Afternoon tea is one of the most well known British institutions, but finding a proper version of it can be surprisingly difficult. If you’re thinking of getting away for a few days, a city break to London is a great idea, particularly if you’re on the hunt for the perfect scone. Book a room in one of our London hotels to try out some phenomenal afternoon teas. Here are a few of the best:
Best for the full works: The Ritz
Tea at The Ritz is a once in a lifetime sort of thing. Gentlemen must wear jackets and ties, and anyone in denim will be turned away at the door, so this certainly isn’t a drop-in-at-the-last-minute sort of place. If you want to plan a real treat, and get a peak at the life of society’s upper crust, this is the place to do it. Expect plates and cakes covered with gold-leaf, and the finest teas in the world.
Best for something surreal: The Courtyard at The Sanderson
Any fans of Alice in Wonderland will love the Mad Hatter’s Tea at The Sanderson. Sit in their (heated) garden surrounded by fountains and foliage, and eat all sorts of strange looking cakes and goodies.
Best for the men: Sanctum Soho
The Gentlemen’s Tea at Sanctum Soho is seriously cool. It also barely counts as a tea because it swaps cucumber sandwiches for steak sliders and accompanies the tea with whiskey and a cigar. If you’re feeling in need of some manliness, this is the place to find it.
Best for the style: The Caramel Room at The Berkeley
It’s not only the environment at The Berkeley that is painfully stylish, it’s also the cakes. Their Pret-a-Portea Tea is all about fashion. Think biscuits iced like Louboutins, and tea presented in a way that reflects the current trends. This is a hotspot for celebrities and the place to be at 4pm for those in the know.
Best for value: Bea’s of Bloomsbury
With more of a café feel, this place isn’t at all stuffy or snooty. If you’re a cupcake lover, you’ll adore their home-made cakes, which are designed to as beautiful as they are delicious. You won’t find finger sandwiches or white table cloths, but the tea selection is good, and the scones are wonderful.
Best for the Royal touch: The Orangery at Kensington Palace
Afternoon tea is a very regal habit and that is nowhere more apparent than at Kensington Palace. The afternoon tea, served in the beautiful Orangery, is traditional, but without the formality of grand hotels. You won’t find better value for money if you like your tea loose leaf and your sandwiches freshly prepared.