It doesn’t get more British than afternoon tea and the West End is packed with places to indulge in this fine tradition. Our pick of the best afternoon tea in Covent Garden includes everything from beauty-themed pastries to Italian scones.
Bakery, Tea Room, Pastries, Tea , $$$
Enjoy afternoon tea with a French twist at Brigit’s Bakery where quiche and homemade macarons join sandwiches, scones and mini cupcakes. You can take tea right there in the bakery, but if you’re after something a little more memorable, B Bakery also does afternoon tea bus and boat tours.
The afternoon tea at One Aldwych, inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the musical was playing at a nearby theatre), is a wonderfully playful version of this British tradition. The sweet selection, including a golden chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake, homemade candyfloss and blueberry brioche, all reference the Roald Dahl story. There’s even a chocolate tea too.
Balthazar may be a grand French brasserie but that hasn’t stopped them from whipping up afternoon tea, albeit with a twist. They have collaborated with make-up queen Bobbi Brown to celebrate her brand’s 25th anniversary by creating a beauty-inspired afternoon tea. The cakes reference some of her best sellers, like the rhubarb and ginger Shimmer Brick’ and the pecan and jasmine Long-Wear Cream Shadow macaroon, making it the most stylish afternoon tea in the West End.
The iconic Parisian pattiserie has four outposts in London and the Covent Garden branch has a suitably grand location right on the piazza. Whist you don’t get a choice of tea varieties with their afternoon tea, you do get to select which sandwiches, Viennoiseries, pastries and macarons you’d like. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
The Delaunay is a grand and elegant restaurant and that same sense of sophistication can be found in their afternoon tea. In line with their traditional European menu, the afternoon tea has a Viennese slant with poppy seed Gugelhupfs, apricot jam and whipped cream and classic Viennese cakes being served with sandwiches and other savoury bites.
Think of The Ivy Market Grill as a relaxed yet still sophisticated younger sister to the iconic The Ivy. Their afternoon tea is classic through and through, featuring cucumber sandwiches, fruit scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam and a choice of teas.
Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Pizzeria, Italian, Peruvian, $$$
Italian and Peruvian flavours might not be the first things that spring to mind when you think of afternoon tea but that’s exactly what Monmouth Kitchen is doing. Scones are still on the menu, although they’re amaretto and Sicilian lemon, and instead of sandwiches and pastries you get bruschetta, salmon tacos, churros with Peruvian chocolate sauce and white peach and oregano panna cotta.
The Savoy is a London landmark and their afternoon tea is equally as famous. Served in the glass-domes Thames Foyer, it’s very much a traditional affair, although they also offer a Salon Couture High Tea with Suzie Turner, inspired by the salon shows of the 1950s. This special menu includes a cocktail from the American Bar as well eclairs decorated with some of Suzie Turner’s designs.
Afternoon tea and opera? You can get it at The Crusting Pipe if you take tea in their outdoor courtyard, which plays host to a variety of classical performances. Go for their signature afternoon tea and enjoy cheese, oat biscuits, fig cake and port.