Afternoon Tea

The C&TH Guide to Afternoon Tea

Back in 1840, the Duchess of Bedford revealed her penchant for enjoying mid-afternoon tea and snacks in her bedroom, to satisfy her hunger ahead of dinner. The ritual quickly caught on, and grew into one of our most beloved national traditions: afternoon tea. To this day, the concept remains endlessly popular across British hotels and restaurants, usually involving a mixture of sweet and savoury treats alongside tea and the occasional glass of champagne. Here we bring you the very best afternoon teas in London – from the traditional to the alternative, plus a selection of child-friendly options. Fancy giving it a go at home? Don’t miss our DIY afternoon tea guide, and make sure you’re drinking tea the right way beforehand using our tea-drinking guide. We’ve also got lots of suitable recipes – including how to make the perfect scone – alongside an edit of British tea sets to serve your creations on.