London's best afternoon teas

afternoon-tea

Warm fluffy scones topped with dollops of thick cream and homemade jam; indulgent mini pastries; an innovative cake or two. All served up with a steaming pot of fresh tea. And of course, a selection of daintily-filled finger sandwiches – what could be more British?

London is filled with luxurious hotels and tea rooms offering traditional afternoon teas to tuck into. Here’s our guide to finding your perfect afternoon of luxury.

See the afternoon tea that's best for:

Beautiful surroundings and traditional food >
Treating yourself on a budget >
Something quirky and summery >
Fans of British heritage >
Tea fit for a fairy queen >
An all-round London treat >
The ultimate luxury >

Best for: Beautiful surroundings and traditional food 

Millennium Hotel, Mayfair

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From £34.00

Set in a breathtaking 18th century mansion, afternoon tea at the Millennium Hotel is suitably luxurious for its sought-after Mayfair location. The dining room overlooks the leafy Grosvenor Square Gardens, with original Georgian features giving it an atmospheric charm.

A stroll through the gardens is the perfect accompaniment to your decadent afternoon tea, which comes served on dainty plates and teacups and includes fruit scones with lemon curd, classic pastries and cakes, finger sandwiches and tea from British institution Twinings.

What you get: Finger sandwiches, fruit scones, pastries and cakes, a selection of loose leaf teas

Location: Millennium Hotel, London Mayfair, 39-44 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HP. View on map

Nearest tube station: Marble Arch. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Afternoon tea is served every day 2.30pm-5.30pm

Find out more and book this offer >


Best for: Treating yourself on a budget 

Carnaby Brasserie

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From £18.50

Carnaby Brasserie offers everything you’d expect from an afternoon tea at fantastic value. For just £18.50 you get a beautiful setting, indulgent cakes and sandwiches, and a luxurious selection of teas. Cake stands arrive loaded with treats and the parquet-floor dining room holds an atmospheric ambience that’s sure to relax you.

Just off Oxford Street, the Brasserie is the perfect spot for you to sit back and relax after a busy day’s shopping, or before an evening of West End theatre.

What you get: Baguettes, toasted brioche, scones with cream and jam, pastries and cakes, a selection of teas by The London Tea Company

Location: 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL. View on map

Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Every day from 3pm

Find out more and book this offer >


Best for: Something quirky and summery 

The Dalloway at The Bloomsbury

Named after the novel by Virginia Woolf, the Dalloway Terrace is a gorgeous al fresco space where you can enjoy a modern and deliciously crafted afternoon tea. Did you know that Bloomsbury is the home of afternoon tea? Don't miss your chance to take this English tradition in the neighbourhood where it all began.

The atmosphere of the dining terrace is botanical and serene, bringing the tradition of tea firmly into the 21st century with trailing ivy, ferns and dainty spotlights. The tea comes with an array of delicious cakes, flavoured with modern ingredients like salted caramel, mascarpone and saffron.

What you get: Freshly brewed tea or coffee, finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of fresh cakes

Location: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN. View on map

Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Afternoon tea is served every day 2pm-5pm

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Best for: Fans of British heritage 

Homage at The Waldorf

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From £47.50

The Homage is a must-visit for fans of British heritage. The stylish dining room dates back to 1908, and afternoon tea is served on Royal Crown Derby china, the only fine bone china to be made completely in England to this day.

In the heart of Covent Garden's Theatreland, this is a perfect place to visit before enjoying a West End show. Afternoon tea at The Waldorf includes a glass of Champagne along with all the regular treats - pastries, scones, finger sandwiches and speciality teas selected from around the world.

What you get: A glass of Champagne, a selection of bespoke loose leaf tea blends, pastries, scones and finger sandwiches

Location: The Homage at The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London, WC2 B4DD. View on map

Nearest tube station: Covent Garden. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 3pm

Find out more and book this offer >


Best for: Tea fit for a fairy queen 

The Swan Bar at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

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From £46.50

Food features heavily in Shakespeare's works, so it's no surprise that the restored Globe Theatre is the perfect place to indulge. Overlooking the River Thames, the Swan Bar sits beside the fully restored Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, where world class theatre is performed to this day. The afternoon tea is of course Shakespeare-themed, featuring carefully curated ingredients inspired by one of the bard's most famous plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Adventurous creations include ingredients such as pea flower, mulberries and apricots.

Every afternoon tea includes a tour of the theatre, letting you soak in the atmosphere where Shakespeare rose to worldwide fame and the spirit of theatre lives on today.

What you get: A glass of Champagne, a selection of bespoke loose leaf tea blends, pastries, scones and finger sandwiches

Location: The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT. View on map

Nearest tube station: Temple. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Monday to Saturday 11.30am-3.30pm, Sundays 2pm-3.30pm

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Best for: An all-round London treat 

London bus tour, followed by afternoon tea on a Thames river cruise

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From £49.00

On this indulgent tour, hop aboard a vintage London bus to see all of the city's sights. Then, board a boat for a relaxing cruise along the river complete with a cream tea served to your table!

Sipping on a glass of Champagne, you'll breeze past world-famous sights including UK Parliament and the Tower of London, before passing directly under iconic Tower Bridge. While this is less of an afternoon tea and more of a simplecream tea, its a must-do for first-time visitors to the city, and includes scones with clotted cream and jam, your choice of tea or coffee, and of course, a glass of Champagne!

What you get: A glass of Champagne, scones with clotted cream and jam, tea or coffee

Location: The tour departs from Victoria coach station. View on map

Nearest tube station: Victoria. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Tours depart most days of the week at 1pm. More details here

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Best for: The ultimate luxury 

Anna's Tea at The Grosvenor Hotel

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From £47.81

Grosvenor House is a 5* hotel in the heart of Mayfair. Anna's tea is named for Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who was a pioneer of the afternoon tea ritual in the early 1800s - and tradition runs through the menu and atmosphere of Grosvenor House today.

Tranquil and set back from the bustling streets nearby, the dining room resembles a living room in a stately home. With understated decor, ambient lighting and plush green velvet sofas, it feels luxurious down to the finishing touches of matching china and fresh flowers on every table. 

The afternoon tea menu features all the classics: light sandwiches, buttermilk scones with Devonshire clotted cream, delicate cream puffs, and delightful French pastries. The perfect way to spoil yourself! 

What you get: A glass of Champagne, scones with clotted cream and jam, tea or coffee

Location: Grosvenor House Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7AW. View on map

Nearest tube station: Marble Arch or Bond Street. Get there with an Oyster card or Travelcard

Opening times: Monday to Sunday 2pm-6pm

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