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London's Best Afternoon Tea in 2023: Traditional to Modern

City Guide June 30, 2023

 

Tourists traveling to London should definitely try to fit an afternoon tea into their trip. This British tradition is deeply ingrained in the country's culture and history. Get ready for a truly unique and authentic London experience! Explore the heart of London's cultural scene with thanks to our touristic guides. Discover the elegance of Mayfair and the artistic wonders of Kensington, all while enjoying the vibrant theatre scene in Covent Garden. This comprehensive guide offers insights into the city's most prestigious neighborhoods, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

The following guide lists the best places for tea in London, varying from cheap to expensive and casual to formal tea experiences. Remember that if you’re exploring spots around London before or after your afternoon tea, your luggage could be a burden. You might want to leave your bags and luggage in a safe and secure storage spot. Luckily, finding Nannybag luggage storage in London easy.

There's something to suit everyone's tastes and preferences! Whether you're looking for a traditional, elegant tea at a historic hotel or a more modern, innovative take on the classic. It’s also a wonderful way to take a break from sightseeing and indulge yourself.

Most afternoon teas include a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes, and a pot of tea or other beverages. A delicious and satisfying way to pass a couple of hours!

 

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

At One Aldwych in London’s West End, you can embark on a wonderful journey of the delights described in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The afternoon tea menu draws heavily on some of the mouth-watering delights from the books.

Begin with savory dishes like beetroot macarons and “not-quite-as-it-seems salmon.” Then tuck into some of the desserts that will spark feelings of nostalgia and set your mouth watering in equal measure. Tickets from £58 pounds, or £38 for kids.

 

Afternoon Tea Bus

The Afternoon Tea Bus Tour in London is a delightful experience that combines two quintessential British traditions: afternoon tea and sightseeing. The tour takes place on a vintage double-decker bus converted into a mobile tearoom. Add elegant table settings, plush seats, and panoramic views of London's iconic landmarks, and you have it.

Sip on a selection of fine teas and indulge in an array of scrumptious sandwiches, scones, and cakes! Your knowledgeable guide will tour London's most famous attractions, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes, and there are several departure times throughout the day.

 

 

The Wallace

This option is relatively cheap compared to some of the others. Costing £19.50, this Afternoon Tea in the Wallace Restaurant is pleasant and great value, but the real draw is the setting. It is located inside Hertford House (Manchester Square), one of West End's most glamorous areas. The Wallace Collection is one of the best art collections in the city, and its entrance is free.

The place is filled with incredible French 18th-century and Old Master paintings. So, why not check out this amazing (free) West London spot and enjoy a cheap afternoon tea for a beautiful, inexpensive London day out?

 

Dolly’s at Selfridge’s

Located inside Selfridge’s, the iconic London department store located at the western end of Oxford Street, this is a great spot for afternoon tea after some shopping! It’s named after the Dolly Sisters, a pair of twins who were celebrity singers and performers in the 1920s (and who the founder Harry Selfridge was particularly fond of). So the glamorous café has a distinct art deco style. Dolly’s still retains a slightly more casual vibe than other afternoon tea spots and won’t break the bank.

 

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The beautiful St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is beside the major train stations of Kings Cross and St. Pancras, where the Eurostar stops in London. Their tearoom, called the Hansom, serves delicious afternoon tea for £49 per person. The real draw, however, is the incredible building itself.

The hotel building, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, is the best example of Victorian Gothic architecture anywhere in the city and is a true London landmark. It celebrates its 150th birthday this year (2023), so you can even get a celebration 150th anniversary afternoon tea! This is a great way to finish a London trip if you’re leaving soon on the Eurostar or might have just arrived in London and are feeling peckish!

 

 

Twining's - The Strand

This is something a little different from an afternoon tea spot per se, but it is such a great London tea experience that we had to include it on the list! This is the oldest tea shop in London that dates back over three hundred years, and Twining’s is now one of the biggest tea brands in the world.

At this charming old spot, you can learn about tea's rich and fascinating history in London and Britain and taste and buy some delicious rare teas!

 

Kensington Palace Gardens

The Kensington Palace Gardens is a beautiful and elegant green space in Kensington, West London. The Gardens are beside the royal residence, and you can get a package deal where you can spend a couple of hours living like a royal.

Take a leisurely stroll around the beautifully manicured and serene gardens, then take a tour of Kensington Palace and have afternoon tea in the pretty Kensington Palace Pavilion. Tickets can be a little expensive, usually over £100 pounds, but this is a truly luxurious and memorable experience.

On a hungrier note, did you know that Kensington is full great restaurants? It even has some of London's best Italian restaurants!

 

Nannybag - London's Best Afternoon Tea in 2023: Traditional to Modern

 

Aqua Shard

If you want afternoon tea with the best possible view out over the city, then having it at Aqua Shard is the move for you. The restaurant is located on the 31st floor of the Shard, in Southwark, beside the River Thames. Aqua offers modern British cuisine, cocktails, a top-class afternoon tea experience, and incredible panoramic views of London.

An afternoon tea will cost you £45 (adding champagne to your tea will cost you a bit more). The menu includes things from a lobster sandwich to a peanut butter parfait.

If you're looking to experience London on a budget, check out our dedicated guide. It provides savvy tips for an affordable adventure in Kensington, Victoria, and Covent Garden, with a special focus on enjoying the theatre scene without breaking the bank. This guide is your key to exploring London's cultural offerings while keeping your budget on point.

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