London’s Best Christmas Afternoon Teas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to celebrate than with some tea and cake? Many of London’s finest restaurants have given their afternoon teas a festive shake-up, with seasonal sandwiches, mince pies and mulled wine being thrown into the mix. So toast your teacups and enjoy some festive feasting at one of the city’s best Christmas afternoon teas.
Best Christmas Afternoon Teas in London
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
A trip to the Park Lane branch of the Four Seasons is always a treat – particularly so come Christmas time. Head to its chic Amaranto Lounge bedecked in twinkling lights and rich red decor for a festive afternoon tea featuring freshly baked scones with spiced seasonal jams, finger sandwiches and handcrafted pastries, to be enjoyed alongside specialty teas, champagne or (preferably) both. The service is immaculate, the pastries flawless and festive, and at a time where some spaces feel uncomfortably crowded or stressful and bustling (given the current climate), the Four Seasons lounge is spacious and calm; a tranquil break from London’s stresses. Best of all, the scones are served with a rich chocolate hazelnut spread for an extra layer of indulgence. From 18 November, from £46pp. fourseasons.com
The Dorchester really comes alive come Christmas time, with its majestic trees lining The Promenade – the perfect setting for a festive afternoon tea. Visit on a weekend to enjoy traditional carols as you dine on warm scones, pastries and finger sandwiches. There’s also special festive menus on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Afternoon tea ranges from £85-145 per adult, £45-65 per child, 3 December – 3 January. dorchestercollection.com
The festive afternoon tea at Strand Palace is served in the opulent art deco dining room at Haxells. Begin with classic seasonal sandwiches like turkey and cranberry, and salmon and sour cream, followed by sweet treats: highlights include Christmas cake choux buns and dome-shaped orange mousse. It’s all served in a hand-crafted Strand Palace Christmas tree too – a nice touch. £29pp. strandpalacehotel.co.uk
Pan Pacific London
Afternoon tea is given a Singaporean twist at recently opened hotel Pan Pacific London. Head to The Orchid Lounge for festive edition of its Kopi Tiam Afternoon Tea, which features Asian-inspired savoury options like mushroom bao, and curry puff with potato and carrot filling, followed by umami seaweed shortbread and matcha scones. Prefer to keep it traditional? The hotel also offers a Festive Traditional Afternoon Tea, complete with classic sandwiches, gingerbread hot chocolate and plain scones with clotted cream. 11 November 2021 – 10 January 2022. panpacific.com
One of London’s most iconic hotels, The Savoy knows how to do afternoon tea. Its festive offering begins with a mix of traditional finger and open sandwiches, with fillings including smoked scallop and oyster leaf, and Burford Brown eggs with truffle. Sweet treats, meanwhile, include the ‘Snowflake’: white chocolate ganache with spiced cherry compote, traditional Christmas cake and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam. Pair with the one of the hotel’s selection of 30 Jing teas or treat yourself to a glass of champagne while soaking up the elegant surroundings of Thames Foyer. From £75pp or £90 with a glass of Champagne. savoychristmas.com
With its spectacular Christmas tree and roaring fireplaces, The Lanesborough is the perfect setting for festive feasting. The Peggy Porschen Festive Afternoon Tea is served under the naturally illuminated domed glass roof of its restaurant, Céleste, with dishes featuring the pink Peggy Porschen aesthetic. Finger sandwich fillings include turkey and stuffing, honey roast pumpkin, and roast beef and horseradish, to be enjoyed alongside scones, clotted cream and jam. But the most exciting part here has to be the sweet treats: think gingerbread cupcakes, mince pie tartlets and a Christmas pavlova. £78pp including a glass of champagne. oetkercollection.com
With its Baccarat crystal chandelier, piano melodies and Richard Brendon hand-painted china, you’ll struggle to find a prettier afternoon tea setting than Corinthia London. Cakes are appetisingly presented on a trolley which is wheeled from table to table, with festive highlights including roast turkey and stuffing sandwiches, smoked salmon rillette, chestnut and cassis tartlets, spiced pear mousse and almond chocolate rocks – washed down with a glass of Laurent Perrier. £80pp or £90pp with a glass of champagne. corinthia.com
Served since 1910, afternoon tea at The Goring is classic in style, reflecting the iconic hotel’s dedication to tradition. Its festive edition is no exception, offering a selection of seasonally inspired finger sandwiches and sweet treats, including a classic yule log, a mince pie, and a ‘Snowman Dome’ comprised of a bergamot curd tart topped with meringue. Why mess with perfection? 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. £85pp, 27 November – 26 December 2021. thegoring.com
Gorge on pastries at The Ritz’ Palm Court, which transforms into an Edwardian winter wonderland for the jolly season. Choose from a big selection of fine teas specially selected by the Ritz Tea Master – the ‘Ritz Christmas Spice’ featuring orange peel, juicy apple and Christmas spices gets our vote. Indulge in mince pies and freshly baked feather-light pastries as you admire the huge Christmas tree. You’ll leave feeing warm and fuzzy (and full). £80 per adult, £50 per child (up t0 15 years old). theritzlondon.com
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