Where to get the best afternoon tea in London!

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Where to get the best afternoon tea in London!

It’s not only about scones these days. Louisa Walters highlights some very different afternoon teas in and around London!

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

The Tea Party in Wonderland!
The Tea Party in Wonderland!

Luxury tea

The Landmark London is one of the city’s most iconic grand dame hotels. Tea in the Winter Garden, known for its beautiful eight-storey glass-roofed atrium fringed with sky-high palm trees, is a seriously special treat. Smoked salmon, egg mayo and cream cheese sandwiches (with free refills!), freshly baked scones with lots of jam choices and exceedingly good cakes in one of the most enchanting settings in the city, with a harpist providing gentle background music. This fabulous outdoors-but-indoors beautifully air conditioned atrium is awash with light, bringing summer into the Winter Garden.



Themed tea

The Tea Party in Wonderland features an eclectic menu of cakes and pastries inspired by characters and quirks from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, such as Queen of Hearts mango tarts, ‘Drink Me’ strawberry potion, Caterpillar’s Mushroom raspberry marshmallows, white chocolate mousse teacups and pocket watch macaroons. Accompanying finger sandwiches include Alice English cucumber and cream cheese and Fish Footman tuna mayonnaise.

£40 during the week and £45 on weekends


The Landmark London – Afternoon tea

London landmarks tea

Presented on a London Eye-inspired tea stand, tea at The Kensington starts with a skyline of scones and sandwiches, followed by savoury treats and sweet London Landmark creations including ‘The Gherkin’ made from chocolate; ‘The Shard’ made of carrot cake; an iconic London telephone box imagined in rhubarb mousse; and a Big Ben-inspired lemon curd tart.



Kiddie tea

Just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, St Ermin’s Hotel has a pretty tree-lined courtyard and a stylish tea lounge upstairs. Children get their own themed teatime treats and can go on an adventure to see the hotel’s 350,000 Buckfast Honeybees hard at work on the third floor Bee Terrace. The hotel has a rooftop garden and the afternoon tea uses ingredients straight from the roof and honey from the bees.

Children’s tea is £15; adults’ tea is £37 including unlimited prosecco.


Afternoon tea – London Landmarks

Garden tea

Painshill in Cobham, Surrey, is a beautiful award-winning landscape garden with a lovely tea room named after designer Charles Hamilton who created the garden in the 18th century as a ‘living work of art’. Mr Hamilton’s Tea Room offers finger sandwiches, homemade mini scones, a mixture of mini cakes and desserts, freshly brewed tea and coffee, plus a glass of Prosecco.

£14.50 (entrance to gardens is extra)


St Ermins Hotel

Floral tea

The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel is doing a Chelsea Flower Show tea in collaboration with British perfumer Ormonde Jayne. Brown’s is partnering with the British perfumer to create a bespoke fragrance, a bottle of which can be taken home. The world-renowned traditional afternoon tea at Brown’s has a selection of bloomin’ marvellous pastries, each created with a nod to the Chelsea Flower Show. Choose between a glass of champagne and a non-alcoholic ‘Lavender Me’ cocktail containing fresh lavender sugar and garnished with an edible flower. 20th – 26th May to coincide with Chelsea Flower Show.

£65 (£69.50 with perfume included)


Shoreditch tea

The Sakura-inspired afternoon tea on the newly launched Hanami Terrace at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch combines super cool with refined elegance. The menu offers a selection of distinctive dishes inspired by the creativity and vibrancy of the location and a unique, Nobu-style twist on the classic British tradition. Expect to feast on sushi rice pudding with pecan candies, smoked salmon yuzu cream, yuzu tart, matcha marshmallow and raspberry ginger choux.

£40 per person/ £45 with champagne


Tea at Browns Hotel

Fashion tea

A playfully vibrant fashion-inspired tea to coincide with the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A has been launched at The Pelham hotel, organised by  La Fete, and just a few minutes’ walk from the museum in Kensington. Check out ‘Swinging London’- dainty finger sandwiches; ‘Quant’s Crayons’- vibrant multi-coloured mini buns; ‘Bazaar’ – an open macaron creatively encased in a Quant-inspired nail varnish bottle; ‘The Dame’ – a quintessentially British Victoria Sponge Cake; and several other creative masterpieces including an ‘edible lipstick’ of dark chocolate. Wash it all down with ‘Forever Mini’ cocktails, named in celebration of Quant pioneering the mini skirt.



Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch and The House of Suntory Present Hanami – Sakura Afternoon Tea

Vegan tea

Laura Ashley The Tea Room at Burnham Beeches Hotel serves up a vegan tea in luxury, traditional surroundings (and others can have the regular tea at the same time), plus a glass of the bubbly stuff from Hattingley Valley English sparkling wines. Sandwiches include hummus and roasted vegetable, tomato and shallot chutney, and avocado and lime crostini. There are vegan scones with jam, plus sweet treats such as double chocolate cake, banana cake and fruit skewers.

The Tea Room is decorated in signature Laura Ashley style with Laura Ashley accessories, furnishings and decorations – perfect for indulging in the most British of pastimes.



Mary Quant Afternoon Tea at The Pelham

Chelsea tea

Cadogan’s by Adam Handling, the stunning tea lounge at the newly-opened Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea, has launched a spectacular afternoon tea experience. It celebrates British ingredients and the history of high tea, inspired by childhood memories of plentiful, delicious feeding at Adam’s grandmother’s house (we can relate to that!). Traditional sandwiches with fillings such as duck egg with curry mayonnaise and mustard leaf are precisely matched to five different bread types. Then there are scones, savoury delights such as cheese and truffle gougére and sweet dishes such as salted caramel sacher with milk chocolate chantilly.



Tea makers’ tea 

France’s oldest tea house Mariage Frères’ has opened a tea emporium in Covent Garden with a beautiful Salon de Thé on the first floor. You can sit in Voyage, an elegant gallery flooded with daylight from the atrium above, or in the beautiful White Himalaya room surrounded by antique tea canisters. The King Street Afternoon Tea comes with an assortment of tea-infused savoury delights, such as avocado ‘guacamole style’ with Japanese matcha green tea or roasted cauliflower with Feu De Thé® smoky black tea.




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