Dainty sandwiches, little cakes, scones filled with jam and cream plus a pot of tea – it has to be teatime. This is one of the most English of social activities and can be enjoyed at its best in London where there are some fantastic places to take tea.
Just 10 minutes tube travel from Kensington serviced apartments, The Langham Hotel has become the doyenne of the afternoon tea ritual. This is where the tradition began over 140 years ago. Served amid the grandeur of the Palm Court with its lavender and sage leather armchairs, sparkling white tablecloths and fresh flowers everywhere, it has won numerous awards. Traditional delicacies are given an extra twist with offerings such as the English Rose and lychee log, smoked salmon with whipped brie and rocket sandwiches or Strawberry and white balsamic Victoria Sponge.
Enjoying tea at The Ritz is another quintessentially London activity. The dress code is strict – no jeans, trainers, or sportswear are allowed. Gentlemen must wear a jacket and tie. This is old-style elegance, with softly spoken waiters and delicate china set under a stunning glazed skylight. The choice is unbelievable – choose your pot of tea from 16 different varieties before enjoying delicate sandwiches and cakes.
Winner of the Tea Guild’s award for London’s Top Afternoon Tea, The Goring Hotel is one of the very few places where you can enjoy an alfresco tea in the garden. A roaring fire in the lounge adds extra ambience in the winter. Only 8 minutes from Presidential serviced apartments London, the flawlessly relishing finger sandwiches, home made cakes and buttery scones accompany the perfectly brewed tea served by knowledgeable staff.
Brown’s Hotel is where Queen Victoria often enjoyed afternoon tea. Its traditional offering has been adapted to modern tastes by offering a diet conscious version. Yet the luxury and indulgence remains. Instead of cream there is crème fraiche, fruit and yoghurt topped orange cakes. Sandwiches include smoked chicken with guacamole while the smoked mackerel is served with a chicory leaf topped with a quail’s egg.
Fans of fashion should head for The Berkeley’s Caramel Room where the Pret-a-Portea tea is served. 5 minutes on Piccadilly line from Presidential Kensington Aparthotels London, this is a distinctly quirky take on afternoon tea, inspired by fashion designs. Tiny cakes are turned into unusual shapes such as a shoe, or hat inspired by the designs of Gucci and Mulberry. These are served together with a selection of canapés and rare loose teas.
Fancy an ariel view of London while you enjoy your afternoon tea? Visit the eighth floor OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie for iconic views across the river Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s Not Afternoon Tea offers sweet treats with a difference such as apricot frangipane, green tea cake and thyme pannacotta.