Yinka Ilori Bulgari Hotel Afternoon Tea

The Best Afternoon Teas in London

Food & Drink /


Because you can never have enough finger sandwiches, tea and scones...

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Afternoon tea is quite possibly the most British of all institutions. But once in a while, an egg and cress sandwich and a scone need a little jazzing up. These are the current best afternoon teas in London, from the traditional to the innovative to the quirky. 

Child-Friendly Afternoon Teas / Recipe: Peggy Porschen Cupcakes

The Best Afternoon Teas in London

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Yinka Ilori afternoon tea at Bulgari Hotel London

The Yinka Ilori Afternoon Tea at Bulgari Hotel London

Yinka Ilori and the Bulgari Hotel – has there ever been a cooler collaboration? The acclaimed British-Nigerian artist is partnering with the Knightsbridge venue to reimagine its afternoon tea as a sculptural work of art, tying in with his exhibition at the Design Museum. That means artistic pastries created alongside award-winning Italian chef Gianluco Fusto, such as a choux pastry filled with pistachio mousse, presented on specially designed afternoon tea stands. An artwork created for the occasion will stand as a recurring motif throughout the hotel, from the vibrant window façade to the linen napkins, which are available to purchase as a giftset. From £95pp. bulgarihotels.com

Jumeriah Carlton Afternoon Tea

The Carlton Tower Jumeirah

One of the world’s best pastry chefs, Jessica Prealpato, has crafted the afternoon tea offering at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah. Designed as a tribute to nature, and inspired by Kew Gardens, the menu celebrates seasonal ingredients, with twists on classic British dishes. Begin with sandwiches including lobster and caviar tartelette, and smoked salmon with wild garlic crème fraiche, followed by a selection of scones – nettle scones with strawberry marmalade, and a charcoal rosemary variety. Finish with a beautiful patisserie array: choux pastry with toasted hazelnuts and praline, a raspberry and tarragon shortbread, and a chestnut honey madeleine with puffed pumpkin seeds. Pair with one of the many teas on offer, from oolong to matcha and chamomile, or a glass of fizz from the extensive champagne menu. From £75pp. jumeirah.com

Afternoon tea stand with champagne

11 Cadogan Gardens

Sit back and relax with a spot of afternoon tea at 11 Cadogan Gardens. Located just a stone’s throw from Sloane Square, the hotel is a peaceful oasis in the centre of London boasting quintessentially British charm. The afternoon tea experience upholds all of this character, served in a quirky sitting room with large windows, big, cushy chairs and historical-themed paintings covering the walls. The menu itself is nothing to scoff at either, boasting a spread of classic sandwiches (think coronation chicken, cucumber, and ham and mustard), scones with jam and clotted cream, and a selection of sweet treats (the banoffee slice is a must). Wash it all down with a piping hot cup of English Breakfast – or champagne, if you have something to celebrate – and cosy up by the fireplace. Served Monday to Sunday between 2pm and 6pm, priced from £45 per person. 11cadogangardens.com

Tipple Tea - afternoon tea spread with cocktails

Tipple Tea at Rockwell

A slice of calm in the buzzy streets of Trafalgar Square, Rockwell is known for its killer cocktail menu and tasty nosh. But this spring, the restaurant is pushing the boat out with a twist on the classic afternoon tea. If you can bear to part with the teapot, you’re in for a treat with the Tipple Tea menu, which serves up a selection of savoury and sweet treats alongside paired cocktails. Start things off with the Victoria (Earl Grey-infused Tanqueray 10, lemon-infused Mancino Rosso, Campari and teapot bitters), which is complemented by the smoky chipotle pulled beef sliders and baked camembert sourdough. This is balanced nicely with the sweeter flavours found in the Miranda (Ketel One, green chartreuse, Calvados, pressed bramley apple juice, bitter sweet apple and cardamom shrub and candy floss), which you can sip on as you tuck into mini choux buns and peach tartelettes. Delicious flavours are abundant here, and you’re guaranteed to leave feeling much merrier than when you came in. Served Wednesday to Saturday, priced from £48 per person with alcoholic cocktails, and £36 per person with non-alcoholic drinks. trafalgarstjames.com

Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

The summer Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley features a collection of couture cakes inspired by designers, from Saint Laurent to Schiaparelli. Highlights include an orange gown inspired by Oscar de la Renta, topped with meringue frill, alongside a handbag from Michael Kors, created as a Victoria sponge with fresh strawberry jam, wrapped in a chocolate cylinder. Gucci’s pink silk tuxedo, meanwhile, has been reimagined in bourbon vanilla mousse and Emmanuel sponge, and Lanvin’s floral platform heels have been made from chocolate biscuit piped with royal icing. Spring Summer season of Prêt-à-Portea runs from Monday 11th April 2022 and is served from 1pm – 5.30pm every day, priced from £64 per person. the-berkeley.co.uk

Luxury Regency Tea @ Drury Lane

Regency Afternoon Tea at The Lane

Situated in the newly reopened Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Lane has become quite the hotspot for theatre lovers. This season, get a taste of a new Luxury Regency Afternoon Tea (by Lily Vanilli, dubbed ‘THE baker of London’), which you can savour in the beautiful Grand Saloon. The venue, which boasts a pastel backdrop of pink and green, shimmering chandeliers, stucco ceilings and imposing neoclassical columns, should be an entry on any tea-lover’s bucket list. The afternoon tea menu features flaky puff pastry sausage rolls, roast bacon lardons (with a cider vinegar deglaze), and warm sugar-topped scones, brought to the table with salted whipped butter and an array of cream and jam. £99 per person for the Luxury Regency Tea, served daily in the Grand Saloon. thelane.co.uk

Review: The Lane

The Stage The Londoner

The Londoner Hotel

Poised on Leicester Square, The Londoner, London’s most hyped new hotel, promises a chic afternoon tea. Whether it’s a pre-theatre indulgence (you’re spoilt for choice The West End) or a necessary energy boost post-National Gallery, head to the champagne bar of the lobby, known as The Stage, for an impressive spread. Expect all the traditional British favourites: on the savoury side, sandwich fillings include smoked salmon and Devon crab, and lemon-roasted chicken with truffle mayonnaise. Next up is freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, followed by an array of beautifully crafted pastries, such as the English Rose, a blackcurrant and pear pudding with shortbread and almond detailing. The tea can be paired with champagne as well as fresh loose leaf teas from The East India Company. To top it off, the experience will be accompanied by live music on The Stage’s grand piano. £65pp or £80pp with a glass of champagne. thelondonerstage.co.uk

Holy Carrot launches exclusive Afternoon Tea with Amelia Windsor

Holy Carrot x Amelia Windsor

It’s been more than 150 years since Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford complained of ‘having that sinking feeling’ during the late afternoon before dinner (or as we know it: the 4 o’clock slump). Her special solution of tea and snacks have become what we know as British afternoon tea. Fast forward to today, Knightsbridge’s Holy Carrot and Amelia Windsor are joining forces for their 2021 take on this classic British custom.

Opulence and plant-based treats go hand in hand on this menu. Guests will be treated to decadent pastries such as Lemon Tart with Vegan Italian Meringue. Those on the more savoury side of life won’t be disappointed either, Purple Potato Croquette anyone?

Served from 2 November, from Tuesdays to Saturdays 3pm-5pm, £40 per person, www.holycarrot.co.uk

Four Seasons afternoon tea

Rotunda at the Four Seasons

Although you can’t beat a classic afternoon tea, there’s something about a well-themed experience that tips the scales. And The Four Seasons at Trinity Square’s new Crown Jewels afternoon tea is a real treat. Set in the hotel’s opulent, golden Rotunda, complete with live pianist, the tea is inspired by the Crown Jewels, which are housed a stone’s throw away at the Tower of London.

Traditional-with-a-twist finger sandwiches kick off the experience, with classics like egg mayonnaise given an umami twist with added truffle, and cucumber a punchy flavour with mint. They were followed by father-light scones that come with a selection of Devonshire clotted cream and seasonal jams and curds. Finally, it was time for the Four Seasons pastry chef, Sylvain Nicolas, to show off his skills, with a selection of cakes inspired by the Crown Jewels, including a cherry and liquorice macaron topped with a silver jewel, a lemon meringue choux with hazelnut streusel and lime jelly, and, finally, the centrepiece: a single origin Madagascan Manjari chocolate tart in the shape of the British crown, with Sansho berry and fresh raspberries, topped with gold leaf. An afternoon tea fit for royalty, indeed. Served in the Rotunda daily between 2pm and 5pm, £40, fourseasons.com

Great Scotland Yard Afternoon Tea

Great Scotland Yard

The Parlour at Great Scotland Yard have teamed up Floris London to serve Bouquet de La Reine, a new afternoon tea experience. Inspired by Her Majesty’s signature fragrance, the multi-sensory experience is designed to guide guests on a journey through history, nobility, and perfumery. Alongside the usual offering of scones and sandwiches, guests can dine on an assortment of seasonal tea pastries and cakes – including rose and pistachio drizzle cake, mango and jasmine macarons, and blackcurrant and yogurt gateaux. A selection of teas from the Rare Tea Company and Ruinart Champagne will also be available. Served from 1pm until 5pm, £50, hyatt.com

Petersham Nurseries Afternoon Tea

Petersham Nurseries

Set amongst a backdrop of lush garden foliage, Petersham Nurseries’ new Garden Afternoon Tea celebrates the natural world with a seasonal take on classic teatime. Served on a Florentine style hand-blown glass cake stand, afternoon tea is a simple but delicious affair. The savoury selection consists of crispy sourdough with prosciutto, roasted red pepper tartlet, goat’s cheese on fruit loaf, and focaccia with fior de latte. Those with a keen sweet tooth can tuck into buttermilk scones with clotted cream and house-made preserves, as well as meringue with charred Petersham grapes and tarragon syrup, lemon polenta cake, and cherry and almond tart. Served Friday to Sunday from 12.00pm to 2.45pm. Afternoon tea can be booked for up to 12 guests. To book, please call 020 8940 5230. petershamnurseries.com

Biltmore Hotel Afternoon Tea

Biltmore Hotel

For an afternoon tea full of luxury and decadence, head over to Biltmore Hotel Mayfair on Grosvenor Square. The Biltmore’s Afternoon Tea was created by Head Chef Paul Walsh and is overseen by Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton, highlighting the best of British tradition and fresh produce. Think raisin scones with clotted cream, Kent strawberries with vanilla chantilly, and chocolate mousse served with Scottish raspberry jelly. Wash it all down with freshly brewed tea or a glass of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Champagne. Guests can even see where each component comes from with the hotel’s beautifully illustrated map – a lovely touch that connects guests with the wider culinary community. From £45, lxrhotels3.hilton.com

Afternoon Tea at The Langham

The Langham

The ultimate way to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week? Head to the place it all began. Afternoon Tea was thought up by one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, Lady Bedford, and The Langham popularised the tradition by being the first hotel to feature the meal on its menu when it opened in 1865. This year, The Langham introduces its modern spin on the tradition, tapping into the archives of Britain’s favourite biscuits and tarts, reimagining the classics to be perfectly paired with a JING tea (perfect for a biscuit dunk). Created by Chef Michel Roux Jr and Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Gravett, the biscuit-inspired tea menu is perfectly rounded off with a glass of English sparkling wine from Gusbourne for a thoroughly British treat. Afternoon Tea at The Langham starts from £62 per person, langhamhotels.com

La Vie En Rose, Ladurée Covent Garden

La Vie En Rose, Ladurée Covent Garden

If you’re missing summer jaunts to Paris for rosé and macarons, you’ll find the next best thing in London’s Covent Garden this summer. The pink-themed afternoon tea is the most enticing offering from Ladurée’s La Vie en Rose partnership with Maison Mirabeau; a celebration of femininity, playfulness and all things pink. The tea includes four finger sandwiches, two scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, Ispahan, rose petal and raspberry macarons and the star of the show, a La Vie en Rose patisserie. Best enjoyed with a glass of Mirabeau rosé, naturally. From £42. laduree.co.uk

Rosewood London Yayoi Kusama afternoon tea

Rosewood London’s Art Afternoon Tea

The latest art afternoon tea from Rosewood London is inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s much-awaited exhibition at Tate Modern. Available in the hotel’s Mirror Room, the experience will combine Japanese flavours with traditional French pastry, presented as three courses. Begin with yuzu avocado and keta caviar finger sandwiches before getting stuck into the trio of pastries: a tonka caramel cup, a peach and jasmine macaroon and a cherry blossom cheesecake. Last but certainly not least is the Kusama cakes, which are inspired by artworks. ‘Flowers That Bloom at Midnight’, for instance, evokes images of a midnight sci-fi garden, made with tropical coconut mousse, strawberry yuzu jelly and matcha green tea sponge. rosewoodhotels.com

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea The Shard

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at aqua shard

Transport yourself to Neverland via aqua shard’s new afternoon tea, inspired by J.M Barrie’s legendary novel. Think Tinker Bell-shaped cookies and crocodile jellies served on a pirate ship-inspired tea stand, alongside Fairy Dust cocktails – all enjoyed alongside panoramic city views. Served Thursday – Sunday from 12.15 – 4.15pm, from £52pp. A children’s version will also be served. aquashard.co.uk

Joël Robuchon at Swan's Bar

Swan’s Bar at Maison Assouline

The beautiful Swan’s Bar at Maison Assouline is introducing a new addition to its menu: an afternoon tea created by Le Deli Robuchon. Raspberry macaroons and chocolate praline slices sit alongside finger sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber, mustard and ham – to be enjoyed with a choice of tea and optional glass of champagne. £57 with champagne, £45 without. maisonassouline.com

Laudree afternoon tea

Burlington Arcade’s Tea for Two

The answer to socially-distanced afternoon tea, Burlington Arcade has launched a new cream tea experience in partnership with Ladurée and Moet & Chandon Champagne, to be enjoyed either at home or at a beautiful London park nearby (namely Green Park and St. James’s). Comprising of four fluffy scones to be laden with Ladurée strawberry jam and clotted cream, as well as four macarons of your choice, Ladurée’s signature blend tea and a bottle of Moet & Chandon fizz, the limited edition afternoon tea package can be purchased from Ladurée directly and enjoyed following a stroll through the historic 19th-century Arcade. £60 for Cream tea for 2 with champagne. burlingtonarcade.com

The Connaught

An afternoon spent at Mayfair’s The Connaught is enough to brighten anyone’s day. Throw in a champagne-infused afternoon tea in the artsy Jean-Georges dining room and you won’t want to leave (partly due to being so gloriously full). Spoiled for choice, guests can choose from an assortment of 15 exotic teas, from a rare vintage Darjeeling Beauty to Fuji-yama, an earthy green tea grown near Mount Fuji. Finger sandwiches come in a range of five different flavours and fillings – think salt beef and turnip, cucumber and Greek yoghurt – but the moreish egg & truffle of fluffy white bread certainly tops them all. Sweet treats are just as delicious in appearance as they are to eat; a light bergamot and lime sponge cake adorned with candied ginger and whipped cream and an indulgent hazelnut praline and milk chocolate rocher with ‘The Connaught’ elegantly emblazoned on top were my pick of the beautiful bunch. The pièce de résistance however came in the form of two buttery penguin-shaped shortbread biscuits, ready to be dipped into a glass of warm chocolate fondue. Lest not forget the scones, plain and wholemeal raisin, both warm and to be served with lashing of home-made strawberry or pineapple jam, and of course Cornish clotted cream. For those looking to add a little glamour and grandeur to their experience, opt for a glass of Champagne Laurent-Perrier, which the warm and attentive staff are more than happy to top up if you so wish. £55pp or £65 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier ‘La Cuvee’. the-connaught.co.uk

The Wolseley Best of British

The Wolseley

You can’t help but feel that you’re a ‘someone’ from the moment you step inside the classic and timeless Wolseley, which is a British institution in itself. Where better, then, to enjoy a ‘Best of British’ Afternoon Tea? The Wolseley offers just that – featuring individual Victoria Sponges and Sherry Trifles alongside traditional scones with clotted cream and homemade jam. You won’t find jazzed-up finger sandwiches, either – they stick to the classics for a reason. Traditional fillings of Coronation Chicken, Beef and Horseradish, Cheddar and Pickle, and Smoked Salmon are delightfully nostalgic while being of unquestionably superior quality to what you grew up on. A place so good, AA Gill wrote a whole book about it – and this Afternoon Tea is another excellent (and delicious) chapter in The Wolseley’s ever-glorious repertoire. From £29.75pp, daily. thewolseley.com

Cadogan's by Adam Handling

Cadogan’s by Adam Handling

An afternoon tea experience has launched at the recently opened Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea, designed by award-winning restauranteur Adam Handling. The menu is inspired by happy memories at Adam’s grandmother’s house, designed to evoke nostalgia and feelings of warmth – of course, with an elegant touch. Savoury offerings include sausage rolls with brown sauce and salt cod croquettes, alongside a selection of traditional sandwiches such as roasted chicken with lemon thyme mayonnaise on malt bread. Sweet delights, meanwhile, are inspired by the story of notable scientist, collector and traveller Sir Hans Sloane, in honour of the building’s historic location on Sloane Street. Quintessential British ingredients are set alongside international elements: desserts include a Granny Smith apple & lemongrass cremeux, a white chocolate & raspberry mousse, and a passion fruit curd tart. Tea offerings are equally exciting, with an extensive selection available from Newby Teas, including two signature Adam Handling assam and breakfast blends, available exclusively at the hotel. To celebrate the launch of the new Matthew Williamson range from Newby Teas, a special offering will be available throughout Afternoon Tea Week, with pastries including Orange & Lemongrass Cremeux, Passion Fruit Curd Tart with Coconut Mousse and Salted Caramel Sacher with Milk Chocolate Chantilly. Served daily from 1.30-5.30pm. £55p, an extra £25 for bottomless Champagne. adamhandlingchelsea.co.uk

Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Salon

Fortnum & Mason

An institution since 1707 and still one of the best, Fortnum & Mason’s iconic afternoon tea is an absolute must-try. It’s finger sandwich, cake and scone heaven, with trademark eau de nil china and the biggest selection of fine teas you will ever see. Tea experts are on hand to help you choose – and be sure to pick up a pack to take home, too. They’re now offering afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange, too. Available for £60pp. fortnumandmason.com

The Savoy's afternoon tea

The Savoy Hotel

Regarded as the heart of the The Savoy Hotel, the Thames Foyer has been serving its quintessentially British afternoon tea for over a century. An elegant menu pays homage to traditional classics with a modern twist, including a selection of open and closed sandwiches including English cucumber and green pea hummus on mint bread, and Berwick-upon-Tweed crab, caviar and dill on brioche bread. Alongside this, the expert pastry team – spearheaded by Simona Spennati – creates an array of signature Savoy cakes and pastries, such as a chocolate fudge cake made with 70 per cent chocolate buttercream. Guests can pick from a selection of champagne and sparkling wine, as well as an extensive collection of over 30 teas. Traditional afternoon tea at the Thames Foyer is priced at £65 Wednesday-Thursday and £70 Friday-Sunday, with additional charge for guests enjoying a tipple or two. thesavoylondon.com

London Landmarks Afternoon Tea at Town House at The Kensington

London Landmarks Afternoon Tea at Town House at The Kensington

This London-inspired afternoon tea takes inspiration from historic and iconic landmarks around the city such as a telephone box, Big Ben, The Gherkin and The Shard, with treats including a rhubarb mousse, lemon curd tart, bridge rolls and more. £42pp or £54.50pp with a glass of Champagne. townhousekensington.com

The Goring Afternoon Tea

The Goring

Served since 1910, Afternoon Tea at The Goring in Victoria is particularly special. As the only hotel to hold a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen for hospitality services, you can be absolutely certain that everything upon your visit will be impeccable. The afternoon tea is classic in style, reflecting The Goring’s dedication to tradition as the only luxury hotel in London still owned and run by the family that built it. Why mess with perfection? Expect dainty and delicate finger sandwiches, homemade scones and pastries, and unparalleled service. Enjoy your tea in the garden during the summer months for a quintessentially English experience. From £49pp, every day. thegoring.com

Chesterfield Mayfair Sweet Afternoon Tea

The Chesterfield Mayfair

If you’re looking for a child-friendly afternoon tea option in London, look no further than the Chesterfield Mayfair’s The Original Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea. With pastries and cakes the flavour of retro sweetshop favourites, delicious chocolate-chip scones and a host of savoury treats, it’s a must-try for both adults and children with a sweet tooth. Highlights include the Coca-Cola slice, the enormous peanut-butter cup and the fizzy apple mousse. And of course, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the retro sweet cart manned by the in-house Candyman who will help young guests fill a bag with old-school penny sweets and pick-and-mix favourites. Younger guests can enjoy the afternoon tea served alongside a milkshake or tea, priced at £21.50. Adults can opt to add a glass of something sparkling with the Champagne Tea (£47 per person), including a glass of brut, rosé or white label Lanson Champagne. For £40pp The Original Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea is served with loose leaf or flowering tea, coffee or hot chocolate. chesterfieldmayfair.com 

Hotel Cafe Royale

Hotel Cafe Royal

Just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, the Hotel Cafe Royal’s ‘Queen of Afternoon Teas’ celebrates the history of the historic English tradition of afternoon tea, within the opulent Oscar Wilde Bar. The Queen of Afternoon Teas has been curated to pay homage to British monarch Queen Victoria, as 2019 marks her 200th anniversary. Enjoy a sumptuous menu that features ingredients and dishes that came into fashion during her reign, including some of her personal favourites, accompanied by teas, champagne, and a live pianist. The Queen of Afternoon Tea is available daily from 12-5:30pm by reservation only, £55 per person. hotelcaferoyal.com

The Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersand Hotel

Set in the gorgeous light-filled (and velvet armchair-scattered) Drawing Rooms at the Ampersand Hotel, the hotel’s new take on the famous Science Tea launched earlier this year. A grown-up twist on the neighbouring Science Museum-inspired menu, this new addition includes a cocktail flight, and is to be served between 6pm-9pm Thursday to Saturday. Drinks on offer include Darwin’s Draught – with Lalani & Co Earl Grey infused Chase vodka, Kamm & Sons, cucumber, apple and ginger – and Marie Cure-All – Lalani & Co Premium Genmaicha infused rum with Aperol, Antica Formula & Amer Picon – all suitably scientifically presented, in smoking teapots and the like. This is a novelty afternoon tea done really, really well, with seriously good food (the cheddar and thyme scones served with truffle butter are the star) and a really clever drinks menu. £49.50pp. ampersandhotel.com

The Landmark Afternoon Tea

The Landmark

Afternoon tea at The Landmark is served in their Winter Garden, a beautifully light and airy glass-roofed atrium complete with palm trees. Sandwiches are traditional: think smoked Scottish salmon, organic egg mayonnaise and mustard cress, and coronation chicken on walnut bread, followed by a delectable selection of desserts – our top pick is the hazelnut and coffee opera cake. From £45pp, £52pp with a glass of champagne. landmarklondon.co.uk

The Dorchester

The Dorchester

Another classic afternoon tea spot on the London scene is The Dorchester on Park Lane. Serving one of the finest in the city for over 85 years, head pastry chef Sarah Barber is constantly adding new treats to the menu. Their Traditional Afternoon Tea features a signature Dorchester blend tea as a palate cleanser, then to follow a selection of sandwiches on artisan breads and delicate pastries and scones to finish. The hotel is renowned for its beautiful floristry, which serves also as inspiration for new creations such as the Mayfair Rose mousse and Berry Blossom compote. It’s by far one of the prettiest High Teas in town. From £65pp, daily. dorchestercollection.com

Ametsa Afternoon Tea at COMO The Halkin

COMO The Halkin

Set just off the bustle of Hyde Park Corner is the tranquil sanctuary of COMO The Halkin, a luxury hotel where the British tradition of afternoon tea gets an exciting (and very welcome) twist, courtesy of the Basque Country. As opposed to the classic cucumber finger sandwiches, you’ll find savoury treats take multiple shapes and forms here; savoury foams, creamy croquettes and crispy txistorra granary sandwiches. Reflecting the skill of the hotel’s kitchen of Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, the afternoon tea offers Michelin-starred cooking in itsy-bitsy proportions – all beautifully presented and served with a succinct but informative description from your server, of course. Following a brief intermission you’ll be presented with a platter of almost too-pretty-to-eat miniature desserts, among which include a delightful Catalan cream, passion fruit cheese cake and a mango torrija – sweets so delicious you won’t miss the traditional scones and jam. Like any good afternoon tea, COMO The Halkin puts an equal emphasis on the latter part of the custom’s name, and with the recent launch of their bespoke tea pairings by Tea Leaves, you won’t be left wanting for choice. Alongside the standard options, you’ll find herbal infusions, green, and white teas, as well as a bold Mountain Berry one that’ll make you reconsider your usual English Breakfast. For something with a little more oomph, opt for COMO’s specially designed cocktail menu curated in associated with NOVELTEA, a spirit which masterfully blends tea and botanicals to produce wonderful combinations like gin with earl grey, or oolong with red rose petals, papaya and mango flakes. Afternoon tea at COMO The Halkin reaffirms the adage that sometimes tradition needs a shake up. Available daily, from £40pp or £44pp with a NOVELTEA cocktail. comohotels.com

Ten Trinity Square Afternoon Tea

The Four Seasons, Trinity Square

Whilst you sit in the grand Rotunda in the company of London’s élite, the staff at The Four Seasons Trinity Square make it so you don’t have to lift a finger. From the moment you walk in the grand entrance you’re greeted by blissful live piano music, awe-inspiring architecture and highly attentive staff. The newly-launched Heritage Tea is inspired by the buildings’ history as the old Port of London Authority and begins with a refreshing palate cleanser. From then on, the champagne is chilled, the tea is hot, and the decadent food served on themed crockery adds to the alluring journey. This classic London landmark is the height of elegance, and with its beautiful food (as pleasing on the eye as it is on the palate), Champagne buzz and light chitter-chatter in the background, it makes for a most soothing and comfortable afternoon that could easily turning into evening… Available daily, from £40pp. fourseasons.com

The Stafford Afternoon Tea

The Stafford

Tradition lies at the heart of this establishment as one of the oldest hotels near to Buckingham Palace – and its afternoon tea is no exception. Served in the Game Bird room, expect immaculate, old-school service from the charming team who are particularly knowledgeable on their wide selection of loose teas (we recommend the White Apricot). Small touches are key: there are both plain and raisin scones, the teapots and jugs are perfectly-polished silver and the sandwiches are crustless (of course). The fillings transport you back to childhood picnics – cucumber and cream cheese, roast beef with horseradish and egg mayonnaise. Their selection of top-tier delights includes The Stafford’s twist on the Jaffa Cake and a feather-light strawberry and cream macaron. Moët by the glass is the cherry on top of this classic hotel that gets afternoon tea just right. From £45pp. thestaffordlondon.com

Corinthia Afternoon Tea

Corinthia Hotel London

Truffled egg mayo sandwiches? Rhubarb and tonka bean jam? Irish coffee éclair? All our favourites with a twist. Corinthia London recently launched their new afternoon tea menu, served amidst glorious fresh flowers and to the sound of the grand piano in the Crystal Moon Lounge. Make sure you keep a lookout for Nigel, the charming Crystal Moon Lounge Manager who can tell you the story behind the bespoke William Edwards teacups and the red crystal in the heart of the chandelier. The experience begins with the antique champagne trolley being wheeled over to your table, and continues in the same sumptuous style until the very end. Having gorged on sandwiches then scones with cream and jam, you probably won’t be able to fit in all of the cakes and delicacies. Luckily, your delightful waitress or waiter will box up any that you can’t finish and you can trot off, a Corinthia bag full of goodies swinging by your side. Traditional Afternoon Tea costs £55pp, Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £65pp, and Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £75pp. corinthia.com

Claridges' Hotel London.

Claridge’s

Is there any place as quintessentially English as Claridge’s? Over 150 years, the esteemed hotel has perfected the art of afternoon tea. None of the gimmicks, all of the flavour; you can expect excellent food and a faithful rendition of this English ritual. Choose from 24 loose leaf teas served in jade-and-white striped china. Raise a toast to tradition and tuck in to tiny treats. From £70pp. claridges.co.uk

Sketch

Sketch

The latest place du jour for the fashion crowd happens to house the prettiest afternoon tea out there. So pretty and thoroughly pink the interior (by India Mahdavi) is a confection of dainty scalloped chairs and plush banquettes, witty bespoke ceramics by British brand Caverswall in collaboration with David Shrigley, and over 200 illustrations jostling for space on the dusty pink walls. Every bit the Marie Antoinette dream you imagine, Sketch embodies her famous saying, ‘let them eat cake’ with its afternoon tea menu. Featuring caviar and quail’s egg sandwiches, and all too beautiful pastries, Sketch is a must visit parlour of pink and frivolity. Corset and humongous wig optional. Daily, from £58pp, 11.30-3.30pm. sketch.london

Farmacy_HighTea_02

Farmacy

In keeping with their daily menu Farmacy’s High Tea is all plant-based, meaning “free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals”. Rest assured though, you’ll still savour every delicious bite. The little fancies are beautifully presented on a three tier stand that’s appropriately decorated with foliage. On the savoury side think spinach and mushroom quiche and smoked tofu and truffle sandwiches, while sweet treats include CBD truffles, cinnamon and orange ‘cheesecake’ and apple pie with berry pavlova. From £50pp.  farmacylondon.com

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Sanderson

The Sanderson

For an afternoon tea with a difference, fall down the rabbit hole to Sanderson’s Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. A little gimmicky, but in the best possible way, this fun afternoon tea offers delicious teas (which are also available to purchase) named after Lewis Carroll’s characters, from Alice to The Queen of Hearts; delicate patisseries and cakes; excellent savoury options with a difference (the parmesan croque-monsieur was a highlight) and lovely, crumbly scones. There’s also a host of themed cocktails and drinks to be enjoyed with your tea, in case you needed any further persuading. From £48pp (excluding service and dependent on choice of drink accompaniments). Available daily. morganhotelsgroup.com

Palm Court Principal

Palm Court at The Principal

Try not to pocket the handsome crockery at this new opening, or lose your dignity asking for a goodie bag with the abundance of elaborate cakes. Palm Court at the majestic Principal Hotel on Russell Square, is polished splendour at its best, a vast atrium alive with plants and flanked by two charming courtyards. The expected rituals of afternoon tea are performed with traditional panache, steering guests through classic to exotic teas, a truffle potato soufflé, a light sandwich trio, scones and puddings. Contemporary twists on old favourites, from matcha scones to beetroot bread play to the wellness crowd while the old-timers can expect mouth-watering cream teas and a selection of puddings resembling more ‘work-of-art’ than pastry. In colder months, their warming open fire will be a welcome pairing. From £38pp. palm-court.co.uk

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