The Best Afternoon Tea London

Best Afternoon Tea London featured image
Published on April 24, 2023

If freshly baked scones, cream tea, salmon sandwiches, and strawberry jam sound good to you, you need to take a look at our list of the best afternoon tea London

We'll take a look at some of the city's most popular tea rooms and restaurants where you can enjoy afternoon tea.

9+ Best Afternoon Tea London

London is famous for its afternoon tea culture. From grand hotels to quaint tea rooms, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, with so many choices, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go.

We will explore the best afternoon tea spots in London that cater to different budgets, preferences, and dietary requirements.

1. The Grand Saloon Afternoon Tea at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

If you loved Bridgerton, you can't miss the Regency-inspired afternoon tea at the Theatre Royal.

You can enjoy opulent tiered cakes, classic finger sandwiches, and exotic tea blends to the soundtrack of pop songs scored as classical music, just like the Netflix series. 

The menu includes sweet treats and savory classics. On the sweet side, enjoy layered chocolate cake, rich chocolate mousse, and pink lemonade tarts.

For savory treats, enjoy madeleines topped with lapsang-souchong glazed salmon, bitesize cannelés with goats' cheese, and puff pastry sausage rolls made.

At the end of the meal, a trolley brings scoops of absinthe mint choc chip ice cream.

Address: Catherine St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JF


2. La Suite West

La Suite West Best Afternoon Tea London

Credit: La Suite West

Travel back to the Belle Epoque with an exquisite Parisian afternoon tea at La Suite West in Bayswater. The chic hotel offers a twist on classic London afternoon teas inspired by French patisseries.

You can choose from a selection of delicate pastries, open and closed sandwiches, and classics like macarons, éclairs, and millefeuilles, as well as more unusual treats like tarte tatin and berry tartlets.

For traditional tastes, you can enjoy cucumber sandwiches with dill or smoked salmon sandwiches. Tea is served in a beautifully designed lounge with comfortable seats, soft lighting, and elegant decor.

Address: 41-51 Inverness Terrace, London W2 3JN, United Kingdom


3. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych

Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych

Credit: One Aldwych

Afternoon tea at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a unique dining experience inspired by the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl. 

It is held at One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden, which has transformed its Lobby Lounge with playful decorations, quirky props, and themed tea sets. 

Sample cucumber sandwiches and bite-sized desserts inspired by the book's famous chocolate factory, including a "Golden Ticket" chocolate bar and a "Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight" hot chocolate, 'Blue as a blueberry' tart, and scones with 'snozberry' jam and 'all the creams.' It's a must for families or fans of the book.

Address: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, United Kingdom


4. Hotel Café Royal

Hotel Café Royal

Credit: Hotel Café Royal

The Hotel Café Royal in Mayfair is synonymous with afternoon tea in London.

The city's elite has been visiting this hotel since the 19th century to sample sweet and savory dishes, including scones with Cornish clotted cream, fine teas, pastries, and champagne-infused macarons and chocolate truffles. 

The tea room itself is beautifully designed, with elegant decor, comfortable seating, and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

All in all, this venue is perfect for visitors looking for an indulgent afternoon tea in elegant surroundings.

Address: 10 Air St, London W1B 5AB, UK


5. Petals Tea Room at the Kensington Roof Garden

Is there anything more quintessentially English than enjoying warm scones during a garden afternoon tea?

The Petals Tea Room offers a sophisticated afternoon tea surrounded by vibrant flowers with stunning views over the city. 

The menu includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a variety of sweet pastries and cakes.

There is also a range of loose-leaf teas to choose from, including traditional blends, herbal infusions, and fruit and floral tisanes.

6. The Polo Bar at Westbury Mayfair Hotel

The Polo Bar's sophisticated and elegant setting serves a traditional afternoon tea, complete with a range of savory sandwiches, sweet pastries, scones, and a selection of teas. 

Enjoy delicious coronation chicken sandwiches or other classic fillings such as cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and egg and cress.

On the sweet side, the afternoon tea menu includes macarons, éclairs, and fruit tarts.

The Georgian Restaurant is located at 37 Conduit Street in Mayfair, offering up elegant and sophisticated surroundings perfect for a special occasion or a relaxing afternoon out.

Address: 37 Conduit St, London W1S 2YF, UK

7. The Rosebery at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Credit: The Rosebery at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

The stylish Rosebery offers a contemporary twist on traditional afternoon tea, with delicate sandwiches and curated pastries served from hanging cake stands.

Choose from 29 different loose-leaf teas or wine, sake, beer, or Sparkling Tea. 

Bite into a basil drizzle cake, Tonka Millefeuille Dark chocolate, Jaffa Orange Battenberg, or Cotswold Egg and Black Truffle sandwiches stuffed with goat's cheese.

The elegant atmosphere, combined with the innovative menu, make this a must-see venue.

Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, UK


8. The Rose Lounge

Inspired by France's oldest tea house, the Rose Lounge offers delicacies like Truffle Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich on Spinach Bread, Coronation Chicken with Apricot on Brioche Bun, and Madagascar vanilla Layered with Coconut Passionfruit and Pineapple Confit.

Enjoy blends from Camellia's Tea House or a delicious cup of coffee.

9. The Egerton House Hotel

The Egerton House Hotel

Credit: The Egerton House Hotel

This cozy and charming hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge offers a flavorful take on afternoon tea with malted cocoa bread, smoked salmon, and roasted ham.

You can enjoy a number of delicious sweet pastries in their luxurious drawing room at 17-19 Egerton Terrace. 

The warm and inviting atmosphere, combined with the innovative menu, make it a great choice for a relaxed tea.

Address: 17-19 Egerton Terrace, London SW3 2BX, UK


10. The Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific London

Credit: The Pan Pacific London

The Pan Pacific in Kensington's Orchid Lounge adds Asian flavors to British tea.

Cherish Finden, the pastry chef, combines Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam, bao, dim sum, and choux with fine loose-leaf tea from The Rare Tea Company, introduced by an on-staff Tea Connoisseur.

If you need a stronger pick-me-up, you can enjoy a glass of champagne while admiring the views over the Plaza.

Address: 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB, UK


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time for afternoon tea in London?

The traditional time for afternoon tea in London is between 3:30 pm and 5 pm. This mid-afternoon slot is the perfect break in the day to sit back, relax, and enjoy a spread of sandwiches, pastries, scones, and, of course, a pot of fresh tea.

However, each establishment may have its own specific timings, and some venues also offer more flexible "tea times" extending into the late afternoon or early evening.

Do you have to dress up for afternoon tea in London?

The dress code for afternoon tea can vary greatly depending on where you go.

Some of the more formal, high-end hotels or tea rooms in London may encourage a smart-casual dress code, meaning no sportswear, shorts, or flip-flops.

However, most venues do not require formal attire and welcome guests to enjoy their afternoon tea experience in comfortable clothing.

It's always best to check the specific dress code of the establishment you're visiting beforehand.

What's the difference between afternoon tea and high tea?

Despite what the names might suggest, afternoon tea and high tea are quite different.

Afternoon tea, also known as 'low tea,' is a light meal typically served between lunch and dinner, around 3:30 pm to 5 pm.

It traditionally includes a selection of delicate sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries, and tea.

High tea, on the other hand, originated as a working-class meal served on high, dining room tables at the end of a workday, hence the name.

High tea is more of a hearty supper, often including meat dishes, bread, vegetables, cheeses, and perhaps a pot of strong tea.

It's essentially a more substantial meal compared to the elegant, light fare associated with afternoon tea.

A Bottom Line

These options are just a taster of what you can find for afternoon tea in London. Whether you are looking for a gourmet meal or just want a strong cup of tea and mini sandwiches after an afternoon of sightseeing, London has something for everyone.

You might also be interested in these restaurants in London:

Hermillis Haden
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