Afternoon tea is a must in London. It doesn’t get more british that that so we’ve listed our top 5 favourite spots in various price categories where you can enjoy some high tea. First however, a bit of history! Afternoon tea was a result of Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford feeling a bit peckish around four o’clock and thus starting to ask for a pot of tea and a light snack being brought to her room in the afternoon. Later she started to invite friends and the practice quickly spread to other social hostesses and it wasn’t long until the upper-class and society women spent the afternoon nibbling sandwiches and sipping tea in the drawing room while dressed in long gowns, hats and gloves. Today though, the idea of Afternoon tea is enjoyed by everyone and anyone although the concept of high tea and the places we will list below is probably not something you’ll do every day but once in a while it’s a nice treat and to be fair most British Hotels will offer an afternoon tea so if you don’t think any of the ones we’ve mentioned will suit you, just pop in to the nearest hotel and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Nothing beats an afternoon tea at the Ritz, you simply can’t get a more traditional British experience than that since it’s been serving its afternoon tea since its opening in 1906. The afternoon tea is served in the Palm Court and as always the service at The Ritz is immaculate. Be aware though as The Ritz has its dress code, one is expected to dress for tea which means no jeans, sportswear or trainers for men but a jacket and tie. The tea will include a selection of finger sandwiches, raising and apple scones and cakes. If you’re here for a special occasion such as a birthday you can also pre- order a birthday cake (the chocolate one is to die for) as a special treat. Make sure you book in advance though as this is a continuously popular spot.
Address: The Ritz, 150 Picadilly, W1J 9BR
Cost: £52, or £68/person for a champagne afternoon tea
The afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel has to be one of our favourites. At a reasonable price you get a beautiful selection of finger sandwiches as well as savoury treats before you move on to your scones and cakes. Served in the Soho based trendy hotel’s restaurant and drawing room this is a great spot for a little break while shopping. Should the weather allow they also serve the tea in their tree filled garden and if you’re doing a typical “London” day and finishing your day off with a musical then this is just a stone throw away from all the major theatres.
Address: Ham Yard Hotel, One Ham Yard, W1D 7DT
This afternoon tea won the Best Themed Afternoon Tea at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2016 and it’s not difficult to see why! This Alice in Wonderland inspired afternoon tea will have you discover menus hidden inside old books, plates decorated with ticking clocks, carousels and bird cages as well as teapots embellished with kings and queens. Although it’s a themed afternoon tea the experience follow a traditional, although inventive, afternoon tea menu with savoury treats and specialty sandwiches followed by the sweets. The hotel itself is cool as well, maybe you’d want to snap a quick pic sat in their bright red lip shaped sofa in the entrance?
Address: The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG
For an afternoon tea in beautiful settings you should head to Sketch and immerse yourself in the scalloped plush pink chairs and we’d say, start your afternoon tea off traditionally with a glass of rosé champagne. Then you’ll be served gorgeous finger sandwiches followed by scones served with fig and strawberry jam and finished with delicious pastries and cakes. As the artistic place Sketch is there are over 200 illustrations fighting over wall space which will keep you busy during your afternoon tea and as if that wasn’t enough you have to do a quick loo run before you go so you don’t miss out on their egg shaped individual toilets.
Address: Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Tea-Tox at Brown’s Hotel– the healthy indulgence
If watching your diet and staying healthy is what stops you from indulging in a traditional afternoon tea you won’t have to worry about the calories at Brown’s Hotels Tea-tox. The healthy afternoon tea is made out of low-card, low-fat and low-sugar substitutes and is served in the English Tea Room. The chef has kept to the style of a traditional afternoon tea albeit you’ll see no scones but don’t worry there’ll be plenty of other delicious option to replace them. If you’re going with friends that still would like the traditional afternoon tea this is the ultimate spot as they do serve traditional afternoon tea as well!
Address: Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
So, which one will be your choice?