Whether you're looking for a lovely day out, a present for a loved one or just a treat for yourself, afternoon tea is always a good idea. From luxe tableware to delicious sandwiches and Instagram-worthy cakes, it always feels like an indulgent way to spend an afternoon.
And of course, it has to be said that London is full of some of the best afternoon tea spots in the country, offering everything from luxurious hotel experiences to tea on wheels (literally), ensuring there's something for every taste and budget.
So, whether you live in the capital or are planning a visit soon, here's your ultimate guide to the best afternoon tea places in London.
The Best Afternoon Tea In London
Foyer & Reading Room At Claridge's
Renowned for its world-famous afternoon tea offering, Claridge's is at the top of our list of recommendations. To start, the atmosphere is truly incredible - classical musicians play music while you dine and the art deco interiors are mesmerising - but the main attraction is the freshly-baked goods and unique Claridge's Blend teas. Trust us, it's not one to miss. Served every day between 2.45pm-5.30pm.
Prêt-à-Portea: The Couture Cakewalk
There could be no better treat for the fashion lover in your life than The Berkeley's Prêt-à-Portea. Changing to reflect each fashion season, the A/W 2023 collection is a truly stylish spread, with cakes inspired by designers from Alexander McQueen to Versace. There is a Paco Rabanne inspired Mont Blanc cake with chestnut mousse and blackcurrant jelly, topped with a glittering feather, a Prada handbag (a cinnamon blondie which is almost too good to eat) and, of course no fashion collection would be complete without Victoria Beckham, whose trophy jacket is an orange sablé, intricately piped with royal icing. With a range of teas and champagne to accompany the cakes and super sandwiches, this is one afternoon tea you will come back for for memory-making landmarks. Visit The Berkeley for booking information.
Fortnum & Mason's Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
Fortnum & Mason's famed afternoon tea is perfect for those who are after a truly traditional experience. Freshly-baked scones, a selection of mouth-watering sandwiches and a plate of decadent patisseries are served alongside some of the best tea you'll ever try. Available between 12pm-6.30pm every Monday-Thursday, between 11.30am-7pm on Friday and Saturday and between 11.30am-6pm on Sundays. For a discounted price, book through Virgin Experience Days.
Brigit's Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour
For a truly unique afternoon tea experience, why not combine your afternoon tea with a tour of London's best sights? Brigit's Bakery serves afternoon tea - including tasty sandwiches and pastries - on board vintage buses that take you through the streets of the capital. Perfect for hen parties or celebrating a special occasion. Prices start at £45 per person or £35 for children, making it a fun experience for the whole family.
High Palms High Tea The Landmark London
Celebrating a birthday or an anniversary? Look both further than the Landmark’s Bake off inspired afternoon tea Served in the romantic Winter Garden underrate the soaring glass atrium, the sumptuous afternoon tea is the epitome of elegance with delicious sweet treats and and fresh tasting cakes. Starting at £70 per person, the afternoon tea which is accompanied by a glass of Taittinger Brut Réserve, will leave you more than satisfied. Oh and the accompanying pianist will have you reminiscing on your favourite tunes.
The Lanesborough Afternoon Tea
If you want to be immersed in majestic surroundings, then book a table at The Lanesborough for afternoon tea. As for the menu, it's traditional afternoon tea with a twist - think sandwiches like pea tart & caramelised onion and hummus & piquillos rolls. Bridgerton fans are also in for a treat with The Lanesborough's special Queen Charlotte-themed afternoon tea.
Jean-Georges at The Connaught
If you're looking for a modern take on pure luxury, Jean-George's at The Connaught is the place for you. You'll be served tea with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones while overlooking the world of Mayfair thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. Think classic British combinations with a twist, thanks to Jean-George's passion for bold, South East Asian flavours.
The Hansom Laurent-Perrier Afternoon Tea
For an afternoon tea that's Bougie with a capital B you'll want to check out The Hansom's Laurent-Perrier Afternoon Tea. Perfect for when you're celebrating, you'll be served a glass of champagne, unlimited tea or coffee, a selection of sandwiches (vegetarian options are available), scones and several sweet treats to finish, including a twist on the classic lemon meringue pie. Located in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the afternoon tea option is available Wednesday-Sunday 1-5pm.
Sketch Afternoon Tea
Instagrammable afternoon tea locations are on the rise, and at the top of our list is Sketch's millennial pink Gallery restaurant. Plush sofas, eccentric David Shrigley decor and a quintessentially British menu will make for the perfect social media snap as you catch up with your gal pals.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz
Traditional afternoon tea doesn't get much more swanky than at The Ritz. Indulge in freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve as well as 18 different types of loose-leaf tea served in Palm Court - a stylish room with glittering chandeliers and elegant mirrors. Afternoon Tea is served daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, and 7.30pm.
The Wallace Afternoon Tea
One of the cheaper options on our list, but by no means any less glamorous is The Wallace Restaurant in Manchester Square. Located inside The Wallace Collection Gallery - which is said to be one of the best collections of fine arts in London - and flooded with natural light, The Wallace is the perfect place for afternoon tea. Available from 2.30-4.30pm every day.
The Mandarin Oriental Afternoon Tea
For one of the best-rated afternoon tea spots in London, head to The Rosebery in Knightsbridge - part of The Mandarin Oriental collection. The talented pastry team add a contemporary, seasonal twist to this British tradition through a selection of delicate sandwiches, specially curated pastries and freshly baked scones served from unique hanging cake stands. Available from 12-6.30pm every day.
The Dorchester Afternoon Tea
Another iconic London hotel hosting a sophisticated afternoon tea is The Dorchester. Undeniably British and impeccably stylish, taking tea at The Dorchester is the ultimate expression of a day well spent in London. Available daily from 12-4.30pm.
The Swan Afternoon Tea
Looking for a themed afternoon tea for when you come to London? What could be better than The Swan's Shakespeare-themed Romeo and Juliet option? Located right next to The Globe, it's the perfect excuse to pretend that you're spending a truly cultural day in London. Unlike its namesake, this afternoon tea is the furthest thing from a tragedy. Available daily 12-4.45pm.
Theatre Royal Afternoon Tea
Head to Covent Garden to enjoy a stunning afternoon tea at The Lane, located within Theatre Royal Drury Lane - you'll literally glide up the stunning staircase past all the families queuing to see Frozen (don't worry you won't even know that the show is going on after that point).
They'll serve you unlimited tea or coffee (in a stunning china set) as well as a selection of savouries, sweets and scones which can easily be adapted for any dietary requirements. Available daily from 11-6.