Scones with lashings of jam and cream; cucumber finger sandwiches; trays of pastries and cakes; and pot after pot of Earl Grey. Tempted? Get dressed for the occasion because we’ve brought you our guide to the best afternoon tea in London.
Having tea at Fortnum & Mason is a historic experience: the iconic department store invented the Scotch egg in 1738 and added Battenberg cake to its menu in 1926. You can now enjoy the same extraordinary tea, freshly-baked cakes, still-warm scones and elegant sandwiches in the iconic surroundings of The Royal Exchange. The service is impeccable, and their menus cater to all dietary requirements.
Prices start from £71
Harrods has been serving afternoon tea since 1896. Changing with the seasons, high tea at Harrods promises a tiered selection of mouthwatering treats, from delicate finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones to picture-perfect patisserie, all freshly made by our chefs. A live pianist performs while diners enjoy their refreshments, which adds to the ambience of The Harrods Tea Rooms. There are a great variety of menus to browse, including a selection of tea-inspired cocktails.
Prices start from £62
When only a classic option will do, opt for The Ritz. Presented in the hotel’s show-stopping Palm Court, enjoy a selection of finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked fruit scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a mouth-watering range of exquisitely presented pastries and teacakes.
Prices start from £62
Sketch’s legendary monochromatic blush-coloured Gallery is outstanding. And that’s before you get to the main event of afternoon tea. For afternoon tea, the menu is quintessentially British, with a twist or two – meaning cucumber and coronation chicken sandwiches come with a brioche bun with black truffle and cream cheese. Then there are two-bite-sized pastries and to conclude a full-sized sketch pastry: salted caramel chocolate fondant or caramelised scented cardamom pears and Tahiti vanilla dome
Prices start from £45
The Sanderson Hotel invites you to tumble down the rabbit hole and discover a tea party beyond your wildest imagination, inspired by the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland. With menus hidden inside vintage books and teapots adorned with kings and queens, our Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea is full of sweet treats and savoury delights to tantalise your taste buds.
Prices start from £48
From the elegant backdrop to the fine china, Claridge’s has perfected the art of afternoon tea in the 150 years since it started serving it. The ingredients include British specialities such as poached Scottish salmon – and pastries change to reflect the fruits of the season. Of course, at the heart of the experience is the drink itself. From a rich Oolong to the refreshingly complex Claridge’s Blend, you will find teas that complement your food perfectly.
Prices start from £75