Something London does better than any other city in the world has to be afternoon tea. It’s perfect for treating your mother or just indulging yourself and your friends, and there are many fabulous venues where you can enjoy this experience.
Many of the best cream teas in London are served in the capital’s luxury hotels. For a traditional venue, why not try the Athenaeum, which is family-run but very professional? The afternoon tea is very generously proportioned and includes your choice from a dessert trolley in addition to the sandwiches and scones.
If you are looking for a legendary venue, it would be hard to beat Claridge’s. Their foyer is absolutely stunning, with Art Deco-era live music on piano and cello often completing the authentic atmosphere. The scones are freshly baked and the range of teas you can choose from is incredible.
A similarly iconic afternoon tea experience can be enjoyed at The Ritz – probably the longest-established venue for this in London. It’s served in its famous Palm Court, complete with beautiful displays of flowers and a pianist. The food does not disappoint either – the finger sandwiches are well filled and the scones are slathered in cream. As you would expect, The Ritz is one of a select few venues approved by the Tea Guild. You can find the full list at www.tea.co.uk.
Something More Alternative
For something a little more quirky, there is always The Sanderson Hotel, where tea is served in the airy conservatory space and includes the option of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, complete with exploding lollipops!
You need not miss out if your have special dietary requirements. The Marylebone Hotel caters very well for those with an intolerance to gluten or lactose. Their desserts are made using ground almonds, eggs and honey, so they are healthy as well as delicious. If you fancy having a go at your own cream tea at home, you will need the right equipment, including a good mixing bowl and pastry knives, such as those available at http://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/.
There are even venues where you can enjoy your cream tea outside in the summer time. The Dean Street Townhouse has a terrace where you can watch the Soho world go by as you enjoy gorgeous scones and even crumpets.
For a really historical experience, why not try the Cellarium Cafe’s afternoon tea? It is situated in the 14th-century storehouse of Westminster Abbey, surrounded by royal heritage such as the tomb of Edward the Third. It’s certainly one of the jewels in the crown of English Heritage’s range of beautiful venues.
And finally, for a festive version of the afternoon tea experience, try The Intercontinental in Park Lane, where the elements of their Christmas Tea are themed according to the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas. The highlight of this is the treacle tart featuring five real gold leaf rings.