Scones with clotted cream and jam, crustless finger sandwiches, tea served in bone china…there are few things more quintessentially British than afternoon tea. London is full of places to tuck into tea and cakes, from the traditional teas at the city’s famous hotels to quirkier takes on the occasion. If you need to fill the gap between lunch and dinner or you’ve got guests in town and you want to show off, these are the best afternoon teas in London
Afternoon tea doesn’t come more traditional than at The Ritz. Served in the opulent Palm Court, the tea features classic finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and pastries, with a trolley featuring larger cakes being wheeled through for you to sample slices of too. Get the Ritz Royal Blend Tea in your cups and your pinkies in the air.
150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR
High Seas at The Landmark London
The Landmark London is a pretty stunning place to have tea thanks to that eight-storey high glass atrium and towering palm trees, but it’s even better thanks to the new Champagne Bar, which looks down onto the Winter Garden Restaurant. With the High Seas High Tea, afternoon tea gets a seafood spin, with savouries such as poached langoustine & black truffle tartlet, Cornish crab with avocado & pink grapefruit, and yellowfin tuna with ponzu on toasted rye, followed by scones and elegant desserts. There’s an extensive tea menu but it’s a Champagne Bar, so it’s only right to have a glass of fizz as well.
222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ
Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
The Berkeley makes sure its afternoon tea is always on trend by updating the offering to reflect the latest designs that have stomped down the catwalk at fashion week. Regular scones and tarts are out, Hermes bucket bag sponges and Moschino mousses are in.
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL
Palm Court at The Langham
The Palm Court was the first place to serve afternoon tea way back in 1865 so you can’t get much more classic than this. Chefs Michel Roux Jr and Andrew Gravett have kept things super traditional with smoked salmon, coronation chicken and cucumber & cream cheese finger sarnies, scones with seasonal preserves and pastries inspired by classic British biscuits like Digestives and Custard Creams.
1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA
Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London
Rosewood London has taken inspo from the immersive David Hockney exhibition for its latest afternoon tea. Feast on edible works of art based on Hockney pieces, like the pistachio, almond & cherry ‘The Arrival of Spring’; the Earl Grey chocolate bavarois, sponge & sable biscuit ‘The Splash’ and the purple-glazed vanilla cheesecake ‘A Bigger Picture’, alongside classic sandwiches and scones.
252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Afternoon tea at Sketch is held in the newly revamped Gallery – the pink decor and David Shrigley art has been replaced by a yellow colour scheme and works by Yinka Shonibare. The menu remains the same though so you can expect the likes of croque monsieur and coronation chicken finger sarnies, scones and sweet treats like exotic tarts, raspberry battenburgs and redcurrant & chocolate macarons. Don’t leave without snapping at least one selfie in the famous egg pod loos.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
Afternoon Tea at Farmacy
100% plant-based, dairy-free and refined sugar-free, the afternoon tea at Farmacy must be one of the healthiest you can get. It’s not all carrot sticks and lettuce leaves though, there’s BBQ jackfruit brioche buns, mushroom truffle pies, raw chocolate tarts and lemon poppy seed cake with cashew cream.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH