The 20 Best Places to Take Afternoon Tea in London

If you’re planning a visit to London (even if you’re visiting London with kids) you really should include an afternoon tea in London in your itinerary. Nobody does afternoon tea like the Brits. Afternoon tea is quintessentially British.

There are many places where you can pick up a good old cup of tea, but if you’re looking for something a little (or a lot) more special, there are plenty of places to choose from. So many in fact that it can be a bit overwhelming.

It’s impossible to answer the question many people ask: ‘what is the best place in London for afternoon tea?’ because everyone has different tastes. This is why we created this list of the 20 best places for afternoon tea in London covering a variety of tastes.

But first, where did it all start and who do we have to thank for this very British affair?

The history of Afternoon Tea

The afternoon tea idea was thought up in 1840 by Anna Maria Stanhope, the 7th Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting. In those days the evening meal was served at around 8pm and she found herself getting hungry in the late afternoon. She came up with the idea of a pot of tea with a light snack and invited friends to join her. The idea caught on and became very fashionable.

These days, afternoon tea is a bit of a luxury with some places putting on extraordinarily extravagant spreads. Afternoon tea is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine and while living in London I would often look for new and exciting places for afternoon tea near me, especially when friends from out of town were visiting.

One of the things they would ask about was afternoon tea etiquette. In case you have also wondered what do you eat at an afternoon tea first? – start with savoury (sandwiches) and move on to scones then sweets.

Victorian afternoon tea

Victorian afternoon tea

Here are our recommendations on where to find the best places to have afternoon tea in London. They include a mix of our favourite venues in London serving afternoon tea as well as some we are dying to try based on their amazing reviews.

We’ve listed the most traditional afternoon tea venues in London along with some other more quirky afternoon tea ideas and child-friendly places. So whether your’re looking for somewhere to take mum on Mother’s Day or a child’s birthday treat, you’ll find the perfect London afternoon tea spot to suit every occasion here.

Note that most of these teas offer the option of a glass of champagne. The prices quoted do not include that option. See the venue’s own website for prices including champagne.

The best traditional afternoon tea in London

The Langham

Afternoon Tea

What better place to start with afternoon tea in London than at The Langham? It was the first place in London to serve afternoon tea (since 1865). They also do a fabulous children’s afternoon tea.

Where: 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA
When: Thursday to Sunday with seating times: 12:30/12:45/13:00 – 14:00/14:45/15:00 and 16:30/16:45/17:00/17:30
Price: £62.00 per person (see end of post for kids’ tea)

Afternoon Tea in London at The Langham

Afternoon Tea in London at The Langham

The Ritz

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

The Ritz is one of the most famous hotels in London and Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is one of the most famous afternoon teas in London. The Ritz afternoon tea is a traditional affair and served in the truly elegant Palm Court. The Ritz is the only place in London to have a Tea Sommelier so this is the plae to go if you like your tea with 18 loose leaf tea varieties to choose from.

Where: The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR
When: Daily at 11.30 / 1.30 / 3.30 / 5.30 / 7.30
Price: From £52.50 per person

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz | Photo Credit: The Ritz

The Savoy

Afternoon Tea at the Savoy

The Savoy Afternoon Tea dates back to 1889 when the hotel first opened.  They offer a traditional afternoon tea with finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam in the beautifully light and airy Thames Foyer. They also offer a vegan afternoon tea.

Where: The Savoy, The Strand, London, WC2R 0EZ
When: Monday to Tuesday (2pm to 7pm) and Wednesday to Sunday (12pm to 7pm)
Price: £65.00 per person

Afternoon Tea at the Savoy

Afternoon Tea at the Savoy | Photo Credit: The Savoy

Claridges

Claridges Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea at Claridges is one of the more traditional high teas in London. A selection of sweet and savoury delights using seasonal British produce is served in the stunning Foyer & Reading Room.

If you’re visiting London at Christmas (10th November to 3rd January), they offer a festive afternoon tea menu (for a higher price) accompanied with festive Christmas carols.

Where: Claridges, Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR
When: Daily from 2.45 to 5.30
Price: £61.25 per person

Sweet treats at Claridges Afternoon Tea

Sweet treats at Claridges Afternoon Tea | Photo Credit: Claridges

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum and Mason Afternoon Tea

During October and November they will be offering afternoon tea for free to anyone in your party with a birthday during those months. Check their website for terms. They also offer a vegan menu and a children’s menu.

Where: Fourth Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER
When: Monday to Saturday (11.30 am to 7.00 pm) and Sunday (12.00pm to 6.00 pm)
Price: £60.00 per person (Children’s menu is £30.00 for children aged 4-10)

Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason

Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason | Photo Credit: Fortnum & Mason

The most quirky places for afternoon tea in London

Sketch

Sketch Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea at Sketch is a quirky affair, from booking through to eating. This is an all you can eat tea, so come hungry! Booking on their website is not all that straightforward. Go to the menu and click on the Gallery, then afternoon tea.

Where: 9 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XG
When: Daily from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm
Price: £49.00 per person. Children’s menu £30.00 per child (including a teddy bear)

pretty vintage tea cup

The Lanesborough

Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea

The Lanesborough hotel is collaborating with the queen of cakes (and the colour pink), Peggy Porschen. If you have been on Instagram lately, you will no doubt have seen her fabulous pink cake shop in Belgravia and she brings all things pink to the Lanesborough.

She started out her pastry career at the Lanesborough so it seems fitting that she is back there working with their head pastry chef.  As well as the usual tiny delights, you’ll be invited to select a slice of her signature layer cake of the day. From 13th November until 4th January 2021 they will be serving a festive menu.

Where: The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
When: Monday to Friday (12.30pm – 4.30pm) and Saturday and Sunday (11.30am – 5.30 pm)
Price: From £53.00 per person

Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea

Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea | Photo Credit: The Lanesborough

Brigit’s Bakery

Classic Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour

Hop on an iconic red London Routemaster bus for a 90-minute tour of some of the most famous sights in London whilst enjoying your afternoon tea.

Where: Departs from Victoria Coach Station or Trafalgar Square
When: 12.00 / 12.30 / 13.00 / 14.30 / 15.00 / 15.30 / 17.00
Price: From £45.00 per adult

Town House Kensington

London Landmarks Afternoon Tea is inspired by the most famous landmarks and served on an eye-catching London Eye afternoon tea stand.

Where: Town House, 109-113 Queen’s Gate, London, SW7 5LP
When: From 1pm to 4pm daily
Price: £42.00 per person

Landmarks of London Afternoon Tea at the Town House

Landmarks of London Afternoon Tea at the Town House | Photo Credit: Town House

The best afternoon tea in London for music

The Royal Albert Hall

Live Music and Food

The afternoon tea at the Royal Albert Hall includes musically inspired cakes as well as the traditional finger sandwiches served in the Verdi Restaurant. There is an option to take a tour of the Royal Albert Hall before tea or on special occasions, there is live music from celebrated musicians.

Where: The Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AP
When: This is not a daily event. See the Royal Albert Hall website for more details. (Currently not running)
Price: From £30.00 per person

Afternoon Tea at the Royal Albert Hall

Afternoon Tea at the Royal Albert Hall | Photo Credit: Royal Albert Hall

The best afternoon tea in London for views

As views go, you can’t get much better than the views from the Shard, the tallest building in London. There are a couple of places to enjoy afternoon tea at the Shard.

Ting

Afternoon Tea

Currently offering a pink October tea in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month with a percentage of the tea proceeds going to. The tea includes classic British sweet and savoury treats and come with an unbeatable view from the 35th floor.

Where: Level 35, Shangri La Hotel, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU
When: Thursday to Sunday (12.00pm to 4.00pm)
Price: £59.00 per person

Ting Afternoon Tea

Ting Afternoon Tea | Photo Credit: Ting

Aqua at the Shard

Peter Pan Afternoon Tea

Savour delicious Peter Pan themed treats with a view from the 31st Floor restaurant. The menu changes so keep an eye on their website. They have previously had Mary Poppins and Roald Dahl themed teas.

Where: The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG
When: Thursday to Sunday (12.15pm to 4.15pm)
Price: £52.00 per person (£2.00 of which goes to Great Ormand Street Hospital)

Afternoon Tea at the Shard

Afternoon Tea at the Shard | Photo Credit: The Shard

Also see the Oblix Afternoon Tea for a third option.

The best value afternoon tea in London

The Wolseley

Afternoon Tea

London’s first Grand Café, famous for its all day dining and in particular its fabulous brunch, offers a delicious and reasonably priced afternoon tea with all of the British classics.

Where: The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
When: 3.00pm to 6.00pm weekdays and 3.30pm to 6.00pm at weekends
Price: £29.75 per person

Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley

Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley | Photo Credit: The Wolseley

The best vegan afternoon tea in London

Farmacy

The high tea menu at Farmacy is 100% plant based with a touch of CBD.

Where: Farmacy, 74-76 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH
When: Friday to Sunday from 4.00pm
Price: £50.00 per person

Farmacy High Tea

Farmacy High Tea | Photo Credit: Farmacy

Café Forty One

Café Forty One Afternoon Tea

Their plant based philosophy is becoming more and more popular. A plant based diet is better for you and better for the planet but they ensure that they do not sacrifice taste for health.

Where: Café Forty One, La Suite West, 41 – 51 Inverness Terrace, London, W2 3JN
When: Daily from 12.00pm to 5.00pm (currently closed)
Price: £35.00 per person

Cafe Forty One Afternoon Tea

Cafe Forty One Afternoon Tea | Photo Credit: La Suite West

The best museum afternoon tea in London

British Museum

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum

The British Museum is one of the best museums in the world and one of our top free things to do in London. Enjoy a traditional British high tea in the grand setting of the Great Court.

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
When: Daily from 3.00pm to 5.30pm (currently closed)
Price: £23.00 per person

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum | Photo Credit: The British Museum

The best afternoon tea in London for kids

The Langham

The Langham is one of the most family friendly restaurants in London for afternoon tea serving a jigsaw shaped afternoon tea sandwiches and other goodies that are equally as appealing to the child’s eye.

Where: 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA
When: Thursday to Sunday with seating times: 12:30/12:45/13:00 – 14:00/14:45/15:00 and 16:30/16:45/17:00/17:30
Price: £29.50 per child. See above for adult menu.

Children's Afternoon Tea at The Langham

Children’s Afternoon Tea at The Langham | Photo Credit: The Langham

One Aldwych

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

An enchanting afternoon tea inspired by one of Roald Dahl’s most famous books for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Where: One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, London, WC2b 4BZ
When: Wednesday to Friday (2pm – 4pm), Saturday and Sunday (12pm – 5pm)
Price: £49 per person (£39 for children under 12)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych | Photo Credit: One Aldwych

The Sanderson

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea

The Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at The Sanderson will delight any child. From the menus disguised as vintage books to the enticing ‘Drink Me’ potions and all of the delicious treats in between, including caterpillars and mushrooms… this is one of the best places for afternoon tea for kids in London.

Where: 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG
When: Monday to Friday  (12.30 – 4.00) and Saturday and Sunday (1pm to 5pm)
Price: £48 per person (£35 for children aged 4 – 11)

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson | Photo Credit: The Sanderson

And one final bonus place for any Harry Potter fans is Cutter & Squidge!

Map of the best places for afternoon tea in London

The 20 Best Places to Have Afternoon Tea in London

The 20 Best Places for Afternoon Tea in London

Leeds Castle at sunset
Bluebell woods
The Jacobite (aka the Harry Potter Train)
Heartwood Forest
Woodland playground at Ashridge Estate
Longhorn Cattle grazing at Panshanger Park
The Roman Soldier
African animals at the Tring Natural History Museum
1 reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] saw the set when I was in Covent Garden for afternoon tea previously, and it looked absolutely incredible. It will be super cool to see rain falling in a […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *