It’s funny that we consider traditional afternoon tea as an elegant, grown-up pastime when, essentially, it’s just a children’s tea party with real tea and a hefty price tag. When you stop and think about it, afternoon tea generally comprises of all the things kids love: crust-less sandwiches, sweet scones and a variety of miniature cakes and treats that are perfect for little hands. Some kids even like a cuppa (although lots of the options below offer hot chocolate or milkshakes instead)! In that sense, every afternoon tea is an afternoon tea for kids.
There are so many reasons to treat your little ones to the perfect kids’ afternoon tea. It could be half term and they're 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 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, go for afternoon tea with kids and make a real day of it?
These days lots of hotels and afternoon tea pourers have devised special themed teas for kids, often riffing on popular children's books, plays and TV shows. Take the Tinkerbell cookies and tree trunk chocolate cake at Aqua Shard's Peter Pan afternoon tea, for example, or the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych - surely the only place you can eat snozzberry jam in London.
We often get asked where the best children’s afternoon teas are in London and the rest of the UK, so we've pulled together a 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 kids’ 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?
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The best 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.
Little Hatter’s Afternoon tea at Sanderson, Fitzrovia
What: Tumble down the rabbit role and discover a tea party like no other at Sanderson London, where everyone’s favourite childhood story is brought to life. The Little Hatter’s menu includes savoury Tweedle Brothers choux pastries to start, followed by a sweet blueberry and hazelnut Caterpillar eclair. ‘Drink Me’ options feature milk shakes, hot chocolate or a selection of juices. There’s also a Mad Hatter’s tea for grown-ups so everyone can join in the fun.
Where: 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG
Book now: Little Hatter’s Afternoon tea at Sanderson
Children’s Afternoon Tea at The Milestone, Kensington
What: This Kensington hotel has curated a bite-sized selection of crowd-pleasing treats for little ones, starting with the likes of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, before moving on to scones with jam and cream, followed by mini cupcakes and white chocolate and raspberry blondies. Kids can select to enjoy their sarnies on white or carraway seeded bread, while drinks include a choice of milkshake, hot chocolate or a soft drink.
Where: 1 Kensington Court, W8 5DL
Book now: Children’s Afternoon Tea at The Milestone
Children’s Afternoon Tea at Sofitel London St James, St James's
What: Served in Sofitel London’s beautiful Rose Lounge, younger guests are well looked after thanks to its special interactive kid’s afternoon tea menu. The affair begins with sweet and savoury sandwiches, from classic cheese to Nutella, which are followed by exciting sweet treats such as biscuits served with edible paint for little ones to decorate as they please. Elsewhere, doughnuts and caramel popcorn are sure to go down a treat.
Where: 6 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN
Book now: Children’s Afternoon Tea at Sofitel London St James
Children's Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard, London Bridge
What: Taking inspiration from the classic children’s novel of Peter Pan, Aqua Shard’s latest afternoon tea is a treat for the eyes as much as it is for the taste buds. Expect the likes of Tinkerbell cookies, a tree trunk chocolate cake and a crocodile in a jelly pot to thrill your little ones, while grown-ups can treat themselves to a glass of fizz. This tea is definitely just as much fun for adults as it is for children, plus £2 from every booking will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Where: The Shard, SE1 9RY
Book now: Aqua Shard
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych, Covent Garden
What: Immerse yourself in one of the tastiest tales with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych. Feast on splendid savouries and scrumptious sweets, including scones with ‘snozzberry’ jam and ‘all the creams’, all washed down with fizzy lifting drinks or hot chocolate. Who didn’t grow up reading this Roald Dahl classic? We love that this fun and quirky afternoon tea is just as magical and bonkers as the book.
Where: One Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ
Book now: One Aldwych
Little Prince and Princess Tea at The Rubens at The Palace, Victoria
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 little prince or princess. 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 ones 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. Available for children under 12 years old.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS
Book now: The Rubens at The Palace
Alice at The Franklin Afternoon Tea, Knightsbridge
What: This whimsical Alice in Wonderland themed tea in the heart of Knightsbridge is a real Mad Hatter's tea party, designed to accompany the ongoing V&A 'Alice: Curioser and Curioser' exhibition. As is true of the book, there's something for adults and children alike down this rabbit hole, from the Duchess Sandwich filled with roast charcoal peppers, capers and anchovies to a Banoffee Rabbit banana cake topped with caramel sauce and Valrhona dulcey cremoux.
Where: 24 Egerton Gardens, SW3 2DB
Book now: The Franklin
Jungle Book Afternoon Tea at Brown's Hotel, Mayfair
What: Brown's award-winning Jungle Book teas are a thrill for big and little fans of Rudyard Kipling's iconic book. Get stuck into jungleicious finger sandwiches, then leafy chocolate lollipops, animal-shaped cookies and scones. You can also buy a special edition hardback copy of the book, printed exclusively and only available at the hotel.
Where: 33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
Book now: Brown's Hotel
Children’s Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London, Holborn
What: If you think you have a budding Picasso or Monet on your hands, fuel their passion with a visit to The Rosewood's art-inspired afternoon tea. The offering here is always inspired by exhibitions at the nearby Tate gallery, with the sweet treats based off of the art works themselves. Currently, there's an afternoon tea inspired by iconic British artist David Hockney which kids can get involved with too, with pastries such as Bigger and Closer, Spring Cannot be Cancelled and The Splash.
Where: 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Book now: Rosewood London
Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner
What: Created by a dedicated pastry team, The Lanesborough’s exquisite Bridgerton-style afternoon tea for kids includes ham, cheese and strawberry jam finger sandwiches, scones, dainty cakes and a choice of hot chocolate with marshmallows or fresh fruit juice. Not only are the treats second to none, this is also one of London's most beautiful hotel dining rooms - well worth a visit if you've been tramping around Knightsbridge and Belgravia.
Where: The Lanesborough, SW1X 7TA
Book now: The Lanesborough
The Original Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea at The Chesterfield Mayfair, Mayfair
What: Take your children to this sweet-tastic afternoon tea and they’ll be running around like... well, a kid in a candy store. Inspired by Hardys Original Sweetshop, this children's tea at The Chesterfield follows up the traditional finger sandwiches and scones with an array of sweet treats - think a Coca Cola slice and a strawberry liquorice allsorts cheesecake. This afternoon tea is undoubtedly suited to children, but fun-loving grown-ups are welcome too, and your efforts can be rewarded with a glass of Champagne.
Where: 35 Charles Street, W1J 5EB
Book now: The Chesterfield
Kids' Sci-Fi Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand, South Kensington
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 rocket cheese straws, scones with freeze-dried fruit toppings, jelly served in a petri dish and edible fossils hidden in chocolate soil. This fun kid-friendly version of The Ampersand’s Science Afternoon Tea 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’!
Where? 10 Harrington Road, SW7 3ER
Book now: The Ampersand
Children's Afternoon Tea at The Dilly, Piccadilly
What: This decadent afternoon tea will have the kids feeling all grown up thanks to a menu of dainty finger sandwiches, fluffy chocolate and raspberry scones and truly exceptional patisseries. Think chocolate cremuex with salted caramel on a chocolate base, and a lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon cream and a crispy tuile. Wash it down with their choice of hot chocolate, fruit juice, or something called a Strawberry Surprise.
Where: 21 Piccadilly, W1J 0BH
Book now: Children's afternoon tea at The Dilly
Children's afternoon tea UK
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 and Yorkshire are well worth a visit!
Little Rascal Afternoon 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, served on malted grain, wholemeal or white bread, with miniature cakes and traditionally pressed apple juice or chilled milk (instead of tea). 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.
Where: 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2QU; 6-8 St Helen's Square, York, YO1 8QP
Book now: Bettys Harrogate; Bettys York
Mini Afternoon Tea at the Grand Cafe Edinburgh, 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. 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. Available for children under 12 years old.
Where: The Grand Cafe, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1TR
Book now: Grand Cafe Edinburgh
Children's Afternoon Tea at The Midland, Manchester
What: The Tea Room at The Midland is Manchester's only setting dedicated to afternoon tea, and it does indeed offer a wealth of menus for every occasion. Available for the fantastically affordable price of £13.50 per person, little ones are treated to a shot glass of fruit milkshake followed by classic finger sandwiches, vegan scones with jam and cream, and an assortment of home-baked cakes. Think fruit kebabs with rapsberry dip, and double chocolate caramel brownies.
Where: 16 Peter Street, M60 2DS
Book now: Children's Afternoon Tea at The Midland
Love an afternoon tea? London is the place for you - there's a great afternoon tea around every corner in London, you just need to know where to look! Check out some of London's best themed afternoon teas here, or scroll through our complete list of afternoon teas in London to find the perfect one for you.