Whether treating your mum or spending the afternoon with pals, nothing tastes better than a spot of afternoon tea in London.
That’s why we’ve scoured the capital for the best places (hotels, cafes or quaint restaurants) to get mouthwatering scones, sandwiches, cakes and warming teas.
Think we’ve missed any? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.
The area they serve the tea in is very pretty – a light and airy conservatory of a space and the tea is top notch.
My favourite is the Mad Hatters Tea Party afternoon tea – wait for the exploding lollipops which have a touch of Willy Wonka about them!
Sanderson London Hotel
50 Berners St, London W1T 3NG
020 7300 1400
Proper Mum territory this, in the loveliest way. The tea is served in a room with plants pressing against the side, and because it’s a family-run place, the service is professional yet top-notch.
It has all the attention to detail you’d expect from a boutique hotel, and the tea is ginormous.
Don’t fill up on scones and perfectly-cut sandos because there is a divine desserts trolley that is trundled towards to you at the end.
116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ
020 7640 3333
Pantry at 108, The Marylebone Hotel
While it might be lovely for most to treat themselves to afternoon tea with their best gal pals, for others the gluten and dairy-rich offerings are the stuff of nightmares.
Anyone with gluten or lactose intolerance couldn’t touch your average afternoon tea with a barge pole, but thankfully Pantry at 108 have changed that.
Their talented chefs serve an array of gluten-free sandwiches and superfood savouries alongside gluten-free scones.
Delicious desserts (made purely from ground almonds, eggs and using honey) include combinations ranging from coconut and date to blueberry and coco, and can be enjoyed by anyone on a dairy and gluten free diet.
Not only is if thoughtful, but delicious. Especially when washed down with one of their gorgeous loose leaf teas or, even better, a glass of Champagne.
Pantry at 108
108 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2QE
0207 969 3900
Dean Street Townhouse is a fab place to go for high tea, crumpets, fish finger sandwiches or a glass of Prosecco . Or all of the above! The cream tea is incredible.
It’s got a traditional English set up with wooden floors, big armchairs and beautiful chandeliers. It’s great at any time of year but during the summer you can sit out on the terrace and soak up the Soho surroundings.
Dean Street Townhouse
69 – 71 Dean St, London W1D 3SE
Phone:020 7434 1775
When discussing afternoon tea, it’s impossible not to mention The Ritz – the lavish grandmother of high tea.
Entering The Palm Court, you’ll feel sent back in time – clinking china tea sets, exquisite central flower display, the chattering of voices and a charming resident pianist.
But the atmosphere is only part of the charm: with a choice of 17 delicious loose leaf teas, deeply filled finger sarnies and cream scones, you’ll be full to the brim.
020 7493 8181
The InterContinental in Park Lane has consistently good food and great service – both of which are essential when handing over nearly £40 for afternoon tea.
The room in which tea is served is light and airy, and while you’re waiting for tea, a long elegant flute of Champagne appears.
The 12 Days of Christmas tea is a triumph – it draw inspiration from the song, from Speyside salmon and tiny partridge pies. The desserts are a dark chocolate torte drum (with delicate mini drumsticks), strawberry filled swan-shaped choux buns with raspberry, and a beautiful treacle tart decorated with gold leaf and five gold rings.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s actually just right – and leaves enough space for the traditional scones.
InterContinental London Park Lane
1 Hamilton Pl, London W1J 7QY
020 7318 8747
Barnes is one of London’s cutest neighbourhoods, and Orange Pekoe one of the cutest places to eat afternoon tea.
If you’re more of a fancy London hotel kind of person, it’s probably not quite your cup of tea (pun intended), but the sweet interiors, fantastic range of teas and delicious treats ensure it tops best afternoon tea lists all the time.
You’re also right next to the Thames so perfectly positioned to walk off your scones afterwards!
3 White Hart Lane, London SW13 0PX
020 8876 6070
Perfect for Downton Abbey fans is this Dame Nellie Melba-inspired afternoon tea.
Set in The Gore Hotel’s intimate drawing room, the venue is just a stone’s throw from The Royal Albert Hall.
Indulge in sweet treats such as peach melba petit pot or peach macaroons, washed down with an exclusive Dame Nellie Melba Bellini.
190 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5EX
020 7584 6601
The Cellarium Cafe is housed in the beautiful 14th century store house of Westminster Abbey, serves an excellent afternoon tea and is frequented by Jude Law.
Plus you get to peer at the tomb of Edward III on your way out.
20 Dean’s Yard, Westminster Abbey, London SW1P 3PA
020 7222 0516
If stuffy posh hotels make you feel queasy and out of place, then perhaps The Machiavelli is for you.
A relaxed afternoon tea with an Italian twist, it boldly trades traditional cucumber finger sarnies for fluffy foccacia filled with rare roast beef or mini Margherita pizzette. And it works.
Desserts are bite-sized pannetone-style scones, delectable tiramisu and mini creme caramel.
Wash it down with a glass of Prosecco, it’d be rude not to.
Machiavelli Kitchen & Dining Room
Acre House, 69-76 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JS
020 7240 2125
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