Afternoon tea is something which plenty of tourists and visitors like to experience when they come to London. Although the majority of British people no longer have afternoon tea as a staple part of their day, it is also something which many enjoy when they are also out and about visiting new places and exploring new towns and it is certainly something which continues to be as popular now as it once was. Afternoon tea generally consists of small sandwiches, baked goods and pastries and a pot of tea to go alongside but as afternoon tea has become more popular across London, so variations on this English tradition have cropped up. So if you want your afternoon tea with a difference then try one of these next time you are in London: –
The British Museum
Although the afternoon tea offered here is fairly traditional, the surroundings certainly are not. Afternoon tea is served in the Great Court Restaurant which is famous for its glass roof and its proximity to some of the finest historical artefacts in the world. The Afternoon tea menu here features delights such as Scottish smoked salmon and cucumber brioche, Charred broccoli and cheddar tarts and apricot and pistachio cake. There is also an option to upgrade and enjoy a glass of prosecco with your afternoon tea or you could opt for a cream tea instead complete with scones, jam and clotted cream. This would be a delightful way to end some time spent exploring the British Museum and discovering highlights such as the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures.
This is a real must for anyone who has a sweet tooth and, although they don’t technically offer an afternoon tea package, with everything on the menu being based around chocolate, it’s fairly straightforward to build your own package. There are dipping pots, sharing platters, milkshakes, sundaes and more chocolate cake than you could ever begin to imagine and all for a fairly reasonable price as well. The actual shop is something special to behold as well and certainly ticks the box if you are looking for a more unique way to enjoy a hot drink and some sweet treats whilst exploring the city.
Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea
Located in Sanderson’s restaurant, a pop-up restaurant in Fitzrovia, this themed afternoon tea has been created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and is full of quaint and quirky details which make the whole experience something rather special. From menus hidden inside vintage bookcases to ticking clocks and carousels, no detail has been overlooked and it would make a fantastic option for any fan of Lewis Carroll’s work. Delights on the menu include white crab éclairs, sinful scones and red velvet ladybird cake with plenty of flavoured teas to complement the food being served. These are exclusive teas to Sanderson and feature flavours such as black tea infused with blue cornflowers, blue mallow flowers and vanilla.
Just around the corner from The Montcalm London Marble Arch Hotel is Sketch Gallery, a unique destination located within a converted 18th century building in Mayfair and offering food, art and music to visitors. One way in which this space can be enjoyed is by booking an afternoon tea; the room in which afternoon tea is served was designed by artist David Shrigley and is awash with pink décor. The menu features delights such as caviar and quail egg, macaroons, and an assortment of sandwiches and pastries in keeping with a more traditional British afternoon tea. Whether deliberate or not, the afternoon tea here is a vibrant mix of rainbow colours and is served with true artistic flourish making it a rather special experience for anyone who wants to enjoy some culture with their afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Who says that your afternoon tea has to be enjoyed in just one location? With B Bakery has created afternoon tea aboard a vintage Routemaster bus which drives you around some of the most notable attractions and landmarks in London whilst you enjoy some high tea. These landmarks include the likes of The London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Marble Arch and Downing Street with the afternoon tea menu featuring traditional delights such as sandwiches, mini cupcakes, sweet pastries and macarons. Whilst there is no live commentary on the tour, the serving staff are always willing to answer questions where they can and it certainly offers a relaxed and quaint way to see some of the best sights in the city.
Perhaps one of the most significant places to take afternoon tea in the city, the Cutty Sark is a historic tea clipper which was built to bring tea back to Britain. Whilst it has long since been retired, it now continues in its tradition of bringing the finest tea to the masses with the afternoon tea packages available in the Even Keel restaurant within. There are a number of different packages you can choose from which include signature loose leaf tea, sandwiches, freshly baked scones, cakes and pastries or you can upgrade to include a glass of prosecco. The packages also all include entry to the ship so you can explore and discover what life was like aboard a tea clipper before or after you sit down to enjoy the afternoon tea.
For serious tea lovers, Orange Pekoe’s afternoon tea is high quality but without the fuss. Don’t feel you need to dress up to attend afternoon tea here as the atmosphere is incredibly informal. That said, the quality of the afternoon tea on offer is anything but. The traditional afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and a pot of tea chosen from the fabulous selection of blends which include a whole array of classic options, black teas, Assam, Ceylon and Darjeeling to name but a few. They also sell glasses of rose petal prosecco, house prosecco and half bottles (or full bottles) of champagne if you want to add some fizz into your experience.