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Best traditional afternoon teas in London

Tea in a pot, scones with cream and jam, finger sandwiches and dainty cakes... nothing could be more British than afternoon tea in London.
Seven small, colourful cakes on a green-and-white-striped plate.
Claridge's afternoon tea. Image courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group.

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From afternoon tea at The Ritz to sandwiches at The Savoy, find our pick of venues for the best afternoon tea in London, where the quintessentially British tradition lives on.  

Enjoy one of the most iconic London food and drink experiences in stylish surrounds, from lavish lobbies and elegant hotel lounges, to tropical palm courts and winter gardens. Don't forget to book in advance to guarantee yourself a spot, and check on the dress code  snappy dressing is often part of the afternoon tea tradition.

If you're on a budget, opt for a cheap afternoon tea or take your pick from many afternoon tea London deals*. Alternatively, try something a little different with a themed afternoon tea or quirky afternoon tea. Or, if you're looking to really impress, splash out with a champagne afternoon tea.

The Langham*

Guests have enjoyed The Langham afternoon tea since 1865, and it continues to stay true to the British afternoon tea tradition. Enjoy seasonal tweaks to traditional sandwiches, scones, cakes, and much-loved biscuits. Melodies from the grand piano complete the experience in the luxurious Palm Court.

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The Athenaeum*

The Athenaeum's afternoon tea. Image courtesy of Mason Williams.

Savour afternoon tea classics, such as egg and cress sandwiches, fruit scones, dainty cakes and classic sweets with a twist at The Athenaeum. If you don't fancy the classic tea, try a cream tea or savoury tea; while vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free teas are also available at this hotel near Green Park.

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Brown's Hotel

Afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel. Photo credit: @Lateef. Image courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels.

Relax to the sounds of the baby grand piano as you savour prawn cocktail and coronation chicken buns, pastries, scones and cakes: no wonder Queen Victoria loved to have her tea at Brown’s Hotel. The award-winning afternoon tea is served in the elegant Drawing Room, complete with wood panelling, fireplaces and artworks.

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The Goring

The Goring's afternoon tea. Image courtesy of J Public Relations.

Sample a traditional London afternoon tea minutes from Buckingham Palace. Warm up in front of The Goring's fire during colder months, or relax in the tranquil garden in summer. Book a spot in The Veranda or Dining Room for its display of scones, finger sandwiches and pastries. You can also request a gluten-free afternoon tea in advance.

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The Landmark London

Delve into a fine selection of sandwiches, freshly baked raisin and apple scones, and traditional desserts, served alongside loose leaf and herbal teas in the light and airy surrounds of The Landmark London's spectacular Winter Garden. If you want to splash out, indulge in a champagne afternoon tea.

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The Lanesborough

Gorge on pastel-toned pastries, scones and sandwiches in the elegant Céleste room or intimate Withdrawing Room at The Lanesborough. This traditional afternoon tea has been created by leading patisserie Peggy Porschen, and is the perfect indulgence near Hyde Park. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are also available.

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The Savoy

Relax among tunes from the resident pianist in the historic Thames Foyer, as you linger over a selection of finger sandwiches, plain and raisin scones, signature cakes and a huge selection of teas, including its own blends. Upgrade The Savoy London afternoon tea to a champagne afternoon tea for that extra special treat.

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The Ritz

Palm Court at The Ritz London. Image courtesy of The Ritz London.

Book into one of five daily sittings for The Ritz London afternoon tea, where sandwiches, teacakes, scones and 18 different loose leaf teas are served to live music from a pianist or harpist in the swanky Palm Court. Tea is nothing less than an institution here, and it's the only hotel in the UK to have a certified Tea Sommelier.

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Claridge's afternoon tea. Image courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group.
Head to iconic Claridge's for a tea featuring smoked salmon sandwiches, seasonal pastries and cakes, raisin scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream, plus a choice of more than 20 teas. The award-winning afternoon tea at Claridge's is served daily in the elegant Foyer & Reading Room, accompanied by music from the grand piano. Read More

The Dorchester

Make time for the classic afternoon tea experience – served five times a day in The Dorchester's famous marble and gilt room, The Promenade. Delight in seasonal finger sandwiches, followed by scones, French pastries and a choice of fine and rare teas. You can also take The Dorchester afternoon tea in the hotel's spa for added opulence.

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Fortnum & Mason

Afternoon tea at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon in Fortnum & Mason. Image courtesy of Fortnum & Mason.

Choose from teas selected by Fortnum & Mason's tea taster, paired with items including ham or cucumber sandwiches, cakes and plain and fruit scones, in the stylish Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Vegan and dairy or gluten-free afternoon teas are available. Alternatively, just pop in for a cuppa and cake for a high tea in London.

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