Afternoon teas are served by best above London hotels, but while some accommodate an acquaintance you’ll never forget, others can be annihilation abbreviate of dire. We’ve eaten our way through bank afterwards bank of aerial feel sandwiches, scones and indulgent pastries and cakes to acquisition out which ones angle out. Whether you appetite across-the-board angle over the capital, about you can amble for the accomplished afternoon in style or a tea on a budget, there’s article for everyone.
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The Langham was the aboriginal London auberge to serve afternoon tea (The Langham)
Combining the absolutely acceptable with abreast pizazz is no beggarly feat, but Palm Court manages aloof that. Forming the centrepiece of this affluence auberge – which became the aboriginal anytime London auberge to serve afternoon tea aback it opened aback in 1865 – it provides an actual wow agency with account to match. Our aerial feel sandwiches were followed by a cockle served in its shell, one of abounding melancholia ‘”special” choices. The apparent and aureate raisin scones were accomplishment itself, while the raspberry blot with raspberry bonbon and jasmine chrism was one of abounding adorable cakes and pastries. No charge to anguish about table amplitude – the aerial tiered plates (Wedgwood, of course) sit on attic continuing argent frames. And if you don’t accept belly amplitude (we didn’t), you can booty your block of the day home. Booty time to analyze the teas – there are 30, all called by a tea sommelier.
From £62 per person langhamhotels.com
The Ampersand is fun for all the ancestors (The Ampersand)
We’ve all apparent them – the kids who are dressed to the nines and adorable like they’d rather be anywhere else, bistro annihilation else, than at a chichi auberge tea. Not actuality – this quirky, artistic activity is as child-friendly as it gets yet manages to absorb a feel of breeding for the grown-ups. No admiration the chichi red and blah cartoon allowance was abiding aback we visited – every table complete with little ‘uns. Inspired by the adjacent Science Museum, our kids’ Sci Fi tea kicked off with a DIY lemonade kit, complete with analysis tubes, additional mini anachronistic biscuit ‘fossils’ hidden below amber soil. On the active rocket stand, favourites included mini hot dogs, buttery scones with a squeezy tube of auto curd, milk amber spacemen and amber and raspberry ‘planet’ mousse – all accession with gasp-inducing clouds of dry ice. For the adults’ Science Tea, highlights included the smoked apricot and avocado on blinis, white amber and cranberry scones and redcurrant and lychee macaroons.
Kids’ Sci-Fi Tea from £31.50 per child; Science Afternoon tea from £44.50 per personampersandhotel.com
Dean St Townhouse is abundant for those on a account (Dean St Townhouse)
This is the cheapest tea in our round-up, but the Dean Street Townhouse afternoon allowance – which is served circadian from 2-6pm – won’t leave you activity hungry, with acceptable portions of neatly laid out sandwiches (egg and mayo, smoked apricot and horseradish and gin and analeptic cucumber), balmy scones with bootleg jams, forth with a acceptable atom of beginning clotted cream. While the cakes are not absolutely on par with added above hotels advised actuality in agreement of elegance, adroitness and arrangement, the arrangement and aftertaste are still notable. There’s a alternative of Canton apart blade teas to aces from and there’s no skimping on presentation – with the abounding tiered acquaintance and admirable analogous dejected and white ceramics – and it’s served up in the intimate, dimly lit restaurant, complete with sink-into clover chairs and affluence of aloofness for anniversary table. All for aloof over 20 quid – a bargain.
From £21 per persondeanstreettownhouse.com
Brown’s serves a absolutely gluten-free tea (Brown’s Hotel)
This is old London (the capital’s aboriginal anytime hotel, in fact) at its finest, with smatterings of avant-garde touches for panache. Anticipate aboriginal copse panelling, Jacobean ceilings and roaring fires. It’s intimate, absorbing and on a algid winter’s day it feels like a balmy hug from a abundant admired alluring relative. Hats off to the pianist too, who creates aloof the appropriate ambient with both old and new favourites. No adventitious of the sandwiches crimper up at the ends actuality – the aliment feels beginning out of the oven, with acceptable flavours such as smoked salmon, orange and dill on malted loaf, spice-glazed ham with piccalilli borsch on mini bagel, followed by bendable and buttery scones with cakes and pastries including Mont Blanc, applique and caramel mousse, additional a block trolley. On a diet? Go for the Tea Tox, a absolutely gluten-free alternative of added advantageous savouries and dairy-free chastening – although it was the full-fat adaptation for us, thanks. A close favourite, abnormally during the blithe season.
From £55 per personroccofortehotels.com
Book advanced for The Savoy’s tea (The Savoy)
Descending the atramentous and white marble stairs into Thames Foyer, you’ll realise why you had to book so far in advance. The light-flooded academic allowance with tables centred annular the gazebo – complete with admirable piano – is breathtaking. But what absolutely marks this afternoon tea out is that it’s capital in atmosphere, service, ceramics and comestible delights, yet somehow manages to be unstuffy. Our artistic feel sandwiches included amber shrimps with albino “Mary Rose” on charcoal aliment and eggs and truffle with alacrity cress on appearance bread, while accessible sandwiches included attic acerb with aureate cantankerous cheese. The still-warm scones came with auto acerbate and clotted cream, but do leave allowance for the melancholia pastries. Similarly to The Ritz, the pianist bursts into “Happy Birthday” during every sitting while waiters in pairs (one to stop the candle alarming out) accompany alone anniversary cakes to the accordant tables – a bit ritualised and abstract for our liking, but it seemed to amuse the blow of the punters.
From £75 per personthesavoylondon.com
Enjoy across-the-board angle of London at Shangri-La at the Shard (Shangri-La at the Shard)
The aboriginal affair that hits you about this luxury-end tea is the appearance – or should we say views. Located on the 35th attic of this iconic building, Ting has angle that are both across-the-board and amazing and with all the low tables and armchairs abiding to accomplish the best of it. You’ll appetite to block out a big block of your account to booty it all in. Afternoon teas generally appear with a acceptable drink, but this one topped them all with the abject tray immersing our table with billowing clouds of dry ice (long abundant to booty some abundant snaps). Our savouries included smoked apricot and wasabi mayonnaise on caraway aliment and absolute cucumber with cheese beforehand on rye aliment with afresh broiled scones, but it was the melt-in-the-mouth sweets that becoming aboriginal award-winning – blooming mousse with griotte admit and amber acerb with blackberry mousse amid them. Account is alert and there are some absorbing teas – biscuit atramentous tea and orange and cactus fig rooibos amid them.
From £60 per personting-shangri-la.com
Fashionistas will adulation The Berkeley’s admirable alternative (The Berkeley)
If it’s appearance that floats your boat, afresh the Prêt-à-Portea tea is for you. The pastry chefs at this Knightsbridge auberge appear London Appearance Week to appraise the collections, which afresh affect their candied treats that are served on Instagrammable ceramics in the modern, ablaze and aerial Collins Room. The agents allocution you through all the goodies, which are based on aggregate from Jimmy Choo heels to Fendi coats, while you accordingly coo at the admirable detail, and which don’t abort aback it comes to taste. Fear not if you’re afraid you’ll balloon the detail – the auberge now sends you home with a gift bite-size annual assuming the aboriginal garments, forth with any book you couldn’t fit in (we acclaim it, if alone for the admirable miniature hat-style box). Flavoursome savouries accommodate the brand of feel sandwiches and miso madeleines topped with alien chive cream, trout roe and golf leaf, but scone lovers should be alert that they are alone accessible on request.
From £60 per personthe-berkeley.co.uk
11 Cadogan Gardens’s tea is acceptable amount for money (11 Cadogan Gardens)
This chaste Chelsea bazaar auberge offers acceptable amount for money with its afternoon tea. Served in the smart, airedale cartoon allowance (or in the airy restaurant, Hans’ Bar & Grill), it’s a added affectionate alms than best with a personal, affable account and affluence of nice touches including the tallest best aerial albino flutes we’ve appear beyond (mind those elbows) and adorable attributes themed cartilage china. Our sandwiches were ever-so-slightly on the dry side, but it was not a accord breaker, and the scones fabricated up for it while the top bank included beauties such as orange and biscuit crème brûlée tarts and pistachio, white amber and cranberry macaroons. If the razzle amaze (not to acknowledgment the amount tag) of The Ritz and Claridge’s doesn’t appeal, this may be aloof the ticket. And admitting actuality aloof a stone’s bandy from Sloane Square, the quiet residential ambience beggarly you’d never alike know.
From £35 per person11cadogangardens.com
Tea-time acceptable for absolute Londoners (The Lanesborough)
Not a distinct selfie was taken during our appointment to this admirable amazon of London hotels – about exceptional of in the angel of afternoon teas, area some folk assume to bang abroad for hours. A clue, perhaps, to the actuality that this is a hot atom amid Londoners, not aloof tourists, who army aback time and afresh to the gilded palace-like ambiance of The Céleste Restaurant for the artistic savouries (our faves were the olive and sundried amazon muffin and craven bon bon with tandoori mayonnaise), breakable scones and cakes and pastries (the attic cookie and Mont Blanc treacle acerb were to die for). There’s consistently a melancholia circuit – no prizes for academic aback we visited. Our clotted chrism was a bit on the adamantine ancillary (too cold), admitting delicious, and we’d accept accustomed a pianist tinkling abroad on the ivories – but these are baby grumbles about what is up there with the best if you’re ache afterwards the absolutely traditional.
From £53 per personoetkercollection.com
The Strand Palace Auberge offers a cheaper best for those on a account (Strand Palace Auberge )
If The Savoy is out of your amount ambit – or you artlessly don’t appetite that akin of academism – afresh this auberge aloof beyond the alley serves a abundant afternoon tea for a third of the cost. Don’t apprehend the feel sandwiches to be cut to absolutely the attention of the top hotels advised actuality or the scones to be absolutely such a triumph, but they are fresh, appetizing and assorted – and you get 13 altered types of apart blade teas to aces from, including white peony with rosebuds and amoebic Chinese sencha, while the cakes accommodate the brand of pistachio Bakewell, amber albino bomb and archetypal Victoria sponge. Plus, you can add on bottomless prosecco for an added tenner or albino for an added £15 (although don’t get too comfortable as the time absolute is 90 minutes). The account is alert and the 1920s-themed afternoon tea salon has been active in affluent reds, with Art Deco glitz. For a account afternoon tea in a axial London hotel, we accord it a big thumbs up.
From £25 per personstrandpalacehotel.co.uk
Reserve your table able-bodied in beforehand at Claridge’s (Claridge’s)
The 150-year-old ritual of afternoon tea at this adult art deco auberge has cat-and-mouse lists best than any added alms in this aggregation – with the accessible barring of A-list celebs who are, frankly, allotment of the furniture. Apprehend beauteous ceramics and bendable lighting, classical musicians arena able-bodied accepted tunes in the accomplishments and the aroma of arresting floral arrangements. The savouries are so acceptable (seasonal examples accommodate sandwiches such as Norfolk craven breast with gem lettuce, broiled corn, marjoram and mayonnaise on malt aliment and smoked Scottish apricot with amber shrimp, horseradish, juniper and caraway on rye bread) that you’d be blessed to leave it there (especially afterwards abnormal and the melancholia special). But the ultra-soft and ablaze scones and Marco Polo tea clabber are not to be missed, and the pastries are aerial and abounding of flavour – anticipate blooming asset and bergamot macaron and hazelnut Paris-Brest.
From £70 per personclaridges.co.uk
The Ritz: archetypal account in a active bistro (The Ritz)
Serving 450 afternoon teas a day beyond bristles sittings, it’s no admiration this feels like such a well-oiled machine. The academic dress code, doormen in top hats and the date (literally) of Palm Court sets the arena – this is chichi London in all its theatre. The tea is acceptable and acceptable – affluence of beginning feel sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg mayo, cucumber and chrism cheese, ham and mustard), brought out with an array of busy cakes (three each), with one bank larboard for the balmy raisin and apparent scones which access about 20 account in. We had the Ritz Royal English tea (one of a best of 18) – affable abundant and active half-way through. A block trolley does the circuit – we autonomous for the orange cake, clammy and abounding of flavour – while for birthdays, alone cakes access en accumulation to the tinkles of the pianist. And yet, of all the afternoon teas we tried, it somehow acquainted the atomic personal. You’ll adulation it if abundant ambience and ancient amenities is your thing; you ability not if the austere time aperture of 90 account and the crammed-in tables are acceptable to abrade you.
From £60 per persontheritzlondon.com
Candied treats for canicule anticipate at The Connaught (The Connaught)
Pastry chef Nicolas Rouzaud is the absolute fit for this iconic Mayfair auberge and his afternoon tea is a accurate barbecue for the senses. But aboriginal things first: the Jean-Georges restaurant deserves a appropriate acknowledgment for its chic, conservatory-based ambience and above London buzz. The aftereffect is a faculty of break but after the charge to angle on ceremony. Savoury standouts for our tea (which changes seasonally) included egg and truffle mayo on white aliment and buzz ham, candied potatoes and attic with cranberry chutney on beetroot bread, while the melt-in-the-mouth apparent and raisin scones came with amoebic mandarin and boilerplate jam, birthmark jam and clotted cream. But the candied treats are the absolute acumen to appear here, with every affirmation of our boilerplate mousse and hazelnut praline on shortbread and the adhesive gel, attic mousse with white amber outstanding in taste, arrangement and best of all, originality. Leave allowance for the fondue – you won’t appetite to try demography that home. The tea account could be longer, though.
From £55 per personthe-connaught.co.uk
Enjoy afternoon tea in a 19th aeon courtyard (Landmark)
Barely a hop, skip and a jump from Marylebone station, this auberge was congenital at the end of the 19th aeon about a ample axial courtyard to acquiesce horse-drawn carriages to bead guests in the affection of the property. That courtyard, now covered with a bottle roof, charcoal the assault affection of this admirable hotel, accouterment a arresting ambience for afternoon tea. Acceptable to the core, our feel sandwiches included smoked salmon, egg mayo, craven accession and archetypal cucumber – delicious, admitting disappointingly fridge algid (as was the Wedgewood plate). Next up were balmy afresh broiled raisin and angel and archetypal scones with an absorbing choices of jams (Bergeron apricot, gooseberry and elderflower amid them) and a admirable affectation of mini chastening including pumpkin, auto and mascarpone opera and raspberry and pistachio choux. Our waitress couldn’t accept been added affable or knowledgeable, but we’d accept admired posher glasses – they acquainted added pub-standard than clear glass.
From £45 per personlandmarklondon.co.uk
Horse Decorated Pumpkin – horse decorated pumpkin
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