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Afternoon tea at Claridge's, London|©FineDining Indian/Flickr
Afternoon tea at Claridge's, London|©FineDining Indian/Flickr
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The Essential Guide To Afternoon Tea Week In London

Picture of Harriet Clugston
Updated: 11 October 2016
Only the English would have a week dedicated to afternoon tea. From Monday the 8th to Sunday 14th of August, venues across the country fling open their doors for Afternoon Tea Week, inviting you in to celebrate all that is great about this favourite British pastime. From flower arranging to historical tours, vegan scones to tea-infused cocktails, here’s our guide to the best, most indulgent tea action taking place across London this week.

Afternoon Tea cocktails, Balans Soho Society

Head down to Balans Soho Society on Compton Street for a quirky take on afternoon tea that focuses on the most important part – booze. Putting a Soho twist on a very proper English pastime, Balans have developed a range of five special edition tea-infused gin cocktails — it’s G and Tea, for those slow on the uptake! Their unique, in-house cocktails are of the utmost decadence; take A Swoon Around Noon, for instance, which mixes ‘the finest Imperial Noon infused gin, with rich double cream, rhubarb syrup, smooth egg white and soda water’, or taste the refreshing tones of lapsang souchong with a cheeky Souchong Lapdance. For those of you who don’t want to completely omit the afternoon tea trimmings, don’t despair — each cocktail is beautifully adorned with a (delicious) mini afternoon tea garnish, also created in-house, from a chocolate brownie to a delicate elderflower cheesecake to an actual cucumber sandwich. And when we say garnish, we mean garnish — right on the rim.

60-62 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UG, +44 20 7439 2183

📅 Monday 8th – Sunday 14th August

Courtesy of Balans Soho Society
Courtesy of Balans Soho Society

Afternoon Tea Picnic Boxes

Dispense with the need to travel and take afternoon tea at your own convenience this week, with one of these delightful picnic boxes. Packed with all the essentials (including, in some cases, the all-important Prosecco), the picnic boxes are available to pick up from a range of venues, from classics such as The Park Lane Hotel to the contemporary vegetarian restaurant, Ethos, and contain a feast particular to each.

Various Locations

📅 Monday 8th – Sunday 14th August

Epicurean Tea Tasting at The Ritz

Tea master Giando Scanu has created this hedonistic tea experience; visitors have the chance to taste six of the world’s rarest and finest teas in a three-hour-long interactive talk on the history and art of tea. Each drink is prepared table side in an antique Ritz silver pot. Guests will also tuck into The Ritz’s famous afternoon tea feast, consistently regarded as one of the best in London and perhaps the most iconic, in the beautiful and opulent surroundings of the Palm Court.

150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, W1J 9BR, +44 20 7300 2345

📅 Saturday 13th August

@metro.co.uk call us THE London Afternoon Tea Venue 🍰🍾

A photo posted by The Ritz London (@theritzlondon) on

Handel and Hendrix Afternoon Tea And Tour

This afternoon tea package at Handel and Hendrix House promises to be a unique experience. Restored to the decorative style of their two famous former inhabitants — 18th century German composer, Frideric Handel, and pioneering American guitarist Jimi Hendrix — the Handel House museum are offering guests a guided tour by the museum’s director, a 30-minute private harpsichord recital and, of course, afternoon tea with a glass of Pommery Champagne.

25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HB, +44 20 7495 1685

📅 Friday 12th August

Visited @handel_hendrix today- amazing history of of two musical legends! Thanks for the tour @brie_nm!

A photo posted by Molly (@mesmousa_arts) on

The Gingerbread and Tea – A Food and Drink Themed History of Mayfair

The way to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week sans afternoon tea, this almost two-hour walking tour takes guests around the spiritual home of the mid-afternoon ritual, explaining the history of its development alongside insider knowledge of Mayfair, highlighting the area’s hidden spots, from cocktail bars to cafes. After the tour, you will be within a couple of minutes of some iconic afternoon tea venues, including Claridge’s, Brown’s and Connaught — perfect for a spot of refreshment.

Green Park Underground Station

📅 Thursday 11th August

Afternoon Tea and Flower Arranging, Harrods

Harrods’ Afternoon Tea Week offering really nails old English charm, but we suppose that’s what they do best. Over a three-day period, the iconic department store will be holding flower arranging sessions in their beautiful fourth-floor Conservatory courtesy of renowned luxury florists Moyses Stevens (which have been going strong since 1876). After you’re done ladette-to-ladying, take the institution that is Harrods’ afternoon tea in the adjacent Georgian Restaurant.

87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1X 7XL, +44 333 300 1000

📅 Thursday 11th – Sunday 13th August

TeaTime Tasting and Vegan Afternoon Tea, La Suite West Hotel

We wouldn’t want you vegans missing out on all the creamy goodness of Afternoon Tea Week now would we? This experience includes an introduction to tea’s history, presentation and pairing, courtesy of TeaTime (who specialise in chemical-free, perfume-free, low-caffeine teas often packed with superfoods), the chance to taste a range of teas from Green to herbal, hot and iced, and the opportunity to create your own infusion — all complimented by a selection of vegan sandwiches, cakes and scones.

41-51 Inverness Terrace, London, W2 3JN, +44 20 7313 8484

📅 Thursday 11th August