This week is Afternoon Tea Week, and London can be considered the hub of afternoon tea, with places such as The Ritz and Kensington Palace the most sought after locations for the occasion.
Its origins date back to the 1800s, when a close friend of Queen Victoria, Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford had a ‘sinking’ feeling in between lunch and dinner, and needed something light to ease her hunger, thus afternoon tea was born.
Whilst not a part of most people’s day to day lives, it was reported in 2019 that Queen Elizabeth II reportedly takes afternoon tea every day which consists of ‘dainty’, crustless sandwiches, sweet treats and scones
With the widely publicised cost of living crisis causing many to be put under financial strain, here’s eight more affordable places in the capital to have afternoon tea.
Hotel Cafe Royal
With many different options, the most enticing at Hotel Cafe Royal looks to be the Sweet Afternoon Bubbles Experience, which costs £45 per person.
Designed by a top chef in the field, you can choose from all of the classics such as Scones, available with blueberries, cream and more.
The option is described, as per the website as: ‘Cakes & Bubbles is a dessert and Champagne experience by Albert Adrià where diners are invited to enjoy a parade of exceptional desserts alongside a curated selection of champagnes and sparkling wines’.
10 Air St, London W1B 4DY
Orangery Kensington Palace
Sat in the heart of Kensington Gardens, this provides the perfect opportunity for a lavish and elegant afternoon.
The location has four stars on Tripadvisor with almost 1,500 reviews.
Despite the location, prices begin at £38 per person, which gets you a selection of afternoon tea sandwiches, scones made with Welsh butter, filled with cream and jam, afternoon tea cakes, served with your choice of tea or coffee.
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX - afternoonteaonline.co.uk/book/orangery-kensington-palace/
Despite being in west London, afternoon tea here is £32 per person from Thursday to Sunday between 3pm and 4:30pm in the main restaurant upstairs.
It’s a slightly different take on a traditional menu, with coronation chicken an option.
From over 2,000 reviews, it has a four star rating.
350 King’s Road, London SW3 5UU, www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk/menus/afternoon-tea/
No3 at Nightingale Place
Overlooking Clapham Common, Nightingale Place has great transport links and is very well priced.
With a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor, you can choose from two options: Sparkling Afternoon Tea, with one glass of Prosecco for £32.00pp or Bottomless Prosecco Afternoon Tea, with unlimited Prosecco for 90 minutes at £40.00pp.
Nightingale Ln, Nightingale Place, London SW4 9AH, www.no3clapham.co.uk/menus/afternoon-tea-menu
Lyaness at Sea Containers London
A whopping 5,609 reviews has left this location with 4.5 star rating, with again, a slight twist on your usual afternoon tea options.
With prices ranging from £35 (boozless afternoon) to £55, the website says that: “Guests will be served a menu of favourite English treats, from pickled cucumber, cream cheese and chives, and smoked salmon, dill and crème fraiche sandwiches, to decadent caramelised banana and chocolate éclair, and coconut panna cotta, berry compote & honeycomb, alongside perfectly matched cocktails using Lyaness’ signature ingredient”.
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD, afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/south-bank/lyaness-at-sea-containers-london
Melody at St Pauls
By far the cheapest option so far, Melody at St Pauls offers three stunning options, two of which are under £40.
The first, the St Paul’s Afternoon Tea, offers Melody’s open sandwiches, homemade scones & pastries, clotted cream and preserves, selection of teas or coffee for £27 per person.
The second option is Champagne Afternoon Tea, which comes with Melody’s open sandwiches, homemade scones & pastries, clotted cream and preserves, selection of teas or coffee and glass of champagne for £38 per person.
From 725 reviews, St Paul’s has a 4.5 star rating.
153 Hammersmith Rd, London W14 0QL, www.themelodyrestaurant.co.uk
Novotel London Bridge
Novotel London Bridge is a 4-star hotel,and is a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as The Shard, Tate Modern and more.
You can enjoy afternoon tea here for as little as £34.99, which boasts a four star rating from 3,000 reviews.
53-61 Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 9HH, afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/south-bank/novotel-london-bridge
A four star review from over 2,500 reviews, Hotel Rafayel has a great deal, afternoon tea for two for £35.
Served 2:30pm - 4pm every day, they say this on their website: “Arguably the most civilised and refined of meals, traditional afternoon tea has finally arrived in Battersea. Enjoy the sophisticated surroundings of our riverside restaurant as we serve you savoury sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a selection of teas and cakes.”
34 Lombard Rd, London SW11 3RF, www.hotelrafayel.com/Afternoon-Tea-for-