Five best places for afternoon tea in London

Written on 15 August 2014 by Alistair Boscawen in London

Fancy a cuppa anyone? Nothing tastes better than indulging in a spot of afternoon tea, right? We have picked the best places to enjoy this fine English tradition in London…

One of the benefits of living in Central London is the access to an amazing range of luxury hotels, perfect for those little treats such as a glass of champagne, a Sunday Roast and of course afternoon tea. If you fancy the latter, there’s an array of amazing options to choose from – five of which we’ve listed below:

The Connaught

When you arrive at The Connaught you will be greeted by doormen wearing top hats and white gloves, in true traditional style. The setting is sumptuous, perfect for sipping delectable cocktails. The menu changes depending on the seasons and offers a range of classic teas, fresh scones, finger sandwiches and different cakes and pastries.

Intercontinental London Westminster

Found in a historic 19th century building which was once Queen Anne’s Chamber, Intercontinental London Westminster is indeed a sight to behold. The interior is stunningly renovated and the hotel is within moments of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The venue is an incredible place to take high tea and a not-to-be-missed experience. You can choose from a range of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. Tea is served from 2-4.30 pm every day.

Dorchester Hotel

Tea is served five times a day from 1pm to 4:15 pm and is a truly wonderful experience. The Dorchester is one of the UK’s most well-known hotels and is situated on Park Lane. You can feast from a selection of finger sandwiches, and enjoy scones with homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. There are also delicious French pastries.  Why not try the Vintage Balcony Afternoon Tea? This consists of finger sandwiches, warm scones, English traditional cakes as well as a glass of Laurent Perrier Vintage 2002. Alternatively, The Dorchester Champagne Afternoon Tea is a good option. Start with a glass of chilled Laurent-Perrier NV Champagne and add some savoury finger sandwiches and you’re away! You can then move on to warm scones and other cakes – a very lavish tea.

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The Berkeley Afternoon Tea

Tea at the Berkeley really stands out in terms of its uniqueness. Prêt-à-Portea – the Fashionista’s Afternoon Tea – is the piece de resistance and is served in the Caramel Room. The tea gives you the choice of a series of loose leaf teas and herbal infusions. Along with these come a selection of cakes, pastries and savouries styled to reflect current catwalk trends. These include a Stella McCartney polka dot sponge cake and even a gold Dolce & Gabbana chocolate éclair! And don’t miss the Miu Miu winter spice sparkly shoe biscuits.

The Ritz

I bet you were wondering how long it would be before we mentioned The Ritz! As you can probably imagine, afternoon tea here is something special. Served at the Palm Court, there marble columns and draped floral curtains; with tea served in fine bone china. The usual food is on the agenda: sandwiches, cakes and pastries – just remember to wear a jacket and tie as these are obligatory for men.

We hope you enjoy your tea-taking experience –wherever you choose to visit. We suggest staggering your visits over the course of a year and going to all of these hotels!


Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen


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