19 Magical Festive Afternoon Teas To Book This Winter

Food & Drink
By Erica O'Hara | 6th December 2023

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 Champagne to wash it all down, here are all the festive afternoon teas worth booking this winter.

19 Festive Afternoon Tea Experiences In London

shangri-la the shard festive afternoon teas

Shangri-La The Shard

Visit TĪNG Lounge at The Shard and get ready to indulge in a festive tea in the sky, inspired by the signature scents from the Jo Loves Christmas Collection. The stunning spread features seasonal finger sandwiches and marble cake scones with chocolate and candied orange, alongside sweet treats like a red bauble filled with green shiso mousse, grapefruit and black pepper; and a Christmas tree pastry with white chocolate, pistachio, and sour cherry.

To finish, a miniature Shard pastry decorated with Warner House’s Knotted Sash design, and filled with white chocolate, apple compote and cinnamon sponge, is served over enchanting clouds of dry ice.

Where: Level 35, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU
Website: www.ting-shangri-la.com


What better way to celebrate the festive season than with afternoon tea in one of London’s most iconic dining rooms? Until 8th January, Sketch will be serving a festive twist on their re-imagined afternoon tea experience, served in the beautiful Gallery.

Tuck into savouries like salmon and ricotta sandwiches, before indulging in cakes like a pomegranate and red fruit cheesecake tart, pear Battenberg, redcurrant and lychee éclair, and coconut marshmallow. Wash it all down with a glass of English sparkling wine or Champagne and toast the festive season in true Sketch style.

Where: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
Website: www.sketch.london

The Lanesborough

The Lanesborough is at its most magical during the winter when the grand Regency residence sparkles with seasonal displays and festive merriment – and it doesn’t get more festive than The Lanesborough’s Queen Charlotte Festive Afternoon Tea, a continuation of the hotel’s Bridgerton partnership with Netflix and Shondaland.

Taken in The Lanesborough Grill, the afternoon tea will feature essentials like savoury tea sandwiches and artfully crafted festive pastries – think roast turkey, chestnut stuffing and cranberry mayonnaise sandwiches, and Queen Charlotte-inspired creations like ‘King George – Dreams of Venus’ and the ‘Danbury Delight’. Wash it all down with the Queen Charlotte Festive Cocktail – a blend of Fords Gin, Chambord liqueur, cranberry, exotic lychee, home vanilla sweetness and lime sunshine topped with Champagne.

Where: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA
Website: www.oetkercollection.com

The Carlton Tower

Celebrate ‘The Season for Dreams’ at The Carlton Tower with their Festive Afternoon Tea, a seasonal twist on their acclaimed offering. The tea features savoury delights, like a chestnut, truffle, and cranberry tart; crème fraiche brioche with smoked salmon and caviar; mini turkey and berry jam sandwiches; and a decadent cheese crème brûlée.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in exquisite treats such as the orange and cinnamon butter powder tart and the apple, clove, and cajou tart, both boasting timeless Christmas flavours. It’s the perfect way to embrace the festive spirit in style.

Where: 1 Cadogan Pl, London SW1X 9PY
Website: www.jumeirah.com

grosvenor house christmas afternoon tea

Grosvenor House

The beloved Snowman takes center stage in Grosvenor House’s festive afternoon tea, inspired by Raymond Briggs’ classic tale. The menu promises a heartwarming journey through nostalgia, friendship, and adventure, served in the gorgeous surroundings of the Park Room, and accompanied by the iconic soundtrack from the film adaptation played by a resident pianist.

Guests will be treated to five pastries and an amuse bouche, each with a whimsical name like “One December Morning,” “The Snowman,” and “The Enchanted Forest.” Illustrator Robin Shaw, known for the 40th-anniversary edition of The Snowman, has exclusively designed the menu, too.

Where: 86-90 Park Ln, London W1K 7TN
Website: www.parkroom.co.uk

dalloway terrace festive afternoon tea

Dalloway Terrace

Dalloway Terrace’s beautiful, foliage-filled setting is the perfect backdrop to enjoy afternoon tea with a whimsical twist. The new menu offers classic afternoon tea delights including eggnog tart, sticky honey gingerbread, warm mince pies, as well as a selection of finger sandwiches.

The star of the show? Traditional scones, including buttermilk, sultana, gruyere and chive, served with mulled pear jam and Cornish clotted cream, accompanied by a glass of fine Perrier-Jouët Champagne. The ultimate spot to unwind and indulge.

Where: 16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN
Website: www.dallowayterrace.com

Swan London

Head down to The Swan At The Globe from 27th November to sample their wonderfully festive Hansel & Gretel afternoon tea, inspired by the show being performed at The Globe over the festive season.

Available until the end of the year, there’ll be everything from ‘Into The Deep Dark Forest’ (Oreo flavoured cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream Christmas trees) to ‘A Boy Named Hansel and A Girl Named Gretel’ (brandy, sweetened chestnut and vanilla cremeux lollipops). The menu is also available for vegetarians and vegans so everyone can get in on the festive fun.

Where: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
Website: www.swanlondon.co.uk

the montagu kitchen and lounge christmas afternoon teas

The Montagu Kitchen & Lounge

A perfect respite from the busy Christmas shopping, visit The Montagu Kitchen & Lounge at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill for a moment of calm, with a fabulously festive Afternoon Tea overlooking Portman Square Gardens. The carefully curated festive tea offers unique savouries and sandwiches, delicious scones, and hallmark pastries – all of which are perfectly paired with a selection of teas, and a glass of Pommery Rosé Brut.

Expect to indulge in the likes of a Mini Lobster Roll with Marie rose, chive and avocado as well as a Spiced Pumpkin Pithivier with pecan, while among the festive pastries are a ‘Christmas Present’ brandy chocolate cake, and ‘Santa’s Belt’ made up of Christmas pudding and coconut marshmallow. Yum!

Where: 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
Website: www.hyattrestaurants.com

Hithe + Seek

Escape to a winter wonderland with Hithe + Seek’s seasonal afternoon tea, inspired by the enchanting Westin Winter Candyland installation.

This limited-time experience offers a selection of festive sandwiches, scones, and pastries, with the River Thames as your backdrop – the perfect setting to soak up the festive season.

Where: 60 Upper Thames St., London EC4V 3AD
Website: www.hitheandseek.com

The Clermont Charing Cross

Take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a festive afternoon tea at The Clermont that includes all the favourites: scones, finger sandwiches, homemade treats, and a host of festive flavour.

Your sweet tooth will be satisfied with the likes of chocolate yule log slices, and mince pies with brandy cream, while savouries include roast turkey and cranberry mayonnaise finger sandwiches, and pigs in blankets.

Where: Strand, London WC2N 5HX
Website: www.theclermont.co.uk

the ivy festive afternoon teas

The Ivy

The Polar Bear Afternoon Tea at The Ivy is a must-try for afternoon tea aficionados. This beautifully presented three-tier experience features freshly baked fruit scones, dainty finger sandwiches, and sweet treats with a festive twist.

Served daily at selected locations, elevate your mid-afternoon experience with a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee MV to celebrate in style.

Where: Multiple Locations
Website: www.ivycollection.com

strand palace festive afternoon tea

Strand Palace

Welcoming guests to the heart of London since 1909, Strand Palace Hotel is offering a winter wonderland escape this Christmas with their Ice Palace themed afternoon tea in the art deco-inspired tearoom.

Step into a frosty haven covered in icicles and twinkling lights, and tuck into a generous serving of sweet and savoury treats inspired by the magic of snow and ice – from a charming chocolate and cherry reindeer yule log, to a decadent chocolate and orange macaron with a white chocolate snowflake. On weekends, you’ll also enjoy live entertainment to make your experience even more special.

Where: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ
Website: www.strandpalacehotel.co.uk

Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific London’s enchanting Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea has been created by Executive Pastry Chef Francesco Mannino, and is served in the elegant Orchid Lounge with views of the stunning MOSAIC installation on One Bishopsgate Plaza. This tea offers four exquisite new patisseries, beautifully showcased within birdcages on mirrored plates, creating a mesmerising interplay of light and reflection.

Indulge in seasonal treats like the Festive Forest with layers of Biscoff, and pecan and stollen scones, and for a touch of Southeast Asian flair, enjoy steamed siu bao buns and dumplings. There’s also a Little Kopi Tiam afternoon tea available for children, and a special twilight tea from 6pm-8pm for a treat while the city outside lights up.

Where: 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB
Website: www.panpacific.com

Corinthia London

Afternoon tea is taken very seriously at Corinthia London and, served in their light-drenched lounge, covered with 1,001 Baccarat crystals, it’s a luxurious experience to be savoured, and definitely not rushed. Here, you can take a break from Christmas shopping and the bustling city outside and enjoy a leisurely afternoon sipping tea and listening to the soothing tunes of their resident pianist.

On the menu you’ll find a selection of finger sandwiches, plain and sultana scones, as well as a choice of sweet delicacies inspired by the season – from ginger and orange cookies, to a speculoos and pear Christmas tree.

Where: Whitehall Pl, London SW1A 2BD
Website: www.corinthia.com

The Rubens At The Palace

Celebrate the magic of Christmas at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel with their delightful festive afternoon tea. This one-of-a-kind experience begins with a warm glass of mulled wine, setting the perfect festive tone for the delicious, can’t-miss sweet treats that follow.

Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Flemings Mayfair

The Drawing Room at Flemings Mayfair oozes elegance, paying homage to the hotel’s 18th-century heritage. With period details, high ceilings, and an original marble fireplace, this Georgian-inspired space is the perfect place to indulge in their Festive Season Afternoon Tea.

The menu features seasonal teas, homemade sandwiches, fresh scones, handmade pastries and sweets, available to enjoy with bubbles or their special Christmas cocktail.

Where: 7-12 Half Moon St, London W1J 7BH
Website: www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk

The Athenaeum

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 red velvet reindeer and orange spiced scones, to a hazelnut praline log and gingerbread eclairs.

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
Website: www.athenaeumhotel.com

Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Book in for a Christmas-themed Afternoon Tea at the renowned Theatre Royal Drury Lane this festive season. Hosted in the opulent Grand Saloon, this special afternoon tea offers a selection of savoury creations by The Lane’s chefs, as well as sweet treats by London-based baker, Lily Vanilli.

The building’s beautiful surroundings make it hard to want to leave, but luckily you don’t have to – make a day of it and book in for a performance of Frozen The Musical, or head downstairs for cocktails in the Cecil Beaton Bar.

Where: Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
Website: www.thelane.co.uk

One Aldwych

‘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 introduced a festive twist on their Charlie’s & The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea, with a delightful selection of savouries and sweets, and a dash of the unexpected.

Tuck into splendid savouries like Cotswold turkey, chestnut, and cranberry sandwiches, before feasting on Roald Dahl-inspired festive sweet treats like ‘hair toffee’ mousse, a caramel chocolate milkshake (mixed by waterfall), and scones with ‘snozzberry’ jam. Wash it all down with fizzy-lifting drinks like ‘The Chocolatier’ cocktail, made with whisky, cherry liqueur, grapefruit juice, cherry purée and chocolate bitters, topped with Champagne.

Where: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
Website: www.onealdwych.com

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