Afternoon tea in England is a British tradition that you have to indulge in at least once. But with so many great places to have tea in London, it can be a daunting task to decide where to book. While living in London over the last four years, I have had more than my fair share of afternoon tea experiences and have picked out some of the best places based on your personality preference.
The Ritz is an institution in itself and has remained the classic quintessential British choice for a traditional afternoon tea. Set in an elegant salon, you’ll feel like royalty as you indulge in a selection of 16 loose leaf teas, finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, a daily selection of tea cakes and pastries, as well as warm baked scones with strawberry preserve and decadent Devonshire clotted cream.
HIP & TRENDY
Sketch is famous for its futuristic looking bathrooms (pictured above) and is a hip spot to indulge in a modern afternoon tea experience. They offer traditional afternoon tea (£45), champagne tea (£57), and children’s afternoon tea (£25 per child) with Pat the Bear. I haven’t done tea here yet but I’ve heard their macaroons are delicious!
The Egerton House Hotel is a fun place to have tea if you enjoy drinking. Request a seat next to the bar or in the drawing room on the ground floor, where you can watch the comings and goings and be in earshot of the bartender, Antonio’s hilarious stories. Be careful for the stiff cocktails he makes though, especially the chocolate martinis. I had two and I felt like I had been out all night partying. Even the entire tower of yummy sandwiches and scones will not be enough to combat the strength of Antonio’s martinis, so I recommend planning a nap to recover from your boozy afternoon tea!
La Suite West is a minimalist boutique hotel, just a short walk from Hyde Park, offering the perfect “healthy” afternoon tea. Indulge in contemporary vegan alternatives with a combination of designer finger sandwiches, homemade scones served with coconut cream and fresh strawberries, followed by a delectable selection of homemade vegan pastries.
POSH & PROPER
The Goring Hotel is by far my favorite place to have tea in London. You can request to sit in the yellow room, over looking the garden, or in the summer, you can book a table outside on the terrace amongst the trees and blooming flowers. The Bollinger Rose Champagne Tea is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. Kate Middleton chose to stay here on the eve of her wedding and we did a mini celebration here for my friend’s engagement.
‘A quintessentially British experience, the historic residence’s Bollinger Tea is a traditional afternoon event as the hot beverage gods intended it.’ – Conde Nast Traveller, 2014
Have you done tea in London? What are your favorite spots? Please share in the comments section below!