‘Tis the season for giving, but it’s nice to treat yourself too! What better way than heading out for a Christmas-themed afternoon tea with family or friends? The Resident picks London’s best Christmas afternoon tea experiences
Lead image: Christmas Afternoon Tea at London Hilton
1 Festive Afternoon Tea with Liberty London at The Langham
The Langham has partnered with Liberty to create a fabulous Festive Afternoon Tea. Taking place in the glorious Palm Court, the indulgent treat features feather-light scones and seasonally themed savouries including roast turkey sandwiches with apricot and marjoram stuffing on cranberry bread, and farmhouse Stilton with port and red onion chutney on walnut bread. Exquisite patisserie includes the Pining for Christmas – a light choux bun filled with a pine nut mousseline cream – Cinnamon and Spice, a lightly spiced sable pastry case with William pear compote and caramel cream – and The Yuletide Hymn, a French opera cake with layers of almond sponge, coffee syrup, ganache and coffee cream. All three are hidden beneath an intriguing Ivoire white chocolate cloche studded with crunchy cereal pearls. Available from 19 November 2018 priced £79pp including a glass of champagne.
1c Portland Place, Regent Street W1B 1JA; langhamhotels.com
2 Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Ritz
The Ritz’s festive makeover launches on Saturday 24 November when its spectacular Palm Court Restaurant will be transformed into an Edwardian winter wonderland. As well as admiring the lavish Christmas decorations, you can enjoy a festive afternoon tea to the sounds of The Ritz choir performing well known carols. In addition to the finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones and assortment of teas, there will be mince pies and festive pastries and cakes. The afternoon tea includes a glass of champagne for adults and a Ritz teddy bear for children. From £80 per adult and £50 per child (up to 15 years old). Available from 24 November-30 December 2018 at 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm sittings (excluding Christmas Day).
150 Piccadilly W1J 9BR; theritzlondon.com
3 Festive Lock & Co Afternoon Tea at The Sheraton Grand
The Palm Court at The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane is serving up a Festive Lock & Co Afternoon Tea in collaboration with its Mayfair neighbours, Lock & Co. Hatters – the oldest hat shop in the world. The pastry team has crafted each sweet on the new menu to replicate Lock & Co’s classic designs, such as the Bowler hat (black forest maraschino vanilla mousse with black cherry jam and chocolate brownie), and the Dick Tracy fedora hat (Mirabelle plum jelly and chestnut cream). There’s also a traditional Victoria Sponge, freshly baked plain & apple cinnamon scones, and a luxury selection of finger sandwiches including truffle-scented free range eggs with crème fraiche and watercress, and maple-roasted gammon with apple chilli jam. Enjoy the tea in the surroundings of the iconic Palm Court with free-flowing Chapel Down (£50pp) or a classic tea selection (£42pp). Available from 19 November-4 January.
Piccadilly W1J 7BX; palmcourtlondon.co.uk
4 Festive Afternoon Tea at The Savoy
The Thames Foyer at The Savoy is serving an opulent Festive Afternoon Tea featuring classic sandwiches with seasonal fillings like roast turkey with cranberry chutney on walnut bread, as well as savouries like a spiced pumpkin and ginger tartlet. Designed by The Savoy’s newly appointed Executive Pastry Chef, Daniel Pearse, the elegant selection of pastries includes a Christmas Bauble of salted caramel cremeux with tatin apples, a miniature sherry soaked Festive Fruit Cake topped with glistening candied fruits, and Hazelnut Macaron with vanilla ganache and textures of clementine. Enjoy it from 26 November-24 December 2018 for £68 or £85 with a glass of Louis Roederer Brut. You can even push the boat right out and enjoy it with a glass of Louis Roederer Cristal for £145.
The Strand WC2R 0EZ; savoychristmas.com
5 Christmas Afternoon Tea at London Hilton
London Hilton on Park Lane offers a cosy retreat from Hyde Park’s bustling Winter Wonderland. The Christmas Afternoon Tea at the hotel’s Podium Restaurant features three tiers of seasonal delights, including white chocolate ganache macaron, coconut and mango log, an iced shortbread snowman, raspberry and strawberry parfait, praline and milk chocolate sphere and a chocolate and mandarin tart. There’s also festive open sandwiches and freshly baked scones layered with a filling of your choice – praline chocolate spread, clotted cream or strawberry jam. Enjoy with Twinings tea or a glass of Pommery Champagne. Available weekdays 2pm-5pm and weekends 12.30pm-5pm from 22 November until 6 January, priced £39pp or £49 with a glass of champagne.
22 Park Lane W1K 1BE; podiumrestaurant.com
6 Festive Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych
The Snow Dome Christmas Tree – a 25ft white tree decorated with 130 snow domes – in One Aldwych’s Lobby Bar sets the perfect scene for their Festive Afternoon Tea. Created by Executive Chef Dominic Teague, the afternoon tea starts with a Cherry Delight cocktail or a glass of Lallier Champagne, followed by sweet-shop inspired treats such as mazipan chocolate milk, home-made candyfloss, gingerbread and white chocolate pops with violet popping candy, cocoa bean financiers and cinnamon glazed brioche bun. Warm scones, tea sandwiches and savouries round off the occasion, alongside a selection of seasonal Canton Tea infusions. £46pp or £54 including a glass of Lallier Grande Réserve Champagne or Cherry Delight cocktail. Available from 26 November-31 December.
1 Aldwych WC2B 4BZ; onealdwych.com
7 Festive Afternoon Tea at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch
Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch’s exclusive Festive Afternoon Tea menu offers a unique Nobu-style twist on the classic British tradition. Fantastic savoury dishes include beef tenderloin on a multigrain roll with schichimi miso mustard; tofu bun with truffle tofu cream & pickled tomato; and Snow Crab tempura with ikura on shokupan bun. Innovative sweet treats include Maraschino cherry and chocolate Christmas trees, coconut snowballs with white chocolate ganache, Santa Clause whisky macaroons, gingerbread ganache spheres, Rudolph chocolate tart with cremoso and a snowflake yuzu tart. Available daily from 12pm-5pm from Thursday 1 November priced £30pp with a choice of tea, coffee or a glass of Prosecco.
10-50 Willow Street EC2A 4BH; nobuhotelshoreditch.com
8 Biscuiteers Christmas Afternoon Tea
Biscuiteers limited-edition Christmas Afternoon Tea is a celebration of all things sweet and festive. The tea-time treat features a host of treats – such as freshly baked figgy scone with mulled winter jam, hand-piped Christmas pudding macaron, festive salted caramel brownie, coconut snow cake and mini frangipane mince pie – alongside some miniature versions of Biscuiteers most loved cakes and patisseries in seasonal flavours. The tea is served with English Breakfast Tea or hot chocolate and is available in both of the Battersea and Notting Hill Icing Cafes from 12 November until 31 December 2018.
13 Northcote Road SW11 1NG & 194 Kensington Park Road W11 2ES; biscuiteers.com