The best (and most fabulous) afternoon teas in London

From opulent to whimsical, the diverse range of afternoon teas in London means there’s always a cake or finger sandwich with your name on it – regardless of what takes your fancy.

Take a look at some of the best afternoon teas that the capital city has to offer, from classic teas to a Taiwanese take on the tradition.

The best (and most fabulous) afternoon teas in London

No matter how many times we sit down for afternoon tea (and believe us, we’ve experienced plenty) the pleasure of gorging on an array of dainty finger sandwiches, miniature pastries and fluffy, warm scones doesn’t seem to fade. On the contrary, with so many fabulous offerings to choose from in London, our hunger for this essential British tradition is more insatiable than ever.

Discover our pick of the best afternoon teas in London right now, from quintessentially classic offerings to teas to suit gin-lovers, arty types, fashionistas and more.

Where to go for afternoon tea in London

The best for lovers of seafood

‘An Ode to Cornwall’ afternoon tea at the Intercontinental Park Lane

For a traditional afternoon tea with a seaside twist, we loved The Intercontinental’s ‘Ode to Cornwall’ afternoon tea. Sip on sparkling wine (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), or enjoy the Wellington Lounge’s signature blend of black tea from Sri Lanka flavoured with vanilla. A host of wonderful savoury bites are on offer, with highlights being a crab casserole with smoked caviar, particularly memorable smoked mackerel finger rillette sandwich cut through with tart balsamic pearls, and Cornish game hen with caramelised onion chutney. The desserts include a Duchess of Cornwall hat, with a blackberry meringue and blackberry and mead jelly, a rum baba barrel with white chocolate vanilla cream and chocolate ‘velvet’, and a clever chocolate painting on an easel – an intricate reimagining of a famous Stanhope Alexander Forbes painting called ‘A Fish on Sale on a Cornish Beach’. Set against the soothing sounds of the hotel’s pianist, the experience here will not disappoint.

Address: Wellington Lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane, One Hamilton Place, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7QY
Price: starts from £69 per person

Ode to Cornwall London Park Lane

The cosiest afternoon tea

The Sitting Room at The Capital Hotel

The Capital’s traditional afternoon tea is served in the intimate surrounds of The Sitting Room at this central boutique hotel. The small but utterly charming ‘sitting room’ offers up old-school grandness on a comfortable and cosy scale. Choose your tea (we recommend their signature Grand Reserve Darjeeling 2nd Flush 2018) while you listen to the calming classical playlist murmur in the background. The sandwiches are dainty and pleasingly colourful – think smoked salmon on matcha bread, beef and horseradish on beetroot bread and cream cheese and cucumber on turmeric-stained rye. Miniature, standout sweets arrive on an old-school cake stand featuring plenty of classic flavours: rich chocolate tarts, light lemon and poppyseed cupcakes, buttery raspberry and frangipane tarts and more. The real highlight of the sweet section, though, has got to be the scones, which come served with an addictive sweet-but-sharp cherry and black pepper jam. Plus, you can add optional free-flowing prosecco for an extra tenner!

The Capital afternoon tea

Address: The Capital Hotel, 22-24 Basil Street, London, SW3 1AT
Price: starts at £59

The best for something different

The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London

If you’re after an impressive afternoon tea that offers more than sandwiches, try the Singaporean-inspired offering at Pan Pacific London’s Orchid Lounge. Their Kopi Tiam Afternoon Tea will see you sipping on tea or a glass of English sparkling while you gorge on a dim sum basket including prawn, seafood and chicken dumplings and mushroom bao. Scones are included, and the sweets by Cherish Finden will definitely impress, from a lemon meringue mousse to a pistachio financier whose design is inspired by the Tower of London. Iconic, this is. The building’s plush interiors, floor-to-grand-ceiling windows, and gorgeous crockery all make this feel like a very special experience.

Address: 80 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AB
Price: starts from £72 per person

Afternoon Tea

The most iconic afternoon tea

Traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz Hotel

Nothing conjures a more iconic image of luxury and indulgence than tea at the Ritz. Afternoon tea is served amidst lavish Louis XVI furnishings, glittering chandeliers, and elaborate draperies in the grand Palm Court. Enjoy the views of the royal gardens in Green Park and let the soothing melodies of live classical music in the background take you back to more glamorous era.

Address: 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR
Price: starts at £60 per person

The best healthier afternoon tea

Browns Hotel

The oldest hotel in London, graced by royalty and celebrities throughout the years, Brown’s Hotel exudes a sense of nostalgia and warmth. Try their slightly lighter ‘Tea-Tox’ offering – there’s hummus with roasted peppers and rocket; dainty ‘sandwiches’ including avocado cream and pickled radish or mushroom and nori algen, all on gluten free bread; desserts such as coconut and mango chia seed pudding and banana and caramel loaf cake will keep your sweet tooth in check. Treat yourself to a glass of extra-Brut Champagne, which is low in calories.

Address: Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BP
Price: starts from £75 per person

The best afternoon tea for fashionistas

The Berkeley Hotel

The skilled pastry team at The Berkeley has designed a couture afternoon tea service cunningly named ‘Prêt à Portea’ that is sure to delight fashionistas with a sweet tooth. Designs from the fashion houses of Christian Dior, Burberry, Christian Lacroix, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton take their shape in the form of delectable biscuits, cakes, and pastries on your plate. Prices start from £60 per person.

Address: Wilton Place, London, SW1X 7RL
Price: starts at £85 per person

The best traditional afternoon tea

The Dorchester

If it’s glitz, glamour, and flawless execution of the classics you seek, then a booking for afternoon tea at The Dorchester will not disappoint. Afternoon tea has been offered in this location since 1931 and the famous Promenade entrance lounge with its marble and gold detailing provides an opulent yet comfortable setting in which to enjoy an extensive selection of teas, sandwiches, scones, and pastries. Highlights include excellently soft Severn & Wye smoked salmon sandwiches, and sweets including a spiced apple choux and seasonal red fruit mille-feuille with the most plump raspberries you’re likely to eat. A special mention to the china, which is very pleasant to drink from, and great at keeping the tea hot.

Address: Park Lane, London W1K 1QA
Price:  £110 per person

Afternoon tea at The Dorchester

The best luxurious afternoon tea


Immerse yourself in the luxurious environs of Claridge’s while sipping a cup of one of 30 different blends of tea from around the world. Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s is a feast for the eyes and the palate. The luscious pastries, scones and scrumptious sandwiches are as sumptuous as the glamorous surroundings.

Address: Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR
Price: starts from £90 per person

The best afternoon tea for old-school glamour

The Stafford afternoon tea

Experience a slice of glamour with the The Stafford’s afternoon tea, served tableside from their handcrafted trolley. Alongside traditional fruit and Westcombe cheddar cheese scones (a true highlight), you’ll find their signature sandwiches. Fillings include smoked salmon; Montgomery cheddar, spring onion and tomato; free-range coronation chicken, and a truffled egg (the afternoon tea sandwich filling du jour) in a brioche bun. The intricate sweets, which you can choose from the trolley, include 5 items per person, and range from unfathomably cute vanilla and raspberry sugar mice, to a pistachio, dark chocolate and passionfruit tart or spiced apple macaron. This is a lovely one to bring your Mum or Dad to.

Address: 16-18 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NJ
Price: £70 per person


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