London’s 10 Best Afternoon Teas

You simply can’t talk about visiting London without talking about the best places for afternoon tea. It is a quintessential London experience and today I’m here to share the best places to drown yourself in scones, tea, and other sweet indulgences.

gallery-tea-palm-court

Best for a glamorous affair: The Ritz

Afternoon tea has been served at the Ritz since its 1906 opening and that sense of heritage is partly why it remains so popular in London today. Served with precision in the hotel’s ornate Palm Court, the tea includes the requisite finger sandwiches with smoked salmon, roast ham et al, alongside fresh raisin and apple scones and cakes on a tiered cake stand.

The Shard Sky High Tea

Best for the view: Ting Restaurant, Shangri-La at The Shard

If you want to enjoy afternoon tea in a casual, non-traditional setting, it’s hard to top (quite literally though) the The Shard’s sky high tea. The view is spectacular and food is exceptional. It is a little pricier than your average high tea, but it’s hard to complain  whilst you’re sipping tea in an open-air sky deck, 72 floors up, with 360-degree views over London.

mad-hatters-afternoon-tea

Best for a Themed Party: Mad Hatters Tea Party at The Sanderson Hotel

It’s a fun twist on the traditional high tea, but certainly wont leave you disappointed. Discover menus hidden inside vintage books, teapots adorned with kings and queens, sandwich plates decorated with birdcages, carousels and ticking clocks upon which rest savoury, specialty sandwiches.

Pret-a-portea

Best for fashion enthusiasts: The Caramel Room at The Berkeley

The Berkeley hotel’s “Prêt-à-Portea” is anything but traditional. You’ll find colorful, eclectic creations inspired by this season’s runway looks (think: vanilla shortbreads modeled after an Alexander McQueen shoe, and chocolate-wrapped sponge cakes inspired by an Anya Hindmarch bag).

The Foyer at Claridge's

Best for extravagance: The Foyer at Claridge’s

The iconic Foyer is one of London’s must see hot spots, so it would be only right to take a traditional afternoon tea amid Claridge’s Art Deco splendour. For over 150 years, the hotel has been serving scones, pastries, and classic sandwiches—smoked salmon with caviar, cucumber and cream cheese—on its signature jade-and-white-striped bone china to nobles and VIPs.

london bus afternoon tea

Best for sightseeing: London Bus Afternoon Tea

A double decker bus will drive round Central London, taking in some of the City’s best sights, whilst you can indulge in the fabulous Afternoon Tea. Capture the heart of the city’s culture and history whilst sipping on a lovely cup of tea and enjoying the exquisite tastes of France, whilst looking out on some of London’s most famous landmarks. High tea accompanied with an array of tasty sandwiches and delicious cakes and pastries.

Best for a contemporary feel: The Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Set in a futuristic, light-filled restaurant with a undulating roof, this afternoon tea is all about the cool and modern vibe. There’s wooden blocks instead of traditional tiers which are topped with canapé-style savouries and sweet treats. It’s quite the work of art.

Best for British classics: Espelette restaurant at The Connaught

The Connaught is renowned for it’s attention to detail and sophistication from the moment the doorman greets you. Just remember to book a table for the front room, as the back room doesn’t share the same views or atmosphere.

Best for tradition: Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason

One of London’s most famous institutions for Afternoon Tea, the history of Fortnum & Mason reaches back to 1707 and since that time it has specialised in providing the finest produce and service. The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon is ideal, with a choice of dining table or sofa seating, a serene ambiance and panoramic vista of Piccadilly, enhanced by the peaceful piano playing in the background.

Best for decadence: The Dorchester

Since opening in 1931, The Dorchester has served the finest afternoon tea in London. Set in the heart of The Dorchester at The Promenade, you’ll enjoy an opulent setting with elegant, welcoming service, transforming tea into an indulgent treat. Grand almost seems an understatement.

  • After living in London for three years I had no idea about the sightseeing bus tea! Gonna have to try that, it must be so much fun! :)
    — LisaLDN.com

  • Im so sad I haven’t been to any of these places! Perhaps I’ll have to organise a mummy daughter trip some time!xx

    http://www.LUCY-COLE.co.uk

  • missgetaway

    Ah oh my god that’s amazing. I’m going to London in 2 weeks and definitely want to try an afternoon tea :)

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

  • So fancy :] I can’t wait for the day when I can go for tea in London again :]

  • Caz

    These sound amazing! When i’m next in London I definitely need to have afternoon tea somewhere :)

    Caz | thisiscaz

  • I’ve definitely heard of quite a few of these but I feel quite embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried any of them!! I do love afternoon tea so maybe I should turn this into a London bucket list :’)

    elwillmer.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

  • Thank you for these recommendations. I love going for afternoon tea so I’ll definitely check these out :)

    http://www.YoursTrulyMicah.com

  • Oh my gosh. Definitely need to add the afternoon tea bus to my bucket list. Although it will probably make me carsick! All of these look so amazing.

    xx freshfizzle

  • Monika

    If you want to have a truly great afternoon tea experience, I recommend booking Afternoon Tea in the National Theatre (ideally combined with a backstage tour). Everything is themed, the service is excellent, as is the ambiance and if you go on the tour and then for tea, you´ll have a magical afternoon :)

  • stephaniestraveldiary

    I would love to have a afternoon tea in a traditional setting….. :)