Calm Your Nerves with London's 10 Best Afternoon Teas

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.



While most would head west to Mayfair and beyond for their 3:30pm tea appointment, savvy media types may need to stick to Soho for theirs, and there's no better place for celebrity spotting and a proper stylish sit-down than the Dean Street...  Read More



The Bluebird is a Chelsea institution, covering a goodly chunk of prime real estate on the King's Road and offering everything from fine dining to boutique shopping and casual drinks. Their low(er)-key cafe offers up casual, chic nibbles and...  Read More



Sometimes the only cure for shopping exhaustion is an afternoon tea fit for a Regent's Street LOL (lady of leisure). Fortnum & Mason offer all the goodies a visitor to London could hope to stuff their suitcase with (tea hampers, chocolates,...  Read More

King's Cross


Drink, Shop & Do is the kind of tea house designed by your seven-year-old niece after her third Capri Sun. We mean this in the best possible way. At front is a craft shop with neon yarn, stylish accessories and a sneaky stairway to...  Read More



Though their tea game may be flawless, it's easy to forget that England did not in fact come up with the entire concept. Chaya Teahouse in Notting Hill brings its guests a stunning insight into Asian tea traditions, creating a beautifully...  Read More

Dorchester Afternoon Tea
Photo courtesy of The Dorchester


If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the magnificent entryway of the Dorchester Hotel, it is unlikely that you ended up there by accident. Whether to stay overnight in one of its breathtaking suites or to shimmy underground to Chinese Art...  Read More



In its almost 100 years standing, The Ritz has never wavered as the city's most extravagantly monument to London's place among the world's greatest metropoles. Every inch of it is ornate and more or less unchanged since its inception, and...  Read More



Rou Nen, matcha sponge, wasabi cured salmon: These are not exactly items we've come to expect on English afternoon tea menus, but we couldn't be happier at the prospect of a much-needed cultural twist. And what better way to experience something...  Read More



To try to describe Sketch is like trying to paint a smell. It requires a sort of synesthetic language, one where egg-toilets, artist cutlery residencies, and sniper crosshairs in an enchanted forest are core to the vocabulary. To put it simply,...  Read More


Meet Arianna Reiche

Arianna Reiche is a London-based writer and publisher. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied at the University of Edinburgh before working with Vice, New Scientist,...  More About Arianna