon tea packages: Fika Afternoon Tea (£27.50) with a choice of teas, Champagne Afternoon Tea (£39) with a glass of Ruinart Brut Champagne and Aquavit Afternoon Tea (£65) with a glass of Dom Pérignon plus freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves.
St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street SW1Y 4QQ; aquavitrestaurants.com
14 Cutter & Squidge’s Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea
Lose yourself in the depths of Genie’s lamp when you attend Cutter & Squidge’s new Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea. With deep colours of purple and gold covering the walls and ceiling, as well as ornate cushions and a glittering floor completing the look, you’ll truly believe you’ve been whisked off to a magical land as you delight upon the delicious treats provided. Their signature biskie has been transformed into a Golden Treasure Biskie, a double chocolate delight decorated with a filled pearl and covered in 24 carat gold. Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea is £29.50pp or £34.50 with a glass of bubbles (under 10s £14.50).
20 Brewer Street, Soho W1F 0SJ; 020 7734 2540; cutterandsquidge.com
15 R Chocolate London’s Afternoon Tea
R Chocolate, founded by self-confessed chocoholic Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, serves a classic Afternoon Tea at their new boutique chocolate shop in the heart of Belgravia. Enjoy a selection of afternoon delights created using only the highest quality ingredients, paired with a glass of Champagne Baron de Rothschild or, as a unique alternative, a chocolate sparkling wine from France. Chocoholic treat include a Grand Cru Mousse with Hazelnut Biscuit & Sea Salt Caramel Centre, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Strawberry & Champagne Mousse with Pistachio Biscuit, Scones with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Jam and the tea of your choice. £35pp or £45pp with a glass of Barons de Rothschild Champagne or CiaB (a French sparkling wine infused with chocolate).
198 Ebury Street, Belgravia SW1W 8UN; rchocolatelondon.co.uk