Afternoon tea

Best Bottomless Afternoon Teas

Food & Drink /


The quintessentially English tradition gets a fun twist

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We’re all well acquainted with boozy brunch now – but what about its civilised sister, bottomless afternoon tea? The growing trend allows diners to pair their sandwiches, scones and sweet treats with free-flowing tipples, whether that’s champagne or cocktails. Read on to discover the UK’s best offerings, from sophisticated teas in top London hotels to al fresco countryside affairs and even a bottomless boat cruise down the River Thames.

Best Bottomless Afternoon Teas

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum

Famed Mayfair hotel The Athenaeum is renowned for its traditional English afternoon tea, served in its stylish restaurant, 116 at The Athenaeum. For just £20, you can opt to have bottomless prosecco for 90 minutes, accompanied by an array of sweet and savoury treats. First up: a sandwich selection of course, with traditional fillings such as smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese; and Burford Brown egg mayonnaise with chives. Next you can tuck into a selection of cakes and pastries including yuzu and lime curd tart, rhubarb cheesecake, and chocolate and hazelnut mousse. Top it all off with a scone, served with a choice of raspberry or strawberry jam and clotted cream. For a break from the fizz, choose a brew from the extensive artisan teas menu, which includes a range of botanical infusions like mankua, red berry and Moroccan mint. On sunny days, you can enjoy all this from the al fresco terrace. £45pp plus £20 for free-flowing prosecco, athenaeumhotel.com

The Rubens at The Palace

Five-star hotel The Rubens at The Palace overlooks Buckingham Palace, so of course it’s an expert in afternoon tea. Its bottomless offering includes unlimited champagne alongside a selection of pastries, sandwiches and scones. On the savoury side there’s prawn cocktail and crispy shallots on brioche, and a luxurious twist on the BLT served slider-style with chilli jam, followed by a choice of traditional or honey and white chocolate scones. Pastries, meanwhile, include rhubarb and custard battenburg-style sponge, blackberry crumble, and lemon meringue with ginger coulis. From £78pp, rubenshotel.com

Horwood House

Afternoon tea at Horwood House

Toast to the Queen at Grade-II listed country hotel Horwood House in Buckinghamshire, which has launched a bottomless jazz afternoon tea to tie in with the Platinum Jubilee. Set beside the lily pond in the picturesque grounds of the hotel, the experience includes bottomless prosecco for two hours – made even sweeter with the sounds of live jazz. Festivities will begin with a selection of traditional sandwiches such as brie and caramelised onion, and duck egg with mayonnaise, followed by classic and fruit scones and Jubilee-themed sweet treats handmade by the hotel’s pastry chef. £49pp, book by calling 01296 722100 or emailing [email protected], horwooodhouse.co.uk

Bateaux London

Bateaux London

Cruise down the River Thames while sipping champagne with Bateaux London. The glass-walled boat offers a two-hour free-flowing afternoon tea experience, where you’ll be served sandwiches, cakes and fresh scones as you sail along the water. You have a choice of brut or pink champagne alongside a selection of loose leaf teas – plus there are live musicians on board. What more could you want from a Saturday afternoon? £99pp, bateauxlondon.com

Tonight Josephine

Tonight Josephine

With its glittering pink walls, neon signs and mirror ceilings, Tonight Josephine isn’t your typical spot for afternoon tea. The Instagram-friendly bar – of which there are now multiple branches across the UK – gives the tradition a millennial twist, treating its guests to bottomless Pornstar Martinis or fizz alongside all sorts of suitably extravagant treats, both sweet and savoury. This ‘Hot Gossip Afternoon Tea’ is available in both the Birmingham and the Cardiff venues. From £45pp, tonightjosephine.co.uk

Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals

A whimsical wonderland in the heart of Fitzrovia, Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals is a fitting spot for boozy afternoon tea. The greenery, botanical artworks and floral wallpaper will get progressively more magical as you knock back the cocktails – served here in teapots. Your group will have access to an endless supply of Mr Fogg’s champagne cocktail: A Flourishing Fizz, a concoction of Bacardi Spiced Rum, passion fruit juice, sugar syrup and Moët & Chandon champagne. Alongside this you’ll enjoy a selection of plant-based sweet and savoury dishes, all served inside a birdcage adorned with flora and foliage. £76pp, mr-foggs.com

The Cadogan

The Cadogan exterior

Sloane Street stalwart The Cadogan underwent a big renovation recently, bringing a modern Chelsea edge to the historic hotel. Afternoon tea here is served in The Lounge, offering a traditional afternoon tea menu amid elegant surroundings. Free-flowing fizz is available for 90 minutes, with your choice of Rathfinny’s Classic Cuvée, Taittinger’s Prélude Grand Cru Champagne, or Ruinart’s Brut Rosé. Sandwiches include chicken with tarragon mayonnaise on white bread, and smoked salmon on pumpernickel, alongside a stilton tart and chicken pâté en croûte. Sweet treats here are inspired by the life story of the hotel’s namesake, Sir Hans Sloane, a scientist, physician and collector who is remembered for his many voyages around the world – where he would discover many exciting flavours and ingredients. Highlights include a coffee and mascarpone éclair, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and dark chocolate mousse with Tonka cream. £60pp plus free-flowing drinks from £55pp, belmond.com

READ MORE:

Best Afternoon Teas in London / How To Drink Tea, A Very British Guide