30 Of The Boujiest Afternoon Teas In London If You're All About Those Mini Sandwiches

·15-min read

Is there anything better than wiling away your afternoon eating pastries and finger sandwiches, while sipping tea and champagne? Nope, we thought not. And where better to enjoy platefuls of salmon, cucumber and ricotta filled doughs, strawberry tarts and scones with dollops of Cornish clotted cream, than in the tea-obsessed London?

If you don't already know, the best afternoon teas in London involve a selection of savoury sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries, and of course, copious amounts of tea.

However, in recent years, the classic formula for afternoon teas has evolved from the likes of Battenberg cakes and chocolate eclairs to include vegan cheddar-style sandwiches and wild mushroom quiches.

This is why we've rounded up the best afternoon teas in London for 2021 that will take you on a culinary journey around the world and sometimes, even down the rabbit hole.

1) Afternoon tea, Sketch

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Where will you find us most Saturday afternoons in our dreams? Tucking into a fabulous afternoon tea in the Gallery at Sketch. Set to the backdrop of a live classical string trio in a David Shrigley artwork-filled room of pink, plush soft furnishings and interiors, this afternoon tea is one not to be missed.

Opt for the seasonal afternoon tea (from £70pp) or one with English sparkling and champagne (from £84pp), with dishes served on a three-tiered cake stand including sandwiches (corn-fed Coronation chicken to egg mayonnaise), sweet treats (raspberry marshmallow flumps and pistachio chouxs), Victoria sponge and scones with clotted dream and homemade strawberry jam.

Location: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
Click here to find out more.

2) Champagne & afternoon tea, The Lanesborough

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Enjoying Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough is one of our favourite ways to spend a Saturday in London. The award-winning experience includes a selection of finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes, homemade scones, tea and a glass of chilled Champagne inside the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Céleste. Afternoon teas also on offer including the Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea and the ‘It’s A Little Bit Mad’, Cruella-inspired version (until August 4).

Location: Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA, United Kingdom
Click here to find out more.

3) Afternoon tea, Champagne & Fromage

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This French cheese afternoon tea for two serves cheese boards, macarons and champagne in a cosy bistro setting. They also have rare Gallic desserts such as caramel canelés and delicate pale pink Rose de Reims. You can also buy more than 50 types of French cheeses and other treats to gorge on during your commute home.

Location: 22 Wellington St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD
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4) Ametsa Spanish Afternoon tea, The Halkin Hotel

Photo credit: Courtesy of Ametsa
Photo credit: Courtesy of Ametsa

From the chef behind Arzak, the famous San Sebastian-based Michelin-starred restaurant, comes a Spanish high tea with a difference. Their distinctive tea serves Basque favourites such as the 'txistorra granary sandwich' (a chorizo-like thin sausage from the Navarra region) as well as sweet offerings like the torrija, Spanish French toast and churros. And when you need a break, sit back and look up at the ceiling to admire the wave-like design filled with glass tubes of spices. Our top tip? Opt for champagne or Noveltea botanical cocktails.

Location: COMO The Halkin, London, 5-6 Halkin St, London SW1X 7DJ
Click here to find out more.

5) Italian afternoon tea, Baglioni Hotel

Photo credit: Baglioni Hotel
Photo credit: Baglioni Hotel

Explore Italy's regions from the comfort of your armchair at this dolce vita themed afternoon tea experience in one of Knightsbridge's finest hotels. In this elegant space you will be served delights such as the puglia brioche with caciocavallo cheese and Sicilian cannoli with candied orange accompanied by live piano. Inspired by the seven regions of Italy, the tea takes in all of the most important food areas of the peninsula.

Location: 60 Hyde Park Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5BB
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6) Afternoon tea, The Wolseley

Photo credit: The Wolsley
Photo credit: The Wolsley

Not many places offer three afternoon teas to choose from, so count yourself lucky at The Wolseley. Choose between the cream tea (£12.75pp), classic afternoon tea (£29.75pp) and champagne afternoon tea (£40pp) and enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats, desserts and pastries. Our favourites? The millefeuille and macaroons which have us feeling like we’re tucking into delectable delights in the City of Love.

Location: 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
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7) American NY-TEA afternoon tea, Balthazar

Photo credit: Thomas Alexander
Photo credit: Thomas Alexander

Across the gilded bar and wall-to-wall mirrors in this transfixing brasserie, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a wonderfully blended American-French afternoon tea. Their tea features Big Apple classics like the pastrami and egg bun and a unique take on the PBJ (yes, peanut butter jelly) in the form of an éclair! We would recommend a slice of the original creamy New York cheesecake.

Location: 4-6 Russell St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
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8) American afternoon tea, 45 Park Lane

Photo credit: 45 Park Lane
Photo credit: 45 Park Lane

Here at the art deco-inspired restaurant The Cut comes an inventive twist on high tea – no cucumber sandwiches on a three-tier platter here! Instead you will be enticed with American-style bites such as the tuna tartare ‘sandwich’ (think katsu sando) and our two personal favourites, the lobster po’boy and wagyu beef slider.

They also do fantastic dessert options, including a creamy strawberry milkshake and red velvet cake pops. Come here for the cosy interiors and roll out after all the indulgent American treats.

Location: CUT at 45 Park Lane, London W1K 1PN
Click here to find out more.

9) Dim Sum Afternoon Tea, Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge

Photo credit: Tony_Harris
Photo credit: Tony_Harris

If you are in the mood for an Asian tea that takes away from the world of scones and Earl Grey, this is the spot for you. Set in the glass-roof atrium of Le Chinois at The Millennium Hotel, you will get nine Cantonese dishes to liven up your taste buds including the phoenix whisker prawns and the more traditional BBQ steamed pork bun and dim sum, enjoyed with a glass of champagne or some tea.

Location: 17 Sloane St, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9NU
Click here to find out more.

10) Indian afternoon tea, Taj 51 Buckingham Hotel

Photo credit: Buckingham Hotel
Photo credit: Buckingham Hotel

Set within a tiny square in Westminster comes the beautiful turquoise-tiled Taj 51 Hotel, home of Kona, the restaurant that serves one of the most innovative high teas in London. In this Indian-themed spectacle, be prepared for delicious treats such as Gulabi scones with cinnamon clotted cream and spiced paneer puffs that will leave you well and truly stuffed. We can't get enough of the salty caramel lassi so you might want to stay clear or prepare yourselves for a fight.

Location: 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1E 6AF
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11) Alice Tea Party, Taj 51 Buckingham Hotel

Photo credit: Taj 51
Photo credit: Taj 51

Another favourite at the Buckingham Hotel is the Alice Tea party - a welcome fall down the rabbit hole for sweet treats inspired by the Lewis Carroll classic. Look out for specials including the chocolate chip scones, Queen of Hearts mango tarts and a 'Drink Me' potion, guaranteed to be as delicious as the one that shrunk Alice. Come here for a step back to your childhood and regale in sweet delights.

Location: 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1E 6AF
Click here to find out more.

12) North African afternoon tea, Momo

Photo credit: Momo
Photo credit: Momo

Known as one of the best North African eateries in London, Momo, in Soho, does a thoughtful spin on afternoon tea by blending tradition with Moroccan influences and serving out a thrilling platter inspired by the Levant. Sample their take on the British classic with roasted pepper quenelles, Arabic sweets and chilli chocolate mousse with a cup of sweet, fresh mint tea.

Location: 25 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BH
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13) Middle Eastern Moyen Orient Afternoon tea, Mamounia Lounge

Photo credit: Mamounia Lounge
Photo credit: Mamounia Lounge

Set across two locations in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, this restaurant is well known for delicious Middle Eastern food. The glass chandeliers and antique mirrored walls add a feeling of luxury to your high tea experience. Their afternoon tea is spectacular and allows you to try some inspired dishes such as the harissa tuna slider and cheese briouat (a delicious triangular pastry). You won't want to miss the Instagrammable interiors as you sip your champagne cocktail.

Location: 37A Curzon St, Mayfair, London W1J 7TX
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14) London Landmarks Afternoon Tea, Townhouse Kensington

Photo credit: Townhouse Kensington
Photo credit: Townhouse Kensington

Sometimes, you get to see all of London’s most famous landmarks right on your plate without moving a muscle. At the Townhouse Kensington, they serve traditional London favourites like stilton and broccoli quiche, ale pie and coronation chicken in their softly-lit elegant space, lined with bookshelves and curios. The desserts are also structurally sound – Big Ben lemon curd tart anyone?

Location: 109-113 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP
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15) A Midsummer’s Night Dream Afternoon tea, Shakespeare’s Globe

Photo credit: Swan Restuarant
Photo credit: Swan Restuarant

For a taste of midsummer and British poetry - even in the middle of winter - try the magical high tea at the Swan, the picturesque restaurant next to Shakespeare’s Globe overlooking the Thames. Expect an edible take on the Bard’s famous play with treats including the blackcurrant jam & violet macaroons, wild mushroom quiche and mulberry scones.

Location: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
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16) Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, One Aldwych

Photo credit: David Cotsworth
Photo credit: David Cotsworth

Childhood literary favourites seem to be an endless source of inspiration for afternoon teas around the city. None is more delightful than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the sugar-filled British classic that inspired this afternoon tea based in Covent Garden. Get lost in the world of Roald Dahl with rivers of lemon sherbet tea, salmon and beetroot macarons and luscious lemon floss.

Location: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
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17) Science Afternoon tea, Ampersand Hotel

Photo credit: Ampersand Hotel
Photo credit: Ampersand Hotel

Winning Best Afternoon Tea in the UK is no easy feat, but the Ampersand stole the show in 2018. And now their tea takes inspirations from the Science and Natural History Museums next door. Dine on petri jellies covered in dry ice smoke and galactic spaceman treats in their exquisite Drawing Rooms filled with chintzy décor and delicate wallpaper.

Location: 10 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ER
Click here to find out more.

18) Mad Hatters Tipsy Evening tea, Sanderson Hotel

Photo credit: Sanderson Hotel
Photo credit: Sanderson Hotel

It's time for Alice to grow up with this boozy take on the childhood book, including a flight of three cocktails at the 80ft hyper-modern ‘Long Bar’, right off Oxford Circus. Nearly all the desserts are filled with a variety of tipples – be it the Tweedle Dee limoncello financier or the grey goose cherry and cranberry tartlet. You may end up as tipsy as the tea implies, you have been warned.

Location: 50 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NG
Click here to find out more.

19) Art Afternoon tea, Rosewood London

Photo credit: Rosewood London Patricia_Niven
Photo credit: Rosewood London Patricia_Niven

Voted as the Best Contemporary Afternoon tea two years running, the Art Afternoon tea is one of our firm favourites. Served in the spectacular art deco surroundings of the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, this tea has taken inspiration from famous artists such as Van Gogh and Banksy. For its current run, explore sweet treats based on the work of sculptor Antony Gormley, like our favourite, ‘One Apple’, with blackberry cheesecake and praline choux.

Location: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Click here to find out more.

20) Slingsby Gin Afternoon Tea, B Bakery

Photo credit: Slingsby
Photo credit: Slingsby

What better way to see London than sightseeing in a bright red double decker? Better yet, now you can do it with scones and gin (yes, you read that correctly) while you pick out the likes of Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and Marble Arch. Marrying Britons' love of afternoon and tea comes a gin-infused menu of rhubarb macaroons with Slingsby rhubarb gin pipette, salmon pretzels with lemon liqueur and dry gin spritz and lemon cupcake swith Carthy & Black Gin cream liqueur and liqueur cream spritz. This is our ideal kind of boozy bus.

Location: Departure from Victoria Station
Click here to find out more.

21) Pret a Portea, The Berkeley

Photo credit: The Berkeley
Photo credit: The Berkeley

London is well-known for being one of the four main fashion capitals of the world and The Berkeley has taken to the idea in full fashionable stride. With each fashion season comes a new pastry collection – this time, it’s the pink tulle dress from Killing Eve designed by Molly Goddard, made out of a cinnamon financier and pink spun sugar. And to go with it? The iconic Micro Chiquito Jacquemus bag in blackberry and almond that hangs off your pinkie, of course.

Location: The Berkeley, Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
Click here to find out more.

22) Vegan Afternoon Tea, Cake Boy

Photo credit: Cake Boy
Photo credit: Cake Boy

Unfortunately for many vegans, the quintessential afternoon tea is typically full of dairy products (curse you, butter!) Luckily, Cake Boy, a café in Battersea headed up by Eric Lanlard, a pastry chef and cookbook author, serves up a vegan afternoon tea to be proud of. His vegan tea includes cheddar-style sandwiches and delicious raspberry macarons that are just as delicious as original recipes.

Location: Unit 2, Kingfisher House, Juniper Dr, Battersea, London SW18 1TX
Click here to find out more.

23) Classic Afternoon tea, Claridge’s

Photo credit: Claridge's
Photo credit: Claridge's

Nothing comes close to this blazing classic. After all, Claridge’s is a London institution that has served afternoon tea for over 150 years. With its bottomless sandwiches, cakes and tea, you can go in at four or book for later in the evening when there's live jazz. It doesn't get more sophisticated than that. We recommend the smoked salmon sandwiches, and scones with clotted cream and marco polo gelée.

Location: Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Click here to find out more.

24) Plant-based high tea, The Farmacy

Photo credit: The Farmacy
Photo credit: The Farmacy

The Farmacy has become a hip hang out for vegans looking for fancy servings and feel-good acai bowls. However, they also do a vegan high tea – including CBD hazelnut truffles (obviously) and smoked carrot and cream cheese blinis. For the cool girl factor, head here.

Location: 74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH
Click here to find out more.

25) Nobu Cafe Hana Tea

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Courtesy of the Robert de Niro and the man behind new style Nobu sashimi, Nobu has now expanded its range to include hotels and cafes, with its beautiful location in Shoreditch serving up a light Japanese style afternoon tea. Expect delicious treats including the tuna shokupan, a fluffy milk bread sandwich with the signature dressing and citrusy yuzu tarts.

Location: 10-50 Willow St, Hackney, London EC2A 4BH
Click here to find out more.

26) Vivek Singh Afternoon Tea, Cinnamon Bazaar

Photo credit: Jodi Hinds
Photo credit: Jodi Hinds

Coming from two renowned Indian chefs – the founder of the Michelin-starred Cinnamon Club and GBBO star Tamal Ray - this afternoon tea blends traditional and modern Indian cooking in a cosy space with colourful tiles. Some of our favourites include the Kolkata fish finger sandwich and the fragrant pistachio cake. Watch out, there may be a queue for this one!

Location: 28 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS
Click here to find out more.

27) Guild Tea, Vintry & Mercer hotel

Photo credit: Vintry and Mercer
Photo credit: Vintry and Mercer

This afternoon tea tucked away in a low-lit speakeasy in the basement of the Vintry & Mercer hotel is steeped in the legacy of the London’s Guilds. Serving roasted beef sandwiches and caramel mousse desserts inspired by the Merchant Guilds that used to line the Thames, this is by far one of the most historic high teas in London.

Location: 19-20 Garlick Hill, London EC4V 2AU
Click here to find out more.

28) Afternoon tea, Great Scotland Yard

Photo credit: Great Scotland Yard
Photo credit: Great Scotland Yard

Great Scotland Yard has launched a new afternoon tea menu titled Bouquet de la Reine
in collaboration with Floris London. Served in the Parlous, the menu includes an assortment of pastries and cakes (think rose and pistachio drizzle cake and madeleines), sandwiches (cheddar, gougere and Exmoor Caviar and classic chicken breast with tarragon mayonnaise) and Ruinart Champagne and Rare Tea Company brews.

Location: 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, London, SW1A 2HN
Click here to find out more.

29) The Crown Jewel Afternoon Tea, Four Seasons Hotel London At Ten Trinity Square

Photo credit: Four Seasons
Photo credit: Four Seasons


For just £40 per person, this afternoon tea is a wonderful option if you're obsessed with all things royals as it's inspired by the crowns and robes housed in the Tower of London. Choose between a glass of Delmotte Brut champagne or Ruinart, Blanc de Blanc and tuck into a selection of fingers sandwiches (minted cucumber with cream cheese, egg mayonnaise with truffle oil, wholegrain mustard and cress etc) and pastries named after the Queen's jewels such as Ruby, Coin, Crown and Pearl. Finish your meal off with plain and rain croissants with seasonal jam, Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd as well as a range of teas.

Location: 10 Trinity Square, London, EC3N 4AJ
Click here to find out more.

30) Afternoon Tea at Brown's Hotel

Photo credit: .
Photo credit: .

Choose between five afternoon teas – traditional, champagne, rosé champagne, plant based and Wimbledon – and sit back and relax. We're a big fan of the traditional (and gluten-free) option which comes with a choice of teas and herbal infusions and food and including sandwiches stuffed with everything from smoked salmon, dill, shallots and capers to salt beef, horseradish mayonnaise and pickled cucumber. Add in apricot almond bakewells, chocolate cubes, mango and rum babas and plain and sultana scones, and you'll be in heaven.

Location: 33 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BP
Click here to find out more.


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