The Best Afternoon Tea In London, UK juni 22, 2022 – Posted in: Travel, United Kingdom – Tags: Afternoon Tea, Attractions, Cakes, Holiday, London, United Kingdom, Vacations, Weekend Breaks
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AFTERNOON TEA IN LONDON
The fine, thin teacups clink faintly, the smell of the hot scones tickles the nose and the small cakes are a delight to the eye. There is something for all the senses to what must be said to be the essence of everything British: Afternoon Tea.
Although it sounds finer with a High Tea, it is the Afternoon Tea, introduced by the Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s that is the finest tea. Afternoon Tea is served between lunch and dinner, preferably with amcucumber sandwich, scones with clotted cream and small cakes for tea. High Tea is an actual evening meal, something the servants ate before dinner was to be served upstairs.
In London there are many opportunities to be have Afternoon Tea, and here you can read about some of the best tea salons, hotels and guided tours where you can have your tea, small sandwiches without crust and hot scones.
At the bottom of the article, you will also find recommendations for great hotels for a wonderful holiday in London.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST AFTERNOON TEA IN LONDON
The English tradition of serving Afternoon Tea is taken very seriously everywhere in London, where the traditions are still followed. The classic Afternoon Tea is available at The Ritz, Claridge’s and Fortnum & Mason. In recent years, however, there have been several fun and untraditional offers for tea time, and you can also read about them here in the article.
Under each tea salon mentioned here is a link to the website, which you can click to read more. Where possible, it is advisable to book a table in advance, as the seats for the most popular Afternoon Teas are quickly occupied. Also check if there is a dress code which you have to follow.
A FEW SIMPLE RULES FOR THE AFTERNOON TEA
Afternoon Tea is a tea ceremony, and before you sit down at the tea table, it is important that you know the rules. Who would want to look like a pleb? Not you… So here’s a guide to British tea etiquette:
- Tea is poured first before milk or lemon is added. Finally sugar is added
- Don’t stir the tea around in the cup, but back and forth with gentle movements
- When you have finished stirring, leave your tea spoon on the saucer
- For the small sandwiches – which are eaten first! – don’t use cutlery, but your fingers
- Afterwards, break pieces of the scone with your fingers
- Butter your scone with clotted butter and then lemon curd
- Finally, the small, delicious cakes are eaten
Now you’re ready to have Afternoon Tea in London!
CLASSIC AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ, LONDON
The Ritz London is an institution in itself and as iconic as Queen Elizabeth. Here, in the beautiful Palm Court, Afternoon Tea has been served since 1906. On the large tea menu, selected by England’s only tea sommelier, you can choose the finest teas from the world’s leading tea plantations. The menu offers, among other things, the traditional cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon and of course also scones. The top of your cake stand is reserved for the most exquisite chocolate cakes and fruit pies. Also try the extended Afternoon Tea with champagne or the birthday cake if someone in the party is to be celebrated.
Under the glittering chandeliers and to the tones of the piano, the dress code is set: shirt and tie for men and smart casual for women. In other words: leave sneakers and jeans at the hotel and dress as if you were meeting your mother-in-law for the first time.
Read more here: Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London
THE DIAMOND JUBILEE TEA SALON AT FORTNUM & MASON
A little further down the road you will find another classic on the tea menu, the legendary Fortnum & Mason. The traditional Fortnum & Mason corresponds is in style and decor truly British. In their Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, opened on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary as regent, you will be served a classic Afternoon Tea.
Choose from the large tea menu and enjoy the delicious sandwiches with eggs or roast beef, scones with and without fruit and delicate eclairs. When you’re done with your tea, also visit to the Fortnum & Masons Food Hall on the ground floor.
Read more here: Fortnum & Mason
AFTERNOON TEA BUS TOUR
London is a big city, and it’s nice to know that there is a very pleasant way to see all the sights. Hop on board the red double-decker bus and be driven around London to all the popular attractions while sipping your afternoon tea. The bus runs past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street, among other places, and you have 1 hour to eat your sandwiches, profiteroles and cupcakes.
Read more here: Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour
AFTERNOON TEA AT CLARIDGE’S, MAYFAIR
Tea has been served in the fine lounges of the Hotel Claridge’s for the last 150 years – and always in style. However, the menu is constantly evolving, something Claridge’s has won several awards for. You will thus find truffles, Valrhona chocolate and tarragon mayonnaise on the map.
The connoisseur will love the large selection of the many teas consumed along with sandwiches, hot scones and cakes that resemble small works of art. The tea is served in cups with the signature stripes on the small tables in the elegant art deco-inspired Foyer & Reading Room, accompanied by classical music.
Note that at Claridge’s there is a dress code: For women, smart casual – and shirt, tie and pants for men. No pants with holes in, no sneakers and also a no thank you to sportswear and flip flops.
Read more here: Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s
MAD HATTER’S TEA AT THE SANDERSON
At Sanderson, a luxury boutique hotel in Fitzrovia, you can jump into the rabbit hole and go to a tea party at The Mad Hatter. With an Afternoon Tea inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland, the game is on for a fun experience. The menu is tucked away in an old vintage book, and the teapot adorned with kings and queens.
“Drink me” is written on the small bottle and “Eat me” on one of the tempting cakes. But is it the cake that makes you big or small? One thing is for sure: you are in for an adventure, which also offers green sandwiches, Mad March Hare Vanilla Pocket Watch Macaroon and of course a hot scone – or two.
Read more here: Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea
AFTERNOON TEA FOR HARRY POTTER FANS
Accio cake! At Cutter & Squidge on 20 Brewer Street in Soho, you can learn how to brew bubbling elixirs under the expert guidance of the two professors. In The Potion Room, the cauldrons are filled with delicious desserts while you enjoy your afternoon tea. Many small and big surprises await you, which are not to be revealed here, but if you are a true Harry Potter fan, you will love it. NB! You do not have to show up in a wizarding cloak, but you will certainly not be looked down upon if you do!
Read more here – and remember to book a table: Harry Potter Afternoon Tea at Cutter & Squidge
AFTERNOON TEA CRUISE ON THE THAMES
Why not see all the best sights from the seaside while drinking tea and eating sandwiches and cakes? Take a boat trip on the Thames and enjoy the round trip to all the attractions. The trip lasts 1½ hour, during which time there is tea or coffee and lots of small sandwiches and scones. Perfect after a day of too much shopping and too little cake.
Read more here: Afternoon Tea Cruise
THE ‘PETER PAN AFTERNOON TEA AT AQUA SHARD, THE SHARD
On the 31st floor of The Shard, which also houses the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard (read more at the bottom of the article), you can drink tea as were you on Wish Island! The many delicious cakes are of course served on a pirate ship with Tinkerbell on top. From the restaurant you can enjoy the view while imagining Peter Pan and the children would come flying across the rooftops of London.
In addition to everything else that belongs to the traditional Afternoon Tea, a selection of magical delicacies is also served, which includes a sandwich with The Lost Boys and a Hook’s perish cake, a lime green Victoria sponge cake with coconut. Rinse it all down with a Tick-Tock the Crocodile tea with bubble gum flavor – and hope you never get too old to enjoy this!
NB! Aqua Shard also has a dress code: No shorts, flip flops, sneakers or sportswear.
Read more here: Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard
FIND A GREAT HOTEL IN LONDON
Whether you are going on holiday in London or just want to visit the city on a short weekend trip, there are many lovely hotels in the city where you can stay well. Here are a few recommendations for good hotels in London, all of which can be booked through Booking.com. See more hotels by doing your own search here:
SWIM IN THE POOL OVERLOOKING LONDON
No matter where you are in the city, you can always find your way home when you stay at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard. Shangri-La Hotel is located on floors 34-52 of The Shard, with stunning views across London. Add to that a swimming pool where you can take a relaxing swim high above the traffic jams and crowds. Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard is for you who want an experience beyond the ordinary – and at the same time stay within walking distance of the main sights in London.
STAY WITH HARRY POTTER, RON AND HERMIONE
If you love Harry Potter, stay at the Georgian House Hotel in themed rooms from the famous universe. To the untrained Muggler’s eye, the hotel looks like all the others in the area – but make no mistake! Hidden behind a bookshelf you will find The Wizard Chamber and The Enchanted Chamber. All rooms are furnished as at Hogwarts, complete with a fireplace, copper cauldrons and a four-poster bed, as in the dormitories in the magical castle. A hotel for you who can’t get enough of the Harry Potter universe and would like to stay close to the popular attractions of London.
AN AFFORDABLE BUT GOOD HOTEL IN LONDON
In the expensive city, fortunately there are also hotels where you can both stay low-budget and well and still reasonably close to the center. ibis London Shepherds Bush – Hammersmith is located in a quiet street, a bit away from the vibrant life. It’s a 10-minute walk to the station and then a 25-minute train ride to all the shops on Oxford Street. Right next to the station is London’s largest shopping center, Westfield Shopping Center. Around the area are many restaurants and small cafes. ibis London Shepherds Bush – Hammersmith is a hotel for you who need to get to the city center quickly with the red line and can easily settle for a good and clean hotel that is affordable.