The Best Afternoon Tea in London

Afternoon tea is a distinctly British tradition and there’s nowhere better to indulge than in one of London’s grand luxury hotels.

Whether you’re treating someone special with a full champagne afternoon tea or fancy sandwiches and cakes in a glamorous setting, read on for our choice of the best afternoon tea in London.

Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley

Fancy an Anya Hindmarch handbag, Alexander McQueen shoes or Oscar de la Renta gown? Then visit The Berkeley for their Pret-a-Portea afternoon tea collection where the creations of famous designers are turned into sweet treats, served on exquisite Wedgwood fine-bone china.

The Berkeley Pret a Portea

Prêt-à-Portea is served in The Caramel Room at The Berkeley priced at £45 per person (£52 including a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne).

The Foyer at Claridge’s

Claridge’s is the perfect place to indulge in afternoon tea, which is served right at the heart of the hotel in the grand and elegant foyer, which exudes luxury and style.

Afternoon tea at Claridge's

There’s a selection of 30 teas from all over the world and they use exclusive tea-infused jam and Devonshire clotted cream.

The Rosebery Room at the Mandarin Oriental

The Rosebery Room, has recently had a makeover and is now adorned with bold, modern art pieces and a wonderful fireplace. The afternoon tea is a piece of theatre, served suspended over the table from a branch.

The Rosebery Room at the Mandarin Oriental

The spread includes classic sandwiches, dessert-style sweets and warm scones. There are some great teas on the menu including signature blends of Breakfast, Afternoon and Directors reserve that have been crafted in conjunction with the East India Company exclusively for the hotel.

The Ritz London

Afternoon tea at The Ritz is a bit of an institution and it is incredibly popular – The Ritz now offers five sittings every day, starting at 11:30am with the last one at 7:30pm!

Afternoon tea at The Ritz

Afternoon tea is served in the Palm Court area in the middle of the hotel’s grand lobby – dress up (men, put on a jacket and tie) and make a glamorous afternoon of it.

Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard is now offering afternoon tea in its Tea Wing and Atrium as part of its venture into all-day dining (they’re now also serving breakfast).

Chose from a vast selection of teas from the Rare Tea Company to accompany a fine spread of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, homemade jams, Jersey clotted cream, homemade cakes and sweet treats.

Afternoon tea at Aqua Shard

Classic afternoon tea is available between 3pm and 5pm for £29.50; Aqua Shard also offers Champagne afternoon tea for £40, which includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot ‘yellow label’ Brut Champagne.

Low Tea at The Luggage Room

The Luggage Room is an intimate and stylish 1920s-inspired cocktail bar and drinking den, located in Mayfair. The Luggage Room’s re-imagining of the afternoon tea is ‘The Low Tea’, served in a specially designed, three-tier wooden case.

The Luggage Room Low Tea

Opening the case reveals savoury highlights such as smoked eel, horseradish and crème fraiche vol au vents, Devonshire wild boar sausage rolls and moreish Lyburn Smoked Cheddar & Sage Scone, Spiced Pear Chutney.

There is also plenty to satisfy a sweet tooth with generous helpings of a fabulous Tiptree Tawny Marmalade infused carrot cake and heavenly salted caramel meringues.

Low Tea is priced from £48, with supplementary options to enjoy with Champagne and exclusive cocktails.

Park Chinois

Served in its opulent dining room, Salon de Chine, Park Chinois offers an afternoon tea menu called the ‘Orchestre de Chinois’.

Park Chinois Afternoon Tea

The classic menu includes sandwiches, warm scones and sweet pastries and a curated selection of loose teas sourced from the four corners of the world, as well as a menu of hot chocolate and coffee from niche producers.

The Lobby at the Corinthia

The Corinthia Lobby Lounge is a light, airy and chic setting to enjoy an afternoon tea, and at £35 per head (with a glass of Laurent Perrier for £45) it is value for money and superior to a great number of its 5* contemporaries across the capital, without the month-long waiting list.

The Corinthia Hotel, London

Claire Clarke, who worked as at the celebrated French Laundry in Napa is the consultant and in-house cake maker, making this one of the best afternoon tea in London.

The Mirror Room at Rosewood London

Rosewood London’s Mirror Room has launched an ‘Art Afternoon Tea’, which will celebrate five iconic artists; Yayoi Kusama, Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Banksy.

Afternoon tea at Rosewood London

Served in the Rosewood London’s Mirror Room, the art-inspired afternoon tea will involve the traditional British afternoon tea with delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones also from the pastry kitchen, served with clotted cream, lemon curd and homemade strawberry jam.

German Gymnasium

German Gymnasium is an all-day Grand Café, restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace and serves Mittel-European inspired menu, specialising in German cuisine.

Two afternoon tea menu options are available in the Grand Café on the ground floor: The German and The Austrian. Both menus offer a selection of three mini rolls and three cakes/desserts served with either tea or coffee (you can also add a glass of Schloss Vaux Sekt sparkling wine for £4.50).

German Gymnasium afternoon tea

During our visit, there were many highlights including the Tyrolean hay smoked ham mini roll, the delightful Apple strudel and Black Forest cake.

The soft, delicate and more-ish Bienenstick cake – a sponge like cake with a topping of caramelized almonds and filled with a vanilla custard – deserves a special mention.

The Pantry at 108 Marylebone

Minutes from bustling Oxford Street you can find a little haven in the form of Pantry at 108. Pantry at 108 is a light and airy space with plush, colourful seating and a decadent afternoon tea offering of classic, healthy (gluten free) and indulgent.

The Pantry at 108 Marylebone

Chose from a selection of fragrant loose leaf tea to accompany freshly cut finger sandwiches, homemade scones, Devonshire clotted cream, conserves and a selection of French pastries.

The indulgent afternoon tea comes with Rosé champagne and strawberries. Classic and healthy afternoon tea costs £28 and indulgent is £38.

Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Bea’s offers great value for money afternoon tea in a small, friendly and ‘buzzy’ café environment. The cakes taste as good as they look, and not many people leave without taking home at least one cupcake.

The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel

In a light and airy room with the sound of a baby grand piano in the background, Brown’s offers a selection of 17 teas, including their own blend, accompanied by friendly and attentive service.

The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel

If you’re looking for the best afternoon tea in London, Brown’s was awarded the ‘Top London Afternoon Tea 2009’ award by The Tea Guild and offers a selection of high-end teas from Lalani & Co.

The Parlour at Sketch

The Parlour offers fine cakes, sandwiches and tea in a grand setting with a cool and quirky vibe. There is a no reservation policy, but any wait will be worth it.

Sotheby’s Café

Offering an unusual setting for afternoon tea, tucked in next to the famous auction house, Sotheby’s café is small, elegant, great for people watching and surprisingly good value.

The Mandeville Hotel

The Mandeville Hotel features a men’s afternoon tea, designed to be an alternative to the standard business meeting or a respite from a shopping excursion, offering ‘man sized’ portions, a selection of games and a range of whiskies as well as champagne and tea.

Afternoon tea at L'Eto Cafe

The Best Afternoon Tea in London

If you liked this top 10 feature on the best afternoon tea in London, why not read our guide to the best brunch in London, the most romantic restaurants in London or the best alfresco restaurants in London?

Sign Up To The Bon Vivant Journal

Subscribe to the Bon Vivant Journal by clicking here.