afternoon teas

12 indulgent afternoon teas

12 indulgent afternoon teas

Fancy yourself a royal afternoon? Here’s our pick of the most tantalising afternoon teas in London and Surrey, from classics to molecular experiments…

Top picture: Theatre Royal Drury Lane


The French Tarte, Surbiton

A fab selection of savouries and patisserie accompanied by your choice of organic tea (or locally roasted coffee, if you opt for a non-classical version) and naturally, warm oven-baked scones with lashings of cream and homemade seasonal jam. Sounds like heaven? Most probably.


St Ermin’s Hotel, St. James’s  

Afternoon tea at St Ermin’s is available in veggie, vegan and gluten-free options to cater to every taste and preference. Relax and enjoy in stylish interiors featuring ornate original rococo plasterwork. Coffee & cranberry macaroons? Chocolate & kalamansi delice? Egg mayonnaise with black truffle and cress savoury? All inspired by seasonal ingredients from the hotel’s very own rooftop kitchen garden. 


Ginza St. James’s 

Fancy something less traditional? Opt for Japanese afternoon tea at  Ginza St. James’s! Relax in their stylish settings whilst their amazing staff takes you to the Land of Rising Sun. The selection includes a variety of unique Japanese teas (bancha, sencha, genmaicha anyone?) as well as maki rolls, tsukemono, teriyaki beef, mochi and wagyu burgers served on a chic and modern tiered stand. 


Verdi at Royal Albert Hall 

Royal Albert Hall has been observing the royal (pun intended) tradition of afternoon tea for more than 100 years. Impressive, huh? Dig in their fab stage-inspired scones, biscuits and savoury bites. The star of the show is, of course, the tea itself – with whopping 11 blends on offer, Verdi makes sure you have plenty to choose from. 


Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington 

Afternoon tea at the Ampersand Hotel isn’t your usual afternoon tea. Oh no. It’s a science afternoon tea! Inspired by the neighbouring Science Museum, Ampersand Hotel serves a mix of exciting and curious, from jams in petri dishes to chocolate spacemen and dinosaur biscuits. Plus tea, coffee or champagne. Gluten-free and vegan options are available.  

Pictured: Petersham Nurseries, The Ampersand Hotel, Ginza St. James’s


Woodlands Park Hotel, Cobham 

Served in either the Grand Hall, Oak Room Restaurant, Benson’s Restaurant, or on the lovely terrace, afternoon tea at Woodlands Park Hotel is as traditional as it gets. Scones with cream and preserves, savoury scones with onion jam and cream cheese, cakes and sandwiches – if that’s your cup of tea (wink), head to Cobham and you won’t be disappointed. 


Café Rouge, Reigate  

Francophiles, listen up! Three enticing tiers of the most sumptuous sweet treats, alongside a generous plate of French-inspired savouries will tempt just about everyone. Baguettes? Crème brulee? Éclairs? We say yes to all. 


Petersham Nurseries, Richmond 

The perfect place for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of London, Petersham serves its famous afternoon tea on a gorgeous hand-blown Florentine cake stand crowned with fresh seasonal flowers. The menu changes seasonally and consists of quintessentially English classics combined with Indonesian-inspired flavours. 


11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea

Indulge in homemade savouries and pastries and (of course) fluffy scones – and if you fancy a bit of tipple, compliment your afternoon tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.


The Grand Saloon, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

If you don’t mind travelling to central London, you can’t possibly miss the absolutely fabulous afternoon tea at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane (we haven’t – read our review!). It’s amazing, it’s fancy and it has some truly interesting twists on the traditional offering, including scones served with whipped butter rather than clotted cream. Very yummy – and looks super glamorous.


Tasha’s Tearoom, Cheam

For something slightly more lowkey, head to Tasha’s Tearoom in Cheam. – an independent, family-run tearoom where all food is made using fresh, seasonal ingredients and served on fine bone china. It’s very adorable and vintage, and sublimely instagrammable.


Willow Bough, Wimbledon

Willow Bough has afternoon tea choices galore: select between the traditional offering, inspired by nature William Morris afternoon tea, Rose Lamartine Yates afternoon tea in the colours of Women’s Social & Political Union, a Chocoholics afternoon tea, a vegetarian George Bernard Shaw afternoon tea and Little Darlings afternoon tea for your well, little darlings. How awesome is that?