Tea and Britain go hand in hand. It's the national drink which solves every problem, accompanies every life event, and can – at times – be synonymous with unabashed luxury. Visitors may have to get used to its cultural weight (serve the wrong type of cream with your scone and you could be banished from the kingdom forever), but a proper afternoon tea carries the kind of charm and calm that feeds a lifetime of period drama fantasies. Maybe you planned ahead and got to that one spot that requires a bit of time on a waiting list. Or maybe you're into something a bit more cross-cultural. Maybe you're staying in the outer neighbourhoods, dreading a journey into Zone 1 and longing for something a little bit low-key. There's an afternoon tea to fit any mood and agenda, and no visitor has experienced true Englishness until they had their fill of egg and cress sandwiches, berry jam, and all manner of goodies served on a fancy ol' platter or brought by on a trolley cart. So put on your pearls and get your cravat in order, book your town car to Mayfair and be sure to bring your camera. London's afternoon teas are unforgettable, and they absolutely exceed the hype.