7 Unmissable Afternoon Tea Experiences in London

Posted by admin on 2018-08-09

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A quintessential part of English life, no trip to London would be complete without an afternoon tea. A tradition dating back to the 1800’s, afternoon tea began as a ritual for socialites to converse and mingle over hot tea and assorted snacks. Today, afternoon tea is a common afternoon activity for visitors and locals alike.

Though London offers a plentiful array of afternoon tea spots, a select few stand out from the crowd. Take a peek at a few of our favorite spots in London for an amazing afternoon tea experience and pencil in a trip during your English adventures.


The Ritz

Visitors seeking an elegant, high-end afternoon tea will appreciate the pomp and circumstance that comes with a visit to The Ritz. The gold standard for afternoon tea, The Ritz offers first-class service and decadent accouterments that provide a truly spectacular experience. Tea-takers can select from 16 unique tea varieties and the knowledgeable staff can guide first-timers through the service.

Tea is served with a traditional selection of refreshments, including finger sandwiches, scones, fresh jam, clotted cream, macaroons, and tarts. In true traditional fashion, The Ritz does have a dress code, which includes jackets and a tie for men and upscale casual attire for women. The Ritz offers five tea seatings per day from 11:30 am – 7:30 pm. A standard tea reservation is 50 pounds per person while the champagne tea reservation is 66 pounds per person. Call +44 20 7300 2345 for more information or reservations.


Shangri-La Hotel

If afternoon tea with a view is on your bucket list, look no farther than the Shangri-La Hotel. Situated high within The Shard building, the tallest building in Europe, the Shangri-La Hotel is the ideal spot for people watching, sipping exotic tea, and catching up with friends and family.

As the name suggests, the Shangri-La offers a bit of Asian flare, though the spirit of London is very present with stunning views of local landmarks like the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, and the River Thames. Shangri-La offers two unique tea experiences, a traditional English tea for 49 pounds per person or an Asian-inspired tea for 54 pounds per person. Opt for the later for an exotic twist on this classic experience, with flavorful tea selections and mouthwatering finger foods. Call +44 20 7234 8000 for more information or reservations.


The Royal Opera House

History buffs and theatre pundits will not want to miss the elegant afternoon tea offered at the famous Royal Opera House. A true London staple, the opera house has a long history of hosting world-renowned performers. The immaculate interior is truly a sight to be seen with stunning floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a classic Art Deco design.

The detail does not stop with the architecture, as every tiny detail has been thought out and perfected, even down to the meticulously curled smoked salmon situated atop freshly baked bread. True to tradition, the Royal Opera House offers seamless service and an attentive, knowledgeable staff. The opera house offers two teas, a traditional afternoon tea for 37.50 pounds per person and a champagne tea for 47.50 pounds per person. Call +44 20 7304 400 for information and reservations.



If you prefer your tea with a tasty adult twist, Dandelyan is just what the doctor ordered. You are on vacation, after all. The boozy tea experience at Dandelyan includes four tea teasers paired with scrumptious snacks. Wondering what makes Dandelyan a true contender for our list? Well, they were voted the world’s best cocktail bar last year, so this might be your only chance to visit one of the literal best bars in the world.

The tea cocktails are refreshing and surprising, with unique flavors and combinations that are sure to please the palate. This is certainly not your father’s afternoon tea – in the best way possible. The Dandelyan tea experience is 55 pounds per person. Call 020 3747 1063 for more information and reservations.


Brown’s Hotel

Tea aficionados and serious tea enthusiasts will feel right at home at Brown’s Hotel. The classically trained, professional staff includes two ‘tea sommeliers’ and one of the most prestigious tea menus in all of London. Ideal for well-versed tea drinkers that are craving something unique, the afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel is sure to leave an impression.

Despite the upscale atmosphere, Brown’s is far from stuffy, with live entertainment provided throughout the afternoon. Of course, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without the classic three-tiered tray filled with goodies to snack on with your tea, and the treats at Brown’s do not disappoint. Finger sandwiches, scones, macaroons, and Brown’s famous strawberry jam are just a few delicacies visitors can look forward to. The traditional afternoon tea experience is 41.50 pounds per person while the champagne afternoon tea is 51.50 pounds per person. Call +44 20 7518 4155 for information and reservations.



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If afternoon tea isn’t totally your thing, fret not. Night owls are sure to appreciate the late-night tea offered at Sketch, a contemporary new concept by renowned French Chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mourad Mazouz. This trendy tea spot offers a ‘Jing Twilight Tea’ as a fun way to kick-start your evening and offers seatings from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm.

The backdrop is quite impressive, with original architectural features and furnishings from the 18th-century building that has been beautifully preserved over time. Guests start the experience with a cold palate cleansing tea while they select either a green, black, or oolong tea for the main event. The tea is paired with a variety of posh finger foods, like mushroom croquet-monsieur and smoked-salmon finger sandwiches. The best part? This chic London tea experience won’t break the bank at only 24 pounds per person. Call +44 20 7659 4500 for information and reservations.


London Bus Afternoon Tea Tour

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Who said tea was limited to a stationary venue? Perfect for multi-taskers, the new London Tea Tour is the talk of the town – and for good reason! Family owned and operated, the tour takes place on a recently restored 1960’s Routemaster, which offers a nostalgic London vibe. The on-board waiter slash tour guide is knowledgeable on both classic tea service and London history and charms the group while serving guests during the 90-minute tour.

If you’re hesitant about the experience, fret not. The proprietors are also local bakery owners and all of the tea selections and treats for the adventure are fresh from the shop. The succulent snacks include freshly baked quiche, lemon meringue pie, sweet scones, and the bakery’s signature brownies. While you’re sipping and savoring, the tea tour will pass iconic London landmarks like Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the House of Parliament – to name a few. There are two tours per day, one at 12:30 pm and another at 3:00 pm and tickets are only 45 pounds per person. Call +44 20 7237 3392 for information and reservations.

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