It’s no secret that London’s hotels go all out to celebrate the festive season with dazzling Christmas trees and picture-perfect Christmas décor. But London’s most famous afternoon teas get a magical makeover too, with a host of festive flavours, miniature Christmas cakes and themed treats making their way onto menus.
From festive twists on traditional afternoon tea to indulgent extras like mince pies, Christmas cocktails and bottomless Champagne to wash it all down, here are all the festive afternoon teas worth booking this winter.
Pan Pacific London
Pan Pacific London will be bringing the magic of Christmas to The Orchid Lounge with festive editions of their afternoon teas. Both the Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam afternoon tea and the traditional British tea will be transformed for the Yuletide season.
Both teas will feature a selection of hand-made patisserie, combining traditional favourites with the creative influence of Asian ingredients and executive pastry chef Cherish Finden’s signature flare. Expect the ‘Prima Ballerina’, a cherry blossom macaroon with cranberry pate de fruit; ‘The Land Of Snow’, a clementine mousse with victoria sponge and cinnamon shortbread; and the ‘Nutcracker’, made up of pecan mousse, caramel sponge and crunchy feuilletine.
A festive afternoon tea you won't want to miss.
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
Mayfair is magical all year round but at Christmas, it really comes into its element. Notably, thanks to the arrival of festive lights and displays lined up on every shop, restaurant and hotel front. And Sheraton Grand London Park Lane is no different.
Treat a loved one to a special Christmas experience with their festive afternoon tea experience. This year, they’ve taken inspiration from the classic selection box – everyone’s favourite stocking filler – with the launch of their exclusive Selection Box Afternoon Tea. Served in the beautiful art deco surroundings of the Palm Court, the limited edition festive tea will reimagine selection box favourites including Dairy Milk Caramel, Flake, Orange Twirl and Dairy Milk Whole Nut.
Presented in the hotel’s very own decadent selection box, diners will lift the lid to reveal the full range of delectable cakes created by the hotel’s talented pastry team. Sweet treats include the Yuletide Eclair – a decadent twist on the classic éclair combining notes of caramel and lime mousse, decorated with caramel pearls; and the Black Forest Bauble – a blend of vanilla mousse and Morello cherry compote, encased by chocolate shards inspired by a Flake.
‘Tis the season to celebrate with loved ones, and what better way to raise a glass than over finger sandwiches and cakes at One Aldwych’s festive afternoon tea?
This year they’ve launched a Nutcracker-themed tea, created by Chef Dominic Teague, with a delightful selection of savouries and sweets with a dash of the unexpected. Tuck into charred aubergine on rosemary focaccia with tomato jam and fennel pollen, before feasting on Nutcracker-inspired festive sweet treats like ‘The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy’, a winter spiced plum mousse; ‘The Battle Of The Mouse King’, chestnut genoise with caramel cream; and ‘Waltz Of The Snowflakes’; a white chocolate and coconut snowball. Wash it all down with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne.
Where: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
The Lanesborough is at its most magical during the winter when the grand Regency residence is transformed into an enchanted country house sparkling with seasonal displays – and it doesn’t get more festive than The Lanesborough’s Festive Afternoon Tea.
Taken in The Lanesborough Grill, the afternoon tea will feature signature essentials like finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and jam, as well as charming yuletide specials – think roast turkey and chestnut stuffing sandwiches; a pistachio and amarena Christmas tree; and a roasted almond and orange yule log brownie.
Wash it all down with a glass of chilled Champagne, or try their Mulled Wine Martini – a rich and smooth chocolate martini, slowly shaken with Belvedere Vodka, hazelnut liquor, mulled wine and chocolate brownie tea.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA
The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
With its roaring log fire, twinkling Christmas lights and views over festive Knightsbridge, you’ll struggle to find a prettier afternoon tea setting than The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. The hotel has recently launched its festive afternoon tea for 2022, designed and created by its talented team of pastry chefs.
Expect to be tucking into sandwiches of confit duck and turkey with chestnuts, date and orange chutney and tarragon, before feasting on the ‘Golden Gift’ with confit orange, genoise and marzipan; the ‘Night Before Christmas’ with matcha and yogurt creméux; and ‘Santa’s Surprise’ made up of a palm sugar caramel mousse, soft chocolate cookie, milk ice cream and spiced custard.
As well as a special festive Afternoon Tea for adults, they’ve also dreamed up a jolly children’s tea, complete with a special Jellycat toy.
Where: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
The Swan At The Globe
Head down to The Swan At The Globe from 28th November to sample their wondrous winter afternoon tea.
Available until the end of the year, there’ll be everything from pine cone black forest mousse filled with a hazelnut milk chocolate ganache, to a Rudolph macaroon filled with a hazelnut milk chocolate ganache and a Mont Blanc Christmas bauble. The menu is also available for vegetarians and vegans so everyone can get in on the festive fun.
The Milestone Hotel & Residences
Enjoy a blissful afternoon tea experience at The Milestone Hotel and Residences. Their festive tea comes complete with roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing sandwiches; pear and speculoos choux buns; spiced rum custard tarts; and mince pies for all.
They even have tea for the kiddies too, because who loves Christmas more than little ones? Make their Christmas season extra special and treat them to everything from frothy hot chocolates to reindeer macarons. They’ll even be able to decorate and personalise their own gingerbread biscuit to take home.
Where: 1-3 Kensington Ct, London W8 5DL
Head down to The Athenaeum this Yuletide season to experience their festive afternoon tea and sample some of their newest seasonal delights. There’ll be everything from mince crumble tarts and chestnut and mascarpone snowballs, to spiced cranberry and cream yule logs and cherry and chocolate mousse Christmas baubles.
Wash it all down with a glass of Hambledon English Rosé to really add some sparkle to your festive season.
Where: 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ
The Rubens At The Palace Hotel
Pastry chef and finalist in 2021 Bake Off: The Professionals, Sarah Houghton has crafted an afternoon experience you won’t want to miss. It incorporates fresh twists on festive flavours while still paying homage to the long-standing English tradition. Expect festive spice and fruit scones served with homemade strawberry preserve, spiced apple jam and clotted cream; roast turkey, sage, onion stuffing and cranberry mayonnaise sandwiches; and a vanilla and cranberry bauble with Madagascan vanilla cream mousse, cranberry confit and sablé biscuit.
The afternoon tea fun doesn’t stop at the food either. This special one comes complete with a glass of mulled wine, perfect for warming your cockles this winter. And if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you can even order bottomless Champagne.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
The Stafford is a hotel that goes all out come Christmas time. From the roaring fire in The Game Bird to their festive decorations and menus, and their festive afternoon tea is no different. Feast in style on a selection of sandwiches, festive-themed sweet treats, and of course, lots of mince pies and Champagne.
Where: 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ
Shangri-La The Shard, London
TĪNG Restaurant never disappoints on their afternoon tea front, always crafted to perfection, with every small detail and element finessed and beautifully presented. And their new Festive Skyline Afternoon Tea is no different. Book in for the wintery tea that’s filled with freshly made savoury delights and scones, alongside delicious pastries including Paris Brest and Cinnamon Plum Tart. To finish, tuck into a marvellous Spiced Pear and Vanilla Christmas Shard pastry to share as you soak up panoramic views over London.
The afternoon tea comes with a glass of Champagne or Milky Way cocktail for the ultimate festive treat.
Where: Level 35, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU
The Westin London City
Located above Upper Thames Street, Mosaic at The Westin London City is a peaceful sanctuary hidden within the hustle and bustle of the City of London – perfect for an afternoon tea pitstop after a spot of Christmas shopping.
Their Christmas afternoon tea, running for a limited-time only, afternoon tea features a selection of festive-inspired treats, including roast turkey, cranberry, and trompette mushroom finger sandwiches; and Christmas pudding and chocolate tarts. Enjoy with a selection of premium Jing teas, and if you’re feeling really festive, add on a glass of mulled wine or Taittinger Champagne.
Where: 60 Upper Thames St., London EC4V 3AD
Escape the mayhem of London and treat your close friends and family to a traditional afternoon tea experience in the Surrey Hills.
Barnett Hill, part of the Alexander Hotel group, is serving up a festive spin on their popular afternoon tea. Available from 1st December, the tea comes complete with delicate sandwiches; light as air scones with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd; and scrumptious cakes. The hotel is decorated in white and silver this year, providing a beautiful backdrop for a fantastically festive tea.
Where: Blackheath Ln, Wonersh, Guildford GU5 0RF
The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
Walk your way into a wintry wonderland this Christmas and book in for The Chesterfield Mayfair’s glorious tea. Available from 18th November until 2nd January, begin your afternoon with a warming glass of mulled wine before swapping to loose leaf tea.
Expect a scrumptious feast of cakes, pastries, and seasonal flavours, including freshly baked cranberry and chocolate scones served with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam; a cranberry and coconut bauble; and a gingerbread choux bun.
Where: 35 Charles St, London W1J 5EB
Trafalgar St James
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive afternoon tea and a tipple or two. Thankfully, at the Trafalgar St James, you can indulge in both. Head to Rockwell this winter to delight in their Tipple Tea, a meticulous combination of expertly crafted cocktails and fantastic food. Indulge in savoury and sweet delicacies such as baked camembert with sourdough, smoked chilli jelly, candied nuts and apricot; and a Brandy crème beau Rivage with pistachio Chantilly.
Choose from cocktails that have been perfectly paired to match your food, including the ‘Victoria’, a mix of Earl Grey infused Tanqueray 10, lemon infused Mancino Rosso, Campari and teapot bitters; and the ‘Miranda’, made up of Ketel One, green chartreuse, calvados, pressed Bramley Apple juice, bitter sweet apple and cardamom shrub, and candy floss.
Where: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Sq, St. James’s, London SW1A 2TS
Home House has a beautiful afternoon tea that’s just waiting for you to discover it. Located in the private members’ club’s stunning Drawing Rooms, their traditional afternoon tea will be given a festive twist this winter, when house members and their guests will enjoy delicate finger sandwiches, delicious Christmas cakes and freshly made scones accompanied by a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne.
Available from 18th November, it’s a festive afternoon tea you won’t want to miss.
Where: 20 Portman Square, London W1H 6LW
Their beautiful afternoon tea will get a magical makeover.
The tea treats keep on coming at The Franklin, where their Alice In Wonderland afternoon tea will be transformed into Alice In Winter Wonderland afternoon tea for the festive season, an imaginative take on what a modern-day Alice would want from an afternoon tea once she’s taken a journey through Wonderland.
Both sandwiches and cakes will be given a festive twist (think gingerbread, cinnamon, turkey and cloves among other ingredients) and pastry decorations will follow accordingly with festive flair.
Where: 24 Egerton Gardens, London SW3 2DB
‘Tis the season to celebrate with loved ones, and what better way to raise a glass than over cake?
Fancy tucking into a festive tea in a hotel that feels a world away from London? Now you can thanks to Great Fosters and their delicious festive take on traditional tea, less than 40 minutes from Waterloo.
Served in the gorgeously decorated Anne Boleyn, Garden Room and Cocktail Bar expect roaring fires, glittering decorations and plenty of festive magic as you tuck into a tea full of Christmas flavours and a few surprises too.
The Montagu Kitchen & Lounge at The Churchill London
A perfect respite from the busy Christmas shopping, visit The Montagu Kitchen & Lounge at The Churchill London for a moment of calm, with a fabulously festive Afternoon Tea overlooking Portman Square Gardens.
The carefully created festive tea offers unique savouries and sandwiches, delicious scones, and hallmark pastries by Pastry Chef Aurelien Dupont – all of which are perfectly paired with their own crafted signature tea blend, ‘Roses in Bloom’. Among the festive pastries are a buttermilk and blueberry Christmas Bauble, black forest Stollen cake, and a Santa hat with speculaas, pear and ginger. Yum!
Where: 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
100 Queen’s Gate
Celebrate the festive season by treating yourself or a loved one to a taste of indulgence with Festive Afternoon Tea at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel.
Famous for their afternoon tea served under a beautiful botanical atrium, at Christmas time the tea undergoes a full transformation with a host of festive treats to celebrate the season.
Where: 100 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5AG