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

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

The most effective afternoon tea motels in London are:

  • Finest for class: The Langham, Reserving.com
  • Finest for teenagers: The Ampersand, Reserving.com
  • Finest for tea with buddies: Dean Avenue Townhouse, Deanstreettownhouse.com
  • Finest for a special occasion out: Brown’s Resort, Reserving.com
  • Finest for old skool 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 price range: Strand Palace Resort, 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 lodge to serve afternoon tea

(The Langham)

Combining the indisputably conventional with modern pizazz isn’t any imply feat, however Palm Courtroom manages simply that. Forming the centrepiece of this luxurious lodge – which turned the primary ever London lodge to serve afternoon tea when it opened again in 1865 – it gives a direct wow issue with service to match. Our delicate finger sandwiches had been adopted by a scallop served in its shell, one among many seasonal ‘”particular” decisions. The plain and golden raisin scones had been perfection itself, whereas the raspberry sponge with raspberry confit and jasmine cream was one among many delectable truffles and pastries. No want to fret about desk area – the dainty tiered plates (Wedgwood, in fact) sit on ground standing silver frames. And in the event you don’t have tummy area (we didn’t), you possibly can take your cake of the day house. 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 searching like they’d quite be anyplace else, consuming anything, than at a fancy lodge tea. Not right here – this quirky, imaginative affair is as child-friendly because it will get but manages to retain a really feel of class for the grown-ups. No surprise the stylish pink and gray drawing room was packed after we visited – each desk full with little ‘uns. Impressed by the close by Science Museum, our children’ Sci Fi tea kicked off with a DIY lemonade equipment, full with check 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: Youngsters’ 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 price range

(Dean St Townhouse)

That is the most cost effective tea in our round-up, however the Dean Avenue Townhouse afternoon indulgence – which is served day by day from 2-6pm – received’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 dollop of recent clotted cream. Whereas the truffles usually are not fairly on par with different grander motels reviewed right here by way of class, creativity and association, the feel and style are nonetheless notable. There’s a choice of Canton unfastened leaf teas to select from and there’s no skimping on presentation – with the total 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 Resort: a agency favorite

(Brown’s Resort)

That is previous London (the capital’s first ever lodge, in actual fact) at its best, with smatterings of recent touches for panache. Assume authentic wooden panelling, Jacobean ceilings and roaring fires. It’s intimate, spectacular and on a chilly winter’s day it seems like a heat hug from a a lot liked glamorous relative. Hats off to the pianist too, who creates simply the suitable atmosphere with each previous and new favourites. No likelihood of the sandwiches curling up on the ends right here – the bread feels recent out of the oven, with conventional flavours corresponding to smoked salmon, orange and dill on malted loaf, spice-glazed ham with piccalilli puree on mini bagel, adopted by smooth and buttery scones with truffles and pastries together with Mont Blanc, gingerbread and caramel mousse, plus a cake trolley. On a food plan? Go for the Tea Tox, a totally gluten-free choice 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 thus far prematurely. 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 in some way 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 “Comfortable Birthday” throughout each sitting whereas waiters in pairs (one to cease the candle blowing out) deliver particular person celebration truffles to the related tables – a bit ritualised and impersonal for our liking, nevertheless it appeared to please the remainder of the punters.

Value: From £75 per individual

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Neighbourhood: London Bridge

Get pleasure from 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. Positioned 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 take advantage of it. You’ll need 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, nevertheless it 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 attention-grabbing 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 lodge attend London Vogue Week to evaluate the collections, which then encourage their candy treats which might be served on Instagrammable china within the trendy, mild and ethereal Collins Room. The workers speak you thru all of the goodies, that are primarily based on all the pieces from Jimmy Choo heels to Fendi coats, whilst you inevitably coo on the beautiful element, and which don’t disappoint on the subject of style. Worry not in the event you’re fearful you’ll neglect the element – the lodge now sends you house with a memento bite-size journal displaying the unique clothes, together with any fare you couldn’t slot in (we advocate 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 ought 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 lodge provides good worth for cash with its afternoon tea. Served within the good, 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 engaging nature themed bone china. Our sandwiches had been ever-so-slightly on the dry facet, nevertheless it was not a deal breaker, and the scones made up for it whereas the highest tier included beauties corresponding to orange and cinnamon crème brûlée tarts and pistachio, white chocolate and cranberry macaroons. If the razzle dazzle (to not point out the value tag) of The Ritz and Claridge’s doesn’t enchantment, 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 motels – virtually unparalleled on the planet of afternoon teas, the place some folks appear to click on away for hours. A clue, maybe, to the truth that it is a sizzling spot amongst Londoners, not simply vacationers, who flock again again and again to the gilded palace-like atmosphere of The Céleste Restaurant for the imaginative savouries (our faves had been the olive and sundried tomato muffin and rooster bon bon with tandoori mayonnaise), crumbly scones and truffles and pastries (the pumpkin cookie and Mont Blanc treacle tart had 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 onerous 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 in the event you’re hankering after the really conventional.

Value: From £65 per individual

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Neighbourhood: The Strand

The Strand Palace Resort: a less expensive selection for these on a price range

(Strand Palace Resort)

If The Savoy is out of your value vary – otherwise you merely don’t need that stage of ritual – then this lodge simply throughout the highway serves an incredible afternoon tea for a 3rd of the fee. Don’t count on the finger sandwiches to be reduce to fairly the precision of the highest motels reviewed right here or the scones to be fairly such a triumph, however they’re recent, tasty and various – and also you get 13 various kinds of unfastened leaf teas to select from, together with white peony with rosebuds and natural Chinese language sencha, whereas the truffles embody the likes of pistachio Bakewell, chocolate champagne bomb and basic Victoria sponge. Plus, you possibly can add on bottomless prosecco for an additional tenner or champagne for an additional £15 (though don’t get too comfortable 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 price range afternoon tea in a central London lodge, we give it a giant thumbs up.

Value: From £35 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Mayfair

Reserve your desk nicely prematurely at Claridge’s

(Claridge’s)

The 150-year-old ritual of afternoon tea at this refined artwork deco lodge has ready lists longer than another providing on this round-up – with the potential exception of A-list celebs who’re, frankly, a part of the furnishings. Anticipate gorgeous tableware and smooth lighting, classical musicians enjoying well-known tunes within the background and the scent of magnificent floral preparations. The savouries are so good (seasonal examples embody sandwiches corresponding to Norfolk rooster 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 just’d be comfortable to depart it there (particularly after seconds and the seasonal particular). However the ultra-soft and lightweight scones and Marco Polo tea jelly are to not be missed, and the pastries are delicate and filled 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: basic service in a busy tearoom

(The Ritz)

Serving 450 afternoon teas a day throughout 5 sittings, it’s no surprise this seems like such a well-oiled machine. The formal costume code, doormen in high hats and the stage (actually) of Palm Courtroom units the scene – that is posh London in all its theatre. The tea is nice and conventional – loads of recent finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg mayo, cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard), introduced out with an assortment of elaborate truffles (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 among a selection of 18) – nice sufficient and refreshed half-way by means of. A cake trolley does the rounds – we opted for the orange cake, moist and filled with flavour – whereas for birthdays, particular person truffles arrive en mass to the tinkles of the pianist. And but, of all of the afternoon teas we tried, it in some way felt the least private. You’ll like it if opulent environment and old style etiquette is your factor; you may not if the strict time slot of 90 minutes and the crammed-in tables are more likely 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 lodge 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 purpose to return 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 received’t need to strive taking that house. The tea record may very well be longer, although.

Value: From £70 per individual

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Neighbourhood: Marylebone

Get pleasure from afternoon tea in a nineteenth century courtyard

(Landmark)

Barely a hop, skip and a soar from Marylebone station, this lodge was constructed on the finish of the nineteenth century round a big central courtyard to permit horse-drawn carriages to drop visitors within the coronary heart of the property. That courtyard, now lined with a glass roof, stays the beating coronary heart of this grand lodge, offering a putting setting for afternoon tea. Conventional to the core, our finger sandwiches included smoked salmon, egg mayo, rooster coronation and basic cucumber – scrumptious, albeit disappointingly fridge chilly (as was the Wedgewood plate). Subsequent up had been heat freshly baked raisin and apple and basic scones with a formidable 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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