Afternoon tea is a British institution, and while there are plenty of off-the-wall variations to be found in London, places like The Corinthia hotel get it right by resolutely sticking to tradition. And tradition dictates that tea kicks off with a selection of dainty finger sandwiches, including a decadent egg and truffle mayo variety, and a supremely fresh smoked salmon and crème fraiche option.
Next up, a choice of scones (plain or studded with raisins) arrive in a wooden box alongside bundles of clotted cream, strawberry jam and, for the less sweet of tooth, a tart rhubarb jam. Other highlights include the rich chocolate peanut sphere and a zesty lemon drizzle cake from a selection of miniature desserts delivered on a trolley, and marshmallows trimmed to scoffable size at the table, while the extensive selection of teas ranges from house blends to caffeine-free herbal infusions. Stylish, hand-painted china, impeccable service and the grand setting (complete with a huge Baccarat chandelier and live piano music) elevate this relatively affordable experience (from £45 per person) beyond a standard afternoon tea, and you can add a glass of Champagne if you’re looking for a touch of extra sparkle.