Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? Woo your significant other with one of these indulgent high tea menus, featuring heart-shaped cakes, rosé champagne and even some indulgent vegan options
Lead image: Dominique Ansel Bakery’s Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea
1 Alice’s Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences has launched a brand new Alice in Wonderland-themed Afternoon Tea. The Alice’s Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea will be served in the hotel’s Kona restaurant, presented on Alice in Wonderland crockery and a glass checkerboard. Beautifully designed pastries include the Off With Their Heads (the Queen of Hearts recreated as a banana moelleux with a raspberry crémeux dress), No White Roses (a red velvet cupcake topped with ‘half painted’ roses and chocolate ganache) and the Running Late (a macaron styled as a strawberry pocket watch with milk chocolate piping). The sandwiches, from classic Coronation chicken to smoked salmon, have been designed to replicate playing cards and the Queen’s soldiers. Available from 3 February priced £45 with sittings at 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm (vegetarian and vegan versions available).
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster SW1E 6AF; taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk
2 Vegan-tine Afternoon Tea at Café Forty One, Hyde Park
Café Forty One at La Suite West Hotel – the first vegan French patisserie in London – is offering a special romance-themed plant-based afternoon tea this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy sandwiches such as Coronation jackfruit, tofu mayo with cress, and ajvar with rocket, with heart-shaped vegan-tine chocolate tea cakes, seasonal cakes and pastries and scones. Plus, since it’s a Leap Year, for all genuine marriage proposals made in Cafe Forty One over Afternoon Tea on Sunday 29 February, the hotel will offer a complimentary overnight stay in a Junior Suite (T&Cs apply). Served daily from 10 February-1 March, priced £35pp.
41-51 Inverness Terrace, Hyde Park W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com
3 Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, Piccadilly
The Ritz is inviting you to treat your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a Rosé Champagne afternoon tea in its luxurious Palm Court restaurant. Choose from a variety of 18 loose-leaf teas and indulge in a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and delicious pastries. There will also be live music, creating a romantic ambience for this special occasion, and guests will receive a beautiful red Ritz rose to take home. The tea will be served on Friday 14 February across four sittings, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm & 7.30pm, priced from £90 per person including a glass of rosé champagne.
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly W1J 9BR; theritzlondon.com
Nothing says romance quite like high tea the Dorchester’s glorious The Promenade. The tea features delicate pastries, freshly-baked scones and a chilled glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, as well as a selection of Valentine’s Day inspired pastries such as rose and Tahitian vanilla macaron, crème fraiche mousse with a cherry centre on jasmine green tea sponge, and a chocolate sable with dark 64% Grand Cru chocolate ganache. Every guest will also receive a beautiful Dorchester Rose – a new variety created by Meijer Roses of Holland – as a gift to take home. The rose will be showcased throughout the floral displays in The Promenade. Available from 14-16 February, priced from £80pp with a glass of champagne.
Park Lane W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com
5 Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Marylebone
Serving afternoon tea to the cream of London since 1865, the dazzling Palm Court at The Langham will be offering a bespoke version of the afternoon tea tradition. Enjoy a selection of indulgent finger sandwiches, such as peppered roast ham and truffled brie and radicchio on brioche, as well as classic and raisin scones served with Cornish clotted cream, and like the Mont Blanc 2020 (chestnut sponge, marrons glace, rum chantilly and meringue) and Yuzzzz (tonka mousse with yuzu jelly and rice krispies). The Valentine’s afternoon tea will be served with a glass of rosé champagne from 14-16 February from £79pp.
1C Portland Place, Marylebone W1B 1JA; langhamhotels.co.uk
6 Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at Conrad London St James
Conrad London St James is embracing the spirit of Valentine’s Day by adding some delicious treats to its indulgent afternoon tea. Enjoy romance-inspired cakes such as a raspberry macaroon cake with lychee pâte de fruit & tonka bean chantilly cream, served with rose champagne. You can also expect an eclectic range of teas, selected from around the world, as well as traditional finger sandwiches, freshly-baked cakes, pastries and scones. Served in the hotel’s enchanting Emmeline’s Lounge will be serving Valentine’s Afternoon Tea priced £45pp or £60pp with a bottle of rosé champagne to share between two.
22-28 Broadway, Westminster SW1H 0BH; conradhotels.com/london
7 Valentine’s Day Champagne Afternoon Tea on City Cruises, Tower Pier
City Cruises famous afternoon tea on the Thames will take on a romantic twist this Valentine’s Day with a glass of champagne on arrival, live music and a red rose offered to every couple booking the package. Light sandwiches, a range of cakes and pastries, and scones with jam and cream will be served, as well as unlimited tea and coffee. The two-hour cruise will take you past iconic sights such as The Shard, a full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s 16th century warship, the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and WWII warship HMS Belfast, so do head to the upper deck for a 360-degree view. Departing from Tower Pier at 2.45pm on 14 February, priced from £42pp.
Tower Pier EC3N 4DT; citycruises.com
8 Royal Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair
Brown’s Hotel is serving a special Valentine’s Day afternoon tea in the Drawing Room this February to mark the day of love. The famous Mayfair hotel is offering a Royal Afternoon Tea featuring sandwiches, scones and delectable pastries, all topped off with a glass of Rosé Champagne and a special gift from bespoke, high-end jewellers House of Garrard. The House of Garrard is also offering a VIP appointment at its Albemarle Street store which includes a tour around its private Tiara room – a treat normally reserved for the most important of VIPs. Available from 14-16 February priced £75pp. To book call 020 7518 4006 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BP; roccofortehotels.com/browns-hotel
9 Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason has been perfecting the art of the afternoon tea for centuries. This year, the institution is inviting guests to celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon with a special themed menu. Diners will be treated to an array of sandwiches and freshly baked scones, presented with clotted cream along with Fortnum’s Strawberry Preserve & Lemon Curd. You can also expect some delicious patisserie, including a chocolate heart dipped in red chocolate, topped with a rose petal, and an indulgent rose, raspberry and lychee filling. Available from 14-16 February priced from £60pp.
4th Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, St James’s W1A 1ER; fortnumandmason.com
10 Tea at Tang’s at China Tang, Mayfair
Tea at Tang’s is a delicious dim sum-based afternoon tea for those as into the savories as the sweets. As well as savoury and sweet steamed dim sum treats, the tea features butterfly prawn toast, tiger prawn on deep fried bread with sweet and sour sauce and vegetarian spring rolls. Desserts include chocolate dumplings, yuzu tart with pistachio crumble and passionfruit mille feuille. Priced £46pp with a pot of single-origin premium tea and the option of adding a glass of champagne from £17 or tea-based cocktail for £16.
53 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1QA; chinatanglondon.co.uk
11 The Picasso Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London, Holborn
Rosewood London, known for its spectacular art-inspired afternoon teas, has launched the Pablo Picasso afternoon tea to coincide with the opening of The Royal Academy’s newest exhibition, Picasso and Paper. Rosewood London’s Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins, has taken inspiration from Picasso’s most notable works. Enjoy delicacies such as Oh Those Guitars, alluding to the popular guitar motif manifested throughout Picasso’s work and made of light and airy sponge infused with colourful orange blossom and honey ganache, and The Dream, inspired by Picasso’s 22 year old mistress who he painted one afternoon in 1932, taking on the form of a delectable Valrhona Jivara chocolate mousse with orange genoise and mango jelly with passion fruit. Available daily from 3 February-31 August priced £65pp or £75pp including a glass of Ruinart Brut.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
12 The Chelsea Courtyard’s Pink Afternoon Tea, Chelsea
The Chelsea Courtyard is serving a Valentines afternoon tea adorned with foliage carefully selected by The Chelsea Gardener’s flagship store, and served up with pink bubbles. Freshly baked scones loaded with clotted cream and jam will be accompanied by traditional sandwiches and bite-sized sweet treats, including a coconut, mango and passionfruit panacotta, caramel cheesecake and triple chocolate squares. Priced £39 per couple with sittings at 2.30pm & 4.30pm. Plus, the bar team has created two limited-edition cocktails, available for Valentine’s weekend only, including a Love Potion (Ketel One vodka, raspberry and strawberry puree, lemon & lime juice and egg white) and Fifty Shades of Pink (Gordon’s pink gin, tonic, glimmer sugar, prosecco and with a rhubarb heart to garnish).
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT; thechelseacourtyard.com
13 Mr Ma’s Afternoon Tea at The Academy Hotel, Bloomsbury
If your lover is a thinker, treat them to Mr Ma’s Afternoon Tea at YTL Hotels’ elegant Gower Street property, The Academy, which pays homage to the hotel’s literary connections to Bloomsbury. The Academy is inspired by The Bloomsbury set, with interiors reflecting the casual exuberance, style and bonhomie for which this area of London – regarded as the literary, cultural and intellectual heart of the capital – is known. One of the most important Chinese authors of the last century, Lao She’s novel, Mr Ma and Son, has inspired The Academy’s quintessentially English High Tea with an Asian twist. Dishes include ginger and cinnamon scones with Devonshire clotted cream, Chinese egg tarts and sesame Jian Dui dough balls. The five Georgian townhouses brim with personality, unique quirks and corners making it perfect for a cosy and indulgent Valentines date. From £25pp including a glass of prosecco (a gin afternoon tea is also available).
21 Gower Street, Fitzrovia WC1E 6HG; theacademyhotel.co.uk
14 Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at London Hilton on Park Lane
Park Lane remains one of London’s swankiest addresses, so why not show off a little this Valentine’s Day and treat your significant other – or your gal, for ‘Galentine’s Day’ – to afternoon tea at London Hilton on Park Lane? The hotel’s restaurant, Podium, offers an impressive afternoon tea selection featuring marinated prawns, chocolate chip scones with salted caramel spread, and strawberry and passion fruit pastry domes topped off with a chocolate heart. Available from 3-16 February (Mon-Fri from 2pm-5pm and Sat-Sun from 12.30pm-5pm) priced £39pp or £49pp with champagne. Afterwards, why not head to the legendary Trader Vic’s Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar, located in the hotel’s basement, for one of their famous Mai Tai cocktails?
22 Park Lane W1K 1BE; 3.hilton.com
15 The Love Swing Installation at The Ivy Chelsea Garden
From Friday 7 February, The Ivy Chelsea Garden’s entrance will be adorned with a beautiful installation inspired by Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s painting of the iconic love swing. Step into the whimsical display surrounded by an abundance of pale pink and peach roses – perfect for an enviable Valentine’s Instagram moment or a cheeky #Galentines post with friends. In further celebration, The Ivy Chelsea Garden will also be adding two new Valentine’s Day themed cocktails and a limited-edition sharing dessert to its menu. If a full-on afternoon tea is a little much, share The Ivy’s Roses are red, berries are too dessert instead – a white chocolate cheesecake with raspberries, strawberries and rose petals (available from 13-16 February priced £16.95. Team it with Valentine’s cocktails like the Rose Fizz, made Lanique Spirit of Rose & Ivy Collection Champagne, or the Rose Petal Martini, with Lanique Spirit of Rose, Plymouth Gin, Lychee juice and dashes of Peychauds Bitters (available from 10-16 February from £9.75).
197 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5ED; theivychelseagarden.com
16 Valentines Afternoon Tea at The Egerton House Hotel, Knightsbridge
Spoil your loved one this February with a specially themed Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at the luxurious Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. As well as a selection of freshly cut sandwiches – including organic smoked salmon on Cape seed loaf, roast ham and English mustard on brown bread, Coronation chicken on granary bread and, of course, cucumber and cream cheese on sundried tomato bread and – you’ll be treated to a selection of special Valentine’s cakes, such as the heart-shaped shortbread and chocolate rose brownie, raspberry and champagne posset, and vanilla and strawberry cupcake. A choice of fine loose-leaf teas and home baked plain and fruit scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves are also included. Available from 10-16 February priced £48pp (vegetarian option available).
17-19 Egerton Terrace, Knightsbridge SW3 2BX; egertonhousehotel.com
17 Royal Afternoon Tea at Rubens Hotel, Westminster
The Palace Lounge at The Rubens Hotel is one of the most perfect locations to enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea thanks to its luxurious design. But the hotel is making it even more special this Valentine’s Day, with a royal upgrade inlcuding a complimentary box of chocolates and champagne. The pastries, crafted by talented pastry chef Sarah Houghting, include a gin and tonic macaron (the Queen’s favourite tipple), a lemon and elderflower cube (an ode to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding cake showcased in a baby box to honour little Archie), and Earl Grey and chocolate orange crown jewels. The special afternoon tea is priced from £55pp and available from 13, 14 & 15 February.
39 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS; rubenshotel.com
18 Dominique Ansel Bakery Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea, Belgravia
Award-winning Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel has shaken up the pastry world with his innovation and creativity, and now he’s turning his attention to Valentine’s Day with five savouries and four sweets available for the whole month of February at his Belgravia bakery. A selection of heart-shaped sandwiches are served as savouries with fillings including Smoked Salmon with Dill and Yuzu Crème Fraiche, Pepper Pastrami, Celeriac Rémoulade and Dijon Mustard and Beetroot Chutney and Sumac Breckland Egg Salad, while sweets include Angel Wings (basil mascarpone cream, lemon jam & almond sponge), Cupid’s Arrow (milk chocolate mousse, sour cherry and devil’s food cake sponge with white chocolate swirl) and Love Heart (coconut ganache, passionfruit curd & lavender meringue). Plus, chef Dominique’s unique oval scones will be accompanied by heart shaped truffles filled with cream and strawberry jam that burst when spread onto the warm fluffy scones. Available until 1 March at 2pm and 4.15pm from £42pp.
17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia SW1W 9RP; dominiqueansellondon.com