There is truly nothing more British than enjoying an afternoon tea with friends and family in London. Whether you have a sweet tooth and just go for the cakes, or are there for the gallons of tea on offer, there’s no denying that afternoon tea is an ideal day out for foodies and tea fanatics alike.
As we approach the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, afternoon tea is set to be increasingly popular for Brits young and old, especially around the capital. Forget bottomless brunches, we’re getting fancy this year!
However, not all of us can afford notoriously expensive destinations like The Ritz, London’s most famous spot for sophisticated afternoon tea.
So, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite, more affordable afternoon tea destinations around London, so no one is left out of the fun this Summer.
Number 16 is a photogenic hotel based in the heart of South Kensington, serving a beautiful-looking afternoon tea to match. Enjoyed in either the hotel’s orangery or private garden on sunnier days, No. 16’s afternoon tea presents a range of delicate sandwiches and patisseries to be tasted with either tea or hot chocolate for those who fancy something a little different.
Their sandwiches include mouth-watering numbers like the smoked salmon, along with the Montgomery cheddar with apple chutney. To follow, guests can enjoy sticky date cakes, pear and almond frangipane tarts and more. Paired with refreshing tea, No. 16’s afternoon tea comes to £35 per person. If you’re feeling fancy, enjoy it with a glass of champagne for an extra £13.
While Biscuiteers is best known for its intricately hand-iced biscuits available to order online, not everyone is aware of the shop’s London cafes, which serve, you guessed it, a top-notch afternoon tea. Visit the Biscuit Boutiques and Icing Cafes for a taste of Biscuiteers’ decadent selection of finger sandwiches, patisseries and freshly baked scones. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Biscuiteers afternoon tea without a number of their signature hand-iced biscuits involved.
For £35 per person, fill up on sweet treats paired with the cafe’s bespoke blend of rose-infused tea from Tregothnan. Mix it up with a glass of fizz on the side for an extra £6 if you’re in the mood to get tipsy. And the best part is that Biscuiteers’ afternoon tea is served every day of the week, so there’s no reason to ever turn it down.
Find Biscuiteers’ cafes in Notting Hill and Belgravia.
Surround yourself with beautiful architecture at Roast, Borough Market, located near London Bridge. Here you can experience delicious food and tea in one of Britain’s greatest food markets. Try a variety of Roast’s decadent cake bites, including their lemon drizzle cake and chocolate rum truffle, alongside gourmet finger sandwiches for all those savoury cravings.
No afternoon tea is complete without a wide range of tea and infusion choices, which Roast does perfectly for all us picky Brits. Altogether, Roast’s afternoon tea can be enjoyed for £35 per person, adding an extra £20 for bottomless prosecco. Sometimes tea alone just isn’t enough!
This modern cafe does delicious cakes and incredible tea to a T – see what we did there? Hilariously named To a Tea is a key afternoon tea destination for those really keen on getting the best of the best cuppas. The kitchen has three separate boilers, which are set at different temperatures (nicknamed Tom, Dick, and Harry, which we LOVE), so that each type of tea served gets the perfect water to accompany it.
Passionately brewed by tea lovers themselves, there are over 50 loose leaf teas to choose from at To a Tea, alongside a selection of petit fours, cheesecake, scones and quality finger sandwiches, to be indulged upon while watching the world go by through the shop’s sizeable windows. This is a real budget option, with the regular service costing £25 per person and bottomless prosecco added into the deal for £35.
Find To a Tea’s expertly made cuppas in Farringdon and St Paul’s.
Those on the hunt for the utmost British tea experience (and the most affordable option on this list), can visit The English Rose Tea Shop in Victoria. This independent family-run shop can be found just next door to Buckingham Palace, so you’ll really be dining like the Queen, just for a fraction of the price!
For £30 between you and a friend, enjoy a mixed selection of tasty finger sandwiches, followed by warm scones and cakes. A pot of tea for two will be brought to your table on a tiered cake stand, making for the perfect Insta shots. If you just can’t get enough of the experience once you’re done, purchase some of the shop’s traditional tea pots on the way out, as well as cups, saucers, teas and preserves, to ensure your afternoon tea experience never ends.
Taste afternoon tea at varying times between Thursday and Sunday. Fancy something a little different? This hidden gem also serves a range of lip-smacking breakfast and lunch options.
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