I have been very fortunate to go along to a few of the most special afternoon teas in London. Here’s a brief summary of what I see as the best afternoon teas in London.
The Goring Afternoon Tea, London
What made this special was the sunny day and being able to sit [almost] outside. They made a big deal about serving us a small savoury starter that was a take on the Queen Mother’s favourite dish. To ruin the surprise for you; it was a small amuse bouche that I can only liken to a prawn cocktail.
Great selection of nibbles, great service.
Harrods Afternoon Tea, London
Nice. Filling. Granted I went a few years back now but service was not great. Had to wait 45mins to pay and even then I got up and saw to it myself. I won’t be back.
The Sanderson Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, London
One of the best novelty teas. Great tableware and a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion.
Claridges Afternoon Tea, London
At the time of going I was feeling poor so £60 for some sarnies and scones felt a bit too much, however that’s probably the standard price for a posh tea these days.
Afternoon tea is a great way to catch up with friends or to celebrate a special occasion. Doggy bags and a small treat were given on our way out so that was a nice touch.
I even tried the tea. I don’t drink tea (I know… why have I only chosen to say that half way down the page…?!), but as the range of teas at Claridge’s are famed as some of the best, even I sipped some tea. Very delicate flavours and almost nice. My companions, who do drink tea, tried several teas and were very impressed.
BIG shout out to the jam for the scones. Marco Polo jam which is apparently a combination of strawberry and apricot jam, with a hint of bergamot. Really lovely.
A nice variety of cakes, and a perfect amount, but if I were to take my mum for afternoon tea it would still be to The Dorchester because, at the time of going, they had the most traditional British cakes with the tea. It may be different now because more innovative recipes are favoured by consumers at the moment. Must go back to try again – and take Mum!
The Dorchester Afternoon Tea, London
As mentioned above this is probably my favourite afternoon tea to date. The only way to improve it would have been having crumpets to start but I haven’t seen that at a restaurant afternoon tea since the 1980s at the Landmark hotel (I’m not that old, I was a child), but the crumpet is a firm fixture in my house at tea time. #bringbackthecrumpet
I took my boss at the time as she was leaving to go back to Australia so I wanted to do something quintessentially English and this fitted the bill perfectly.
Very traditional cakes and clearly freshly made. Lovely opulent setting for afternoon tea.
The Grove Afternoon Tea, Chandlers Cross, Watford, Hertfordshire.
I have mixed feelings about this. I have been twice. The first time was excellent. Somewhere in the early 2000s I think. We were a big party (8-10 people) and it couldn’t have been better. Innovative yet delicious menu and service was sublime.
The second time, years later, it had become distinctly average. I feel like this about all the restaurants at The Grove. They have become a bit too big for their boots and a bit too expensive for a very average experience unfortunately. Still the poshest place to go in Herts (until you hit Luton Hoo on your way up the M1).