The dainty sandwiches, the trickle of Earl Grey, the delicate spreading of jam and cream (now is not the place for the ‘which goes first?’ argument) – is there a more elegant way to spend a few hours than with an English afternoon tea?
If you’re seeking an extra special spot for your tea and scones, the City of London will have you spoilt for choice. From tea with a view to fusion menus, here are some of the most luxurious afternoon tea locations in the City.
Searcys at The Gherkin
Putting the ‘high’ in high tea, this delicious afternoon tea is served with a 360-degree helping of City view. Alongside classics such as cucumber sandwiches and fruit scones, the mouth-watering menu includes gin-cured salmon, devilled eggs, vanilla and matcha battenberg, and lemon posset choux. You can also upgrade your afternoon tea with sparkling wine or even limitless Champagne (for 90 minutes anyway).
Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant at The Royal Exchange
Tell us a grander, more historic and quintessentially English afternoon tea than that served by Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange – we’ll wait. Because when two names of such distinct heritage and prestige meet, you have one unmissable treat. Serving classic afternoon teas in the majestic central courtyard, this is a picture perfect occasion.
The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London
Looking for something a bit leftfield of your regular fruit scone? Enter, Kopi Tiam – a Singaporean-inspired take on the traditional English afternoon tea. Created by award-winning pastry chef, Cherish Finden, these afternoon tea menus celebrate bao, dim sum and choux with a festival of Asian flavours. From an evolving choice of special menus, such as the Lunar New Year Tea and Twilight Tea, you could be sampling lobster buns, crispy noodle cups and lychee pastries with a selection of speciality teas or cocktails. For children, ask for the cute ‘Little Kopi Tiam’ menu of afternoon tea favourites.
Ten Trinity Square, Four Seasons Hotel London
To celebrate the treasures in the neighbouring Tower of London, Ten Trinity Square’s Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea is a gem-coloured delight but, luckily, these jewels are edible. Alongside the expected finger sandwiches and scones, nibble your way through commemorative pastries including The Ruby, The Pearl and The Crown. A selection of speciality teas, sparkling wines and Champagne round-off this regal afternoon treat.
Millie’s Lounge at The Ned
Within the 3,000 square metre banking hall of The Ned, the former headquarters of Midland Bank, sits Millie’s Lounge serving afternoon teas with a hint of 1920s glamour. Choose from a simple cream tea, a classic afternoon tea, or plough your own path with a high tea of Jersey Rock oysters and Champagne. Then sit back and ponder how much money may have changed hands over those Grade I listed bank counters fixed around the hall.
Vintry & Mercer
Enjoy an afternoon tea that's fit for a King. Vintry and Mercer's Crown Afternoon Tea is a truly majestic gastronomic experience. The menu features Royal themed savoury treats named after the famous Royal Palaces, and for dessert - a glazed ‘Sovereign’s Orb’ filled with delicious raspberry and orange blossom mousse and Genoise sponge. Bring the family - there's a Prince & Princess option too, perfect for children.