Enjoying afternoon tea is one of the most popular things to do in London. There are lots of different London afternoon teas, from traditional to contemporary options. For something a bit different, how about a London themed afternoon tea? Here are the most unique high teas in London.
London Themed Afternoon Tea
The tradition of high tea or afternoon tea was introduced by Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840. One of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, she was often hungry at 4 pm, as dinner was not served until late in the evening.
Experiencing what she called a “sinking feeling” in the afternoon, she requested a pot of tea with sandwiches. The Duchess started to invite friends round for tea, sandwiches and cakes and it soon became a popular pass time, adopted by Queen Victoria herself.
These days, you can indulge in all sorts of themed afternoon teas, with an artistic, literary or musical element. Most of these teas include traditional scones, served on bone china.
1. Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Have you ever had tea on a bus before? Well now you can, thanks to the team at Bustronome.
Indulge in a gourmet afternoon tea while admiring some of London’s most famous tourist attractions. The bus tour takes you past St Paul’s Cathedral, along Tower Bridge and close to many other London landmarks.
Created by Head Chef Pascal Even, the standard of food is really high. Tuck into cheese and mushroom sandwiches with truffle oil, Egg Florentine with a spinach and mousseline sauce, Cecina beef and smoked salmon sandwiches.
Save room for delicious plain and raisin scones and sweet treats such as fondue au chocolat with mini Madeleines, macarons and lemon meringue pie. Enjoy your tea with a luxury hot chocolate, coffee, tea or champagne.
To find out more about the famous London sights along the route, use the digital pen provided to hover over specific attractions. You’ll then hear a recorded commentary giving you background information on the particular sight.
From £60 per person or £35 for children
Address: Bustronome London, 40B Coach Bay, Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 6PB, United Kingdom
2. Secret Garden Afternoon Tea
Inspired by the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s novel, this unique afternoon tea features some very fun surprises.
A golden crown sets the scene for the tea party that is to come. You can choose from a nice range of specialty teas or a cocktail with Secret Garden Gin Distillery. There’s a nice array of sandwiches, savouries and pastries.
Taj 51 also has another other fun London tea: The Indian Jasmine, which is inspired by the wonders of India.
From £70 per person
Address: Taj 51 Suites & Residences, 54 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1E 6AF
3. Art Afternoon Tea
The stunning Mirror Room at Rosewood London is the setting for the Art Afternoon Tea. Awarded the Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea at the Afternoon Tea Awards for the second year in a row, it is beautifully presented.
Inspired by the iconic artist, Vincent Van Gogh, this tea includes some tasty finger sandwiches and scones. The three desserts created by Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins are named after Van Gogh paintings: Almond Blossoms, Sunflowers and The Starry Night.
There’s also a children’s version of this afternoon tea. It comes complete with an artist’s palette and painter’s tubes filled with jam and lemon curd.
From £72 per person or £35 per child
Address: Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea
Kids and big kids will love the chocolate afternoon tea at One Aldwych. Willy Wonka would no doubt approve of the treats on offer at this Theatreland London hotel.
These include Loompaland lemon floss, banana and chocolate milkshake mixed by waterfall and many other imaginative creations. The Fizzy Lifting Drinks are the perfect accompaniment.
From £52 per person
Address: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
5. Children’s Afternoon Tea
Designed specifically for young minds, the Children’s Afternoon Tea at The Langham is interactive. The first course is a selection of jigsaw sandwiches, while the desserts have a fun seaside theme.
The Langham was actually the first hotel to serve afternoon tea. It has been served in the elegant Palm Court since 1865.
The hotel scooped an award for Best Afternoon Tea Service 2018, with judges praising the wide selection of teas and the knowledgeable tea sommeliers.
The Langham pride themselves on using seasonal ingredients. That’s common in restaurants now but quite unusual for afternoon teas. They’ve also partnered with Liberty London so that anyone taking afternoon tea here before mid November can benefit from an in-store discount of 10% at Liberty London.
£29.50 per child, adult afternoon teas from £70
Address: The Langham, 1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA
6. Royal Afternoon Tea
Celebrate in regal style with the Royal Afternoon Tea at The Park Tower Knightsbridge. This delightful tea experience has been created by Executive Chef, Gaurav Puri.
Guests will enjoy a lovely selection of savoury and sweet treats in the Knightsbridge Lounge. The tea parlour boasts an 18 foot teardrop glass chandelier and hand painted silk floral wallpaper. It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Knightsbridge. We particularly enjoyed the chocolate infused scones and the minted dark chocolate ganache.
From £39 per person or £49 with a glass of Champagne.
Address: The Park Tower Knightsbridge, 101 Knightsbridge, Belgravia, London SW1X 7RN
7. Doggy Afternoon Tea
Who says that afternoon tea should be just for humans? Canines will love the Doggy Afternoon Tea at The Egerton House Hotel, Knightsbridge. Paws for thought while your four legged friend tucks into beef and chicken and beef meatloaf, homemade dog biscuits and dog ice cream. Channel your dog’s inner James Bond with a dogtini – a homemade chicken consommé martini with turkey skewers.
This unique afternoon tea experience is served in doggy bowls displayed on a traditional high tea stand. There’s also a Prince and Princess Tea for children aged under 12, while adults will enjoy the Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea.
From £25 per pooch and £25 for a dogtini
Address: The Egerton House Hotel, 17-19 Egerton Terrace, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2BX
8. Mr Falstaff’s Afternoon Tea
You can tuck into a savoury afternoon tea at The Swan Bar & Restaurant on the Southbank. Part of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The Swan has a fantastic location on the River Thames.
Mr Falstaff’s Afternoon Tea is served on a wooden platter and has lots of tasty treats. There’s a pulled Irish beef burger, heritage beetroot crisps, Gloucester Old Spot sausage roll, mini fish and chips, Welsh rarebit and a baked Stilton cheese scone. Finish with an Earl Grey macaron with tea infused chocolate ganache.
The platter is served with your choice of tea, or you can add on a tankard of Curious Brew lager or Pale Ale for a supplement.
From £34.50 per person
Address: Swan Bar & Restaurant, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
9. Festive Afternoon Tea
Indulge in a festive treat this holiday season with the Great Scotland Yard Hotel’s exquisite afternoon tea experience. From November 27th to January 1st, guests can delight in an array of delectable creations from Senior Sous Pastry Chef, Alexandra Ellis.
We loved the tea selection, accompanied by an enticing selection of homemade pastries, scones and sandwiches. The bergamot and spiced milk chocolate Christmas pudding is a delight, whilst the snowmen pastries are almost too cute to eat!
The hotel’s opulent interior and exceptional service are complemented by the scent of Floris London Santal, exuding a sophisticated and luxurious atmosphere. This multi-sensory London afternoon tea starts at £59, £70 with Champagne or £89 for an hour and a half infinite Champagne booking.
Address: 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HN
10. High Fashion High Tea
At Town House at The Kensington, fashion is the star of the show. This themed afternoon tea features a selection of tea by the Rare Tea Company, sweets and savouries.
Vegetarian and gluten free versions are also available. Pair this tea with English sparkling wine or Champagne.
From £45 per person
Address: The Kensington Hotel, 109 – 113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP
11. Palm Court Afternoon Tea
The Palm Court Afternoon Tea takes place in the Art Deco splendour of the Palm Court at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane.
Enjoy a selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries in a stunning ambiance. The Sheraton Grand English Breakfast tea is the perfect accompaniment.
From £55 per person
Address: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BX
12. London Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea at The Terrace at the Dilly is a hit with both adults and children. It includes a lovely array of London themed pastries such as a red phone box, black cab, tube sign and miniature Big Ben.
There is also a vegetarian version of this tea.
From £49 per person or £39 per child
Address: The Terrace at the Dilly, 21 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BH
13. Prêt-à-Portea Afternoon Tea
One of the most famous London afternoon teas is Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley in Belgravia. This season they are paying tribute to designers including Fendi, Jacquemus, Jimmy Choo and Moschino.
This exquisite afternoon tea features key items from the designer collections, such as the Mahesa knee high boot by Jimmy Choo and the Le Micro Chiquito handbag by Jacquemus.
From £64 per person
Address: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL
14. Festive Afternoon Tea
One of our favourite festive afternoon teas is at the InterContinental Park Lane in Mayfair. This tea takes its inspiration from the very best British produce.
Enjoy a selection of delicious sandwiches and feast on homemade scones with Devon clotted cream and fruit preserve. The desserts include a miniature Christmas log, white chocolate ganache, vanilla citrus Christmas tree and white chocolate, cranberry and coconut dacquoise.
From £48 per person or £65 including a glass of R de Ruinart Champagne
Address: One Hamilton Place, Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1J 7QY
15. Science Afternoon Tea
Channel your inner scientist with The Ampersand afternoon tea. One of the best hotels in South Kensington, they are known for their Science Afternoon Tea.
Inspired by the nearby Science Museum, this tea has been going strong for several years. Thankfully you don’t need to have any knowledge of science to enjoy it.
Savour sweet treats shaped like astronauts and dinosaurs, together with lemon curd squeeze tubes. The highlight of the tea is the foaming petri dishes. Little wonder that it was awarded Best Themed Afternoon Tea in the Afternoon Tea Awards.
This London hotel also offers a unique Jurassic Afternoon Tea.
From £59.50 per person
Address: The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3ER
16. The Potion Room
For a quirky afternoon tea, look no further than The Potion Room in Soho. Designed by Cutter & Squidge, the tea is perfect for all aspiring wizards.
You’ll be handed a cloak at the entrance and invited to take a seat at an old school desk. During this 2 hour tea experience, The Potions Master will help you to create edible potions in your very own cauldron.
There are vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and wheat-free versions and children over 8 years old are welcome. Special packages are available for hen parties, corporate events, birthdays and baby showers.
From £49.50 per adult and £39.50 per child
Address: Cutter & Squidge, 20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ
17. Big Ben Afternoon Tea
Enjoy afternoon tea with direct views of Big Ben and the River Thames in the wood-panelled library within the London Marriott Hotel County Hall.
The historic tea room has crystal chandeliers and comfy seating. This unique themed tea is served from 12.00pm to 5.00pm from Monday to Sunday.
Guests will enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones and pastries. The miniature chocolate Big Ben is a delight! Accompany your tea with a glass of champagne for an extra treat.
From £55 per person, £65 with a glass of champagne or £71 with unlimited English sparkling wine.
Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7BP, United Kingdom
18. Peter Pan Afternoon Tea
Head up to level 31 of The Shard for a truly nostalgic afternoon tea with breathtaking London views. The Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at aqua Shard embodies the spirit of this beloved character.
Enjoy treats such as Codfish Captain Hook, delicate finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream. Feast on sweet treats such as Tick-Tock the Crocodile.
From £52 per person
Address: Aqua Shard, Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
19. Rock ‘n’ Roll Afternoon Tea
Indulge in a decadent musical themed tea At The Gore Hotel in South Kensington. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Afternoon Tea has been designed in collaboration with La Fête, the luxury event planners.
The Gore has a long standing connection with music, having hosted The Rolling Stones for their Beggars Banquet album launch. This afternoon tea features tributes to many famous musicians.
Savoury treats include The Woodstock chipolata hot dog, The Popping Stones paprika popcorn and Queens of Noise smoked salmon sandwiches. There are lots of tempting pastries such as the Goodbye Ziggy lightning bolt chocolate cake and Sweet Choux ‘O’ Mine.
From £35 per person
Address: The Gore London, 190 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5EX
20. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Located within the stylish Sanderson Hotel, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is a journey down the rabbit hole. One of the best quirky afternoon teas, it features savoury delights such as Tweedle Brothers Choux Pastry and Caterpillar Swirl with brown shrimps.
The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea also has delicious cakes, including the White Rabbit Carrot & Plant Pot and the White Queen Minions Macaroon.
From £48 per person or £58 for champagne afternoon tea.
Address: Sanderson London Hotel, 50 Berners St, London W1T 3NG, United Kingdom
21. Festive Afternoon Tea
Enjoy a festive afternoon tea in the opulent surroundings of the Rotunda Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square. You can admire the domed ceiling while a pianist plays and tuck into a lovely selection of seasonal treats.
This delicious afternoon tea includes a selection of finger sandwiches such as Egg Mayonnaise with Truffle, Wholegrain Mustard and Cress, together with homemade plain and cranberry scones with Orange Marmalade, Strawberry Jam, Devonshire Clotted Cream.
The stars of the show are the four pastries: The Snowman, The Bauble, The Log and The Reindeer.
From £75 per person
Address: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ
22. Abstract Afternoon Tea
Head to Perception Bar in the W London for a stylish Abstract Afternoon Tea. Renowned Brighton artist Lois O’Hara has taken inspiration from fluid movement and unconventional colour palettes to create a unique setting for your afternoon treat.
Pastry Chef Leyre has crafted five different desserts with precision and passion. Each one is an artistic masterpiece in its own right, infused with flavors that gently dance on your taste buds.
You will also enjoy a selection of savoury sandwiches and two types of scones with clotted cream and jam.
Address: W London, 10 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QF
In Conclusion: Themed Afternoon Teas in London
As you can see, the best themed afternoon teas in London are a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds! From Big Ben to Peter Rabbit, there’s an afternoon tea to suit everyone.
With all of these London afternoon teas to choose from, you are sure to find something that fits your taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious experience or just want a nice break with some tea, cakes, and sandwiches in the city, there’s a tea room that can meet your needs.
So come on, relax and enjoy an indulgent themed treat during a leisurely afternoon at one of London’s best-loved places. From traditional English cream teas to exotic Japanese Matcha moments, it’s all here in the capital.
Be sure to check out our other articles about London – there are plenty of things to do in this vibrant city!
Which of these themed London afternoon teas is your favorite?
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