London City Guide

Best Places for Afternoon Tea in London

7 minutes

With Queen Elizabeth set to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee this February 6th, TheFork would like to cordially invite you to enjoy Afternoon Tea in Her Majesty’s honour. In London, home of Buckingham Palace, you can find a fine selection of specialists serving the capital’s finest high tea. From traditionalists with all the frills, to modern minimalist innovators, see how some of the finest tea-rooms in the city will serve this classic this Jubilee weekend on TheFork.

A tradition that has lasted through the ages, and the reign of many a monarch, Afternoon Tea is a deliciously British tradition of serving tea alongside beloved sandwiches, scones and cakes. If you’re subject to a sweet-tooth, or have crowned yourself a tea connoisseur, you’ll find a new favorite on TheFork’s list of the Best Places for Afternoon Tea in London.


The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods, Knightsbridge

Starting things off with some old-world charm, famous jewelers Tiffany’s have collaborated with Harrods on this cute and whimsical themed tea-room, The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe. Perfect for making you feel like a queen of the silver screen, enjoy your own Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment by booking a visit to this picture-perfect spot this weekend on TheFork. The sandwiches you’ll be served are obviously quite special, from the Egg & Black Truffle, Coronation Chicken, to the Smoked Faroe Islands Salmon. Try a special sweet treat after, like the Tiffany Blue Egg, that is so beautiful you won’t want to break it. For added opulence, opt to enjoy a glass of champagne fit for royalty, from Moet & Chandon, Imperial or Harrods own vineyards. We are celebrating the jubilee, after all.

BOOK The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods, Knightsbridge


Mirror Room at The Rosewood, Holborn

Inspired by the bewildering artworks of Japanese mirror master Yayoi Kusama, the Afternoon Tea at Mirror Room at The Rosewood Hotel is a refined innovation on the British tradition. Referencing the artist’s extremely popular recent exhibition at the Tate Modern, the selection of cakes and teas here showcases elegance, introspection and optical illusion. With each delicate cake and pastry served highlighting one of the master artist’s works, this is a selection unlike you will find anywhere else in the capital. If you’re a culture lover or enjoy sampling the nuances of Japanese fusion, you might prefer this to more classic fare. Being the Rosewood, however, they haven’t done away entirely with tradition, as scones with jam and the finest black teas are still served as standard.

BOOK Mirror Room at The Rosewood, Holborn


Palm Court at The Langham, Regent’s Street

Regent’s Street is one of the most famous of London’s streets, for its beauty, its history, and its shopping. The pearl in its crown is The Langham, a historic hotel where you will find an oasis away from the hustle in the Palm Court at The Langham; an airy tea-room offering respite and refreshment aplenty. With a taste for tradition, you can enjoy classic sandwiches of Roast Beef and Caramelised onion, Cucumber with Cream Cheese and Chive, and Scottish Smoked Salmon. The Ploughman’s Scone is a delicious savoury take on the high-tea staple, with Sparkenhoe Red Leicester and a pear chutney. All of this arrives paired with a range of tastiest hand-picked teas, of course.

BOOK Palm Court at The Langham, Regent’s Street


Afternoon Tea at Holmes, Chiltern Street


If you would prefer to celebrate another London icon this weekend, you might enjoy following the legacy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the beloved detective of London town, to whom homage is currently being paid at Afternoon Tea at Holmes, on Chiltern Street. Served in an antique chest, this themed take on the traditional tea is sure to be a hit among mystery buffs and literary lovers. But don’t let the fun detract from the food. With delicious dessert pastries on offer, from the Pistachio Dream to the Hazelnut Praline Chouquette, there’s sure to be something for your fancy. Treat yourself and wash that down with champagne. With high-end pours on offer from Perrier Jouet, there’s no mystery to what’s in your glass.

BOOK Afternoon Tea at Holmes, Chiltern Street


Afternoon Tea at The Corinthia, Embankment

The prominent Corinthia Hotel near London’s Whitehall observes the tradition of Afternoon Tea in splendid settings, with views over the River Thames. True to their ethos of luxury, the historic Hotel elevates their high-tea to lofty new heights with the addition of Champagne and King's Golden Oscietra Caviar, served on a pearl spoon. The perfect pairing to raise a glass over in the capital this Jubilee weekend. In addition to this, enjoy luxurious takes on classics like the fish-finger sandwich served with fresh made tartare sauce, scones with sultanas, and sweet pastries and other delicacies.

BOOK Afternoon Tea at The Corinthia, Embankment


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at One Aldwych, Covent Garden

To Central London next, and another marvellous themed tea-room, this time at One Aldwych, where you are taken to the world of Roald Dahl’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, one delicious sweet treat at a time. Here you will be amazed by an entire chocolate box of goodies, containing classics as well as inventive new confections from the mind of the fictitious chocolatier Willy Wonka. From the Coronation Chicken Sarnie to the Salmon and Dill Quiche with a mayo of rare Saffron, there are playful takes on the traditional dishes to be found at this conceptual Afternoon Tea.

BOOK Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at One Aldwych, Covent Garden


The Tea Lounge at St Ermin's, St James’

To Her Majesty’s own back-garden, next, and St James’ Park, where you will find the marvellous Tea Lounge at St Ermin’s. This traditional city hotel specialises in delicate and delicious cakes that taste as good as they look. From the freshly whipped cream fillings to the crunchy crisp toppings, the tea-rooms at St Ermin’s present confectionaries fit for a queen. Presenting a selection of sweet and savoury delicacies, sample everything from the Scottish smoked salmon rye sandwich with cream cheese, lemon & chives to miniature macarons of pear & chamomile. Pair this with hand-selected teas from Tea Makers of London.

BOOK The Tea Lounge at St Ermin's, St James’


Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough, Hyde Park

On another of London’s Royal parks sits another monument among London’s historic hotels, The Lanesborough. An opulent set of suites, dining rooms and a welcoming tea-room, you can enjoy the British tradition in the finest surroundings here this Platinum Jubilee weekend. Serving the fanciest of tea, cakes and pastries in true elegance next to the verdant lawns of London’s Hyde Park, The Lanesborough is no stranger to a royal crowd. Now you can enjoy an afternoon of excellence of your own, with delicate finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and creative pastries and cupcakes from their master bakers.

BOOK Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough, Hyde Park

Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, Westminster

This next place might top the list if you’re looking to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the realm of Her Majesty herself. The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in Westminster enjoys resplendent views over Buckingham Palace, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy the throng of the Jubilee from the comfort of this historic luxury hotel. Head chef Sarah Houghting brings an elevated touch to her high-tea. The sandwiches on offer use only the freshest ingredients such as egg & watercress and Coronation chicken with toasted almonds. The warm cooked scones here come served with homemade seasonal fruit preserves and clotted cream that’s most decadent.

BOOK Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, Westminster

The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge

In West London’s well-heeled Knightsbridge is the Mandarin Oriental, where you can find the cool, airy tea-rooms of The Rosebery, under their exotic canopied ceilings. Named for the opulent hotels of China and the East, this historic hotel will whisk you away with the jet-set feel of global luxury. This season, they are serving their special Winter Afternoon Tea. The sandwiches showcase some of the freshest ocean catch; like Smoked salmon, dill créme fraiche and pickled cucumber for the classic, or try an Asian fusion of tuna tartare with guacamole, wakame on seeded crispy bread. Sure to please the most international of palettes.

BOOK The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge

The Stage, Leicester Square

Lastly, to the theatre district in Central London, where The Stage in Leicester Square makes for the perfect tea stop post-play. With a modern, stylish interior and intricate ceilings, this is a smart choice for high-tea after your trip through the culture capital. With a specialist champagne bar to enjoy after your Afternoon Tea, it’s your cue to take The Stage this Jubilee weekend. If you’re booking earlier in the day, try the range of scrambled eggs, with rich pairings like lobster and caviar. The King Alaskan Crab omelette will satisfy even the hungriest breakfast. Delicious desserts and a selection of hand-picked teas provide the classics at this inventive modern take on Afternoon Tea.

BOOK The Stage, Leicester Square

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