Are there two finer words in the English language than afternoon tea? We think not. Here’s our round-up the best places to enjoy this most English of institutions
Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair
Designed by Olga Polizzi and part of Rocco Forte Hotels, the award-winning English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel is a wonderful place to enjoy one of the most famous afternoon teas in London. There’s even a pop-up whisky bar with premium Scotch labels from the Balmoral in Edinburgh.
The Halkin by COMO
The Halkin’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Ametsa, is launching a brand-new afternoon tea menu this month. Inspired by their Spanish heritage, the Ametsa team has created a menu featuring tapas savouries and sweets, with menu highlights including spider crab tempura, Iberico ham and Manchego cheese pillows, pork croquettes, with sweet dishes including Catalan cream with cinnamon, and chocolate with churros. A very different twist on the traditional tea.
Famous for its afternoon teas for almost 150 years, Claridge’s elevates the ritual of afternoon tea to a new level, featuring a menu of more than 20 carefully sourced teas, complemented by finger sandwiches, warm scones and sweet pastries. Tea connoisseur, Henrietta Lovell of the Rare Tea Company, has scoured the globe to find a selection of exquisite tea from small, little known producers, which all use sustainable farming practices.
TĪNG, The Shard
Derived from the Chinese word for “living room”, TĪNG is the collective name for the restaurant and lounge on level 35, 128 metres above ground level, with unsurpassed views of St Paul’s Cathedral, The City of London, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and other famous landmarks. Served in theatrical elegance, TĪNG has two unique offerings – a classically English experience and an Asian-inspired alternative, both accompanied by a selection of more than 30 teas.
Recently renovated and reopened last week by the Duchess of Cambridge, The Goring been perfecting the art of afternoon tea since it opened its doors over a century ago. The holder of The British Tea Guild Council’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award and The Award of Excellence, it serves 21 of the finest blended and first-flush teas from around the world, from traditional British brews, to tealeaves sourced from the foot of the Himalayas. The hotel’s own blend of Assam and second flush Darjeeling makes for a light and delicate drink that is a natural foil for scones and clotted cream.
With its jewel-box design and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, The Mirror Room at Rosewood London takes the tradition of British tea to new heights. Choose from traditional afternoon tea at a cost of £39 per person or champagne afternoon tea at £49 per person. There is a selection of delicious finger sandwiches including a cream cheese, black pepper and radish filling and a crab and lemon filling to name but a few.
The Palm Court at The Langham is famed as the place where the tradition of afternoon tea was born over 150 years ago. Wedgwood specialty teas are served in tailor-made “Langham Rose” Wedgwood tea ware – and the choice of pastry creations is legendary.
Main image credit: Wedgwood