Afternoon tea is a British tradition that is being pleasantly perpetuated by hotels, restaurants and cafés across London. Each one is trying to out do the other with different and delicious quirks that make the afternoon tea-drinking experience extra special. Whether you’re after a classic, elegant, view of the palace afternoon tea, or one with cats for company, we’ve selected the coolest and cosiest afternoon tea joints in London in celebration of National Tea Day 2018.
The quirky Alice In Wonderland-themed one
Enjoy a fantastical tea party with a friend at Taj 51’s elegant and vibrant Kona dining room as you savour a delightful Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved literary classic. This 5-Star hotel is formed of an impressive collection of townhouses at Buckingham Gate and boasts a quirky blend of period features, colourful artwork and unique peacock wallpaper. The uniquely inspired décor will certainly have you and your companion feeling as though you truly have fallen down the rabbit hole as you eat your way through this wondrous tea inspired by the famous characters. Choose a tea to start as you dive into an eclectic mix of finger sandwiches, from the ‘Alice’ to the ‘Fish Footman’, followed by the ‘Queen’s Recipe Drop Scones’, ‘Drink Me’ strawberry potion, ‘Pocket Watch’ bubble gum macaroon, the ‘Queen of Hearts’ mango tart and many more edible delights inspired by Alice’s Wonderland. You’d be a mad hatter to miss it!
The chocoholic one
Enjoy a luxurious champagne afternoon tea at one of London’s top hotels and live a chocoholic’s dream! Enjoy a sumptuous four course afternoon tea especially created by Anthony Marshall, the hotel’s renowned Executive Chef, all washed down with a glass of champagne each. The hotel is a member of the Tea Guild, serving tea from Harney and Sons which has been specially blended to create the perfect cup. Enjoy a course of classic British sandwiches before being served a selection of scones, then freshly made beautiful pastries and finally the chocoholic’s dream – a course of miniature fancies!
The luxury one
Harrods is an iconic London institution, famed for its high-quality products, elegant settings and faultless service; its Georgian Restaurant boasts all three and has been satisfying customers since 1913. You will both be treated like royalty from the moment you enter with this exceptional afternoon tea for two. You will be met by staff and seated at an impeccable table before being served a luxurious version of the quintessentially British treat: a range of finger sandwiches, tea pastries, fresh scones with clotted cream, fragrant rose-petal jelly, tangy lemon curd and sweet strawberry preserve. These will be accompanied by the unlimited loose-leaf tea of your choice, to be taken from Harrods’ extensive menu. The service at this famous venue is second-to-none, with nothing too much trouble; you will have around two hours to enjoy your food, service and surroundings at your leisure, so treat someone special to an unforgettable experience today.
The quintessentially British one
Treat yourselves to an elegant and traditional British treat in one of London’s most exclusive and lavish locations with this afternoon tea for two at The Capital Hotel. This 5 star boutique hotel is set just moments’ walk from the iconic Harrods in gorgeous Knightsbridge – home to some of the capital’s most rich and famous celebrities and features a Michelin starred restaurant, as well as having been awarded the Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence 2013, the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 and dubbed one of the best Small Luxury Hotels of the World! It definitely doesn’t get any more well-recommended than that. You’ll be treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea in the hotel’s beautifully furnished Sitting Room, where you’ll tuck in to a delicious selection of sandwiches, sweets and scones, as well as your choice of loose-leaf tea, and be treated like royalty.
The one with the cats
Feline lovers delight! You’ll love this quirky afternoon tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, the capital’s first cat café! Situated in Bethnal Green, Lady Dinah’s provides a calm escape away from the busy streets, where you and your companion can get to know the friendly, furry residents as you indulge in afternoon tea. Watch the cats play or relax around your feet, as you tuck into a delicious selection of seasonal savoury treats, fresh scones with the usual suspects; clotted cream and jam, fresh pastries and cakes, served with a choice of coffee, tea or soft drinks.
The royal one
Overlooking Buckingham Palace, The Rubens brings royalty right to your table! Since Queen Victoria became hooked on the oh so satisfying afternoon tea it has been a quintessential British tradition, an experience that exudes class and sophistication. Where better to experience this traditional treat than the opulent palace lounge? You’ll feel like part of the Royal Family as you tuck into a delicious selection of treats inspired by the sweet favourites of Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, and Prince Harry. From Her Majesty’s much-loved jam pennies to the Prince’s love of chocolate biscuits, as well as red velvet cake, and aromatic teas such as Darjeeling and Earl Grey – this experience is fit for a Queen!
The bottomless one
What better way to indulge in Champagne afternoon tea than in complete style and luxury! Grosvenor House Hotel, with its tranquil atmosphere and elegant interiors, offers everything you’d expect from a 5-Star hotel in the heart of London. Welcoming and attentive staff will have a quintessential British feast prepared especially for you in The Park Room, boasting stunning views overlooking Hyde Park and set in a typically British stately home environment. You’ll sample a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, warm scones with preserves, scrumptious cakes and pastries. This is all topped off perfectly with bottomless Champagne – perfect for toasting a special occasion!
The boat cruise one
Pass under the magnificent Tower Bridge, see the buzzing Southbank, marvel at The Shard and gaze up at Big Ben from the river – all the while tucking into delicious sandwiches, scones, pastries, and refreshing tea for two! There’s no finer way to see London than whilst bobbing along on the River Thames. Background music is provided by a pianist tinkling the ivories as you cruise along this world-famous river, taking in the sights and being served traditional treats and a pot of tea. Don’t forget your camera, as this river cruise on the magnificent Harmony affords incredible and unique views of London landmarks. There is something very relaxing about getting out on the water and away from the bustling throngs of tubes and buses, to experience an altogether more civilised way to travel.
The one with the great cathedral visit
Step into London’s skyline and discover the secrets of St Paul’s Cathedral with a friend or loved one and find out more about the Baroque dome that withstood two world wars and became a national icon. Multimedia guides are on hand to give you more information should you want it; you’re welcome to join a guided tour but rest assured, whether independently or as part of a group, there’s much to see. You’ll get to visit the crypts and climb the dome itself: inside, 528 imposing steps lead to one of the most breath-taking views in London, as well as three fascinating galleries. Next up on this amazing experience for two people is a traditional afternoon tea at The Swan bar and restaurant, set over two floors in the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe and with stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s! Soak up the culture of the incredible building as you enjoy tea, scones and all the trimmings.