Local Experiences

Our Top Spots for Afternoon Tea in London

Our Top Spots for Afternoon Tea in London

Nearly 200 years after it was first made popular by the Duchess of Bedford, Afternoon tea has remained the most quintessential British tradition, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Offering up the perfect excuse to dress up and indulge in sweet treats for hours on end while enjoying the company of family or friends, this is a ritual not to be missed in London.

Afternoon tea traditionally includes your choice from a selection of teas or a glass of champagne, classic scones with clotted cream and preserves, patisserie-style sweets and cakes, and dainty finger sandwiches. Many local spots have put their own quirky spin on the tea time offerings, but the formula remains the same. Below are six of our favorite spots to get your sweet tooth fix here in London.

Insider Tips

  • Most venues will require advance reservations over the phone on online. If you wait until the last minute, call in the morning and check to see if they have any openings that day.
  • Afternoon tea is typically served between 3-5pm, but may vary by venue, so be sure to book in the allotted tea time so you don’t accidentally end up with a brunch or lunch reservation.
  • This tradition is not a rushed affair, so expect to spend a few hours there!

Fortnum & Mason

It would be impossible to include a list of London Afternoon teas without mentioning this Piccadilly institution, whose teas and assorted goodies have been around since the early 1700s. Once you step inside this elegant tea salon, you are instantly transported into a different world: charming waiters wearing suits and signature Fortnum blue ties masterfully walk you through your tower of treats, while a live pianists plays familiar tunes as you indulge. Just as your afternoon comes to a close (and you feel your body slowly turn into pure sugar), the famous cake trolley comes around, and you decide you have just enough room for a hefty slice of Battenburg or a layered sponge cake. [Book here]


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The Orangery at Kensington Palace

Cap off a visit to the home of the modern royals and take in a traditional Afternoon tea in the former home of Queen Anne. Situated right next to Kensington Palace, take a stroll down the row of perfectly manicured trees and enter this bright tea room, thanks to its floor to ceiling windows. While you sip your tea from beautiful tea cups, whose patterns are from the Royal Palace Collection, you can enjoy charming views of the lush gardens outside. Joining us for a Royal London Bike Tour? Our office is less than a 10 minute walk away from here, making it the perfect spot to relax and refill after seeing all the local sights! [Book here]

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Mad Hatter’s Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

Take a journey down the rabbit hole and enjoy a whimsical off-the-traditional-path take on Afternoon tea. Swap out tea for a mysterious cocktail and eat treats disguised as mushrooms, plants, and other curious shapes. [Book here] 


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Part tea room, part art gallery, and 100% fun. This delightful Mayfair spot offers up a generous amount of traditional Afternoon tea fare alongside plenty of quirks. From the illustrated tea cups and velvet pink chairs, this might be the only place in London where a visit to the loo includes a…photo opportunity? You’ll have to see it for yourself. [Book here]


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Dean Street Townhouse

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Soho, this cosy spot features dim lighting, a roaring fireplace, and a reasonably priced Afternoon tea compared to many traditional spots, without sacrificing quality. In a rush? You can enjoy a cream tea here for £8. [Book here]


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Spend a 5-star afternoon at this luxury hotel situated in Mayfair, which has been serving up afternoon tea for over 150 years. After you choose between its 24 varieties of tea (or opt for a glass of champagne) you’ll be served refined pastries on Claridge’s signature striped bone china, with a harpist serving as your background noise. [Book here]


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Have you enjoyed a traditional Afternoon tea in London? Share your favourite spots or memories with us below!

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