Food & Drink

Ultimate guide to drinking tea in London

Us Brits certainly love a hot cuppa. But when you add freshly baked scones, delicious cakes and a couple of glasses of bubbles to the mix, an afternoon tea in London becomes even better. Whether you want to soak up the local culture, fill your belly with delicious treats or kick off a celebration with an early afternoon boozing session, the Great British Capital has you covered.

So, where are these wonderful places that serve the finest teas, confectionery items and potentially a bottle of Champagne or two? Here are some of our favourites.

The Rubens at the Palace

Last but not least – our piece de resistance – the Rubens at the Palace is the ultimate taste of London sophistication. Within just a stone’s throw of Buckingham Palace, this beautiful hotel serves up the quintessential English tea experience with delicious cakes and your choice of refreshment. You can even try their new Royal Afternoon Tea Experience – a celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Make sure you book well in advance though – it’s one of the most popular attractions in the city.
You can book your slot on the Rubens at the Palace website here.

The Dorchester

The Dorchester is one of London’s most famous luxury hotels, and its afternoon tea truly is to die for. You can sip a selection of house-blended teas and munch down pastries, warm scones and delicate finger sandwiches, all while surrounded by décors like silk drapes and gold-framed mirrors.

Try the Norfolk Black leg chicken sandwich with mayo, ginger, lime and garlic to start. Then, treat yourself to a raspberry lychee rose. Wash it all down with a fine glass of Champagne, and your afternoon will be off to a cracking start.

The Goring

Like The Dorchester, The Goring is another luxury hotel. And the fact it’s the world’s only hotel with a Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen highlights just how luxurious the place is. Scones, pastries and sandwiches are all on the menu, as are a range of first-flush teas and boozy delights including Bollinger Champagne.

The Ritz

Who in the world wouldn’t love to have a cuppa in The Ritz? It’s luxury needs no explanation, so instead, let us entice you to an afternoon tea by talking about its delectable menu, brimming with delights including 18 types of tea, superbly presented teacakes and pastries, and a range of finely cut sarnies. And, yes, you can add some sparkle to the experience with a bottle of bubbly.

The Savoy

Head to The Savoy, and you’ll instantly fall in love with the beautiful décor of the Thames Foyer. And if you want to spend a bit of time in these magnificent surrounds, you can stop by for an afternoon tea and a cheeky midday dessert. To cure your sweet tooth, try the Cornish strawberry tartlet or the choux pastry creation. There’s also a signature selection of classic cakes, sarnies and pastries.

While you’re here, don’t forget to take a tour of the Shard, London’s tallest building. The views of the cityscape from above are breath-taking.

The Zetter Townhouse

The Zetter Townhouse is a chain of cocktail bars in London, and its afternoon tea spreads into its cocktail hour. But before it’s time to treat yourself to some colourful beverages, line your stomach with a few dainty sandwiches. Some of our favourites include smoked chicken Caesar and the traditional honey roast ham. Want to top it off with something sweet? We recommend ordering the dark chocolate and passion fruit choux or the raspberry and English rose mousse.

You can enjoy an afternoon tea at The Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell or Marylebone. Booking in advance is not a bad idea.