The best London hotels for afternoon tea: Where to visit for views, elegance and delicious treats

Afternoon teas are served by most main London accommodations, however whereas some present an expertise you’ll always remember, others will be nothing in need of dire. We’ve eaten our approach via tier after tier of delicate finger sandwiches, scones and indulgent pastries and desserts to seek out out which of them stand out. Whether or not you need panoramic views over the capital, someplace you’ll be able to linger for the entire afternoon in model or a tea on a funds, there’s one thing for everybody.

The very best afternoon tea accommodations in London are:

  • Finest for magnificence: The Langham, Reserving.com
  • Finest for teenagers: The Ampersand, Reserving.com
  • Finest for tea with associates: Dean Road Townhouse, Deanstreettownhouse.com
  • Finest for a big day out: Brown’s Lodge, Reserving.com
  • Finest for old-fashioned class: The Savoy, Reserving.com
  • Finest for views of London: Shangri-La, Reserving.com
  • Finest for fashionistas: The Berkeley, Reserving.com
  • Finest for classic: 11 Cadogan Gardens, Reserving.com
  • Finest for Hyde Park: The Lanesborough, Reserving.com
  • Finest for funds: Strand Palace Lodge, Reserving.com
  • Finest for impressing: Claridge’s, Reserving.com
  • Finest for custom: The Ritz, Reserving.com
  • Finest for laid-back luxurious: The Connaught, Reserving.com
  • Finest for exuberance: The Landmark, Reserving.com

Neighbourhood: Marylebone

The Langham: the primary London resort to serve afternoon tea

(The Langham)

Combining the indisputably conventional with up to date pizazz isn’t any imply feat, however Palm Court docket manages simply that. Forming the centrepiece of this luxurious resort – which turned the primary ever London resort to serve afternoon tea when it opened again in 1865 – it offers an instantaneous wow issue with service to match. Our delicate finger sandwiches have been adopted by a scallop served in its shell, one in all many seasonal ‘”particular” decisions. The plain and golden raisin scones have been perfection itself, whereas the raspberry sponge with raspberry confit and jasmine cream was one in all many delectable desserts and pastries. No want to fret about desk house – the dainty tiered plates (Wedgwood, in fact) sit on ground standing silver frames. And if you happen to don’t have tummy house (we didn’t), you’ll be able to take your cake of the day residence. Take time to peruse the teas – there are 30, all chosen by a tea sommelier.

Value: From £70 per individual

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Neighbourhood: South Kensington

The Ampersand: enjoyable for all of the household

(The Ampersand)

We’ve all seen them – the youngsters who’re dressed to the nines and looking out like they’d slightly be wherever else, consuming anything, than at a fancy resort tea. Not right here – this quirky, imaginative affair is as child-friendly because it will get but manages to retain a really feel of magnificence for the grown-ups. No surprise the stylish crimson and gray drawing room was packed after we visited – each desk full with little ‘uns. Impressed by the close by Science Museum, our youngsters’ Sci Fi tea kicked off with a DIY lemonade package, full with take a look at tubes, plus mini dinosaur biscuit ‘fossils’ hidden beneath chocolate soil. On the colourful rocket stand, favourites included mini sizzling canine, buttery scones with a squeezy tube of lemon curd, milk chocolate spacemen and chocolate and raspberry ‘planet’ mousse – all arriving with gasp-inducing clouds of dry ice. For the adults’ Science Tea, highlights included the smoked salmon and avocado on blinis, white chocolate and cranberry scones and redcurrant and lychee macaroons.

Value: Children’ Sci-Fi Tea from £35.00 per baby; Science Afternoon tea from £49.50 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Soho

Dean St Townhouse is nice for these on a funds

(Dean St Townhouse)

That is the most cost effective tea in our round-up, however the Dean Road Townhouse afternoon indulgence – which is served every day from 2-6pm – gained’t depart you feeling hungry, with beneficiant parts of neatly laid out sandwiches (egg and mayo, smoked salmon and horseradish and gin and tonic cucumber), heat scones with home made jams, together with a very good dollop of contemporary clotted cream. Whereas the desserts will not be fairly on par with different grander accommodations reviewed right here when it comes to magnificence, creativity and association, the feel and style are nonetheless notable. There’s a number of Canton unfastened leaf teas to choose from and there’s no skimping on presentation – with the complete tiered expertise and delightful matching blue and white china – and it’s served up within the intimate, dimly lit restaurant, full with sink-into velvet chairs and loads of privateness for every desk. All for simply over 20 quid – a cut price.

Value: From £21 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

Brown’s Lodge: a agency favorite

(Brown’s Lodge)

That is outdated London (the capital’s first ever resort, in truth) at its best, with smatterings of contemporary touches for panache. Suppose unique wooden panelling, Jacobean ceilings and roaring fires. It’s intimate, spectacular and on a chilly winter’s day it appears like a heat hug from a a lot cherished glamorous relative. Hats off to the pianist too, who creates simply the proper atmosphere with each outdated and new favourites. No probability of the sandwiches curling up on the ends right here – the bread feels contemporary out of the oven, with conventional flavours akin to smoked salmon, orange and dill on malted loaf, spice-glazed ham with piccalilli puree on mini bagel, adopted by tender and buttery scones with desserts and pastries together with Mont Blanc, gingerbread and caramel mousse, plus a cake trolley. On a weight loss program? Go for the Tea Tox, a totally gluten-free number of extra wholesome savouries and dairy-free deserts – though it was the full-fat model for us, thanks. A agency favorite, particularly throughout the festive season.

Value: From £65 per individual

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Neighbourhood: The Strand

The Savoy: a magic expertise

(The Savoy)

Descending the black and white marble stairs into Thames Lobby, you’ll realise why you needed to e-book up to now upfront. The sunshine-flooded formal room with tables centred around the gazebo – full with grand piano – is breathtaking. However what actually marks this afternoon tea out is that it’s first-class in ambiance, service, tableware and culinary delights, but someway manages to be unstuffy. Our imaginative finger sandwiches included brown shrimps with champagne “Mary Rose” on charcoal bread and eggs and truffle with mustard cress on spinach bread, whereas open sandwiches included pumpkin tart with golden cross cheese. The still-warm scones got here with lemon curd and clotted cream, however do depart room for the seasonal pastries. Equally to The Ritz, the pianist bursts into “Completely happy Birthday” throughout each sitting whereas waiters in pairs (one to cease the candle blowing out) carry particular person celebration desserts to the related tables – a bit ritualised and impersonal for our liking, but it surely appeared to please the remainder of the punters.

Value: From £75 per individual

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Neighbourhood: London Bridge

Take pleasure in panoramic views of London at Shangri-La on the Shard

(Shangri-La on the Shard)

The very first thing that hits you about this luxury-end tea is the view – or ought to we are saying views. Situated on the thirty fifth ground of this iconic constructing, Ting has views which might be each panoramic and spectacular and with all of the low tables and armchairs organized to benefit from it. You’ll wish to block out a giant chunk of your diary to take all of it in. Afternoon teas typically include a welcome drink, however this one topped all of them with the bottom tray immersing our desk with billowing clouds of dry ice (lengthy sufficient to take some nice snaps). Our savouries included smoked salmon and wasabi mayonnaise on caraway bread and salted cucumber with cheese unfold on rye bread with freshly baked scones, but it surely was the melt-in-the-mouth sweets that earned first prize – cherry mousse with griotte insert and chocolate tart with blackberry mousse amongst them. Service is attentive and there are some fascinating teas – cinnamon black tea and orange and cactus fig rooibos amongst them.

Value: From £65 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Knightsbridge

Fashionistas will love The Berkeley’s trendy choice

(The Berkeley)

If it’s style that floats your boat, then the Prêt-à-Portea tea is for you. The pastry cooks at this Knightsbridge resort attend London Vogue Week to evaluate the collections, which then encourage their candy treats which might be served on Instagrammable china within the trendy, gentle and ethereal Collins Room. The workers discuss you thru all of the goodies, that are primarily based on all the pieces from Jimmy Choo heels to Fendi coats, when you inevitably coo on the beautiful element, and which don’t disappoint in relation to style. Worry not if you happen to’re nervous you’ll neglect the element – the resort now sends you residence with a memento bite-size journal exhibiting the unique clothes, together with any fare you couldn’t slot in (we suggest it, if just for the attractive miniature hat-style field). Flavoursome savouries embody the likes of finger sandwiches and miso madeleines topped with shipped chive cream, trout roe and golf leaf, however scone lovers needs to be conscious that they’re solely out there on request.

Value: From £68 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Chelsea

11 Cadogan Gardens: distinctive worth for cash

(11 Cadogan Gardens)

This understated Chelsea boutique resort affords good worth for cash with its afternoon tea. Served within the sensible, homely drawing room (or within the relaxed restaurant, Hans’ Bar & Grill), it’s a extra intimate providing than most with a private, pleasant service and loads of good touches together with the tallest most delicate champagne flutes we’ve come throughout (thoughts these elbows) and enticing nature themed bone china. Our sandwiches have been ever-so-slightly on the dry facet, but it surely was not a deal breaker, and the scones made up for it whereas the highest tier included beauties akin to orange and cinnamon crème brûlée tarts and pistachio, white chocolate and cranberry macaroons. If the razzle dazzle (to not point out the worth tag) of The Ritz and Claridge’s doesn’t attraction, this can be simply the ticket. And regardless of being only a stone’s throw from Sloane Sq., the quiet residential environment imply you’d by no means even know.

Value: From £45 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

Tea-time conventional for actual Londoners

(The Lanesborough)

Not a single selfie was taken throughout our go to to this grand dame of London accommodations – virtually unprecedented on the planet of afternoon teas, the place some folks appear to click on away for hours. A clue, maybe, to the truth that this can be a sizzling spot amongst Londoners, not simply vacationers, who flock again repeatedly to the gilded palace-like surroundings of The Céleste Restaurant for the imaginative savouries (our faves have been the olive and sundried tomato muffin and hen bon bon with tandoori mayonnaise), crumbly scones and desserts and pastries (the pumpkin cookie and Mont Blanc treacle tart have been to die for). There’s all the time a seasonal spin – no prizes for guessing after we visited. Our clotted cream was a bit on the laborious facet (too chilly), albeit scrumptious, and we’d have welcomed a pianist tinkling away on the ivories – however these are small grumbles about what’s up there with the very best if you happen to’re hankering after the actually conventional.

Value: From £65 per individual

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Neighbourhood: The Strand

The Strand Palace Lodge: a less expensive alternative for these on a funds

(Strand Palace Lodge)

If The Savoy is out of your worth vary – otherwise you merely don’t need that degree of ritual – then this resort simply throughout the highway serves an excellent afternoon tea for a 3rd of the associated fee. Don’t count on the finger sandwiches to be lower to fairly the precision of the highest accommodations reviewed right here or the scones to be fairly such a triumph, however they’re contemporary, tasty and diversified – and also you get 13 various kinds of unfastened leaf teas to choose from, together with white peony with rosebuds and natural Chinese language sencha, whereas the desserts embody the likes of pistachio Bakewell, chocolate champagne bomb and traditional Victoria sponge. Plus, you’ll be able to add on bottomless prosecco for an additional tenner or champagne for an additional £15 (though don’t get too cozy because the time restrict is 90 minutes). The service is attentive and the Nineteen Twenties-themed afternoon tea salon has been embellished in wealthy reds, with Artwork Deco glitz. For a funds afternoon tea in a central London resort, we give it a giant thumbs up.

Value: From £35 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

Reserve your desk effectively upfront at Claridge’s

(Claridge’s)

The 150-year-old ritual of afternoon tea at this subtle artwork deco resort has ready lists longer than every other providing on this round-up – with the potential exception of A-list celebs who’re, frankly, a part of the furnishings. Anticipate beautiful tableware and tender lighting, classical musicians taking part in well-known tunes within the background and the scent of magnificent floral preparations. The savouries are so good (seasonal examples embody sandwiches akin to Norfolk hen breast with gem lettuce, roasted corn, marjoram and mayonnaise on malt bread and smoked Scottish salmon with brown shrimp, horseradish, juniper and caraway on rye bread) that you simply’d be completely happy to depart it there (particularly after seconds and the seasonal particular). However the ultra-soft and light-weight scones and Marco Polo tea jelly are to not be missed, and the pastries are delicate and stuffed with flavour – suppose cherry plum and bergamot macaron and hazelnut Paris-Brest.

Value: From £75 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

The Ritz: traditional service in a busy tearoom

(The Ritz)

Serving 450 afternoon teas a day throughout 5 sittings, it’s no surprise this appears like such a well-oiled machine. The formal gown code, doormen in prime hats and the stage (actually) of Palm Court docket units the scene – that is posh London in all its theatre. The tea is nice and conventional – loads of contemporary finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg mayo, cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard), introduced out with an assortment of elaborate desserts (three every), with one tier left for the nice and cozy raisin and plain scones which arrive about 20 minutes in. We had the Ritz Royal English tea (one in all a alternative of 18) – nice sufficient and refreshed half-way via. A cake trolley does the rounds – we opted for the orange cake, moist and stuffed with flavour – whereas for birthdays, particular person desserts arrive en mass to the tinkles of the pianist. And but, of all of the afternoon teas we tried, it someway felt the least private. You’ll adore it if opulent environment and old style etiquette is your factor; you won’t if the strict time slot of 90 minutes and the crammed-in tables are prone to irritate you.

Value: From £67 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

Candy treats for days await at The Connaught

(The Connaught)

Pastry chef Nicolas Rouzaud is the right match for this iconic Mayfair resort and his afternoon tea is a real feast for the senses. However first issues first: the Jean-Georges restaurant deserves a particular point out for its stylish, conservatory-based environment and laid-back London buzz. The result’s a way of event however with out the necessity to stand on ceremony. Savoury standouts for our tea (which modifications seasonally) included egg and truffle mayo on white bread and roast ham, candy potatoes and coconut with cranberry chutney on beetroot bread, whereas the melt-in-the-mouth plain and raisin scones got here with natural mandarin and vanilla jam, strawberry jam and clotted cream. However the candy treats are the actual cause to come back right here, with each mouthful of our vanilla mousse and hazelnut praline on shortbread and the lime gel, coconut mousse with white chocolate excellent in style, texture and most of all, originality. Depart room for the fondue – you gained’t wish to strive taking that residence. The tea record could possibly be longer, although.

Value: From £70 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Marylebone

Take pleasure in afternoon tea in a nineteenth century courtyard

(Landmark)

Barely a hop, skip and a leap from Marylebone station, this resort was constructed on the finish of the nineteenth century round a big central courtyard to permit horse-drawn carriages to drop company within the coronary heart of the property. That courtyard, now lined with a glass roof, stays the beating coronary heart of this grand resort, offering a putting setting for afternoon tea. Conventional to the core, our finger sandwiches included smoked salmon, egg mayo, hen coronation and traditional cucumber – scrumptious, albeit disappointingly fridge chilly (as was the Wedgewood plate). Subsequent up have been heat freshly baked raisin and apple and traditional scones with a powerful decisions of jams (Bergeron apricot, gooseberry and elderflower amongst them) and an exquisite show of mini deserts together with pumpkin, lemon and mascarpone opera and raspberry and pistachio choux. Our waitress couldn’t have been extra pleasant or educated, however we’d have favored posher glasses – they felt extra pub-standard than crystal glass.

Value: From £59 per individual

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