As if you needed an excuse, afternoon tea week is upon us, so give yourself a visual sugar rush with these mouth-watering pictures. Then take a deep breath, step outside and proceed to plot a course for high-tea heaven. We bet you can’t eat all of these by Sunday… one lump or two?
The Arch Hotel, Marylebone (above)
And now for something completely different: The Arch has launched an international street food special, with warm cinnamon doughnuts, mini burgers with onion marmalade, and lemon and mango rice pudding for £29 a head.
The Lounge at The Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge (above)
Demolish a classic example at The Bulgari Hotel, where you can tinkle the china with White China teas, Champagne Darjeelings or silky Japanese Greens among others, from £35 per person.
The Sitting Room at The Capital Hotel, Chelsea (above)
The Sitting Room at the Capital Hotel offers the allure of a grand afternoon tea on an intimate scale. This is classic English afternoon tea territory for only £25, which is surprisingly good value for the southern edge of Hyde Park.
And now for something completely different: cucumber and herb chutney finger sandwiches, venison samosas and nimbu (lemon) tart, all for £15 a head. Having relocated to St James’s Street this summer after 25 years in Chelsea, you can’t blame Mary for needing an afternoon cuppa and a cake.
The Foyer & Reading Room at Claridge’s, Mayfair (below)
If nothing but the best will do, head to the majestic Foyer at Claridge’s for a choice of 24 teas paired with sandwiches, scones and pastries for £55 per person.
Cucina Asellina, Covent Garden
Allora… that’s all the Italian we know, but when partaking of the ‘Taste of Italy’ special here, we wouldn’t be doing much talking anyway. For £29 each (or £35 with a glass of Prosecco), graze on a selection including sundried tomato on focaccia, red berry tiramisu and raspberry lychee rose mousse.
Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly (above)
Tinkling piano renditions of show tunes, fine china and beautiful silverware, chocolate cake tinged with Earl Grey and fresh apricots, dapper waistcoats and cut-glass accents… this one is pure tea-bagging poetry, starting at £40 a head.
Mews of Mayfair, Hanover Square (above)
Have a sip and a nibble in Mews of Mayfair’s beautiful Cartizze bar or chance the weather in the Art Gallery’s courtyard. Go for broke with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne option for £45 per person.
Opium, Soho (below)
Great for Soho-bound carb-dodgers, this discreet Chinese parlour on Gerrard Street is serving a new range of cocktails this week, each infused with a Chinese tea. Tea tipples include lapsang souchong, goji berry and chrysanthemum options.
OXO Brasserie, South Bank
Not all afternoon teas are created equal, and some are just Not Afternoon Tea – at least not if you head to OXO brasserie. Confused? Well, when your choices include milk chocolate and Baileys tart with a bitter chocolate and Kahlua mousse, or Earl Grey tea cake with a jasmine tea panna cotta, they can call it whatever the heck they like.
Pantry 108, Marylebone
Cross timber flooring and snuggle into Victorian-style furnishings before inhaling the classic afternoon tea including Devondshire clotted cream and pastries for £28 each, or upgrade with a glass of rosé fizz for £38. There’s a ‘Healthy’ option here too, but we didn’t read that.
For yet more of the best afternoon teas in the capital, dive into our creamy, sugary, jam-splattered selection here
This article was published 10 August 2015