Afternoon tea is a distinctly British tradition and there’s nowhere better to indulge than in one of London’s grand luxury hotels.
Whether you’re treating someone special with a full champagne afternoon tea or fancy sandwiches and cakes in a glamorous setting, read on for our choice of the best afternoon tea in London.
Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley
Fancy a Miu Miu tote bag, Christian Louboutin shoes or Dsquared strapless dress? Then visit The Berkeley for the summer Pret-a-Portea afternoon tea collection where the creations of famous designers are turned into sweet treats, served on exquisite Wedgwood fine-bone china.
Prêt-à-Portea is served in The Caramel Room at The Berkeley priced at £41 per person (£51 including a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne).
Claridge’s is the perfect place to indulge in afternoon tea, which is served right at the heart of the hotel in the grand and elegant foyer, which exudes luxury and style.
There’s a selection of 30 teas from all over the world and they use exclusive tea-infused jam and Devonshire clotted cream.
The Ritz London
Afternoon tea at The Ritz is a bit of an institution and it is incredibly popular – The Ritz now offers five sittings every day, starting at 11:30am with the last one at 7:30pm!
Afternoon tea is served in the Palm Court area in the middle of the hotel’s grand lobby – dress up (men, put on a jacket and tie) and make a glamorous afternoon of it.
Aqua Shard is now offering afternoon tea in its Tea Wing and Atrium as part of its venture into all-day dining (they’re now also serving breakfast).
Chose from a vast selection of teas from the Rare Tea Company to accompany a fine spread of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, homemade jams, Jersey clotted cream, homemade cakes and sweet treats.
Classic afternoon tea is available between 3pm and 5pm for £29.50; Aqua Shard also offers Champagne afternoon tea for £40, which includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot ‘yellow label’ Brut Champagne.
The Lobby at the Corinthia
The Corinthia Lobby Lounge is a light, airy and chic setting to enjoy an afternoon tea, and at £35 per head (with a glass of Laurent Perrier for £45) it is value for money and superior to a great number of its 5* contemporaries across the capital, without the month-long waiting list.
Claire Clarke, who worked as at the celebrated French Laundry in Napa is the consultant and in-house cake maker, making this one of the best afternoon tea in London.
Mad Hatters at Sanderson Hotel
Sanderson has launched a brand new Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea in collaboration with Shoreditch based design collective Luna & Curious.
The tea has a mix of British food and bespoke, English made ceramics with a large dash of eccentricity. Tea varieties are presented in dainty glass caddies, complete with dancing ballerina sugar boxes, with a Victorian jelly trolly circulating the heated terrace.
The Pantry at 108 Marylebone
Minutes from bustling Oxford Street you can find a little haven in the form of Pantry at 108. Pantry at 108 is a light and airy space with plush, colourful seating and a decadent afternoon tea offering of classic, healthy (gluten free) and indulgent.
Chose from a selection of fragrant loose leaf tea to accompany freshly cut finger sandwiches, homemade scones, Devonshire clotted cream, conserves and a selection of French pastries. The indulgent afternoon tea comes with Rosé champagne and strawberries. Classic and healthy afternoon tea costs £28 and indulgent is £38.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury
Bea’s offers great value for money afternoon tea in a small, friendly and ‘buzzy’ café environment. The cakes taste as good as they look, and not many people leave without taking home at least one cupcake.
In a light and airy room with the sound of a baby grand piano in the background, Brown’s offers a selection of 17 teas, including their own blend, accompanied by friendly and attentive service.
If you’re looking for the best afternoon tea in London, Brown’s was awarded the ‘Top London Afternoon Tea 2009′ award by The Tea Guild and offers a selection of high-end teas from Lalani & Co.
The Parlour offers fine cakes, sandwiches and tea in a grand setting with a cool and quirky vibe. There is a no reservation policy, but any wait will be worth it.
The Capital hotel is unmistakably British, and the sitting room is an ideal setting for afternoon tea. Given the pedigree of the hotel and the restaurant, this is great value for money in a beautiful setting.
Afternoon tea in the drawing room of The Cadogan hotel is now accompanied by an exclusive collection of works from The Kings Road Art Gallery, where you can combine your love of art with your afternoon treat.
Offering an unusual setting for afternoon tea, tucked in next to the famous auction house, Sotheby’s café is small, elegant, great for people watching and surprisingly good value.
The Mandeville Hotel
The Mandeville Hotel features a men’s afternoon tea, designed to be an alternative to the standard business meeting or a respite from a shopping excursion, offering ‘man sized’ portions, a selection of games and a range of whiskies as well as champagne and tea.
If you liked this top 10 feature on the best afternoon tea in London, why not read our guide to the best brunch in London, the most romantic restaurants in London or the best alfresco restaurants in London?
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