Afternoon tea might just be my favorite thing about London. From sandwiches to scones and back, I could easily indulge on a weekly basis. And since I’ve tried a lot of the city’s best offerings, I thought it would be fun to tell you about 3 of the best afternoon teas in London.

Best Afternoon Tea in London

Best Afternoon Tea in London

But first it’s worth mentioning my methodology. While I don’t have strict rules for how I judge afternoon teas, I do care about a few things.

Afternoon Tea in London

First, the food has to be good. It always surprises me how many afternoon teas look beautiful but taste like cardboard. For me, the pastries have to appeal to the taste buds as much as they do to the eyes.

Afternoon Tea in London

Second, the ambiance has to please. Whether it’s bright and modern or comfy and traditional, there has to be something special about it.

Afternoon Tea in London

And third, there must be a ‘wow’ factor. There are so many afternoon teas in London that a place really has to do something unique to stand out. Whether it’s a themed afternoon tea or a room that transports me to a sweeter, more decadent world, I’m looking for distinction.

Afternoon Tea in London

With that said, here are 3 of the best afternoon teas in London:

Afternoon Tea at Sketch
If you’ve had afternoon tea at Sketch, you’ll know why I’ve put it at the top of my list. Not only does the Mayfair restaurant have exquisite pastries with flavors that live up to their appearances, but the Gallery is also one of the prettiest, pinkest places in the city.

Afternoon Tea at Sketch, London

Arriving there is being whisked off to Candyland, with banquettes like icing and chairs like ladyfingers. And if I’m not feeling in a pink mood, the cool Glade is just the ticket. In fact, whichever room I’m in, this place truly stands out.

Afternoon Tea at Sketch, London

Afternoon Tea at Sanderson
Another afternoon tea I love is the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson hotel in Fitzrovia.

Afternoon Tea at Sanderson, London

Like Sketch, this is a tea where the pastries taste as good as they look, and where the Courtyard Garden setting feels like Alice’s Wonderland.

Afternoon Tea at Sanderson, London

Add to that the attention to detail, and this afternoon tea checks all my boxes. Menus are cleverly hidden in vintage books, teapots and plates are Mad Hatter-themed, and the experience is thought through to the extent that I believe I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.

Afternoon Tea at Sanderson, London

Afternoon Tea at Fait Maison – Salon du Thé
While you may have heard of the afternoon teas at Sketch and Sanderson, you might not have come across the one at Fait Maison’s Salon du Thé in South Kensington. This neighborhood secret serves delicious pastries and teas in one of the loveliest tearooms in London.

Afternoon Tea at Fait Maison, London

Ornate enough to make me feel like I’m taking tea with Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford (she invented it, after all) but casual enough that I can pop in without booking ages in advance, it offers a great balance. And since afternoon tea is such an indulgence, a bit of balance is just what I need.

Afternoon Tea at Fait Maison, London

So whether you choose to try one or all three, I hope you enjoy the special blend of deliciousness, escape, and delight these places offer.

How about you? What do you think is the best afternoon tea in London?

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Best Afternoon Tea in London

42 Comments on Lady’s 3 London Afternoon Teas You Must Try

  1. I love a good afternoon tea!! Recently ive been in the mood of trying less well known ones, such as nr 3 at South Kensington which has a beautiful outdoors garden. Also enjoyed a really traditional one at the original maids of honour in Kew, the scones are so good!

  2. I’ve only been to one afternoon tea in England and it was a Sanderson! It was very cute and whimsical, but I would have preferred more savory stuff. FAR too much sugar in that tower!

  3. Afternoon tea is by far my favorite thing in the world. Sadly I live in Texas and we just don’t have pretty places like this to enjoy afternoon tea in. I’ve been to London twice though and the last summer my friends and I had tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. The next time I’m in London I hope to make it to 2 or 3 different places though! 🙂 Loved these suggestions though and I will definitely have to keep them in mind!

  4. Afternoon Tea is wonderful and if it’s really good, well, then it IS really good. 🙂
    My favourite in London so far has been the Winter Garden at the Landmark Hotel for quite a while. The Winter Garden is beautiful and the food is just so incredibly good (also they do have the best cucumber sandwiches :)). Also they are very, very friendly there. And a plus is that you can choose more sandwiches – one can only eat that much, but I do like having a little more savoury. 🙂

  5. I’ve had my afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason’s at Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon…. delicious pastries, variety of tea offered, royal elegance. Everything special!!!!!

  6. My favourite is the Mandarin Oriental, their menus are always so original and super tasty, and the tea selection and china are sublime. Not to mention the champagne cocktails. :)) I’m obsessed with afternoon tea, so I’ve tried quite a few; also among my top ones are Claridge’s, sketch, The Ritz, The Langham, and out of the lesser known ones, No 11 Cadogan Gardens. Next up is The Lanesborough on Sunday, can’t wait!

  7. Great places, thanks for the tips and lovely pictures! I also very much enjoy the afternoon tea at The Knightsbridge Hotel in Kensington.

  8. I have always enjoyed one of the more traditional afternoon teas at The Brown’s on Albermarle. The atmosphere is still so classicly British.

  9. Hello, you take amazing pictures! i was wondering where did you get the dessert for the first photo (one with blue macaron and gold acron all placed so beautifully)Can you please let me know as i’d love to try it

  10. What are your favorite places for scones/best scone you’ve had? So far my favorite is at Bills and I want to know if there are better ones out there!

  11. I’ve just started taking afternoon tea with a friend whenever I come down to London so I loved your post! So far I’ve tried Fortnum and Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon and The Gong, Shangri-La hotel in The Shard. I prefer Fortnum and Mason but we were able to stay and relax at The Gong as long as we liked as it wasn’t busy, which was really nice!

  12. I have just started to explore your blog while planning a trip to London in October, and I’m already overwhelmed. In a positive way. 🙂 There is just so much to see, do and taste, and I haven’t yet bumped into so detailed and organized London blog. So thanks for the tips, I will be returning these days.

    All the best,
    Anja

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