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Delicate finger sandwiches, tempting cakes, pots of steaming tea, scones with lashings of jam and cream. With so many delicious ingredients, it's no wonder traditional afternoon tea remains as popular as ever. There are many top hotels, restaurants and cafes serving afternoon tea in London to this day, and there are many varieties available — from classic afternoon tea to low-calorie alternatives and even a gentleman's afternoon tea.
The afternoon tea is a rather elegant affair, so don't waste the opportunity to wear something smart and you'll feel right at home. The establishments in our list of the most notable afternoon teas all have dress code requirements.
Afternoon Tea at The RitzAfternoon tea at The Ritz is a London institution. In fact, it's so popular that you have to book at least four weeks in advance. There is a stunning total of five afternoon tea sittings every day to keep up with demand and they all take place in the building's beautiful Palm Court. Once you're comfortably settled in, you can tuck into one of the four afternoon tea options available and choose from 17 different types of loose-leaf tea while you listen to the pianist or harpist softly playing in the background.
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Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & MasonIn 2012, Fortnum & Mason's newly renamed Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was officially inaugurated by the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge. Today, having afternoon tea or high tea in the Tea Salon is a suitably regal matter. A selection of cakes and pastries from the Coronation Cake Carriage, salmon blinis, and tea and cake pairing menus are all available.
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Afternoon Tea at Brown's HotelAfternoon tea at Brown's Hotel is served in the cozy, timeless setting of the English Tea Room, complete with wood paneling, fireplaces and original art. Tuck into a selection of sweet and savory snacks and enjoy a cup of tea from Brown's unique Prestige Seasonal Tea Library, all to the sound of music from the Baby Grand Piano. And have your plate replenished at no additional charge.
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Afternoon Tea at Hotel Café RoyalLadies and gentlemen, pick your best jacket because afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal requires you to be dressed appropriately. And for good reason. During the week, tea is taken in the excellent Ten Room restaurant, whereas weekend bookings are served in the glamorous Oscar Wilde Lounge, named this way because the man himself was a regular patron. There is nothing standard about this experience — delightful surprises at every step.
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Afternoon Tea at The DorchesterAfternoon tea is served five times a day at The Dorchester in the timeless Promenade and at the elegant Spatisserie. Choose from Vintage Afternoon Tea on The Balcony, the Dorchester Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea or the bite-size Spatisserie Afternoon Tea. Special seasonal teas are also available at different times of the year.
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Afternoon Tea at Royal Albert HallAny music enthusiast will want to book afternoon tea at the Royal Albert Hall. This iconic London venue has hosted countless numbers of memorable concerts throughout the years and it is home to the annual BBC Proms. Afternoon tea is served in the venue's very own Verdi Restaurant, from Wednesday to Sunday. Twinings tea is served alongside sweet treats and finger sandwiches. If you would like a classier upgrade you can always order a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne.
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Afternoon Tea at Roseate HousePlanning to visit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens? Exploring the canals around Little Venice and Paddington? Why not take some time out to rest and have afternoon tea at the luxurious Roseate House London (formerly known as Royal Park Hotel). Indulge your tastebuds and try the fresh raisin scones with Devonshire clotted cream, the lemon posset, the carrot cake, the Victoria sponge and the specialty loose leaf tea.
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Afternoon Tea at The GoringIndulge your royal fantasies with an afternoon tea at The Goring, just a few steps away from Buckingham Palace. This hotel has been perfecting the art of afternoon tea for more than a century. So much so that it was presented with the British Tea Guild Council’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award. The five-star experience includes the option to take tea on The Terrace overlooking The Goring Gardens.
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Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at the Palace HotelThe Rubens at the Palace Hotel offers a quintessentially English afternoon tea with a view over the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. This elegant 4-star hotel serves fragrant traditional English tea, complemented with delicate finger sandwiches and selections of sweet treats.
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