Jump to main content
British Airways logoHigh Life logoHigh Life logo
Afternoon tea on a Coronation theme from The Goring hotel

London’s best afternoon teas

One of Britain’s most enduring traditions has evolved from a sophisticated social event to a great excuse for a fancy sugar kick. No wonder London’s hotels have been jumping at the chance to outdo their neighbours’ tiny tiered sandwiches and inventive pastries, especially with King Charles III’s coronation taking centre stage this month. Here is the crème de la crème of the capital’s coronation teatime offerings

01/08/2022Updated 05/04/2023

Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square

Giving its signature spread a regal theme, Four Seasons has launched the Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea, inspired by the treasures of its neighbours at the Tower of London. Kick things off with a sparkling tea, before getting stuck into delectable finger sandwiches, from coronation chicken to truffle egg mayonnaise, and a trad cream tea. But the real showstoppers come from the glittering pastry selection, including a destined-for-Instagram King Edward’s crown consisting of Yorkshire rhubarb compote, vanilla crémeux and yuzu

From £75pp

Book your tea

Oblix at The Shard

Demands for “cake and fine wine” may have sent the Penrith Tearooms into a tailspin in the British cult classic Withnail and I, but at Oblix, located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, it’s practically de rigueur. Afternoon tea is taken to new heights with a choice of single origin teas, rosé or Champagne packages to accompany towers of delicious sandwiches, scones and pastries with a contemporary twist. If tea and Champagne aren’t your thing, there are also signature cocktails and bottle-fermented beers on offer to complement the stunning views of London’s skyline.

From £58pp

Book your tea

The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London

Presentation is everything, and at The Orchid Lounge in the City’s Pan Pacific London, they know it. Its delightfully playful Floral Fantasy Afternoon Tea pays homage to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. While guests can experience a traditional afternoon tea, we recommend the Kopi Tiam, a tea inspired by Singapore’s coffee shops. Start with an iced pea and mint shot and follow with Asian savouries including a siu mai basket of prawn, spinach and beef, matcha scones, steamed pandan mantou and kaya jam. Other pleasing touches include delicate handmade pastries with the fantastical names of Waltz, Dance, Float and Drift. 

From £68pp

Book your tea

Gatsby’s Room at The Beaumont

To know about The Beaumont is to have a secret you almost don’t want to share. This five-star gem, tucked away in the heart of Mayfair, one of London’s most salubrious areas, is not somewhere you stumble across, it’s somewhere you know about. It’s no wonder, then, that a sense of exclusivity imbues every experience here – particularly the afternoon tea, which is held in the intimate Gatsby Room, an appropriately sophisticated space from New York super-designer Thierry Despont. Sipping a posh cuppa here amid the 1920s-inspired walnut, cream and rust-coloured furnishings is like travelling both back in time and across the Atlantic to the grandeur of America’s Roaring Twenties. Choose from a bespoke artisan tea list created for the hotel by JING Teas, then savour a selection of impeccable sandwiches and pastries (including our favourite, the ‘salt water taffy’) – all complemented by exquisite service and softly tinkling ivory keys. 

From £62pp

Book your tea

The Stage at The Londoner

While tourists seem to flock to Leicester Square, Londoners have less readily understood why. The Stage at The Londoner (see more below) offers a credible answer. Within the ‘world’s first boutique hotel’ (surely an understatement, considering there are 350 rooms, six restaurants and a ballroom for 1,000?), this vast velvety, glittery Champagne bar holds court, serving as applause-worthy an afternoon tea as you might expect for a venue in the heart of theatreland. While a piano player belts out torch songs, a delectable amuse bouche du jour arrives to set the right tone. This is followed by dainty sandwich squares that elevate everyone’s favourite fillings to new levels of deliciousness, then sumptuous scones and, for the grand finale, a choice of show-stopping patîsserie. The melt-in-the-mouth Victoria slice and giant ‘black truffle’ are worth a curtain call alone. Toast this feast with East India Company loose leaf tea or one of a vast choice of Champagnes. Encore!

From £55pp

Book your tea

Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

Not many afternoon teas come with their own committee. In Knightsbridge, The Berkeley’s fashion-inspired feast has had one since it launched the unique concept back in 2015 – upon which eight of the nation’s most pre-eminent fashion editors sat and talked cake. That’s right – twice a year, a fresh set of designers, fashionistas and catwalk creations are honoured in a centrefold of couture confections. Trad sandwiches and posh bites down the hatch, it’s time for the show. Among other delights, savour Christopher Kane’s striking floral gown immortalised as a velvety cheesecake, Ralph Lauren’s hero coat created from layered pain de Gênes sponge with Black Forest flavours, and Dolce & Gabbana’s bold coat and hat pairing remade in fluffy chequered sponge and wrapped in rainbow-hued marzipan. 

From £80pp

Book your tea

The Veranda at The Goring

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the closest luxury hotel to Buckingham Palace has been a royalty favourite since 1910, with a Warrant to prove it. The Goring oozes British charm, with handwoven silks on the walls and a dining room created by iconic designer (and son of the late Princess Margaret) David Linley. The hotel is going all in for King Charles III’s coronation this month, with a Coronation Afternoon Tea (also opening image) featuring all his favourite snacks – from a much-loved cream of lemon dessert to finger sandwiches filled with Royal Warrant suppliers, such as Dukeshill ham. Cakes are adorned with insignias, carriages and crowns made from the finest dark chocolate. Sip your piping hot Earl Grey as you soak up the sun on the veranda overlooking the Goring Gardens. They bloom with lily of the valley – which featured in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation bouquet – and, of course, the Duke of Edinburgh rose.

£75pp with a glass of Bollinger Champagne. Available 24 April to 28 May 2023
Coronation Tasting Menu £140pp, including canapés, petit fours and Champagne. Available from 1 May 2023

Book your tea

Where to stay

Nobody knows the UK like British Airways. The airline operates flights from London to every corner of the country, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Jersey. 

Welcome to London