“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea,” said Henry James. If he had known about these unique spots, he would never have settled for only an hour.
Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley | London
Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley, London — Photo courtesy of The Berkeley
The haute couture of afternoon tea, The Berkeley’s paparazzi-worthy culinary experience is a fashionista’s dream. Every six months, pastry chef Mourad Khiat translates the season’s runway trends into the most delightful biscuits, bakes and fancies. It's high fashion meets high tea!
From Burberry’s classic trench coat chocolate biscuit with creamy royal icing to Jimmy Choo’s glittery gala pointed-toe shoe velvet praline cream cake with hazelnut croquant and sweetheart bow, his creations document a decade's worth of high fashion in a sugar-induced fantasy.
Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Hotel | Vancouver, B.C.
Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver — Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Be prepared to feel like the Big Bad Wolf as you greedily eye Red Riding Hood’s basket of savory and sweet scones in the imaginative storybook setting which was, once upon a time, the Notch8 Private Dining Room. That stunning enchanted forest tier of tea sandwiches and in-house baked pastries is the stuff of sweet dreams, and even Snow White's "poison" apple is irresistible. Who said fairy tales don't come true?
Art Tea at The Merrion | Dublin
Art Tea at The Merrion Hotel, Dublin — Photo courtesy of The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion boasts the largest collection of private art in Ireland outside of the National Gallery, and its lavish Art Tea is inspired by pieces on display throughout the hotel. Decadent desserts pay homage to 19th and 20th century works of art by Irish and British artists like J.B. Yeats, William Scott and Louis le Brocquy – and are truly works of art themselves.
The G & Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour | London
The G & Tea at Mr. Fogg's Gin Parlour, London — Photo courtesy of Mr. Fogg's Gin Parlour
One of London’s quirkiest gin palaces spikes their afternoon tea with London’s most revered spirit, resulting in equally spirited guests. After a welcome Gin & Tonic, you’ll enjoy a selection of homemade and authentically Victorian delicacies along with a trio of tea and gin blends. That bottomless teapot has suddenly become so much more exciting.
Charlie & the Chesterfield at The Chesterfield Mayfair | London
Charlie and the Chesterfield afternoon tea at The Chesterfield Mayfair, London — Photo courtesy of The Chesterfield Mayfair
The Chesterfield Mayfair launched this magical tea experience to mark the 100th anniversary of beloved author Roald Dahl’s birthday last September. In addition to an extensive tea menu featuring a special blended Willy Wonka Chocolate Tea created exclusively for the hotel, you can also indulge in fizzy lifting drinks and hot chocolate.
Pastries include Oompa Loompa cupcakes, golden eggs and chocolate Wonka Bars, and every guest receives a Golden Ticket containing prizes ranging from discounts to complimentary nights at The Chesterfield.
10 spots for high tea that will make you feel like royalty
10 spots for high tea that will make you feel like royalty
Afternoon Tea Picnic in the Park at The Milestone Hotel | London
Afternoon Tea Picnic in the Park at The Milestone Hotel, London — Photo courtesy of The Milestone Hotel
Keep an eye out for Kate, William and the kids as you take your afternoon tea in one of London’s most beautiful Royal Parks directly opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens.
Hotel staff will prepare a comfortable picnic space for you, then deliver traditional wicker baskets – “hampers” to the locals – filled with finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves, pastries, shortbread, a pot of tea and some bubbly.
Afternoon Tea at Svenskt Tenn | Stockholm
Afternoon Tea in the Tea Room at Svenskt Tenn — Photo courtesy of Svenskt Tenn
This iconic Swedish interior design store serves afternoon tea daily and it’s as much a treat for the eyes as the taste buds.
These designers know how to set a table – and a mood – and they’ll make you feel right at home as you sip from porcelain cups and finish every last organic crumb off your lovely plate. Luckily, you actually can recreate this setting in your own home, picking out gorgeous pieces as you head back downstairs from the Tea Room.
Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood | London
Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London — Photo courtesy of Rosewood London
This afternoon tea, held in the Mirror Room and created by Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins, recreates the works of five of the world’s most famous artists: Banksy, Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama and Mark Rothko. It feels almost sinful to bite into this collection of edible masterpieces – cakes, mousses and tartes – all designed in the likeness of famed works of art.
Tea-Tox at Brown’s Hotel | London
Tea-Tox at Brown's Hotel, London — Photo courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels
Curated by British wellness guru Madeleine Shaw, Tea-Tox offers a deliciously healthy alternative to the traditional carb-loaded tea tradition.
Featuring both savory and sweet guilt-free creations alongside a choice of teas, the Tea-Tox menu includes spinach bread with miso glazed salmon and radish; beetroot crepe with hummus, rocket and avocado; white chocolate and raspberry cheesecakes; and gluten-free raspberry and pistachio brownies.
Afternoon Tea at the National Theatre | London
Afternoon Tea at the National Theatre, London — Photo courtesy of The National Theatre
Get a taste – literally – of some of the biggest shows to ever be presented on this prestigious stage. There are Lady Bracknell Triangles inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest and Thing 1 and Thing 2 sandwiches celebrating The Cat in the Hat.
You can even combine afternoon tea with a backstage tour of the National Theatre. While you’re learning the secrets, you may want to double-check on the ingredients in Mrs. Lovett’s Sweeney Todd-inspired pie.