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
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.
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.
Second, the ambiance has to please. Whether it’s bright and modern or comfy and traditional, there has to be something special about it.
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.
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.
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 Sanderson
Another afternoon tea I love is the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson hotel in Fitzrovia.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?