Afternoon Tea is a British Institution. A light meal traditionally eaten between four and six pm, it is a custom that originated amongst Britain’s wealthier classes in the 1840’s, though the wife of King Charles II is credited with its initial introduction in 1662.
A proper afternoon tea is comprised of a beautifully laid table, tiny sandwiches, freshly baked little cakes and pastries, scones with jam and clotted cream and, of course, freshly brewed loose tea.
No visit to London is complete without experiencing afternoon tea at its very best. The options to do so are almost infinite. Here is our pick of the top five London venues for a sophisticated and elegant traditional afternoon tea...
Brown’s Hotel is an historic locale where Queen Victoria herself took tea. This elegant English Tea Room offers a lighter, more health conscious yet still indulgent afternoon tea option. Delicious yet waistline-friendlier offerings include open-faced sandwiches, lime apple jelly, sorbets, orange cakes, and silver needle white tea.
The Ritz has served a world renowned afternoon tea since 1906. Served in the Palm Court, the Ritz offers a truly traditional prestige afternoon tea: finger sandwiches, cakes on a tiered stand, apple and raisin scones. Champagne afternoon tea is also available. Book well in advance and dress well – to reflect the formality of the occasion.
Claridge's provides an informal yet extremely elegant setting for good taste and stylish afternoon teas. It has offered this light meal service for a century and a half. Delicious treats, exemplary teas, and a warm atmosphere in the grand Art Deco Foyer make it one of the best afternoon tea experiences in London.
Fortnum and Mason is home to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, which was opened by HM The Queen and is a stylish afternoon tea destination. Enjoy exquisite teas, traditional finger sandwiches, scones, and little cakes. There is even a comprehensive and impressive children’s afternoon tea menu.
The Goring has repeatedly been voted as the Best Afternoon Tea in London. The hotel has been owned by one family for three generations, and in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace, it is where Kate Middleton spent her last night as an unmarried woman. The restaurant was decorated by David Linley (son of Princess Margaret) and the style is elegant and classic. Enjoy tea by the fire during colder months or in the garden when it is warmer. Everything about afternoon tea at the Goring is faultless and greatly impresses.
There are so many other fabulous options for London afternoon teas; choosing just five is no easy task. We can guarantee that with any of the above selections and a delightful stay at the finest Hotels near Wembley Stadium, you will enjoy a premium and memorable London experience.