It’s funny how we think of traditional afternoon tea as an elegant, grown-up pastime when, essentially, it’s the same as a children’s tea party (just with actual tea instead of air and with the addition of a hefty price tag). In fact, when you stop and think about it, afternoon tea generally comprises all the things kids love: crust-less sandwiches, sweet scones and a variety of miniature cakes and treats that are just perfect for little hands. And some kids even like a cuppa (although lots of the options below offer hot chocolate or milkshakes instead)!
There are so many reasons you might be looking to treat your little ones to the perfect children’s afternoon tea. To name but a few it could be half term and they could be driving you wild around the house – when any excuse to get out is a welcome distraction – or perhaps it’s a moment for a special celebration, a birthday perhaps or a significant rite of passage (you know, like moving from primary to secondary school or losing their last baby tooth). Whatever the reason, there’s something super sweet about seeing kids get really excited about doing something so distinctly grown-up feeling. Why not get everyone to choose their favourite outfit and make a real day of it?
We often get asked where the best children’s afternoon teas are in London and the rest of the UK, so we got to work on our guide which includes all of the top spots to spoil your mini-mes. We don’t think you can get much better than treating your child(ren) to afternoon tea that’s tailor-made for them. These bespoke children’s afternoon teas that we’ve rounded up for you are all fun and delicious, which make them fantastic for all involved. Who says the summer holidays have to be boring?
Children's afternoon teas in London
Whether you're rounding off a morning's sightseeing around the capital, meeting friends for a summer holiday play date, or just need an activity saved for a rainy day, these extra special children's afternoon teas promise smiles all round.
Miffy Afternoon Tea at Maggie & Rose
What? Celebrating 65 years of the iconic children’s character Miffy, Maggie & Rose’s afternoon tea, themed around the famous bunny, includes Miffy cookies, orange macarons, and a healthy carrot shot. Kids can also enjoy looking at a number of pieces of signature Miffy artwork on display in the café.
Why? We all loved Miffy as a child, so what could be better than spending an afternoon tea immersed in everything to do with the little white bunny? The incredibly reasonable prices are a bonus too.
When & where? 22 March to 14 April, Tuesday–Saturday from 2–5pm; Maggie & Rose club in Islington
How much? £12 for adults (or £15 including a glass of Prosecco) and £5 for children
Kids’ Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Restaurant
What? A scrumptious alternative to a traditional grown-up’s afternoon tea, OXO Tower Restaurant’s sweet-as-you-like bespoke children’s tea includes treats such as a banana milkshake shot, caramel and sea salt popcorn, mini scones and caramel cream éclairs.
Why? A hit with the head chef’s harshest critics (his two sons), this sweet offering provides a fun afternoon out for the whole family. Kids will love the variety and the views are pretty spectacular too!
When & where? Monday-Friday 3pm - 5pm, Saturday-Sunday 2pm-4.30pm; OXO Tower Restaurant, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH.
How much? £16 (available for children up to the age of 12)
Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea at Sanderson
What? A tea party fit for the Queen of Hearts that’s full of nods to Lewis Carroll’s magical tale, ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Children can choose either fresh juice or hot chocolate before tucking into teatime treats that include sandwiches, scones, a mocha chessboard gateau, a Queen of Hearts rose and strawberry Jammy Dodger and more.
Why? It’s not every day that children get to tumble down the rabbit hole and discover a real-life tea party inspired by Alice’s whimsical world, so you can be sure they’ll remember this experience for years to come. Every item on the menu has been meticulously crafted to be both memorable and delicious, making it fun for the whole family.
When & where? Monday-Saturday 12.30pm - 4pm, Sunday 1pm - 5pm; Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG
How much? £35 per child, £48 per adult
Monmouth Kitchen El Dolce Nino Tea
What? A contemporary take on afternoon tea, with distinct Italian and Peruvian influences, this children’s afternoon tea offering includes cherry tomato bruschetta, Margherita pizza, Sicilian lemon scones, flourless chocolate and orange cake, churros with Peruvian chocolate sauce, a fresh fruit tartlet, and clementine and cinnamon panna cotta. Perhaps skip breakfast that day?
Why? This is a great one for hungry children who love trying new things, as it forgoes all the usual staples of traditional afternoon tea and replaces them with a variety of exotic flavours and textures. Of course, this is still England so your little one will get a hot drink as well, whether that’s Rococo organic drinking chocolate or a cup of loose leaf tea.
When & where? Monday-Friday 2pm-4.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 1pm-4.30pm; Monmouth Kitchen, 20 Mercer Street, London, WC2H 9HD
How much? £16 per child
Afternoon Tea for Little Ones at The Lanesborough
What? Created by a dedicated pastry team, this child-friendly version of The Lanesborough’s exquisite afternoon tea includes ham, cheese and strawberry jam finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, macarons, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a choice of hot chocolate with marshmallows or fresh fruit juice.
Why? Served in the majestic surroundings of Céleste, this tower of treats will delight little boys and girls from the moment they set eyes on it. Children might be oblivious to a lot of things that grown-ups hold dear, but the opulence of this plush dining room and the sumptuous patisserie on offer are sure to make an impression.
When & where? Saturday-Sunday, 12.30pm-4.30pm; The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
How much? £18 per child; £49 for adults dining from the Sweet Summer Afternoon Tea menu
Kids' Sci-Fi Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand
What? An inventive selection of sweet and savoury treats, all served on a rocket-shaped cake stand. This exciting experience begins with a delicious “spaceman” hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles and goes on to include the likes of rocket cheese straws, scones with freeze-dried fruit toppings, jelly served in a petri dish and edible fossils hidden in chocolate “soil”.
Why? This fun kid-friendly version of The Ampersand’s Science Afternoon Tea (included in our best themed afternoon teas in London round-up) is a great way to encourage children to think positively about science, and gives the grown-ups in charge a chance to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea as well. We believe the scientific term for that is ‘win-win’!
When & where? Monday-Saturday 12.30pm-9pm, Sunday 12.30pm-7pm; The Ampersand, 10 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ER
How much? £29.50 per child
Little Prince and Princess Tea at The Rubens at The Palace
What? A pretty selection of afternoon tea treats, including bite-size sandwiches, freshly baked scones, pastries and a choice of milkshake, hot chocolate, tea or a soft drink that’s fit for any of royally good children. Well, this is The Palace (hotel) we’re talking about!
Why? Generally speaking, if there are sprinkles and fudgy chocolate cakes involved, kids are going to love it, which is why we’re sure your little princes and princesses will go mad for this offering from The Rubens at The Palace. What’s more, there’s a grown-up’s version inspired by royal events and dining trends throughout the centuries for you to tuck into while the kids are getting their fingers good and sticky.
When & where? Sunday-Friday 12pm 5pm, Saturday 12pm-6pm; The Rubens at The Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PS
How much? £15 per child (under the age of 12 years); £45 per adult for the Royal Afternoon Tea
Children’s Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
What? A children’s version of the quintessential afternoon tea that’s been taken by the well-to-do at this upmarket department store for centuries. Behold the specially-crafted top tier of the silver and duck egg blue cake stand, which includes child-friendly treats in the form of a mini dark chocolate cake, a pink meringue, a Jammy Dodger biscuit and strawberry swirl jelly. Young tea enthusiasts can opt for Fortnum’s classic blend to accompany their sandwiches, scones and cakes, or opt for hot chocolate, milk or juice instead.
Why? Taking a seat at the white-table-clothed-table in the majestic surrounds of Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon is a memorable experience for most adults, so just imagine how thrilling it must be for a child. At Fortnum’s, youngsters are treated as well as the grown-ups who bring them, making it a wonderfully civilised affair for all involved.
When & where? Monday-Thursday 11.30am-7.30pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11.30am-5.45pm; Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER
How much? £26 per child (ages 4-10 only) and £55 for Fortnum & Mason’s classic afternoon tea
Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea at The Terrace On Piccadilly
What? A darling selection of sandwiches, mini scones and cute patisserie inspired by everyone’s favourite mischievous bunny. Available in both adult and children’s sizes (and with a vegetarian option for each), this limited edition afternoon tea includes a variety of tasty treats from the ‘Flower-Pot Hideout’ (an edible chocolate pot with chamomile mousse, blackberry, chocolate ‘mud’ and sponge cake) to vegetable patch sandwiches and fluffy scones. The adult version comes with tea, while kids can choose hot chocolate, lemonade or ‘Flopsy’s Strawberry Surprise’.
Why? This beautifully-designed afternoon tea is a joy to behold and just as good to eat! Served in the bright brasserie among an array of greenery that Peter Rabbit would probably quite like to munch on, this quaint offering is the perfect treat following an adventurous day’s sightseeing around London.
When & where? Monday-Sunday 12.30pm-5pm; The Terrace on Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH
How much? £35 for the adult’s menu, £25 for the children’s menu
The Tiger Who Came To Tea at The Savoy
What? The Savoy’s first children’s afternoon tea offering in its 129-year history, inspired by Judith Kerr’s beloved children’s book. It includes a feast of teatime treats inspired by the tea that Sophie and her mother share with the visiting tiger in the story, including sandwiches, stripy scones, sweet treats and a choice of tea, hot chocolate or orange juice.
Why? Even if you’ve never read ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ (which we’re willing to bet you have, probably multiple times if you have children), this experience is so enchanting, you’re sure to love it anyway. The whimsical menu, which includes creations such as ‘Sophie’s tights’ (blue and pink Battenburg) and a handmade marzipan tiger are served on bespoke chinaware inspired by the story and promise to delight children and grown-ups alike.
When & where? Monday-Sunday, 1pm-3pm; The Savoy, The Strand, WC2R 0EZ
How much? £40 per child. Adults will be served The Savoy’s Traditional Afternoon Tea at £65 per person
Children's afternoon teas outside London
For those who live outside the capital or have plans to visit some of the UK's prettiest towns and cities this summer, these special children's afternoon teas in Edinburgh, Yorkshire and the Peak District are well worth a visit!
Children’s afternoon tea at Chatsworth House
What? An adorable mini cake stand containing a stack of jam, ham and cheese sandwiches, a freshly baked scone piled high with clotted cream and jam, a DIY (Decorate It Yourself) gingerbread bear, a hedgehog cake pop, a marshmallow and macaroon toad stool, and a chocolate or strawberry milkshake.
Why? Whether you’re big or small, afternoon tea at Chatsworth is an experience as luxurious as the surroundings in which it’s taken. It makes a wonderful start or end to a day’s fun at the historic stately home, where you’ll find plenty of activities for kids in addition to this super-sweet children’s afternoon tea.
When & where? Monday-Sunday 1pm-3.30pm; Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
How much? £12.50 per child. The adult version costs £35 per person
Children’s Tea at Bettys York & Harrogate
What? A scaled-down version of the traditional afternoon tea served at Yorkshire’s most famous tea rooms, which includes a selection of sandwiches, lemon and sultana scones, miniature cakes and traditionally pressed apple juice (instead of tea).
Why? Bettys is an institution that everyone, regardless of age, should experience at some point. Refined constantly since opening in the 1920s, it’s famous for its homemade cakes, speciality teas and opulent surroundings. There are six cafes in total, but only the Harrogate and York branches are bookable, so whether you live in the north or plan to visit during the summer holidays, afternoon tea at Bettys is a lovely treat for the whole family.
When & where? Thursday 1.30pm-2pm, Friday & Sunday 12pm-2.30pm, Saturday 11.30am-5pm at Bettys Harrogate, 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2QU.
Monday 12pm-12.30pm, Thursday, Friday & Sunday 12pm-2.30pm, Saturday 11am-5.30pm at Bettys York, 6-8 St Helen's Square, York, YO1 8QP
How much? £13.95 for children under 12 only. Afternoon tea for adults is priced at £34.95 per person
Mini Afternoon Tea at the Grand Café, Edinburgh
What? A mini selection of filled sandwiches, sweet treats and a choice of decaf tea, hot chocolate or fruit juice awaits little ones at this stunning café that was once home to the famous Scotsman Newspaper in central Edinburgh.
Why? Located in the sweet spot between Edinburgh Old Town and Princes Street, the Grand Café is ideal for a luxurious break from shopping or sightseeing, whether you’ve kids in tow or not. The special children’s afternoon tea offering here is generous and delicious – much like the grown-up’s equivalent – and the surroundings are just breath-taking.
When & where? Monday-Sunday 12pm-5.30pm; The Grand Cafe, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1TR
How much? £9.95 per child (under 12 years of age only), and £21.95 per adult
Looking to take the kids for a straightforward lunch instead of children’s afternoon tea? Check out these child-friendly restaurants in London.