Christmas 2023: 10 Afternoon Teas in LondonBy Alicia Grimshaw
Best afternoon teas in London… festive edition. We’ve got everything: budget to blowout to bottomless. Lots of scones, lots of sarnies, lots of tea/Champers to drink.
What: Fortnum & Mason’s festive afternoon tea menu, available until January, celebrates the joys of the season through inventive takes on quintessential British flavours, whilst the tea salon has been decorated in full Fortnum’s finery.
Eat and Drink: The classic Christmas menu begins with delicate finger sandwiches including Coronation chicken; Cucumber with capers and mint; and Kames Bay smoked trout blini with chive cream cheese, followed by freshly baked scones with Fortnum’s strawberry & champagne preserve and Somerset clotted cream. Each intricate patisserie pays tribute to yuletide flavours and traditions, with Sweet chestnut mousse; Tonka bean and caraibe chocolate bauble; and Orange and mixed spiced loaf.
Price: From £65 per person.
What: Get transported to an enchanting winter garden and experience a festive version of the much-loved Secret Garden Afternoon Tea.
Eat and Drink: The Enchanted Garden edition, available until 2nd January, features beautifully designed pastries and savoury treats inspired by the children’s classic tale of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, but all delivered with a winter twist. Indulge in the chocolate key nestled in biscuit soil adorned with snowflakes and bite into the Christmas tree in a chocolate pot. The afternoon tea has been developed and created by the talented pastry chefs Mayank and Dharma who recently featured in the semi-final of Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals.
Price: From £55 per person.
Where: Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX
What: Introducing Executive Pastry Chef Francesco Mannino’s very first collection to Pan Pacific London, the Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea – perfect for the festive season.
Eat and Drink: Chef Francesco has created four exquisite new patisseries, beautifully presented within bird cages on mirrored plates for a mesmerising play on light and reflection. Enjoy seasonal treats including Festive Forest with layers of Biscoff and pecan and stollen scones alongside Southeast Asian delicacies in the form of pillowy steamed siu bao buns and dumplings or classic finger sandwiches.
Price: £78 per person on Monday – Thursday, £85 per person Friday – Sunday. Add further sparkle with a crisp glass of English Sparkling Wine at £10 per person. From £35 for children.
Where: 80 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7AB
What: Indulge in a decadent Festive Afternoon Tea in beautiful surroundings at Flemings Mayfair, accompanied by a special Christmas cocktail with gin and gingerbread to toast to the season.
Eat and Drink: Tuck into traditional finger sandwiches alongside warm freshly baked scones served plus a selection of handmade sweet treats including lemon tart and delicate choux apple. Specialised tea blends are served alongside, including a limited-edition Spiced Rooibos blend.
Price: £65 per person including a cocktail.Available from 2pm – 4:30pm, Thursday – Saturday.
Where: 7-12 Half Moon St, London W1J 7BH
What: Treat yourself to Afternoon Tea with sweeping views of London’s skyline at Oblix at The Shard, located on the 32nd floor.
Eat and Drink: Savour lovers can tuck into a selection of standout sandwiches; from Severn and Wye smoked salmon with seaweed and cucumber, to a mini prawn and lobster roll and Coronation chicken with mango chutney and coriander. Freshly baked scones and seasonally flavoured cranberry scones are served with premium toppings: whipped clotted cream, fresh honeycomb and a sweet and tangy raspberry preserve. Fancy some drinks? Opt for one of two indulgent bottomless options; the Rosé for £78 or the Champagne for £105, with both also including free-flowing selected cocktails, soft drinks, teas and coffees.
Price: Classic Festive Afternoon Tea from £58pp. Available Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm.
Where: Oblix at The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
What: Taking place in The Parlour, a relaxed lounge at the hotel, the Festive Afternoon Tea is elevated to new heights with a unique twist that combines the aromas and flavours of Floris London’s iconic fragrance, Santal, with exquisite pastries and teas
Eat and Drink: Expecty bronze turkey, cranberry remoulade on brown bread; Chestnut stuffing and Montgomery cheddar Yorkshire Pudding; and Bergamot and spiced milk chocolate Christmas pudding, all created by the hotel’s Senior Sous Pastry Chef, Alexandra Ellis.
Price: Pricing starts at £59 for a standard booking and £70 for a Champagne booking. Guests can also book an Infinite Champagne booking for £89 for an hour and a half.
Where: 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HN
What: The Prince Akatoki Festive Afternoon Tea offers a blend of tradition and innovation with a few optional extras (read: booze).
Eat and Drink: Menu highlights include – Smoked salmon blinis, celeriac and wasabi remoulade, shrimp tempura maki, strawberry and white choc mocha and clementine and sake trifle. With a selection of teas to complement the culinary journey, The Prince Akatoki’s Festive Afternoon Tea is the perfect way for guests to embrace the magic of Christmas. Upgrade and add a glass of Gyuokoro or sparkling sake for an additional extra (£8/£9).
Price: The Prince Aaktoki festive afternoon tea is available every day between 2-5pm. Prices start at £55pp.
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD
What: This Christmas, Royal Lancaster London’s pastry chef, Scott Villacora and his team have outdone themselves with their Christmas Afternoon Tea creations.
Eat and Drink: Savoury treats include: British Roast Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Jam on white bread, smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich with cucumber and dill on brown bread, roast sirloin of beef with mustard mayonnaise, gherkins and rocket on granary bread. Sweet treats include: warm homemade scones served with clotted cream and a selection of preserves, a rich chocolate and prune cake with candied fruit, and vegan macaroon with yuzu ganache and cranberry compote.
Price: £45 Monday – Thursday, £49 Friday – Sunday and £49 24th – 26th December 2023
Where: Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
What: Get into the festive spirit with a special edition Christmas-themed Afternoon Tea at the iconic Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The Christmas-themed Afternoon Tea menu includes a generous array of savoury bites by The Lane’s chefs and delicious cakes and sweet treats by London-based baker, Lily Vanilli.
Eat and Drink: For a savoury start, enjoy a warm turkey and cranberry pie topped with caramelised onion chutney; followed by a bitesize English crumpet with Earl Grey infused cream cheese and John Ross Jnr smoked salmon; finished with a savoury madeleine with whipped English feta and pickled heritage carrot. The standout highlight of the Christmas Afternoon Tea is Lily Vanilli’s fluffy vanilla cake filled with passionfruit and buttercream decorated with festive green piping around the edges and topped by a handmade gold chocolate Christmas decoration.
Price: The Christmas Afternoon Tea is priced at £59 per person and available until 7th January 2024.
Where: Catherine St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JF
What: TĪNG Lounge is serving a festive version of its Skyline Afternoon Tea over the winter season, inspired by the signature scents from the Jo Loves Christmas Collection and featuring a miniature Shard pastry decorated with Warner House’s Knotted Sash design.
Eat and Drink: There’s seasonal finger sandwiches such as roast turkey with cranberry and beef with horseradish along with classics such as smoked salmon and cucumber and truffle egg and cress. To finish, the Warner House-inspired Festive Shard filled with white chocolate, apple compote and cinnamon sponge and served over enchanting clouds of dry ice. Classic plain and cranberry scones with jam and clotted cream accompanied by special-edition marble cake scones with chocolate and candied orange.
Price: The Festive Skyline Afternoon Tea is available until 14th January, and is priced at £89 or £99 with a glass of Champagne.
Where: 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU