The Mercure Bloomsbury’s recent refurbishment was more than just a lick of paint; this business-friendly, four-star hotel, handily positioned part way between the West End and St Pancras International, has a jazzy new look and the brasserie – where tea is served – is particularly bold. Grab one of the pillar-box red booths if you can, and hole up for an afternoon of tea and cake. Here you have a choice of two versions: one traditional with tea or coffee (£19.95), the other a shade more indulgent (£29.95, with a chilled glass of Prosecco included). Both teas come with a three-tiered stack of finger sandwiches, plain and fruit scones and pastries. For good people-watching opportunities on a sunny day, choose a table on the terrace outside.