If France has wine and Italy has coffee, then England has tea. Though the common cuppa is enjoyed all around the world, few countries can match England's refined tradition for afternoon tea. Though the practice has been around since the late 1800s, London has witnessed an afternoon tea renaissance of late, with quirky and modern versions popping up all around the city. From traditional scones and cucumber sandwiches (without the crusts of course) to designer-inspired pastries and even champagne, here are some top spots for afternoon tea in London.
The traditional best afternoon tea in London: Fortnum and Mason
For over 300 years Fortnum & Mason, a grand department store on Piccadilly, has served London's tea drinkers with a variety of reputable brews. And if you don't believe me, just ask the Queen. In March this year Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth put her royal stamp of approval on the store when she officially opened The Diamond Jubilee Tea Room. Located on the fourth floor, afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason is elegant affair complete with traditional cakes, petite sandwiches and of course, a range of tea. If it’s good enough for a queen…
The stylish best high tea in London: The Berkeley
If you like your tea with a side of quirky rather than a stuffy sandwich, then you're going to love The Berkeley. Inspired by the world’s leading designer labels, high tea at The Berkeley hotel is served with a fashionable twist. Entitled Prêt-à-Portea, the tea menu reads like a Vogue magazine in cake form, from edible new season Gucci mules to cake shaped Dolce & Gabbana satchels, served alongside stylish canapés and savoury skewers. The fashionably sweet offerings also change each season in order to keep up with the latest on the runway. The Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea is served from 1pm to 6pm daily in the Caramel Room.
The relaxed: The Modern Pantry
You won't find any grey perms and pearls at The Modern Pantry. This hip St John's Square eatery is where London's cool kids come to get their afternoon tea fix amongst sleek interiors. On the menu is a selection of Newby Teas as well as modern takes on afternoon tea classics including green-tea scones, chunky sandwiches and sexy sweets like decadent chocolate brownies and pear, lemon and polenta cake.
The diet-friendly: The Metropolitan
Aware that scones and sweets are not everyone's cup of tea (pardon the pun) The Metropolitan on Park Lane has devised a diet-friendly afternoon tea menu aptly titled Afternoon De-lite. Using flour substitutes, low-fat crème fraiche and olive oil instead of butter, the Afternoon De-lite menu features delicious fruit scones and ‘bread-free’ sandwiches. In addition to tea, guests can also choose from a selection of unique refreshments such as fruit infusions and 'eco-tini’s.'
To experience afternoon tea in London, contact your Travel Consultant on 133 133 and book a London holiday today.