16 Best Afternoon Tea In London

London, a city known for its rich history and refined traditions, has perfected the art of afternoon tea, a time-honoured ritual that dates back to the 18th century. Afternoon tea is credited to Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who is believed to have invented the tradition in the early 1840s. During that time, it was common to have only two main meals a day—breakfast in the morning and a late dinner in the evening. To satisfy her hunger and stave off the wait for dinner, she began having afternoon teas.

The idea caught on, and the afternoon tea tradition soon became a fashionable social event among the British aristocracy and even today the popularity of afternoon tea continued to spread across Britain. From delicate finger sandwiches filled with the freshest ingredients to scrumptious scones served with clotted cream and homemade preserves, every detail is crafted with precision and passion to deliver a truly unforgettable affair. Whether you are seeking a quintessential British experience or celebrating a special occasion, here are the best afternoon tea in London or known to some as the best high tea in London.


1The Lanesborough

The Lanesborough afternoon tea

Renowned for its impeccable afternoon tea, The Lanesborough embraces its Regency-era ambiance by offering an official Bridgerton-themed experience, created in partnership with Netflix and Shondaland. Nestled in the opulent surroundings of the Lanesborough hotel, the afternoon tea is served in The Lanesborough’s richly decorated powder-blue dining room, naturally illuminated during the day by a domed glass roof.

Head Pastry Chef Salvatore Mungiovino’s expertise shines through in the expertly crafted menu, paying tribute to the whimsical and beloved characters, King George, Lady Violet, Lady Danbury and of course Queen Charlotte herself, by way of intricately designed sweet treats. For those looking to elevate their afternoon tea to a truly indulgent affair, The Lanesborough also offers the option of adding a cocktail created by the Lanesborough’s Head of Bars, Mickael Perron. The Queen Charlotte cocktail is a refreshing tipple combining Fords Gin, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, cranberry, exotic lychee, vanilla and lime, topped with Champagne for the royal seal of approval. A non-alcoholic cocktail featuring Noughty Sparkling Rosé is also offered. Afternoon Tea service is accompanied by a pianist on weekends. The Lanesborough’s afternoon tea promises to be one of the best afternoon tea in London and an unforgettable journey through the time-honored British tradition.


  Visit: Oetkercollection.com





Claridge's afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at Claridge’s is an iconic and timeless experience renowned for its elegance and sophistication. Located in the heart of London‘s Mayfair this historic hotel has been serving afternoon tea since the 1860s and has perfected the art of this quintessential British tradition and offers one of the best afternoon tea in London. Claridge’s legendary traditional Afternoon Tea is served in The Foyer & Reading Room surrounded by stunning Art Deco interiors.

Prepared and served fresh each day, the menu faithfully follows the traditional combination of sweet and savoury. The ingredients include British specialities such as poached Scottish salmon, and the pastries change to reflect the fruits of the season. At the heart of the experience is the drink itself. From a rich Oolong to the refreshingly complex Claridge’s Blend, Claridge’s takes great pride in offering a wide variety of teas to suit every palate, from classic blends to rare and exotic options. The knowledgeable tea sommeliers are on hand to guide you through the tea selection process.

For those who wish to indulge further, the champagne afternoon tea option offers a glass of chilled champagne to accompany the afternoon tea service, adding an extra touch of luxury to the experience.


  Visit: Claridges.co.uk




3The Ritz

The Ritz best afternoon tea in london

The Ritz Afternoon tea

When it comes to afternoon tea, no mention is complete without the illustrious name of The Ritz. The Ritz has been serving afternoon tea since 1906, and it has become renowned worldwide as one of the finest and most celebrated afternoon teas. The tea is served in the spectacular surroundings of The Palm Court, an exquisitely decorated and beautifully restored dining room. The atmosphere is grand and sophisticated, with live music from a pianist or a harpist adding to the sense of luxury and refinement, making it one of the best afternoon tea in London.

The Ritz afternoon tea is a sumptuous affair, beginning with a selection of finely cut sandwiches freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a mouth-watering range of exquisitely presented pastries and teacakes. With 18 different types of loose-leaf tea to choose from, The Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK to have a certified Tea Master, Giandomenico Scanu, who travels around the world to various tea plantations to source our wonderful teas. Add some extra sparkle to the occasion with a glass of Champagne.


  Visit: Theritzlondon.com




4Rosewood London

Rosewood London

Rosewood London afternoon

Twice acclaimed as the Best Contemporary tea, the afternoon tea experience at Rosewood London hotel in Holborn is nothing short of extraordinary and one of the best best afternoon tea in London. Set in the elegant Mirror Room, the ambiance is sophisticated and welcoming, making it the perfect setting for a leisurely afternoon indulgence. What sets the afternoon tea at Rosewood London apart is the unique themes they incorporate. From time to time, they introduce special themed afternoon teas, adding a delightful twist to the traditional experience.

The latest collection of Art Afternoon Tea by Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins is inspired by iconic British artist David Hockney and his exhibition at Lightroom: Bigger & Closer (not smaller and further away). The true immersive experience is complete with a ‘Hockneyfication’ by stylist Camilla Wordie. Expect artfully crafted desserts and pastries inspired by the themes, creating a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Complementing the delicious food is an extensive tea selection, featuring a variety of premium loose-leaf teas from around the world.


  Visit: Rosewoodhotels.com




5Searcys at The Gherkin

Searcys at The Gherkin

The afternoon tea at Searcys at The Gherkin is a truly exceptional and unforgettable experience, set against the backdrop of London’s iconic skyline. Located on the top floors of the stunning Gherkin building, this luxurious setting offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city, providing a breathtaking and unparalleled atmosphere, making it one of the best afternoon tea in London. As one of the best best high tea in London, the Gherkin puts the ‘high’ in high tea with its stunning 360-degree views across the City of London.

With an impressive 175 years of afternoon tea experience, Searcys ensures that every detail of this culinary tradition is executed with precision and finesse. The afternoon tea menu offers a delightful range of savory and sweet treats, including Jersey fruit and plain scones, served with Cornish clotted cream and fruit preserve, followed by indulgent pastries of Florentine chocolate tart, blackberry macaron and caramel choux.


  Visit: Searcys.co.uk




6The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason afternoon

Located in the heart of London’s Piccadilly, Fortnum & Mason is a prestigious and iconic department store known for its exceptional quality. Epitomising the sophistication of Afternoon and High Tea in all its splendour, the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was named in honour of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2012, when she formally opened the room, in the company of their Royal Highnesses the then Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge. And today, it is one of the best high tea in London.

 With Fortnum & Mason’s renowned reputation for exceptional teas, you can expect nothing short of a remarkable experience here. As one of the best afternoon tea in London, Fortnum’s has over 150 varieties of tea with the Royal Blend being one of the most famous blends. The classic afternoon tea menu features iconic teas, extraordinary cakes, still-warm scones and an array of freshly prepared sandwiches. And for those who prefer savory to sweet, you can delight in an all-savoury affair, savoring the exquisite selection of savory delights it has to offer.


  Visit: Fortnumandmason.com




7 Bulgari Hotel 

 Bulgari Hotel  afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea at The Bulgari Lounge marries Italian ingredients with summer’s most fragrant English flower. Nestled in the heart of Knightsbridge, as one of the best afternoon tea in London, this five-star hotel provides a sophisticated setting for indulging in the quintessential British tradition. Bulgari Hotel London’s Summer Afternoon Tea incorporates the glorious colours and scents of the season, for a new twist on the classic Afternoon Tea.

The experience begins with a carefully curated selection of Italian savoury delicacies and pastries. The highlight of the afternoon tea at the Bulgari Hotel lies in the exquisite assortment of pastries and cakes. The talented pastry chefs craft an array of delightful treats, each meticulously presented and bursting with flavor, the selection is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Inspired by the colourful florals of the season, the dolci include The Serenità, with vanilla mousse and lemon biscuit; the Fior di Basilico with tomatoes and raspberry ganache and basil; the Baba Rosa with a cocoa biscuit, strawberry and coconut ganache; and the Sambuco with mascarpone, Sambuco, pistachio, and peach and vanilla cream.


  Visit: Bulgarihotels.com




8Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries afternoon tea

The afternoon tea at Petersham Nurseries is nothing short of magical. Set in the heart of nature in Richmond, London, this unique and idyllic venue is known for its enchanting gardens and rustic ambiance. As one of the best afternoon tea in London, the afternoon tea is served in the elegant surroundings of The Teahouse, a quaint and inviting space that blends beautifully with the nursery’s greenery. On Friday, Saturday and Sundays, in addition to the Teahouse service, Garden Afternoon Tea is also served alongside the cutting garden.

The menu features a selection of delectable finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and homemade preserves, and an assortment of mouthwatering cakes and pastries. The offerings are thoughtfully prepared using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, adding a touch of freshness and authenticity to the experience. The tea stand also arrives adorned with a magnificent floral arrangement, adding to the sense of wonder.


  Visit: Petershamnurseries.com




9The Beaumont

The Beaumont afternoon tea

afternoon tea at The Beaumont

The afternoon tea at The Beaumont is served in the beautifully designed Gatsby’s Room – which is the beating heart of the hotel, it exudes an air of classic elegance and Art Deco style. The ambiance is warm and inviting, creating the perfect setting for a leisurely afternoon tea as the live piano music is played daily throughout Afternoon Tea.

As befits The Beaumont’s transatlantic heritage, Afternoon Tea is served according to the best of English traditions, sprinkled with a light American accent. The true stars of the show are the exquisite pastries. To complement the culinary delights, the tea selection is extensive, offering a variety of premium loose-leaf teas from around the world. From classic blends to rare and exotic infusions, there is a tea to suit every palate, making it one of the best afternoon tea in London.


  Visit: Thebeaumont.com




10Shangri-la The Shard

Shangri-la The Shard afternoon tea

The iconic skyscraper in London, The Shard is not only known for its impressive architecture and breathtaking views of the city but also for the culinary experiences it offers, including its renowned afternoon tea. The afternoon tea takes place in various venues within The Shard, with the Ting Lounge on 35th floor being a popular choice. As Western Europe’s tallest building, it boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering 360-degree views of London along with your afternoon tea, making it one of the best afternoon tea in London.

The Shard occasionally introduces themed afternoon tea experiences to coincide with special occasions or holidays, adding a unique twist to the traditional afternoon tea. Currently, a whimsical Over The Rainbow Afternoon Tea will being served at the wisteria clad TĪNG Lounge, featuring a showstopping miniature milk Shard building for two to share, filled with indulgent hazelnut praline, lemon jelly and Valrhona Dulcey mousse. A selection of finger sandwiches will also be served along with savouries such as hibiscus flower and a Rata burger with ratatouille and green pesto will follow.


  Visit: The-shard.com




11The Landmark 

The Landmark afternoon tea

afternoon tea at The Landmark

As one of the best afternoon tea in London, The Landmark servers its exquisite Afternoon Tea served beneath the elegant high palms of their famous Winter Garden Restaurant. Indulge in the quintessential London afternoon tea experience set right beneath the towering palms of the stunning Victorian atrium. The setting exudes tranquility and enchantment, while the ambiance maintains a blend of casual refinement, accompanied by the gentle melody of a piano and the soft radiance of daylight filtering through.

The Landmark London is celebrated for its time-honored approach to Afternoon Tea, a tradition it has been perfecting for over a century. The indulgence begins with a delectable assortment of treats that cater to every palate, the menu features delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones accompanied by the indulgent richness of Cornish clotted cream and delightful preserves. Craftsmanship extends to the realm of confectionery, where a selection of meticulously crafted cakes and pastries awaits. These intricately designed sweets provide not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visual delight, reflecting the Landmark’s commitment to elevating the Afternoon Tea experience.


  Visit: Landmarklondon.co.uk





12The Orchid Lounge – Pan Pacific London

The Orchid Lounge Pan Pacific London

Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay have provided the creative spark for the Orchid Lounge’s latest afternoon tea. Elevating the quintessential British Afternoon Tea to new heights, The Orchid Lounge ingeniously infuses Asian essences into this timeless tradition. The Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam creation is an ode to bao, dim sum, and choux.

As one of the best places for afternoon tea in London, this refined experience is complemented by an exquisite selection of teas from the renowned Rare Tea Companyand introduced by a dedicated Tea Connoisseur. Additionally, the menu extends to include the finest Champagnes and the illustrious Nyetimber English Sparkling Wines. The afternoon tea experience is set against the backdrop of a captivating plaza, the scene is set for a wonderful opportunity to sip, savour and enjoy whatever the time of day, with a selection of refreshments and light snacks available throughout the day and evening.


  Visit: Panpacific.com




13Cafe Royal 

Cafe Royal afternoon tea

Cafe Royal Oscar Wilde

The Grill Room, a cherished haunt of Oscar Wilde, stands as an epitome of opulence and grandeur, offering one of the best afternoon tea in London. Within the confines of this Grade II listed chamber, Hotel Café Royal orchestrates a decadent afternoon tea experience that defies comparison.

The room itself is adorned with gilded accents that embellish mirrored surfaces and ornate ceilings, creating an ambiance that is nothing short of enchanting, as the live piano melodies grace the air, you will find yourself transported into a bygone era. Against this backdrop, an exquisite array of delicacies and delectable sweets takes center stage. Accompanied by abundant Champagne and an assortment of teas, the entire affair becomes a memory etched in time.


  Visit: Hotelcaferoyal.com




14The Berkeley

The Berkeley afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at The Berkeley is without a doubt, the most stylish tea affair in the London. Renwoned for its iconic fashion-themed Prêt-à-Portea, which presents a captivating fusion of fashion and delectable treats. With each passing half-year, the menu undergoes a transformation, mirroring the latest catwalk trends. It is a capsule collection for one of the best afternoon tea in London for fashionistas with a sweet tooth, serveing a bold, colourful take on the traditional afternoon tea.

Some of the highlights include Hermès’ tasselled bucket bag is crafted out of Victoria sponge sandwiched with apricot jam, wrapped in chocolate and finished with a chocolate feather plume. Moschino’s vibrant ensemble is made with tropical mousse with a banana and passion fruit centre, set on Sablé Breton biscuit and finished with a meringue flamingo. Indulge in these imaginative delicacies amidst an array of savory canapés, sandwiches, and the ever-flowing delight of tea.


  Visit: The-berkeley.co.uk




15The Dorchester 

The Dorchester  afternoon tea

The Dorchester Promenade

Set within the iconic hotels renovated Promenade, which offers a tantalising feast for the eyes with harmonious palette of white and sage green, adorned with delicate gold leaf accents. Dark oak wood tables, the iconic statement carpet paired with The Dorchester’s extensive art collection and tables over flowing with roses intertwines elegance and modernity. Amidst this grandeur, the service is still warm and inviting.

Rather than breaking with tradition,The Dorchester have reinvented their famous afternoon tea experience with a new twist.  The menu remains a reassuring ode to the classics such as crust-free sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and exquisite pastries that go into the afternoon tea are all handcrafted under the eye of the award-winning pastry chef Michael Kwan, injecting this timeless tradition with creativity.


  Visit: Dorchestercollection.com




16The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental

The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental afternoon tea

Set against the elegant Knightsbridge, The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental provides the perfect canvas for the best high tea in London. Named in honor of Archibald Primrose, the Earl of Rosebery, a prominent figure in the late 19th century, the afternoon tea experince here is a Victorian-inspired haven offering a quintessentially British experience.

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. A bespoke menu of 29 different loose-leaf teas is offered along with wine, sake, beer or Sparkling Tea pairing.


  Visit: Mandarinoriental.com