The 10 best afternoon teas in London
London, the bustling metropolis known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and diverse culture, also boasts a thriving tradition that’s beloved by locals and tourists alike – afternoon tea. This delightful practice of sipping tea, savoring delectable pastries, and indulging in delightful sandwiches has been an integral part of British culture for centuries. If you’re in London and seeking the finest afternoon tea experiences, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll explore the ten best places to enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea in the heart of London.
Table of Contents
- The Ritz: An Elegant Classic
- Claridge’s: Timeless Luxury
- Sketch: Artistic Indulgence
- Fortnum & Mason: Tradition with a Twist
- The Savoy: Riverside Charm
- The Wolseley: European Elegance
- Ampersand Hotel: Science Tea
- The Goring: Royal Elegance
- Browns Hotel: Victorian Splendor
1. The Ritz: An Elegant Classic
Situated in the heart of London, The Ritz is an epitome of opulence and refinement. Their afternoon tea is a timeless classic, featuring an array of delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and an extensive tea selection. The lavish surroundings and impeccable service make this experience truly unforgettable.
2. Claridge’s: Timeless Luxury
Claridge’s, an art deco masterpiece, offers a sophisticated afternoon tea in a grand setting. Their tea menu is extensive, and the pastries are handcrafted to perfection. If you’re looking for a touch of luxury, Claridge’s is the place to be.
3. Sketch: Artistic Indulgence
For a unique afternoon tea experience, head to Sketch. Known for its artistic interior and quirky tea options, Sketch offers an avant-garde twist on this tradition. Their pastries are not only delicious but also a visual delight.
4. Fortnum & Mason: Tradition with a Twist
Fortnum & Mason, a renowned London institution, combines tradition with innovation. Their tea includes classic sandwiches and scones, but what sets them apart is their innovative tea flavors. Don’t miss their signature “Countess Grey.”
5. The Savoy: Riverside Charm
Overlooking the River Thames, The Savoy offers a picturesque setting for afternoon tea. Their tea includes a selection of exclusive blends and an assortment of sweet and savory treats. The charming atmosphere adds to the overall experience.
6. The Wolseley: European Elegance
The Wolseley exudes European elegance and offers a delightful afternoon tea experience. The impeccable service and a menu featuring classic favorites ensure a memorable visit. Try their Victoria sponge for a taste of perfection.
7. Ampersand Hotel: Science Tea
If you’re a fan of both science and tea, Ampersand Hotel’s “Science Tea” is a must-try. This themed afternoon tea combines creativity and culinary expertise to offer an out-of-the-box experience that’s both educational and delicious.
8. The Goring: Royal Elegance
The Goring, a favorite among the British Royal Family, offers an afternoon tea fit for royalty. With a beautiful garden setting and a menu that celebrates British heritage, it’s a quintessential London tea experience.
9. Browns Hotel: Victorian Splendor
Step back in time at Browns Hotel, where you can enjoy afternoon tea in Victorian-style splendor. The elegant surroundings and a delightful selection of pastries and teas make it a charming destination.
In London, afternoon tea isn’t just a meal; it’s a cultural experience that invites you to slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures. Whether you prefer the timeless luxury of The Ritz or the artistic indulgence of Sketch, London offers a diverse range of options to suit every palate. So, indulge in a cup of tea and an assortment of delectable treats at these ten best afternoon tea spots, and you’ll discover why this tradition is cherished by Londoners and visitors alike.
1. What is the origin of afternoon tea in London? Afternoon tea in London has its roots in the 19th century when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, introduced the concept of a light afternoon meal to curb hunger between lunch and dinner.
2. Are reservations necessary for afternoon tea in London? While it’s advisable to make reservations, some places may accommodate walk-ins. However, reservations ensure you secure a spot, especially during peak hours.
3. What is the typical cost of afternoon tea in London? The cost of afternoon tea in London varies depending on the venue and the inclusions. On average, expect to pay between £30 to £60 per person.
4. Are there vegetarian or vegan options available for afternoon tea in London? Yes, most places offer vegetarian and vegan afternoon tea options. It’s always best to inform the venue about dietary preferences when making reservations.
5. Can I take children to enjoy afternoon tea in London? Many places are family-friendly and offer children’s afternoon tea menus. However, it’s advisable to check with the venue beforehand and make reservations if you’re dining with children.