Afternoon Tea Experiences: Beyond Finger Sandwiches and Scones
While the classic afternoon tea spread of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries remains a beloved tradition, the experience has evolved in recent years to encompass a wider range of themes, settings, and culinary delights. Here’s a peek into the exciting world of afternoon tea experiences:
Themed Tea Parties:
- Literary inspired: Sip tea and devour pastries named after iconic characters or inspired by famous novels. Imagine a Jane Austen tea with delicate finger sandwiches and floral-infused teas, or a Mad Hatter tea with whimsical pastries and colorful treats.
- Seasonal celebrations: Delight in festive afternoon teas with seasonal ingredients and flavors. Sample pumpkin spice scones and cranberry tea during fall, or indulge in cucumber-infused treats and rose-scented teas in the summer.
- Art and culture: Immerse yourself in art and culture through themed teas.Imagine a Japanese tea ceremony with matcha and wagashi sweets, or a Parisian-inspired tea with delicate macarons and floral teas.
- Historical landmarks: Enjoy a historic afternoon tea experience in a castle,palace, or grand old hotel. Imagine sipping tea in a beautifully preserved drawing room with period décor and elegant tableware.
- Gardens and greenhouses: Immerse yourself in nature while savoring a delightful tea spread in a botanical garden or greenhouse. Imagine enjoying floral-infused teas surrounded by lush greenery and fragrant blooms.
- Vintage trains and buses: Take a step back in time and enjoy afternoon tea onboard a vintage train or bus. Imagine traveling through picturesque landscapes while indulging in classic tea treats and enjoying the nostalgic atmosphere.
- High-end patisserie: Experience the art of pastry making with a high-end afternoon tea featuring intricate creations and unique flavor combinations.Imagine indulging in miniature works of art, each bursting with flavor and innovation.
- Savory delights: For those who prefer savory treats, explore afternoon teas featuring gourmet finger sandwiches, mini quiches, and savory pastries.Imagine indulging in a selection of delicious and creative bites alongside your favorite tea.
- Healthy and organic options: Enjoy an afternoon tea experience that caters to dietary needs with healthy and organic ingredients. Imagine indulging in gluten-free scones, vegan pastries, and herbal teas.
- Tea blending workshops: Learn the art of tea blending and create your own personalized tea blend to enjoy during your afternoon tea.
- Scone baking classes: Get hands-on and learn how to make delicious scones from scratch. Enjoy your homemade creation alongside other tea treats.
- Tea etiquette workshops: Master the art of proper tea etiquette and learn how to enjoy your tea experience with grace and sophistication.
Beyond the traditional setting, afternoon tea has transformed into an opportunity for immersive experiences, culinary explorations, and unique celebrations. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or simply looking for a delightful and memorable experience, there’s an afternoon tea waiting to be explored.
London is a haven for afternoon tea enthusiasts, offering a wide variety of experiences to suit every taste and budget. Here are a few of the most popular and highly-rated afternoon tea spots in London:
1. The Ritz London:
Ritz London afternoon tea
For an iconic and luxurious afternoon tea experience, look no further than The Ritz London. With its elegant Palm Court setting, impeccable service, and delectable finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones, The Ritz offers a truly unforgettable experience.
2. The Goring Hotel:
Goring Hotel afternoon tea
The Goring Hotel is known for its traditional afternoon tea, served in its elegant and opulent Drawing Room. The hotel takes pride in using seasonal and local ingredients in its menu, offering a delightful selection of sweet and savory treats.
3. The Shard:
Shard afternoon tea
For afternoon tea with a view, head to The Shard. Located on the 32nd floor of the iconic skyscraper, Oblix at The Shard offers stunning panoramic views of London alongside a delicious afternoon tea menu.
4. The Savoy Hotel:
Savoy Hotel afternoon tea
The Savoy Hotel is another iconic London institution offering a traditional afternoon tea experience. The hotel’s Thames Foyer provides a beautiful setting for enjoying a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
5. The Berkeley:
Berkeley afternoon tea
The Berkeley is known for its whimsical and creative afternoon tea experiences. From the Alice in Wonderland-themed Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea to the Prêt-à-Portea fashion-inspired afternoon tea, The Berkeley offers something unique and memorable.
6. The Langham:
Langham afternoon tea
The Langham is another hotel known for its traditional afternoon tea. The Palm Court, with its high ceilings and beautiful glass roof, provides a stunning setting for enjoying a selection of classic afternoon tea treats.
Sketch afternoon tea
Sketch is a trendy and modern restaurant offering a unique afternoon tea experience. The restaurant’s whimsical and colorful interiors provide an Instagram-worthy backdrop for enjoying a selection of creative and contemporary pastries and savories.
8. The Balmoral:
Balmoral afternoon tea
The Balmoral offers a traditional Scottish afternoon tea experience in its elegant Palm Court. The hotel uses local ingredients to create a menu of classic afternoon tea treats with a Scottish twist.
9. Fortnum & Mason:
Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea
Fortnum & Mason, the iconic London department store, also offers a traditional afternoon tea experience. The store’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon provides a luxurious setting for enjoying a selection of classic finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
10. The Orangery at Kensington Palace:
Orangery at Kensington Palace afternoon tea
The Orangery at Kensington Palace offers a unique and historic afternoon tea experience. The beautiful Orangery, built in the 17th century, provides a stunning setting for enjoying a selection of afternoon tea treats inspired by the palace’s royal residents.
These are just a few of the many wonderful afternoon tea spots in London. With such a wide variety to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect place to enjoy this quintessential British tradition.