...Places for Afternoon Tea
“Quintessentially British, Afternoon Tea is a treat not to be missed. And if most places insist on offering Champagne as well as tea, so be it. ”
No one will deny that the nonpareil host of Afternoon Tea is The Ritz, where the tradition is an institution in itself. I don’t need to say more about this exquisite venue except that it’s not to be missed. Tea at The Berkeley is an unsurprising favourite; known as Prêt-à-Portea, it's for fashionistas and girls-about-town, with the cakes and pastries taking inspiration from the season's catwalk trends. Following closely behind, The Langham Hotel is considered the ‘Michelin Star’ of the tea world. In the luxurious and elegant ambience of the Palm Court, enjoy an excellent selection of nibbles and extremely knowledgeable, friendly service. If accolades are of importance to you, The Dorchester has been named London’s top Afternoon Tea venue by the Tea Council of Great Britain a record three times. Here, your warm scones will be made from a recipe unchanged for over half a century and served with glistening strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream.
Also scoring top marks, The Lanesborough, Knightsbridge, and The Landmark Hotel have both been awarded The Tea Guild Award of Excellence 2010 by the UK Tea Guild, in recognition of their achieving the very highest standards in the service of Afternoon Tea. The Landmark offers a variety of themed teas such as The Winter Garden Traditional Afternoon Tea, Chocolate Afternoon Tea and Glutenfree Afternoon Tea, promising something for everyone (to tantalize you, some include a glass of Taittinger Champagne).
Enjoy Le Tea en Rose in the Rose Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel, St James. Featuring a very feminine décor with a subtle colour scheme of pink and cream, deep wool rugs and a fifties chandelier, the Rose Lounge will see you enjoying your afternoon in a delicate and fresh ambience complemented by displays of fresh roses and the gentle plucking sounds of a harp.
At Brown’s Hotel, a Baby Grand Piano plays all day in The English Tea Room which served as the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’. Choose the perfect tea for you from a selection of 17, with gentle guidance from two Tea Sommeliers. Succulent finger sandwiches and an assortment of delicate pastries round off the perfect Tea experience.
You may start to develop quite a large one, but your cup has no bottom at The Foyer at Claridge’s, and you can enjoy the endless flow of tea in a stunning room alongside the likes of princes, politicians and pop stars. Enjoy the gentle live music and the award-winning Afternoon Tea experience of pastries and savories, light, crusty scones and rich clotted cream. You can also rub elbows with royals in the Park Room and Library at Grosvenor House, Mayfair. Here there is something for everyone and children can enjoy their very own Afternoon Tea treat with Grover’s Tea Time (cuddly Grover available to take home).
If you are tired of tradition and looking to shake things up, Yauatcha walks on the wild side of Afternoon Tea. Alongside tea flavours like white and macaroon, this Michelin-starred restaurant also provides exquisite and unusual cakes for the full exotic experience. The Met Bar takes Afternoon Tea into the realm of the funky. Beautifully presented low-gluten scones and cupcakes, wheat-free macaroons and no-bread sandwich pots allow for a guilt-free yet infinitely delicious cream (without the cream) tea experience. Finally, Afternoon Tea at The Parlour at Sketch holds beautiful little cakes served in quirky style amongst the striking decor.
The Rose Lounge, Sofitel Hotel St James
The Met Bar