Top 10 afternoon teas in London

It’s National Afternoon Tea Week. And London has some of the finest places to enjoy a treat and the finest teas to wash down sarnies and scones. It is also the 250th anniversary of the birth of the second Earl Grey, Charles Grey of the tea fame. In his honour and to celebrate this week, here is our pick of the best afternoon teas in London.

best afternoon teas in London

Claridges
The grand dame in Mayfair has been serving afternoon tea for some 150 years, so it’s little wonder they get it so right. Served in the art deco surrounds of Thierry Despont’s foyer, tea is served on a specially designed stand on the best bone china. Sandwiches include Daylesford organic chicken, lemon & tarragon on granary bread plus an array of pastries and scones and a vast choice of teas.
Daily at 3pm, 3.30pm, 5pm or 5.30pm
Afternoon tea £50, champagne teas from £61
See Claridges

afternoon teas in London

Soho’s Secret Tea Room
Walk through the bar of Private Eye’s favourite pub, The Coach and Horses on Greek Street and slip upstairs to find a speakeasy-style tea in the finest traditions: staff in period dress, 40s jazz and swing played on a proper gramophone, vintage china and 16 teas, home made cakes, scones and jams.
Daily noon to 6pm
Cream tea from £6.50
See Soho’s Secret Tearoom

afternoon teas in London

Chesterfield Hotel

Served in the hotel’s delightful conservatory, The Chesterfield has a special award of excellence from the Tea Council for its quality. The hotel’s chef patissier Tom creates a choice of homemade sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a range of pastries and cupcakes.
Mon to Fri 1.30pm to 5.30pm, Weekends 1pm to 5.30pm
Afternoon tea £34.50, champagne tea £41.50
See Chesterfield Hotel

afternoon teas in London

The Berkeley Pret a Portea
There’s a constant strive to innovate outside of the hotels serving traditional teas and this fashion themed tea at Knightsbridge’s The Berkeley is one of the best. Served on designer china, the tea retains classic tea elements with a creative twist on some of the cakes and pastries. This season they include cakes in the shape of Burberry’s signature trench coat and Saint Laurent’s red leather duffle bag.
Daily 1pm to 5.30pm
Afternoon tea £39 (increases to £41 in April), champagne teas from £51
See The Berkeley

afternoon teas in London

The Landmark chocolate afternoon tea
This Marylebone hotel’s Winter Garden is surely one of the best venues for afternoon tea. Surrounded by palms and with a glass ceiling to let in natural light, it feels like summer here whatever the weather outside. Afternoon tea matches the venue, especially the one aimed at chocoholics that includes chocolate and passion cream financiers, chocolate crème brulee infused with chilli and chocolate and peanut tarts with salted caramel.
Mon to Fri 3pm to 5.30pm, weekends 1.30pm to 6pm
Traditional afternoon tea £40, chocolate tea £42, champagne teas from £45
See The Landmark

afternoon teas in London

The Metropolitan Hotel East meets West
Served in the Met Bar, famed for its debauchery, there’s certainly something decadent about this new afternoon tea that fuses flavours from around the world. Savoury options include potted grilled chicken sharwarma with coriander crumble and Dingley Dell pork pie with homemade piccalilli. Sweets feature chocolate and cardamom slices, orange-scented scones and cherry & ginger cake and pistachio & green tea macaroons. It’s great value too.
Daily 2pm to 5.30pm
East Meets West Champagne tea £35
See The Metropolitan

afternoon teas in London

St Ermins Hotel
Head chef Adam Handling was tipped as one of the ’30 under 30′ to watch in Caterer and Hotelkeeper, while he was also a finalist in 2013’s MasterChef The Professionals. Little wonder then that he serves an excellent afternoon tea at this St James’s hotel. Scones include Earl Grey & Raisin, there’s a variety of finger sandwiches, such as smoked salmon & caviar; plus sweet treats such as Yuzu lemon meringue pie.
Daily noon to 6pm
Afternoon tea £34 including unlimited strawberry and peach bellinis.
See St Ermins Hotel

afternoon teas in London

Ichi Afternoon Tea at Park Plaza Westminster
For a real afternoon tea with a twist, try this Japanese-inspired one at the Park Plaza Westminster’s Ichi Sushi and Sashimi Bar. Served on a lacquered display bridge, assorted sushi such as prawn nigiri, okra nigiri, salmon nigiri and Ichi tuna rolls make up the savoury portion, while deserts include green tea and chocolate savarin and a green tea opera cake. Tea can be accompanied by a flight of paired sakes.
Daily noon to 3pm
Afternoon tea £25, sake flights from £11
See Park Plaza Westminster

afternoon teas in London

Intercontinental Westminster
If you like a champagne afternoon tea but are put off by the cost and the fact you only get one glass, this tea at London’s second Intercontinental offers unlimited fizz in the price. Classic sandwiches include Hereford roast beef and horseradish, while cakes feature blood orange cheesecake and cherry bakewell.
Daily 90min sittings at 2pm and 4.30pm, plus 6pm on weekends
Afternoon tea £32.50 weekdays, £35 at weekends
See Intercontinental Westminster

afternoon teas in London

The Ritz
Surrounded by the gleaming mirrors and intricate gilded trellis of the Palm Court, The Ritz’s tea is one of London’s finest – and probably its most traditional. Gentlemen must wear a jacket and tie and jeans and trainers are anathema. Sandwiches feature cucumber with cheese, dill and chives on caraway seed bread and Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter on rye plus the usual scones and cakes.
Daily sittings at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm
Afternoon tea £45 (£47 from April 1, 2014, champagne teas from £57 (£58 after April 1, 2014)
See The Ritz

Think we’ve missed something? Leave a comment below
See our selection of the best afternoon teas outside London here

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