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.
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, Mayfair, W1J 5EB
Book now: The Chesterfield
Children’s Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason, Green Park
What: Big news. There's a children’s version of the quintessential afternoon tea, that has been enjoyed by guests 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 like raspberry jelly tarts and ham and cheese sandwiches. Young tea enthusiasts can opt for Fortnum’s classic blend to accompany their sandwiches, scones and cakes, or plump for hot chocolate, milk or juice instead.
Where: 181 Piccadilly, Green Park, W1A 1ER
Book now: Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason
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: Level 31, The Shard, London Bridge, SE1 9RY
Book now: Aqua Shard
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 crab buns and smoked ham and cheese sandwiches to carrot caramel cupcakes and scones aplenty.
Where: 24 Egerton Gardens, Knightsbridge, 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, tropical shakes, a raspberry ripple jungle roll 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, Mayfair, W1S 4BP
Book now: Brown's Hotel
The Potion Room Children’s Afternoon Tea at Cutter & Squidge, Soho
What: If your child is a lover of all things wizards and witches, this is the Harry Potter 'inspired' children’s afternoon tea for them. The immersive experience will see kiddies wear cloaks as they learn how to master casting spells, before tucking into a range of kooky sweet and savoury treats including the bakery’s famous butterscotch ‘biskie’ (a delicious biscuit/cookie/cake hybrid). For legal reasons, we’re obliged to say that this tea is in no way affiliated with aforementioned Harry Potter, but it’s perfect for kids that are still waiting for their letter from Hogwarts if you hear what we're saying?
Where: 20 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 0SJ
Book now: Cutter & Squidge
Children’s Art Afternoon Tea at The Rosewood, 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, that means the likes of a peach and jasmine macaron or tartlet cheesecake with cherry blossom, inspired by the ‘Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms’ exhibition.
Where: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Book now: The Rosewood
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 savoury surprises such as the not-quite-as-it-seems salmon and beetroot macarons and sweet treats, including fabulously fluffy candy floss, all washed down with chocolate or lemon sherbet tea, or a glittering Champagne for the adults. 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, Covent Garden, WC2B 4BZ
Book now: One Aldwych
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, Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA
Book now: The Lanesborough
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, South Kensington, SW7 3ER
Book now: The Ampersand
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.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, SW1W 0PS
Book now: The Rubens at The Palace
Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea at The Dilly, 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. 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.
Where: 21 Piccadilly, Piccadilly, W1J 0BH
Book now: Peter Rabbit™ 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, Yorkshire and the Peak District are well worth a visit!
Children’s Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
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, plus a chocolate or strawberry milkshake. 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.
Where: Chatswell House, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
Book now: Chatsworth House
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). 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.
Where: The Grand Cafe, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1TR
Book now: Grand Cafe Edinburgh
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 the 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.