From the truly razzmatazz to the downright extravagant, we’ve rounded some of the super fanciest and super posh afternoon teas in the UK capital. And with mummies day coming up, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to be that little more extravagant…
This Barnes Village tea shop is ever so worth the vaut le détour. Where to? Well to the pretty stretches of west London, of course. Homemade finger sarnies, cakes fresh from the oven, the most shockingly smooth and luxurious biscuits and hot buttered crumpets, all served on the prettiest fine bone china are up for grabs. The tea, the highest grade imaginable, comes in all sorts of fabulous varieties, some of which are named after the the Royal House of Orange, whose family members were said to be a bit partial to these fantabulous brews.
Oblix at The Shard
If you’re somewhat of an afternoon-tea snob, we can only imagine that you’re in search of something that is of the highest splendour. You’ll find this, quite literally 32 floors above the metropolis at Oblix. On arrival, give a wink or three to the sexy doorman and then whizz yourself straight up the super-fast lifts to feast your eyes on some ultra posh treats inspired by London’s buzzing boroughs. Think: chai spice from Brick Lane. Must have? The chocolate pecan bar. In short, Oblix is quite simply, views and food for days.
Salon Couture High-Tea with Suzie Turner, The Savoy
Cake + couture = exquisite bliss, no? A favourite of London’s socialites and supreme toffs, the Savoy’s wondrous fifties-inspired Salon Couture High-Tea is set in the magnificent Thames Foyer. Available on the first Wednesday of every month, munch on an excellent variety of posh nosh from cakes to eclairs. Wash it all down with some of the glitziest crystal in the land, oh, and you might want to wear a suit and feathered gown (maybe a tiara too) for this one boys and gals – it’s exceedingly posh.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Knightsbridge
This one’s more for summer darlings, but still, we thought we’d let you know early in any case. As soon as the sun decides to come back, rush on down to Knightsbridge for high ceilings and endless floral bouquets at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park – they’re so pretty they even give Her Majesty a run for her money. If you happen to go when it is sunny outside, order an iced tea and a fine glass of champagne on the side. There’s also some wonderful nosh in the form of elegant sandwiches and stunningly beautiful pastries to devour too.
The Dorchester, Park Lane
Oh the razzmatazz of The Dorchester, there’s no place quite like it – all the celebs come here to experience the utmost extravagance. High above Park Lane, there’s sort of a little tea plantation that cultivates tea from the Dalreoch Estate in Scotland – don’t tell anyone that though, it’s a badly kept secret. Enjoy the exclusive brew in the hotel’s wonderfully gilded Promenade. There are three varieties: White, Garrocher Grey and Rose Smoked. All are accompanied with featherlight scones and tantalisingly posh nibbles.
Exclusive, fancy, posh and serving the heavenliest sandwiches (try the smoked salmon with Jacob’s cream—divine), Sketch really is quite fabulous. The Michelin-starred tour-de-tea-fest covers two glorious floors of a very glammed-up converted 18th-century townhouse on Conduit Street, Mayfair. Once you’ve Instagrammed the lavatories (they really are quite something), sit, relax and indulge in some of London’s best scones and pastries – beautiful to behold, and beautiful to devour too. Don’t worry, you won’t be judged for those devilishly loud mmsss and ahhhhs. And just a quick FYI, the Parlour does not take bookings, but the Gallery does, so get in there quick!
Very traditional – and very English – nowhere does a traditional posh afternoon tea quite like Claridge’s. From the elegant Art Deco backdrops to the ultra pretty Chihuly chandelier that shines bright in the ultra Instagrammable Foyer, the hotel’s signature striped fine bone china presents a delicate array of sweet and savoury delights that have been perfected over the last 150 years. So what can I polish off, you ask? Well, four bladed sandwiches (our favourites were the dill-enriched smoked salmon and the cucumber and cream cheese), four freshly baked (and ever so warm) scones – two apple and raisin, two plain and served with Marco Polo jelly (DIVINE) – and, if you have room, a few small cakes (the lemon macaroon was our personal fav). Ideal for a special occasion – or just a necessary afternoon treat – this is the place to spend many the indulgent hour.
The London EDITION, Soho
Ask any posh toff who comes here and they’ll say it’s one of the finest luncheon spots in London. Why? Well, it’s rather scandalous. Their signature tea, Scandal Water (basically 19th-century slang for a cuppa), was, as the name quite rightly suggests, the drink of gossip back in the day, which is why it’s the jewel in the crown of the London EDITION‘s afternoon Tea service. Sample five varieties along with a helping of five drunken punches, which will, as we say in England, sort the men from the boys. Oh, and the shortbread biscuits topped with salmon and caviar are quite fabulous too.
St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London
Tea fit for a Queen, and quite literally – part of one of the recipes is from The Queen, herself. The showstopper here though has got to be the Alice in Wonderland-themed tea. It’s a crazy OTT kind of charade, full of eccentricity – sort of what you’d expect from Wonderland, wouldn’t you? With plenty of concoctions to devour from sweet little cakes to mango tarts, a ‘Drink Me’ strawberry potion, ‘Caterpillar’s Mushroom’ raspberry marshmallows, white chocolate mousse teacups and even some delightfully adorable ‘Pocket Watch’ macaroons. Time to get to St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel. Mustn’t be late, methinks.
Love cocktails? You can now get Harry Potter-themed Butterbeers in London!