In London, afternoon tea has become a national tradition. This trend started in 1840 when the Duchess of Bedford shared that she enjoyed tea and snacks a few hours before dinner. And thus, afternoon tea began! With flutes of champagne, pastries and finger sandwiches have updated this tradition. From traditional spreads for holidays to modern interpretations, the following are some of the best places to sit down for a spot of tea!
For an afternoon tea that is classic, chic, and sans tourist gimmicks, you can’t go wrong with The Landmark London. The regal yet traditional setup of the High Palms High Tea ensures a triumphant experience of yummy sandwiches and delicious pastries. Plus, the sounds of piano music fluttering through the glass-roofed Victorian atrium will have you feeling like you’re part of the royal family.
A haven for hipsters, influencers, socialites, celebrities, and food bloggers alike, Sketch pulls in a bulk of its clientele with its posh, Instagram-friendly interior; it pulls in repeat customers for its attention to quirky details and lovingly prepared fare. Created by restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and award-winning chef Pierre Gagnaire, this millennial-pink paradise of tulip-shaped chairs and modern art slings savoury staples like a foie-gras tartlet and dainty sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber, and coronation chicken. When it comes time to indulge your sugary senses, snag salted-caramel éclairs and shot glasses of white-peach and verbena cheesecake from the trolley, plus more classic dividends like scones and Victoria sponge. As for what you’ll be sipping, sample as many of the 20+ types of loose-leaf teas (carted around in giant test tubes for an added dose of eccentricity, of course) as you’d like— all while the string quartet in the corner plays elegant renditions of your favourite Beatles songs.
Calling all vegans? Feeling a little left out when that three-tiered buffet of baked goods rolls around? By Chloe has got your back with a high tea that’s entirely plant-based. Vegan versions of traditional offerings like smoked salmon, (thoughtfully crafted from marinated tomatoes, seaweed, and chipotle), egg salad (creamy tofu), and cucumber + mozzarella (cashew cheese) sammies could convince any non-plant convert. Served up in a loud, colourful environment, By Chloe offers a glimpse into the future of afternoon tea.
Mixologists and interior design aficionados will find themselves swooning the moment they enter The Coral Room. Get comfy in your blue-velvet chair and ready yourself to toss back tea-infused cocktails beneath glittering chandeliers and a myriad of colourful, gold-framed illustrations. Warm vanilla scones and fresh raspberry jam pair perfectly with black tea and the restaurant’s signature sparkling wine. Plus, you can even enjoy unlimited refills on drinks like iced coffee, matcha lattes, and yes— tea.