10 Best Afternoon Tea spots for rest, reflection and respite in London
Taking tea is a quietly civilized ceremony and a perfect afternoon respite from the busy streets of the British capital. Afternoon tea may once have been the preserve of the upper classes, (think Downton Abbey style chinking of china, and tiny nibbles to accompany your earl grey) but now it is available to the masses, and tourists too. Of course you can still splash out on tea at the Ritz hotel or one of the other luxury places in London, but today, afternoon tea is a thing you can find all over the capital, for different budgets and different tastes, from refined French, to home made English, from buzzy trendy cafes full of... Read more »
- Cuisine: Bakery, Coffee Shop, Comfort Food, Deli, Ethnic, European
- Average Main Course Price: 30 British Pounds
- Neighborhood: Islington
Ottolenghi's is not just a gluten free restaurant or bakery, but there are plenty of options which are.
Local Expert Tip: "One of Ottolenghi's establishments is great for a special treat, or if you are feeling flush, otherwise buy the cookbooks. Genius stuff."
If you're looking for history, great food and elegant design, Dean St Townhouse is the place to be.
Local Expert Tip: "Dean St Townhouse offers a modern and traditional tea in elegant design surroundings with a sense of history."
- Cuisine: British, European, French
- Average Main Course Price: 35 British Pounds
- Neighborhood: East Dulwich
Le Chandelier combines British pomp and tea expertise with a European flair for delicate cakes and gateaux.
Local Expert Tip: "Great for reflection and a time to stop off and rest your tired legs if you happen to be in South East London. Other great places to visit nearby are the Horniman museum, and Greenwich park with the famous Meridian line and observatory."
Soho's Secret Tea Rooms is something different, and puts a fourties spin on the classic British afternoon tea. Don't worry though, no rationing here.
Local Expert Tip: "Why don't you dress up in vintage fourties clothes to really get in to the vibe in this place, and afterwards, you could cross the river to visit the Imperial War Museum and continue the historical theme to the day."
- Cuisine: Bakery, British, European, Vegetarian
- Average Main Course Price: 20 British Pounds
- Neighborhood: Hampstead
Bake-a-boo is deliciousness on a plate, without having to count the calories. Perfect if you are vegan, gluten or dairy intolerant.
Local Expert Tip: "A magical hideaway in North London, and great if you are vegan, gluten or dairy intolerant. "
Afternoon tea at the Ritz is the quintessential London tea experience, it's posh, it's expensive and not to be missed.
Local Expert Tip: "Make sure you book in advance for tea at the Ritz, and treat it like the special treat it is, dress up, shirts, and smart dresses are required, and go hungry so you can get the full benefit and try everything."
Tea at Claridge's is another classic of the afternoon tea repertoire in London. It's posh, elegant, and very British.
Local Expert Tip: "Make sure you book in advance and adhere to the dress code for tea at Claridge's Foyer."
- Cuisine: British, Coffee Shop, Continental, European
- Average Main Course Price: 55 British Pounds
- Neighborhood: Mayfair
At Fortnum and Mason's you could be quite possibly rubbing shoulders with royalty, what's more British than that?
Local Expert Tip: "Call to make a reservation, as this is a popular tea spot. Ask advice from the expert waiters who will match your tea to your taste just like wine. Here tea is taken VERY seriously."
Bea's of Bloomsbury is a brilliant place to take afternoon tea, fresh and very British.
Local Expert Tip: "It's no longer just in Bloomsbury, find branches in Chelsea, at major stores, food markets, St Pauls, and of course Bloomsbury. Apart from the delicious cakes, their savoury lunch menus are great too."
- Cuisine: Continental, European, Fusion, Middle Eastern, Turkish
- Average Main Course Price: 12 British Pounds
- Neighborhood: Stoke Newington
The Blue Legume is more than just an afternoon tea place, but it's relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a stop off around 4pm.
Local Expert Tip: "Best for Brunch and lunch just because of the feel of the cafe, but the food doesn't stint if you want to pop in for an evening meal either. Go early to avoid disappointment as they are often full with a queue."
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