Get the kettle on and put the scones in the oven – we’re going afternoon tea crazy in London this week.
The capital is celebrating Afternoon Tea Week from the seventh to the thirteenth of August, and there’s something for everyone to get involved with.
We’re talking teapots filled with booze, baskets of Singaporean dumplings, and cake trolleys groaning with delicious patisserie.
Best Classic: Botanica at 100 Kensington
There’s nothing stuffy about high tea at 100 Kensington’s beautiful garden room. A vast skylight, hanging greenery and shimmering mirrors set the scene for the main event: a classic tripartite of savouries, sweets and scones inspired by the flora and fauna of the English countryside.
From £46pp, 100 Queen’s Gate, Kensington.
Best Boozy: Afternoon Tea on the Rocks at the Petersham
Served in the oasis of loveliness that is The Petersham’s Covent Garden courtyard is a traditional tea with a refreshingly alcoholic twist.
A magnificent Florentine style hand-blown glass cake stand displays a selection of bites championing the restaurants simple and seasonal cooking style, while the booze flows in the form of three tea-infused botanical cocktails. Pour from their glass teapots and enjoy.
£75pp, 2 Floral Court, Covent Garden.
Best Asian: The Orchid Lounge
Afternoon tea might be a quintessentially British affair, but drinking tea most certainly is not. Paying homage to the hotel’s Singaporean roots, Pan Pacific’s signature ‘Kopi Tiam’ features Southeast Asian delicacies including pillowy steamed lotus buns and a siu mai basket of dumplings.
For dessert, look out for the Basil Smash – a delicate combination of British-grown basil and strawberries with a citrusy kalamansi. Complete the culinary fusion with a glass of Nyetimber English Sparkling wine.
From £62pp, Pan Pacific London, 80 Houndsditch, The City.
Best Children’s: 80 Days Around the World Afternoon Tea
Follow in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg and embark on an epic journey from Kensington to Yemen, India and beyond.
Grown ups will sample exotic delicacies from a Hong Kongese tapioca ball amuse bouche to rosewater-soaked Yemeni Basbousa, while kid-friendly sweets include lamington and berry pavolva.
Young adventurers will also receive a goodie bag complete with teddy bear and colouring book to accompany them on their travels.
Children’s tea from £45pp, Adult’s from £58pp, 109 Queen’s Gate Kensington.
Best Nostalgic: Palm Court at the Langham
What was your favourite childhood treat? A custard cream? An ice cream van 99? Overseen by Michel Roux Jr, the pastry chefs at the Langham’s glitzy tearoom have reimagined British teatime classics as decadent delights fit for the top tier of your Wedgewood stand.
You’ll find the Creme de la Creme (the biccy tin staple revamped with caramelised white choc) accompanied by immaculate finger sandwiches, fluffy scones, and an enormous selection of JING tea.
From £75pp, 1C Portland Pl, Fitzrovia.
Best Cake Trolley: The Stafford London
The historic Mayfair hotel has revived its afternoon tea just in time for the occasion.
After a feast of sandwiches and scones (fillings include Truffled Egg & Watercress and Coronation Chicken), they’ll trundle up to your table with a bespoke trolley laden with cakes for you to choose, from slices of Earl Grey and honey infused layer cake to vanilla and raspberry white mice (inspired by the hotel’s most famous resident, WWII secret agent Nancy Wake).
From £70pp, 6-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s.
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