The Handbook
The Handbook

Tea, glorious tea. Is it worth waiting for? 

Of course, it blooming is! Having been first introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford after she noticed she always felt a little peckish each day at the same time way back in 1840, afternoon tea has since become a rather quintessential British staple, and unsurprisingly, it’s a true delight! This Spring, enjoy a brew of the good stuff and munch your way through these exceptional afternoon tea offerings adorning London.

The Palm Court

See ya 2020, we’re headed back to the real roaring 20s courtesy of The Palm Court’s Nineteen Twen-Tea afternoon tea experience. Glam up this Spring and enjoy delicate pastries and savouries all of which is inspired by the 1920s with an added contemporary sprinkling. Go all out and upgrade for the free-flowing Champagne option!

Where: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, The Palm Court Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX
Nearest station: Green Park (0.4 miles)
Website: www.palmcourtlondon.co.uk

InterContinental London Park Lane

Drawing inspiration from The Queen’s tours to the Commonwealth from the last 70 years, The Wellington Lounge’s afternoon tea is a true royal treat. With notes hinting to varying Commonwealth countries, you’ll find everything from chicken coronation and apricot on charcoal bread; cucumber and mint cream cheese on beetroot bread; and grapefruit, lime and orange stones from Uganda.

Where: One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7QY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.2 miles)
Website: www.parklane.intercontinental.com

Roast

Have yourself a very Quintessentially British afternoon tea experience courtesy of Roast this Spring. Nuzzled in the beating heart of Borough Market, spend your afternoon delighting in four exceptional courses of traditional sandwiches, plentiful scones and gallons of tea. You seriously don’t want to miss out on their blood orange drizzle cake with lemon cream either – it’s divine.

Where: The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.2 miles)
Website: www.roast-restaurant.com

The Berkeley

Strike a pose as you dive into London’s most fashionable afternoon tea experience. Prêt-À-Portea at The Berkeley has become iconic in its own right among the fashion set and, quite frankly, we’re equally obsessed! Each month there’s a new outstanding finale designed by a fashion world tastemaker. This month sees Laura Jackson, English TV presenter and columnist, take to the stage with her spectacular biscuit, on gianduja-glazed caramel mousse and embellished with sugar pearls, in honour of the Simone Rocha hair slides. Catch the tea for the ‘gram and your tastebuds.

Where: Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
Website: www.the-berkeley.co.uk

No. Fifty Cheyne

Fancy afternoon tea fit for a Queen? Stroll over to No. Fifty Cheyne and delight in a delicately crafted afternoon treat. Expect to be munching through roast beef and horseradish with watercress open sandwiches, homemade scones topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and chocolate brownie square with summer berries.

And, you’d be foolish to miss their Earl of Champagne cocktail, concocted of cold-brewed Earl grey tea from The Rare Tea Co., Wyborowa vodka, lemon zest, gammer syrup and Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne.

Where: no 50 Cheyne Walk, London, UK
Nearest station: Sloane Square (0.8 miles)
Website: www.fiftycheyne.com

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

Celebrate the Chinese New Year in style with TÏNG’S Asian influenced afternoon tea offering. Overlooking London’s iconic Tower Bridge and River Thames, enjoy a selection of signature Chinese teas; sesame, yuzu and lemon choux; and smoked salmon and wasabi “Gougere” sandwiches.

Where: 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Website: www.ting-shangri-la.com

Claridge's

If you didn’t quite catch Christian Louboutin’s epic Christmas tree extravaganza at Claridge’s in 2019, we’ve found Claridge’s next best thing. Their afternoon tea. Following suit in the English classic, Claridge’s puts its own creative spin on the afternoon delight from poached Scottish salmon to rich Oolong tea.

Where: Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HR, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)
Website: www.claridges.co.uk

Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar

Exceptional afternoon tea? Check. Iconic views over London? Check. Free-flowing G&Ts? Triple check! Wave hello to Gillray’s Bar and its boozy afternoon tea offerings. Spend your afternoon munching through bitesize sandwiches, quaint little cakes and classic scones. One question that’s left to ask: is where the heck do we sign up?!

Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
Website: www.gillrays.com

Covent Garden Hotel

Chimney sweeps at the ready! We’re dolling up in our finest Mary Poppins inspired attire and headed down to Brasserie Max at Covent Garden Hotel to celebrate the arrival of their new exclusively themed afternoon tea. Expect to be feasting on Nanny inspired creations such as ‘a spoonful of sugar’ lemon drizzle roulade, a ‘jolly holiday’ violet and white chocolate macaron and ‘the perfect nanny’ caramel, dark chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake. It’s all in honour of Disney and Cameron Macintosh’s musical, Mary Poppins playing at the Prince Edward Theatre.

Available from Monday 13th January 

Where: 10 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9HB, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Website: www.firmdalehotels.com

Fortnum & Mason

Can you get any more British than Fortnum & Mason? Add in afternoon tea in The Tea Salon and it’s next level quintessential Britishness. Having first opened over 312 years ago and began its life as a simple apartment for the Fortnum family, The Tea Salon has since transformed into an iconic figure in the wonderful world of tea. Outshine your Insta followers and delight in the timeless classic this Spring.

(Psst – we’re also running a competition to win an afternoon tea for four! Enter over here)

Where: 181 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1A 1ER
Website: www.fortnumandmason.com

CUT at 45 Park Lane

Take a walk on the wild side and opt for an afternoon tea experience that steers away from quintessential Britishness and throws a slice of American style dining into the mix. Indulge in wagyu beef sliders lathered with cheddar and shallot marmalade, crab cakes with basil aioli and tomato relish, and New York-style cheesecake. Y’all won’t want to miss it.

Where: 45 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1PN
Website: www.dorchestercollection.com

The Connaught

Enjoy a slice of tradition when you tuck into The Connaught’s afternoon tea offerings. At Jeans-Georges at The Connaught, begin your adventure with a selection of exotic teas – or, a glass of champagne, if you want to add some sparkle to the afternoon – before delighting in finger sandwiches which combine both British and South East-Asian flavour combinations. The roast ham and sweet potato with cranberry chutney in beetroot bread is just exquisite.

Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.5 miles)
Website: www.the-connaught.co.uk

XU

What’s afternoon tea without tea, right? Well lucky for you XU is home to one of the largest selections of Taiwanese tea in the capital! Enjoy a brew with a selection of sweet potato taro dumplings, char suit girolles puff and ‘pei pa’ tsuruna spinach custard. But one dish that’s above all – the fried cinnamon mochi. Ugh, divine.

Where: 30 Rupert Street, Chinatown, W1D 6DL
Website: www.xulondon.com

The Westbury Mayfair

2020 marks the arrival of The Westbury Mayfair’s brand new Asian-influenced afternoon tea experience, arriving just in time to celebrate the Chinese New Year in style. Executive Chef of The Polo Bar, Tim Ross-Watson has brought his 12 years experience working in Singapore to the table, incorporating delicious Asian spices and flavours into this new afternoon tea.

Launch Saturday 18th January 

Where: 37 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2YF, UK
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.4 miles)
Website: www.westburymayfair.com

Balthazar

Enjoy a taste of the Big Apple this Spring as you indulge in Balthazar’s afternoon tea offering. The NY-Tea adds a quirky American spin on the quintessential British classic. From ‘Liberty’ PB&J éclairs to Balthazar’s notorious pecan pie, you can rest assured you’ll be leaving a few pounds heavier…

Where: 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Website: www.balthazarlondon.com

The LaLiT London

Forget detoxing this January, retox with an alternative take on the British classic. Baluchi at The LaLiT scores serious points on their signature High Chai afternoon tea offering. Each dish has had a little Indian twist added, from nankhatai, a buttery shortbread style biscuit, to chicken Kathi rolls. All, of course, needs to be paired with a delightful cup of masala chai tea.

Where: 181 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JR, UK
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.4 miles)
Website: www.thelalit.com

Hotel Café Royal

If you’re after the Queen of Afternoon Teas, look no further than Hotel Café Royal. Inspired by the treats Queen Victoria delighted in over 200 years ago, expect to be delighting in smoked salmon and dill with fennel crème fraîche sandwiches, rich raspberry Victoria sponge and traditional raisin scones.

Where: 68 Regent Street, Piccadilly, W1B 4DY
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)
Website: www.hotelcaferoyal.com

The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Your Veganuary prayers have been answered! Those looking to keep up their plant-based antics can delight as the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences had launched an all new vegan afternoon tea that’ll be residing permanently across the hotel’s afternoon tea offerings. Find everything from soy chocolate ganache to rice milk pannacotta.

Where: 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.4 miles)
Website: www.athenaeumhotel.com

Great Fosters

Escape the city and delight in a quintessential afternoon tea in the heart of the countryside at Great Fosters. Served in the Anne Boleyn drawing room, or if you’re lucky with the weather out on the terrace, afternoon tea at Great Fosters is a delightful affair.

Where: Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9UR, UK
Nearest station: Virginia Water (0.9 miles)
Website: www.alexanderhotels.co.uk