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Words such as ‘grand’ and ‘opulent’ tend to be banded about when it comes to taking afternoon tea in London, but The Lanesborough does them both justice. Served amid the chandeliers, polished silverware and marble busts of the sumptuous Céleste restaurant, this is traditional afternoon tea at its best. Staff are friendly and helpful but never intrusive, while a live pianist tickles the ivories of a shiny grand. The tea menu spans several pages and includes some interesting blends, while plates of perfectly-cut finger sandwiches are followed by scones and a generous selection of French pastries. Service is a little slow but, luckily, the salted caramel vanilla choux and chocolate rocher are both well worth the wait. For special occasions, it’s worth upgrading to the eponymous Lanesborough option, which adds fresh strawberries with Chantilly cream and a raspberry sorbet, plus a chilled glass of Champagne.
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