The best afternoon teas in London

Jessica Lone Summers

There’s never been a better moment to enjoy gourmet eats and quirky teas, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to all the top places to visit in the capital

Is there anything so luxurious as spending an afternoon sipping tea (or bubbly) while chatting and sampling the most delicious small noshes around? We certainly don’t think so. Afternoon tea is no longer a stuffy affair, reserved only for the highest of society. It’s now a chance to treat yourself while in great company and blissful surroundings. If you’re on the lookout for such a place to hang out, we’ve done the rounds so you don’t have to.

Here are London’s best afternoon teas.

 

The Ritz

the ritz london best afterboon tea

A classic in London Town and one we’d be remiss to neglect from this list. If you’re looking for a classic afternoon tea within grand, Titanic-esque surroundings and the added bonus of telling stories that preface with, “While I was at the Ritz”, then this is your stop. Tradition is very much the theme here, so expect quintessential British flavours among your teacakes and sarnies. If however, you’re looking for something a little more “youthful”, this probably isn’t the one for you. 

 

The LaLit

baluchi the lalit best afternoon tea london

A spectacular take on the classic afternoon tea, LaLit offers an Indian perspective, with a huge range of world teas. A must try is their Indian Masala Chai which is best enjoyed while lounging on their incredibly comfortable armchairs and gazing out from the gallery at the impeccably furnished décor. Don’t expect the normal gubbins on your plate, instead you’ll be showered with a moreish selection of Indian sweets, and crisp, buttery savouries. Quite honestly a must-visit for the seasoned afternoon tea-er looking for something different.


Bateaux London, Glass Room

bateaux glass room afternoon tea london

Setting sail aboard a floating conservatory while lapping up champers and observing London from the Thames? Yes please. With glorious classical music to fill your ears and beautiful flowery decor to feast your eyes on you'll feel quite spoilt.

The food selection—while undeniably tasty—is perhaps a little simpler than a few other names on this list, but in all honesty you probably won’t notice while you’re busy bobbing past the Big Smoke and absorbing all the sights. Truly a unique experience and an absolute must-try in the world of le thé de l'après-midi.

 

The Stafford

stafford london afternoon tea

A new one on the scene, but one that’s paying its dues to the dedicated tea votaries and which has already climbed to be a favourite of the masses. Dainty, chucklesome little pastries will bedeck your cake stand, many inspired by the classic vintage boutique brands from ye olde London.

stafford london afternoon tea

The sheer craftmanship will really stand out at The Stafford, they create some of the most impressive treats we’ve seen in the capital. Make sure to bring some august company along with you and this could be set to be your new favourite jaunt.


Sketch 

sketch mayfair london best afternoon tea

Sketch is, quite simply, afternoon tea bliss. From the calm pink interiors to the deliciously mellow string quartet that rings through the air you’ll feel cocooned and warm and will totally forget the busy London exterior of taxi honks and building works. The walls are adorned entirely with witty, eye-catching David Shrigley paintings that provide an endless stream of entertainment, especially when your company heads off to the loo. And oh the loos, what a superb vision.

You’ll no doubt have seen the famous toilette pods plastered over any influencer’s Instagram page worth their salt, and for good reason. Delightfully weird and wonderfully colourful you’ll have so much to look at you’ll forget why you came to the W.C. in the first place.

Special attention has been given to the gourmet sandwiches which are the star of the show in the food stakes, but all the courses are delicate, fun and gosh darn delicious. For a venue that has had more than it’s fair share of online hype, one would be forgiven for assuming it was overrated but thankfully, (helped along by brilliantly flamboyant table service) it lives up to its reputation.

 

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