If you’re visiting Britain’s capital, you have to have an afternoon tea.
It is the most quintessentially English thing you can do of an afternoon and London has so many amazing afternoon teas on offer.
When you do you have afternoon tea? Historically, it’s meant to be served around 4pm, to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. Now we have busier lives, people usually tend to have it as a treat for brunch or lunch.
A traditional afternoon tea is made up of a layer of sandwiches, a layer of cakes and a layer of scones or teacakes. Some more modern takes include pastries, petits fours or biscuits.
Remember, cream before jam on your scones!
And the key ingredient, of course, is TEA. And lots of it. Usually loose leaf breakfast or earl grey, but if you prefer a different blend, most will offer a range of herbal teas and even coffee.
Here are my top ten afternoon teas in London:
1. THE RITZ
If you want traditional then The Ritz is the obvious choice. They’ve been serving afternoon tea in London since 1906 and they’re the only hotel in the UK to have a certified Tea Sommelier, who picks the 18 different teas available at their afternoon tea.
You’ll enjoy your afternoon tea in the elegant building and the whole experience is complemented by a pianist and harpist – can you get any classier?
Prices from £57 – book here
I had an absolutely wonderful time and floated out of The Ritz on a blissful cakey cloud.
- Check out a full review from Poppy Loves here
2. AMBA HOTELS
Want a break from sightseeing and shopping? Amba Hotels has got you sorted.
We tried the Charing Cross hotel, where the high ceilings and tall windows give the building spaciousness and grandeur. They had a huge range of teas and you can upgrade to a champagne afternoon tea if you’re feeling fancy!
Prices from £39.95 – book here
It was a perfect destination for a Sunday meet up, the service and food were impeccable
- Check out my full review here
3. THE AMPERSAND HOTEL
On the doorstep of Hyde Park, The Ampersand Hotel is the ideal place for a spot of Afternoon Tea.
Inspired by the nearby The Science Museum, the afternoon tea has a variation on the traditional menu, with some savoury sliders, as well as science-themed cakes such as dinosaurs and planets. They sometimes have fun liquid nitrogen and volcano cakes too!
Unsure about the weather?? Come and relax in our Drawing Rooms, with our Science Afternoon Tea. Look at this amazing shot from @wildcattersnetwork !! #regram #afternoontea #science #scienceafternoontea #drawingrooms #londonhotel #luxuryhotel #sw7 #southkensington #foodporn #astronautchocolate #macarons #scones
If you’re looking for an afternoon tea with a twist, look no further.
Prices from £37.50 – book here
Each treat was a different flavour combination, which I really enjoyed, sometimes a lot of the cakes at afternoon tea can seem samey, or too many of one particular flavour, but each was completely different.
- Check out a full review by The Purley Girly here
4. THE DRAYCOTT HOTEL
If you’re looking for a traditional afternoon tea away from the hustle and bustle, The Draycott Hotel in Chelsea is perfect.
With wood fires burning, as you nibble on the tea in cosy armchairs, you feel like you’re enjoying the afternoon tea in your (very posh) living room!
Their afternoon tea is comprised of a huge range of delicious homemade cakes and treats, we had to take a doggy bag home!
Prices from £28.95 – book here
A traditional British vibe, it feels as if you are residing in your own stately home.
- Check out my full review here
5. THE ARCH LONDON
If you’ve just visited Buckingham Palace and want to dine like a queen, head across the road to The Arch London at Marble Arch for their Royal Afternoon Tea.
Their stately spread is a posh upgrade of the traditional afternoon tea, including chicken liver parfait with spiced fig chutney, roast beef, watercress and crispy shallots as well as a dessert of Eaton mess.
Prices from £28 – book here
The staff were friendly and attentive and had that perfect mix of keeping us well tended to, while also recognising when to leave us alone to eat and natter.
- Check out a full review by Bumpkin Betty here
6. THE GORING
Another historical venue to visit is The Goring. A favourite haunt of the royals, it has been perfecting its afternoon tea for almost a century.
The Goring currently holds The British Tea Guild Council’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award and The Award of Excellence, so you know you’re in safe hands.
Today marks the start of Afternoon Tea Week. The Goring has been perfecting the art of Afternoon Tea since it opened its doors over a century ago. Enjoy pastries, scones and sandwiches served with the finest blended teas from around the world. #AfternoonTeaWeek #thegoring #luxuryhotel #luxury #afternoontea #afternoonteaatthegoring #London
Prices from £49 – book here
The surroundings are delightful with impeccable service and standards and the afternoon tea is definitely something to experience.
- Check out a full review by Dotty Dishes here
If you love Alice in Wonderland as much as I do, you’ll love Sanderson’s Mad Hatter tipsy afternoon tea.
With menus pasted into old books and crockery painted with kings, queens and ticking clocks, the theme is carried off with perfect attention to detail. There’s even a little “Drink Me” potion.
Prices from £48 – book here
My favourite parts of the afternoon tea were the Scottish smoked salmon quail egg, the Wiltshire ham and smoked applewood croquet-monsieur, the blue caterpillar, the marshmallows, the carrot meringue and the red velvet ladybird!
- Check out a full review by Sophie Kate here
For a delightfully quirky afternoon tea, then head over to sketch.
They’ve got caviar and quail eggs, as well as macaroons, pastries and cakes.
Introducing… Re-presenting… The Gallery but not as you know it! @davidshrigley has transformed sketch for a second time, with 91 new works… bold… colourful… witty as ever… @indiamahdavi has re-modelled the world-renowned pink décor, creating once again a unique backdrop for David Shrigley’s new body of work… #sketchGallery #new #fresh #pink @stephenfriedmangallery
sketch is a favourite venue for bloggers because of its decor, it is covered in flowers and prints, and furnished with pink art deco chairs and sofas.
Prices from £58 – book here
[I] delighted in how wonderful it was to be sitting in this room in London, drinking a fine brew amongst so much pink.
- Check out a full review by Some Call Me Adventurous here
9. PALM COURT
Palm Court is famed as one of the original birthplaces of Afternoon Tea, having served it to high society since the Victorian era.
Situated in The Langham hotel in the West End, the swanky building is the perfect setting for munching on scrumptious scones and pastries.
Prices from £55 – book here
My whole experience [was] a joy and I only wish I had a larger stomach to be able to finish all the exquisite food that was served to us.
- Check out a full review by Her Favourite Food here
10. THE FAN MUSEUM
And if you’re on a budget, The Fan Museum in Greenwich has one of London’s cheapest afternoon teas!
It’s served in the Orangery, a spacious garden room, with beautifully decorated murals, overlooking a ‘secret’ garden – you’ll still feel every bit as fancy!
No booking needed on a Saturday! We welcome you with an afternoon tea in the Orangery, open 12:30 – 4:30pm. It includes: a pot of tea/cafetiere of coffee, a victoria sponge, a choice of lemon drizzle cake or salted caramel brownie and a scone with clotted cream & jam. £8 per person + museum admission. ☕️🍰 #afternoontea #☕️ #theorangery #teaorcoffee #scones
The afternoon tea consists of tea or coffee, Victoria Sponge, a choice of lemon drizzle cake or salted caramel brownie and scones with clotted cream and jam.
Prices from £8 (!) – book here
You couldn’t help but be happy in this little oasis of quirkiness – paintings of flowers and citrus trees adorned the walls, floral decorations on the tables and the smell of jam in the air.
- Check out a full review by inher30s here
Those are my top ten afternoon tea spots in London… Think I’ve missed somewhere? Let me know in the comments.
Now, let them eat cake! x