There is nothing more British than afternoon tea. For centuries the afternoon tea has known to become a cherished British tradition with its famous combo of sandwich-and-scones. So luxuryproperty.com has picked out the top places to sample it in London along with the tastiest bites and wonderful décor.
Adorned completely in a beautiful pink hue, classy interior designs, and waitresses pushing golden tea trolleys around the room, Sketch looks like a restaurant out of a fairytale setting, but its winning point is, of course, the tea. Customers have about 40 choices of tea to pick from including matcha, white rosebud, raspberry, and a rare but creative match of tea with bubbles. The restaurant also has a selection of silky smooth pastries with delicious fillings and a perfect crunch. Sketch also has designed menus for people that are allergic to nuts, dairy, gluten and vegan allergies.
Sketch’s creative designer David Shrigley has also spread his humor on the tea sets. If the customer pauses to add sugar to their tea, the words ‘ITS OKAY’ is engraved into the surface of the sugar bowl.
Afternoon tea is almost traditional at Claridge, and it’s not a surprise since the restaurant has had that ritual for over 150 years.
Prepared fresh each day, the restaurant serves traditional British specialties of both savory and sweet. The fruits they use in the pastries change according to the season. Customers can choose from over 24 loose leaf teas with rare blends and herbal infusions. There is everything from the refreshing Oolong to the rich complex Claridge’s Blend that can suit any side dishes perfectly.
Set in the glittering surrounding of Knightsbridge, the world of fashion inspires Prêt-à-Portea dishes. Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat changes the menu of his couture cakes every six months to reflect the latest fashion trends and colors.
Their tea includes over 20 refreshing loose of both savory and sweet that includes White peony, Earl Grey, Hibiscus, Whole Peppermint and Phoenix Honey Orchid.
6. Seymour’s Parlour
Named after the fictional Uncle Seymour, Seymour Parlour takes on an 1800’s look with dark wooden décor and paintings filling the empty spaces left between. The restaurant’s soft looking round croissants and creamy pastries will undoubtedly tempt your taste buds. With intimate lighting and dapper Italian waiters, customers can settle into a corner with a feeling of privacy as they sip on traditional British style tea.
5. Sanderson Hotel
Known as Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea Party, afternoon tea at Sanderson Hotel is just that. Not only do they have delicious sweet and savory with Afternoon Tea classics but the hotel décor, both interior and dining sets, is a resemblance to the world of Alice in Wonderland. Customers will meet plenty of familiar and loveable characters. The menus will be hidden inside vintage books, teapots decorated with king and queens, and plates decorated with ticking clocks.
This particular afternoon tea won the Best Themed Afternoon Tea Party in Afternoon Tea Awards 2016.
4. Hotel Café Royal
The afternoon Diptyque tea at Hotel Café Royal is a fairly different experience with a historical setting that involves golden décor and interiors clad head to toe in mirrors. Scented candle lights decorate the area from the entrance to your tables while a live pianist plays pleasing melodies for the visitors. Customers will feel like they’ve gone back to the noble world of the 1800’s.
The menu comes from the streets of Paris, and perfumed aromas inspire their tea. The Spring and Summer afternoon tea adds flavors from scents like Geranium Rose, Freesia, Choisya, Orange Blossom, and Baise Rose and Berrie’s scents. Their choices of delicious bites feature classic scones with savory fillings.
Hotel Café Royal will also be hosting a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea in celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming nuptials by serving their best afternoon tea in the menu with a glass of bubbles and a twin gift set of celebratory Royal Wedding mugs.
3. The Ampersand Hotel
The Ampersand Hotel is located in South Kensington and is what one would term as ‘out of this world.’ Quite literally! The hotel’s food inspiration comes from the Science and Natural History Museum which is just a few steps away.
Customers can expect exciting dishes of cakes, biscuits and scones in the shape of planets, volcanoes, rockets, and dinosaurs, and drinks that are served in cute, miniature chemical flasks and measuring tubes.
The restaurant gives an almost ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ experience for science-fiction lovers.
2. The Savoy
It is not just the afternoon tea that The Savoy is known for but also the crystal clear view of the River Thames from where one is seated on the higher floors. During the evenings, The Savoy plays the best live jazz music for customers accompanied with refreshing drinks.
The restaurant is placed inside a stunning glass dome which gives out natural light. The tableware consists of silver spoon and pots with floral cup and saucers. Guests can indulge in finger sandwiches, creamy homemade scones with jam fillings, and a tasty selection of seasonal cakes and pastries.
The restaurant recently won OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award 2018.
1. The Promenade at the Dorchester
The Dorchester is the epitome of English culture and tradition with afternoon tea classics and a tremendous amount of delicious, fine looking cakes.
The star of the afternoon at the Dorchester is the Dalreoch tea that comes from Scotland. This particular tea selection infuses Garrocher Grey with flowers from the New Orleans Monarda plant with Scottish black tea to give a healthy, fragrant drink.
There is more than one type of Dalreoch tea to suit the preferences of every customer. Dalreoch White is light and fruity, and Dalreoch Smokey White has a sweet-smoky taste that goes quite well with their salmon sandwiches.
The Dorchester’s interior is also something to take notice of. The restaurant is decorated with beige, plush goose down cushion sofas with floral designs, vases with full bloom flowers and potted plants placed here and there, while marble columns line the room. Huge lamps and ceiling lights bath the entire place in a warm orange glow while customers can have their hot tea in peace and privacy.
This May, The Promenade at The Dorchester will be hosting a special afternoon tea with a glass of bubbles, cakes, and pastries in a floral twist to welcome the yearly Chelsea Flower Show.