There is a time of day every Londoner experiences when their minds turn to tea. All around the city people take a break to enjoy the finest blends of tea from all around the country and globe. Here are some of the hautest places to head for high tea.
When you think of high tea, you imagine perfectly cut finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and of course a cup of tea. So when you think of high tea, you’re really thinking of The Wolseley. Their afternoon tea has remained traditional to highest English standards. They are meticulous with details and aim to please. You’ll be surrounded by Florentine marble floors, Corinthian pillars and presented with eccentricities like an hourglass timer appear that appear with your tea. It’s all very English you see.
Afternoon tea served 3-6pm Mon-Fri; 3.30-5pm Sat; 3.30-6pm Sun; £21 per head.
Perhaps the most famous afternoon tea belongs to the Ritz. It has been open since 1906 and is recognized for it’s heritage and tradition; setting a high standard for tea times all over the city. The experience takes place in Palm Court, the most stunning part of the hotel. You will find all of the traditional delicacies served here, from fresh raisin and apple scones to cakes on a tiered cake stand. You can also expect the best service and a very formal, polite ambiance. No shoes, no shirt, yes problem. To attend tea at the Ritz one must dress in formal attire.
150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Daily 11.30am-7.30pm Cost: £50, or £66 for a champagne afternoon tea
If you take your tea very seriously, then The Lanesborough is your type. Here your tea comes with a sommelier on hand to guide you on your afternoon tea journey. The sommelier will suggest blends to suit your individual palate and share insights on the art that is tea. Furthermore The Lanesborough has their own signature blend. Teas are then paired with treats from their award-winning pastry chef for an experience that is all around amazing. Their tea is so good that is has won the Award of Excellence from the Tea Guild for the past four years.
Hyde Park Corner
Traditional Afternoon Tea served in: The Withdrawing Room from 2pm – 5pm, Céleste from 2pm – 5pm, £35 per person.
Royal Opera House
If you imagine afternoon to be more of a regal situation, then perhaps the Royal Opera House is the setting for you. This venue has been said to resemble a mini Crystal Palace; boasting a beautiful conservatory with high-ceilings, expansive glass windows and a feel that is lighter than the fresh air. Everything in the room and on your table is perfectly placed. Feast your eyes on smoke salmon tartines, neat sandwiches and an abundance of pastries, They only use seasonal and fresh British ingredients to round off this once-in-a-lifetime tea time experience.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden
Price: £37.50 per person, £47.50 with Champagne
Mad Hatter Tea Party
For our last teatime suggestion we decided to add in something a little different. Nothing says a little different better than a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Before each tea party a secret location is revealed, and usually resembles a over-the-top Alice in Wonderland-esque dress-up box. You will find props, woodland animal masks, giant playing cards, mismatched teapots and of course, tea. The treats are as untraditional as the party with options like spicy honey and cucumber sandwiches, sparkly caramel cups and brownies with beetroot dip. Afternoon tea just got a little bit mad.
Address undisclosed until before the events. Price: £22