Just like politeness, the royal family, queuing and roast dinners, afternoon tea is an institution of life in Britain, so it is only right that there’s a whole week dedicated to it in August. National Afternoon Tea Week starts next Tuesday, so we’ve rounded-up our favourite spots to celebrate as a group
The formal one
Afternoon Tea at Thames Foyer at The Savoy
Prices from £65pp
We liked The minty cucumber sandwiches and the grandeur of it all
Visiting the Savoy for its world-famous Afternoon Tea is one for the bucket-list. The glass dome floods the formal dining room with natural daylight and a pianist plays beautifully in the centre pavilion. The service is first-class, the champagne is tasty and tarts are impressive both to look at and to eat.
Prices from £29pp
We liked The novelty of it and the spice explosions
Indian food is as manifested in English culture as Afternoon Tea is, so why not combine the two? The newly opened Chilworth hotel has done it beautifully. Feast on vegetable samosas, chicken tikka sandwiches and spiced sultana scones with clotted cream and jam – yum!
The teambuilding one
Afternoon Tea(m)-building at Café Rouge
Prices from £25pp
We liked The French spin on it
Café Rouge has teamed up with former head-hunter and time management expert Zena Everett, who believes Afternoon Tea is the ultimate teambuilding and networking activity. As it usually happens during the working day, it doesn’t cut into after-work responsibilities such as school drop-offs and pick-ups. Your energy levels are also at its lowest in the mid-afternoon, which is why a solid Afternoon Tea can perk you up again. The French twist on it is also great – bonjour Croque Monsieur!
Prices from £35pp
We liked The authenticity of it
A vegan Afternoon Tea made up of classic French patisserie dishes? Not possible, you say. Well, you should check out the Afternoon Tea at Café Forty One then. Head Chef Clarisse Flon challenges the perceptions of what vegan food can be, delivering a delicious offering that truly stands out from the crowd.
Prices from £35pp
We liked The relaxed atmosphere and classic flavours
Although we love fun and interesting interpretations of Afternoon Teas, you can’t beat a traditional one. The Heritage Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square delivers just that, as well as a calm atmosphere in its Rotunda Lounge. The coronation chicken sandwiches were also well worth the visit.
The quirky one
Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard
Prices from £49pp
We liked Everything!
If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, you might fall off your chair from all the excitement of this Afternoon Tea. If you’re not a Mary Poppins fan, you will still be impressed by the level of detail and storytelling that’s delivered. Have you medicine with a spoonful of sugar (or champagne); get your scones from Poppins’ infamous carpet bag; and have your treats delivered on a custom-made tea stand with Poppins’ umbrella on top and her shoes sticking out at the end.
Prices from £35pp
We liked The mystical interiors
This summer, Swan, Shakespeare's Globe
has been transformed to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
fairytale universe. Enjoy Afternoon Tea among flowers, trees, toadstools and butterflies with dishes created with ingredients mentioned in Shakespeare’s play.
Prices from £280pp
For one day only during National Afternoon Tea Week (19 August), you can hop on the luxury Belmond British Pullen train for a round-trip of the British countryside while munching on your Afternoon Tea. Celebrating Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé 50th anniversary, a whole bottle of the tipple is also thrown in to share between two people. The luxury experience is complete with onboard entertainment.
The arty one
Frida Kahlo Afternoon Tea in partnership with the V&A at The Franklin
Prices from £50pp
We liked The colourful display
Get transported to Mexico, both in colours and flavours, at this Frida Kahlo-themed Afternoon Tea. The tea also includes tickets to the V&A exhibition on the renowned artist, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up. Also introducing tequila cocktails to the mix, Mexican dishes such as flan de cajeta, churros with a chocolate dipping sauce and beans and chilli sandwiches are on offer.