It’s Afternoon Tea Week!

Ok, so you may not have highlighted it on your calendar, but with the weather set to be less than summery this weekend, why not treat yourself to one of Britain’s most treasured traditions?

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And if you’re making a day of it, go all out! We’ve compiled some of the fanciest, tastiest and even weirdest teas that London has to offer…

1. The creative one

OXO Tower Brasserie, Oxo Tower Wharf

OXO Tower
Only for those who are not afraid of heights (Ian Nicholson/PA)

In honour of Afternoon Tea Week, the brasserie is showcasing the best of its series of gorgeous Not Afternoon Tea menus, which each include four themed miniature desserts. The light and bright Summertime Blooms and Alice options are still available, so book your table fast to make the most of a limited edition tea with a stunning riverside view for £24.50pp (including a bespoke cocktail).

2. The vintage one

Betty Blythe, Kensington Olympia

Betty Blythe tea room
Bringing Hollywood to Hammersmith (mcfarlandmo/Flickr)

If you love all things 1920s then this is absolutely the spot for you, and they take their afternoon teas seriously. From £22.50pp you can choose your own themed menu out of the Elegant, Victorian, After Wonderland and, our favourite, the Great Gatsby. What’s not to love?

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3. The fancy one

The Ritz, Piccadilly

Afternoon tea at The Ritz
Feeling fancy? (Herry Lawford/Flickr)

One of the most famous and sought after tables for afternoon tea in the city, you can choose from the standard, champagne or special celebration version – all served with tea from a wider selection than you could possibly have imagined – from £54pp. And for this week only, surrounded by you the borderline oppressive elegant decor, you can enjoy the milk chocolate and almond afternoon tea cake, made with chocolate mousse, brownie, almond and salted caramel. Yes please!

4. The theatrical one

One Aldwych, Covent Garden

One Aldwych bar
Looks like Willy Wonka’s has had a revamp (Sarah_Ackerman/Flickr)

Celebrating the West End’s current production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, these guys have pulled out all the stops with a themed menu, including golden eggs (boiled), blueberry brioche and candy floss, with a mystical-looking steamy tea to wash it down. Weekend tables are booked up for the next month, but make the most while you can from £39pp.

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5. The moving one

BB Bakery Bus Afternoon Tea Tour, Victoria

Bus in Trafalgar Square

Tea in Trafalgar? (Andrew Parsons/PA)

If you can’t decide which London monument you would like to gaze upon while you scoff your scones, just go for all of them by having your tea on the BB Bakery Bus Tour. A vintage Routemaster will take you around the most iconic sites while you enjoy the traditional tea menu with your family for £45pp (£35 for children under 11).

6. The ‘manly’ one

Sanctum Soho Hotel, Soho

Glass and bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey

A little tipple with your tea, sir? (Jim Bauer/Flickr)

Is the standard afternoon tea a little ‘girlie’? The Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea menu has you covered, complete with beef burger, pasty, poached oysters, steak and a full silver tankard of Jack Daniels, all rounded off with a cigar. Not bad for £50pp. And if that’s too much for you, there is always the £35pp High Tea for High Heels alternative.

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7. The floating one

RS Hispaniola, Embankment

R.S. Hispaniola on the Thames
Even pirates always have time for a spot of tea (Nick Ansell/Flickr)

You can never be too old for a tall tale or two with your tea (try saying that out loud) and this pirate-themed affair on an actual moored boat is sure to mark the spot. The £39.50 menu is colourful, plentiful and you can add a glass of Laurent-Perrier – not rum, sadly – for an extra fiver.

8. The ultimate Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

The Sanderson, Fitzrovia

Alice in Wonderland-themed table ornaments

We don’t need telling twice! (Wonderlane/Flickr)

It’s hard to beat a good Mad Hatter theme for a tea party, but this has to be up there with the most impressive. Not only is the elaborate food creatively decorated, but you’ll be transported to Wonderland with the beautifully designed crockery, menu hidden inside a fairy tale book, riddle-wrapped napkins, and even the sugar box is musical. It promises an afternoon of tasty treats and theatre from £40pp.

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9. The oriental one

Teanamu Chaya Teahouse, Notting Hill

Table set for tea at Teanamu Chaya Teahouse
It’s really all about the tea here (Annie Mole/Flickr)

We’re getting a bit too cool for school at this weekend-only venue that really knows its tea. There is no theme, just the cool and calm atmosphere inspired by 14th-century Chinese tea ceremonies, while you enjoy any of the huge range of expertly brewed loose leaf teas and the traditional English refreshments – each created with a distinctive eastern twist – for £30pp.

10. The late-night one

K West Hotel & Spa, Shepherd’s Bush

Miniature cocktails
Cocktails and cake? Even better! (GW Fins/Flickr)

 

Starting at 10pm, this is technically not an afternoon tea. At all. The Festival Rock 'n' Cocktails Midnight Tea may not promise a relaxing or refined afternoon, but at £40.50pp it does guarantee six vibrant miniature cocktails along with a selection of sandwiches and sweet treats, all served up on jazzy cups and plates and 80s vinyl. Just enough to line the stomach before a night of dancing and debauchery.

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11. The dirty one

Brgr.co, Soho

Stack of cheeseburgers

It’s not your traditional afternoon tea, but we’ll take it (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Really stretching the definition of an afternoon tea here, but we wouldn’t turn it down! The Burgerlicious Afternoon Tea swaps sandwiches and scones for a selection of sliders – including lobster and southern fried chicken – salted caramel doughnuts and milkshakes, adding that sense of special occasion with a Bellini. And all for only £17pp.

12. The cosy one

Little Nan’s Cocktail Den, Shoreditch

Tea with Victoria sandwich cake
The simple is always the best (Carwyn Lloyd Jones – Dylunio Creadigol/Flickr)

This exclusive, family-orientated venue will definitely need to be booked in advance as it celebrates (and extends) Afternoon Tea Week from this weekend. The delicious assortment of cakes each have an extra British theme and the menu comes with two cocktails in cups for £25pp and, if it’s an extra special occasion for you, Nan and her grandson will create a bespoke cocktail in your honour. But don’t worry too much if you miss out – the family team can be hired to bring afternoon tea right to your doorstep!

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13. The fantasy one

Cutter & Squidge, Soho

Genie cave

Enter a magican genie cave inspired by the world of Aladdin. Expect all your wishes to come true in this Brewer Street treasure trove. As you arrive you'll enjoy a raspberry and pomegranate meringue - break it to release the genie. Expect plenty of delicious cakes and sweet treats accompanied with tea or bubbles from £29.50pp. You'll even get a precious treasure from the cave to take home with you. Wishes really do come true.

14. The cat lover's one

Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, Shoreditch

 

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This one is us to enjoy with a few furry friends. You may have heard of Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, but have you heard they now offer afternoon tea? The cafe offers refuge to some cute kitties, some of which are up for rehoming, while you get to sit longside them and enjoy a selection of savoury treats in seasonal flavours, scones with jam and clotted cream and a selection of cakes, and bakes and biscuits.All can be made gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan too. This experience will set you back £25pp.