Since the traditions beginning in the 1800’s, afternoon tea has become a staple in British culture. There’s no better way to experience the best tea, scones, finger sandwiches, and other tea time treats than in the booming capital of London. It can be hard to navigate the hundreds of options when it comes to taking an afternoon tea in the city, so we’ve put together a guide to the seven best tea spots in London for 2019. Explore the best tea experiences from the classics to those with a twist!
Best Tea for Tradition: Claridge’s Afternoon Tea
Expect luxury, tradition, and artistry at Claridge’s afternoon tea. For over 150 years, this five-star hotel has been serving up the best tea to London’s elite. Refinement is in the air at Claridges, from the art deco in the lobby to the perfectly shaped finger sandwiches. Every detail is exquisite.
The traditional afternoon tea menu seeks to satisfy that post-launch, pre-dinner hunger. Choose from twenty-four loose leaf tea blends, ranging from herbal infusions to regional English breakfast teas. A variety of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones are served for the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Each ingredient is local and of the best quality. Even the cucumbers have organic English heritage! The CJE team suggests you toast to tradition with a champagne afternoon tea.
P.S. Mind the dress code! Leave the flip-flops and athletic clothes at home and show up in your Sunday best.
Most Instagrammable Tea: Sketch
In a world where you are only as good as your latest Instagram picture, the millennial pink Gallery tea room at Sketch is a top tea and photo destination. Sketch has four different restaurants but the best tea spot by far is in the Gallery. The room is clad with 239 black and white works of art by British artist David Shrigley, contrasting eclectically with the rose-hued walls and plush furniture. The waitresses even serve you from golden tea trolleys. Snap a pic sipping your tea or go for a mirror selfie in perhaps the coolest bathroom you’ll ever use! The draw doesn’t stop with the aesthetic. The food and the tea at Sketch are delicious and photo-worthy all on their own.
Let your nose be your guide as you pick from forty aromatic loose leaf teas. Sketch has several options when it comes to dining, including an a la carte menu, traditional afternoon tea, pastries, and delicacies such as caviar and quail eggs. Overall, this tea room offers a one of a kind atmosphere for an unforgettable tea time.
Best Tipsy Tea: Mr. Fogg’s
Victorian elegance comes to life at the infamous Mr. Fogg’s Residence. You will love the decadent decor, china, and rarities within the antique home in Mayfair, where an exquisite and unique ‘Tipsy Tea’ awaits. All of the exotic artifacts and antiquities, collected by Phileas J. Fogg, come from near and far to tell a story of their own. Follow the adventurer himself through his residence with an anomalous afternoon tea.
Forget long island iced tea and try spirit infused tea alongside delicious victorian treats at Mr. Fogg’s. During a most intriguing afternoon tea, this tea room often draws in a younger crowd. However, it is perfect for the hungry and gregarious of all ages. Between gin, Aperol, elderflower liqueur and champagne infused teas, there is a concoction for everyone’s taste. Don’t try this at home though! Mr. Fogg’s staff have carefully crafted each of the best tea brews for balanced flavors. The Residence accommodates all food allergies and has special gluten-free and vegetarian menus for all the needs in your party. We suggest going for the bottomless teapot so you can enjoy unlimited tipsy tea for the entire duration of your tea time!
Best Contemporary Tea: Rosewood
Contemporary art fans will love this homage to some of the most influential styles of modern and dated art, all over a cup of London’s best tea! Rosewood’s executive pastry chef, Mark Perkins, has perfected a journey through cubism and pop art with six expertly created pastries. His edible version of abstract art pieces challenges traditional shapes and colors as contemporary art often does.
Along with the inventive cakes, enjoy finger sandwiches, fresh scones, and a selection of loose leaf teas. Discover the art movements started by Pablo Picasso and furthered through works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in the equally as profound Mirror Room. The Rosewood Art Afternoon Tea is consistently and accurately voted best contemporary afternoon tea in the city. So, throw on your smart casual attire and head to Holborn to satisfy your cultural cravings and sweet tooth all in one.
Best Tea With A View: Oblix
Study the endless London skyline as you enjoy English classics with a modern twist. Oblix at the Shard offers world-class views of the cityscape in a sophisticated and contemporary restaurant. They’ve designed a unique menu that blends ingredients from local purveyors of London’s many dynamic boroughs. From Hackney’s flour to Brick Lane’s chai spices, and even honey sourced from local bees in Harrow, all dishes are distinct “London.”
The afternoon tea menu features delicious favorites such as freshly baked scones, seasonal jams, and clotted cream. If you’ve built up a larger appetite, try a coronation chicken, mango & coriander sandwich or one of the other five craft sandwiches. And for a small additional fee, you can add a glass of billecart salmon champagne or a cocktail of your choosing. The highlights of this location are the gorgeous views and the best tea locally and globally produced.
Minimalistic Tea: Thomas’s Cafe
What could be chicer than dining at the Thomas’s Cafe by Burberry? Situated in Burberry’s flagship store on Regent Street, Thomas’s Cafe embodies the very style and simplicity that can also be seen in Burberry designs. It was even named after the founder of Burberry, Thomas Burberry. With a minimalistic approach, the small cafe offers a luxurious yet comfortable feeling.
Thomas’s afternoon tea is served on a suitably elegant tea stand containing a wide array of British treats. The treats include things such as finger sandwiches, English tea cakes, and a choice of other sweets including scones with clotted cream and jam. The best part is the shopping that will follow! This is the best tea for luxury seekers and shopaholics.
Fashion Lovers Tea: Prêt-à-Portea
Our personal favorite spot for the best tea in London is the Berkeley’s legendary designer afternoon tea. Prêt-à-Portea is totally inspired by the world of fashion. Additionally, every six months, a new menu of couture cakes is put out to reflect the latest trends on the catwalk. From color to designs to shapes, all international fashion runways can be recognized in the pastries. Fashionistas will marvel at the incredible attention to detail.
Were getting total Vogue vibes from this five-star hotel and their modish take on afternoon tea. Your food will look too good to eat and taste even better. Along with runway-inspired pastries, snack on finger sandwiches, scones, and of course English tea. The Berkeley has even published a book called “Prêt-à-Portea: High-fashion cakes and cookies” so you can whip up a batch of your own catwalk inspired biscuits. In addition, they offer a full menu of gluten-free as well!
Experience a one of a kind afternoon tea in London and so much more when you book a trip with Chloe Johnston Experiences. Contact Chloe at email@example.com for your personalized itinerary. Come away with us!