England is famous for our quintessentially English Afternoon Teas and London certainly has an abundance of venues for you to visit. We have chosen our top five Afternoon Teas to help make your decision a little easier!
The Ritz is probably the best known Afternoon Tea venue in the world! It opened back in 1906, and received an Award of Excellence in The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea 2013 Award, in recognition of their outstanding quality and consistently high standards in tea service. Tea is served in sittings at 2 hour intervals so you have plenty of time to enjoy the experience. You have a choice of teas and coffee. A three tier cake stands provide a selection of sandwiches including cheese and pickle, egg, smoked salmon, chicken and ham, and of course the famous cucumber. There are small cakes that are very tasty. Your scones will be served a little later and come with the customary jam and cream. Fresh tea is brought out whenever you need.
You will need to book in advance as this is extremely popular!
The Langham has been serving Afternoon Tea to the cream of London society since 1865, making this the original Afternoon Tea destination! 2010 and 2012 saw Palm Court awarded the Tea Guild’s ‘Top London Afternoon Tea’ award. Palm Court is the height of elegance; this is reflected in the wooden floors, the lavender and sage leather chairs and fresh flowers at every turn. Champagne Charlie even makes a guest appearance to mark the changing of the team. The sandwich selection is exquisite; small rolls with prawn and crab meat, seeded bread sandwiches with Coronation chicken, egg mayonnaise finger rolls, beef and tomato sandwiches and salmon sandwiches in rye. The scones and cakes are incredibly fresh, but don’t worry if you can’t eat it all, they do very classy lunch boxes to take home.
The Dorchester offers four different afternoon teas; Vintage Afternoon Tea on the Balcony, the traditional Dorchester Afternoon Tea, the Champagne Afternoon Tea and the Spatisserie Afternoon Tea exclusive to The Dorchester Spa. There are five sittings throughout the day; 1:00pm, 2pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm and 5:30pm. Traditional Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester is served in The Promenade, where towering fountains of flowering plants surround plush couches. Marble columns rise from the floor, crowned by gilded Corinthian capitals. This is the height of luxury and so it should be having received the Tea Guild’s 2013 Award of Excellence.
Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley is far from the norm; cue The Fashionista Tea! The Berkeley have added a fashionable twist to the traditional elements of English Afternoon Tea with cakes and pastries that resemble the latest in catwalk trends. This is held in The Caramel Room that reopened after refurbishment in late March. The Fashionista Tea, known as Prêt-à-Portea, consists of mouth-watering sandwiches, elegant canapés and those fashion forward cakes and pastries including the Burberry Porsum Trench Coat, Jean Paul Gaultier and Oscar de la Renta. There is, of course, the option to have champagne with your food as with all Afternoon Teas.
Fortnum & Mason
Moving away from hotel based Afternoon Tea our last choice brings you Fortnum & Mason, the luxurious department store that was transformed from a grocery store to the lavish shop you see today in 1926. The St. James’ Restaurant was refurbished in 2012 and renamed ‘The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon’ and reopened by Her Majesty the Queen with Their Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge. With over 300 years’ experience in sourcing and supplying superb quality tea you are bound to be amazed by their extensive tea menu. Fortnum & Mason are also well known for their fine fruit preserves that accompany their scones along with clotted cream. For generations Afternoon Tea has been an essential part of any visit to 181 Piccadilly.