20 Places For Afternoon Tea In London

Tea, as we all know, is a longstanding part of British history. There are many reasons why tea became popular in England, and the term itself can mean many things depending on context and region. "Tea" is what some refer to as an early dinner, often used in reference to when and what children eat. The term "high tea" was used by the working and middle classes, referring to the height of the tables and chairs rather than class status. "Cream tea" makes reference to the serving of scones with clotted cream and jam. Finally, "afternoon tea" is a relatively new concept, appearing only in the mid-1800s and enjoyed by the upper echelon as a way of alleviating hunger pangs while waiting for the evening meal.

Having lived in London for nearly 18 years now, I've had my fair share of afternoon teas, and have come to understand what a great one can or should include. While the experience is steeped in British traditions and etiquette, there are numerous ways this can be interpreted, including influences from other cultures. London is a multilingual, multinational, cosmopolitan city, home to world-class hotels, restaurants, and dining experiences. While the 20 afternoon teas included here are some of the most popular and highly regarded, the list just scratches the surface of the city's offerings.

Palm Court at The Ritz London

They don't call it "puttin' on the Ritz" for nothing. Afternoon tea at The Ritz's famous Palm Court is an exercise in elegance, British tradition, and sophistication. Choose from 18 different loose-leaf teas selected by the hotel's certified tea master, or treat yourself to a glass of Champagne while admiring each chandelier above.

Dainty sandwiches include all of the classics, along with inspired combinations. Spend the afternoon nibbling on sandwich offers like ham with mustard mayonnaise on brioche, cucumber with cream cheese, and chicken with tarragon. Save room for the sweeter selections, too, including freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Prices begin at $88 for adults and $61 for children's tea (sans caffeine, thank goodness). Make sure to book in advance.


+44 (0) 20 7300 2345

150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR

Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason

If you're looking for a tea salon steeped in tradition, visit Fortnum & Mason. Even the late Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed a cuppa here, with the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon named in honor of Her Majesty's 2012 visit.

Fortnum & Mason is well known for being a tastemaker and a tea maker; it's home to some of the most reputable products in the business, and well-loved for just about everything, from its annual Food and Drink Awards to its window displays. This is a one-stop shop for exceptional goods, which also serves tea fit for a queen.

Finger sandwiches include favorites like coronation chicken, cucumber with capers and mint, and smoked trout blini. The menu of sweet offerings features fruit scones alongside patisseries like rose eclairs and salted caramel cheesecake. Afternoon tea is served from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; Friday and Saturday service begins at 11 a.m., and the salon closes at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations are accepted up to three months in advance.


+44 (0) 20 7734 8040

181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER

The Grand Saloon at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Musical and theater lovers, this one is for you. Recently restored and refurbished under the leadership of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Lane, as it's known, is in the heart of London's West End, making it the perfect pre- or post-theater treat.

The menu features crumpets topped with Earl Grey-infused cream cheese and smoked salmon, coronation chicken pie, and sweets crafted by Lily Vanilli. Tea is served on custom-made fine bone china adorned with colorful illustrations of mythical characters inspired by classic theatrical costume designs. Tea is served daily, with prices starting from $72 per person. Advance booking is required.


+44 (0) 20 3925 2999

Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF

Thames Foyer at The Savoy

The Savoy is an institution known for its high-quality food and service — not to mention it's where British food writer Nigel Slater began his culinary career. The elegant hotel now features three restaurants by Gordon Ramsay. For afternoon tea, however, the Thames Foyer is the place to be.

The Thames Foyer doesn't scrimp on elegant details, with its glass-domed atrium, stunning white gazebo, live music, and traditional afternoon tea offered here since 1889. Choose from over 30 teas, served with beautifully made sandwiches, pastries, and signature cakes.

Afternoon tea is served seven days a week from 12:30 p.m., with vegetarian and vegan options available. A smart-casual dress code is suggested.


+44 (0) 20 7420 2111

The Strand, London WC2R 0EZ

The Gallery at Sketch

Sketch is known for all things whimsical and creative, from its website to its food and decor. Afternoon tea here is an event, a performance, and a rollercoaster ride for all the senses. Sandwiches range from coronation chicken to croque monsieur. Sweet offerings include a tongue-tingling pineapple and chili cheesecake, hazelnut eclairs, and grapefruit marshmallows, to name a few. Scones, clotted cream, and jam are included in the mix, of course. 

Reservations can be hard to come by, so you might want to book a few months ahead, especially if planning a visit during the festive season. Sketch offers guests seasonally themed tea menus for $110, or $129 with accompanying bubbly. Children's teas are also available year-round for $67.


+44 (0) 20 7659 4500

9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG

Petersham Nurseries

Nature lovers will delight in Petersham Nurseries' afternoon tea amid a setting that highlights local flora and fauna, found in London's leafy southwest borough of Richmond.

Tea is served with a flower-topped tiered tray of savory finger sandwiches and tarts made with seasonal produce. Sweeter offerings include rich chocolate brownies and classic Victoria sponge cakes complete with fresh strawberries and a light buttercream.

After you have satisfied every sweet and savory tooth in your mouth, wander around the venue's immaculately kept gardens and greenhouse, picking up plants, bulbs, or seeds to inspire your own growing efforts. Afternoon tea is served here with final seatings at 3:45 p.m. from Friday through Sunday.


+44 (0) 20 8940 5230

Church Lane (off Petersham Road), London TW10 7AB


Lyaness is owned and operated by respected bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana — aka Mr. Lyan — who has collected the titles of World's Best Bar and World's Best Bar Menu, among other recognitions. Needless to say, whatever he is serving up is worth its weight in gold.

Mr. Lyan pays homage to memories of his parents' hometown of Galle with the Sri Lankan High Tea service. Tuck into a masala-spiced tuna sandwich or a grilled eggplant sandwich with wambatu butter before turning your eyes to the sweet selection that includes a pandan Swiss roll. Stick with beautifully designed teas, or lean into a cocktail or three to see why Mr. Lyan racks up awards for his masterful mixology. Afternoon tea is available on Saturdays and Sundays, with reservations required. Prices range from $52 to $77, depending on your beverage choices.


+44 (0) 20 3747 1063

20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD


Balthazar puts a French brasserie twist on the standard afternoon tea, first by offering guests a classic French 75 cocktail and dressed crab with herbed mayo. Next, rather than finger sandwiches, diners enjoy a selection of warm, savory dishes like tarragon poached chicken.

Classic French patisseries follow, from a Paris-Brest to crème brûlée to opera cake. Prices start from $94 for the standard tea service that includes food, one French 75 cocktail, plus tea and coffee for two. Additional packages include Champagne by the glass or bottle. Afternoon tea is served Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and pre-booking with a minimum advance notice of 48 hours is essential.


+44 (0) 20 3301 1155

4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ


Since first opening its doors in 1856, Claridge's Hotel has become one of London's extraordinary institutions when it comes to understated elegance and attention to detail. Choose from a number of dining options here, including afternoon tea.

Featuring both savory and sweet treats that highlight some of the finest British ingredients, menus change with the season, highlighted with teas selected by resident expert Henrietta Lovell. Sandwiches feature smoked salmon, honey-roasted ham, and English cucumber, among other delicacies. Freshly baked scones come with generous offerings of clotted cream and jam, and pastries are made with a variety of textures and techniques, from meringue to mousse. 

Afternoon tea is served daily between 2:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with prices starting at $123 per person. 


+44 (0) 20 7629 8860

Brook Street, London W1K 4HR

Gatsby's Room at The Beaumont

If the Art Deco years of the 1920s and 1930s is your style era of choice, you'll find yourself right at home lounging in Gatsby's Room at The Beaumont, a hotel that takes its aesthetic inspiration from the building's Jazz Age origins.

The furnishings of Gatsby's Room are richly colored, streamlined, and simple, highlighting the understated elegance of the Art Deco era. What comes out of the kitchen is no exception.

Start the sophisticated feast of sandwiches, scones, and pastries with a tea-based cocktail. Rare and seasonal teas are also on offer, as is a children's tea. Afternoon tea service is available daily between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with prices beginning at $81 per person.


+44 (0) 20 7499 1001

Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TF 

Promenade at The Dorchester

For anyone craving the ultimate experience in luxury and fine dining, afternoon tea at The Dorchester's Promenade eatery should be at the top of your list. The Dorchester pays homage to the traditions of British afternoon tea while adding signature twists, thanks to the work of highly regarded pastry chef Michael Kwan.

Finger sandwich varieties include cheddar and camomile scones, smoked salmon with brown shrimp and rock samphire, and ham with truffle and Parmesan. The pastry selection features a red-fruit mille-feuille and a quince and yogurt mousse.

Tea is served daily from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with prices beginning at $116. 


+44 (0) 20 7629 8888

53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA

Brigit's Bakery Bus Tour

Those looking to both see and taste the essence of London should clamber aboard Brigit's Bakery Bus Tour. Take your seat at a specially reserved table on a vintage double-decker bus, and for 90 minutes feast your eyes on the city's famous landmarks, all while enjoying a classic afternoon tea enhanced by French flavors.

Nibble on mushroom quiche while passing through Marble Arch, or devour sweet pumpkin and almond tarts as you circle Trafalgar Square, all while sipping on your tea of choice or something stronger. This is a lighthearted tour that doesn't take itself too seriously, encouraging laughter and enjoyment for guests of all ages.

Several themed tours depart from various London locations throughout the day, including one featuring the city's beautiful Christmas lights. Afternoon tea is also offered at the home-base bakery, where bus tour information is available.


+44 (0) 20 3026 1188

6-7 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HU 

Nobu Hotel

This Japanese take on British afternoon tea combines two cultures, each placing enormous value on craftsmanship and attention to detail. The menu is also inspired by ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging, with items and ingredients carefully curated and placed just so. 

Teas range from Earl Grey and English Breakfast to Darjeeling and various green and oolong teas. The dining selection includes sushi cups and crispy chicken karaage, with vegetarian options available. Enjoy standout desserts like Hojicha cheesecake and prune vanilla macaroons with Toki whisky. The experience concludes with scones, clotted cream, and yuzu curd.

Prices start from $77 per person. Afternoon tea is served beginning at 1 p.m. every day.


+44 (0) 20 3988 5888

22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG

The Landmark London

"The Great British Bake Off" enthusiasts will run straight from the bakers' tent to The Landmark London to experience the finely curated High Palms High Tea constructed by recent "Bake Off: The Professionals" winners Mauro Di Lieto and Daniel Schevenels. 

It's a menu likely to win over even the most scrupulous of judges, enhanced by the experience of dining in the hotel's eight-story glass atrium. The menu includes candied apricot and marzipan scones, the chocolate and salted caramel Swiss roll, and a white chocolate and ginger cheesecake with pears and yuzu. Afternoon tea is served from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, with prices starting at $86 per person.


+44 (0) 20 7631 8000

222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ

Palm Court at The Langham

Sink into your seat at The Langham. This grand hotel in London's West End has been offering afternoon tea in the Palm Court since 1865. With a menu crafted from the minds and hands of Michel Roux Jr. and Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Gravett, The Langham recommends enjoying the savory selection, including the crayfish and prawn pain de mie roll. Guests then delight in pastries like the mission fig compote on crunchy choux bun with apple whipped ganache. Finish the experience with scones topped with Cornish clotted cream and homemade seasonal preserves for maximum enjoyment and a lingering sense of satisfaction. 

Afternoon tea is served Wednesday to Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pricing begins at $42 a head for children and $92 for adults. 


+44 (0) 20 7636 1000

1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA

Mariage Frères

If you can't make it to Paris, bring a slice of Paris to you with a visit to Mariage Frères in London's Covent Garden. Known for their elegant tea salons and emporiums around Paris since 1854, Londoners benefit from a French-style afternoon tea. The experience comes complete with a wall-to-wall tea selection to purchase and take home on the lower level, with over 1,000 teas to select from before moving upstairs to dine.

Guests can choose from cakes, desserts, and patisseries sold a la carte, or enjoy a full afternoon tea including three tea-infused savories, three tea-infused delicacies, and two tea-infused Parisian scones, plus the tea of your choice. 


+44 (0) 20 7836 1854

38 King Street, London WC2E 8JS

The Goring

Opened in 1910 by Otto Goring, this five-star luxury hotel is still run by the family that built it. The Goring was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to the Royal Household for its spectacular hospitality services, and its Dining Room earns Michelin stars.

Situated near Buckingham Palace, The Goring offers guests afternoon tea service in its airy, light-filled veranda every day and in The Dining Room on Saturdays, with the tea menu and pastries changing seasonally. The hotel has received multiple honors from the British Tea Guild Council, including the Top London Afternoon Tea Award.

Traditional afternoon tea starts at $79 per person. Smart-casual dress is required.


+44 (0) 20 7396 9000

15 Beeston Place, London SW1W 0JW

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is a prestigious performance and exhibition venue with a longstanding history. Some may be surprised to learn it also offers afternoon tea service.

Begin with a choice from 11 different tea blends, then tuck into a classic offering of sandwiches including cucumber, egg mayonnaise, and honey-roasted ham. Follow the savory treats with sweets. Nibble on freshly made scones and a slice of cake from the trolley.

After you're satisfied with the food and drink performance, stay to take in another performance, be it an orchestra, play, or a guided tour of the hall itself and its significance in British history. Traditional tea service starts at $62 per person.


+44 (0) 20 7589 8212

Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP


The name TĪNG comes from the Chinese word for living room, and it was chosen in hopes of conveying casual elegance to diners looking to be wowed by spectacular food with a view. The restaurant and lounge sit above the bustle of the city on the 35th floor of The Shard.

TĪNG's afternoon tea offers include a signature cocktail or mocktail, a selection of classic finger sandwiches and scones, and a delightful array of sweets like raspberry plum cake and layer cake with pistachio and sour cherries.

Afternoon tea is served Monday through Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and it's available until 4 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. Prices start from $92 per person.


+44 (0) 20 7234 8108

31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU 

The Berkeley

Calling all fashionistas, this tea is for you. Known for its elegance, luxury, and style, The Berkeley raises the bar on chic afternoon teas by crafting one that places fashion center stage. The hotel's Prêt-à-Portea couture-cake selection pays homage to designers such as Victoria Beckham, Harris Reed, and Alexander McQueen with miniature, edible versions of their dresses and coats.

Situated between fashionable Knightsbridge and the upscale elegance of Belgravia, The Berkeley offers guests a unique and memorable experience steeped in English tradition, but with a playfully inspired twist. Like many fashion trends, this design-led tea is only around for the autumn/winter season. Afternoon tea is served daily from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with prices beginning at $98; the special design-focused menu begins at $122 and includes a glass of champagne or a mocktail. 


+44 (0) 20 7235 6000

Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL