The Best Afternoon Tea in London – Most Instagrammable Places

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Blog, London

The classic Afternoon Tea is a British institution. This food extravaganza is a special event, one to get dressed up for and indulge in. Think Pride and Prejudice meets Bridgerton vibes, the style is very formal, fancy and ornate. Here’s my guide to the best Afternoon Tea in London!

About Afternoon Tea in London:

First up, here’s a few things which are handy to know before you book an Afternoon Tea in London.

What is an Afternoon Tea in London?

In a traditional Afternoon Tea in London you’ll find a tiered cake stand with cute crustless finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and sweet jams followed by delicious mini cakes on top. This will be accompanied by fragrant loose leaf teas and a glass of fizz is usually optional. The super fancy ones may have extra sandwiches, more cake from a fancy trolley, a pianist, and super Instagrammable interiors.  

Is every Afternoon Tea in London the same?

One thing to note is that every Afternoon Tea in London is different, there’s classic versions, super modern ones and themed versions created for special events. I love when hotels and restaurants get creative. They are often inspired by calendar events like the Diamond Jubilee or London Fashion Week.

What do I wear for an Afternoon Tea in London?

For the dress code, go as fancy as you can. I think the Ritz must have the strictest dress code (the others more relaxed). This is an excuse for your best dress and heels!

What should I eat before I go to an Afternoon Tea?

Go to an Afternoon Tea hungry! They are very filling so think about your outfit carefully (elasticated waistband is a bonus). Basically if you’re not being carried out of there straight into a taxi, you’re doing it wrong! Most restaurants will let you take a box of treats you couldn’t finish. But there are some that don’t let you take home the extra food (I disagree with this but better to ask so you know).

Do I need to book an Afternoon Tea in advance?

Yes, especially places like The Ritz who book really far in advance. As soon as you know you’re visiting London, get your Afternoon Tea booked!

Ok I think we’re ready to move onto my favourites. Just a note to say things do change swiftly in London so please check the Afternoon Tea and location out on their website beforehand. 

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz – The Classic

The most iconic Afternoon Tea in London is served in The Palm Court at The Ritz. This incredible pink hued room with fresh flowers is so elegant, you’ll feel like you’re in a movie.  I thought that whole ‘dress code at The Ritz’ was a bit of an urban myth until I saw a woman getting a pair of plain back pumps from the cloakroom to replace her trainers. OMG the shame! Make sure you have checked the dress code and dress appropriately, 

best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz_pink best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz

At The Ritz, you’ll be served the best sandwiches, the tastiest scones, fruit macarons and a moussey sweet cake thing (god no Paul Hollywood am I?), a pastry creamy thing and a swirly chocolate nutty coffee thing. There is beautiful music playing on the piano and it is really special to choose an extra slice of special cake from the trolley. You’ll also love the bathrooms, they are so Instagrammable! If you only ever do ONE Afternoon Tea, make sure it is The Ritz. You will seriously feel like you’ve been transported through time with incredible food, impeccable service and lavish interiors. For reference I visited in 2017 when these pictures were taken.

best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz

best_afternoon_tea_london_the_ritz

 

Afternoon Tea at Tiffany Blue Box Cafe in Harrods – The Charming One

If you’ve every wanted to walk into a world created by jewellery brand Tiffany, this is the one! Painted in the beautiful blue hue, the Tiffany Blue Box Cafe in Harrods in Knightsbridge dreamland to enjoy Afternoon Tea in.

 You’ll find this cute cafe downstairs in the historic department store meaning (for us Instagrammers) that there’s a lack of natural light. However, what it lacks in windows, it makes up for in beauty. 

Tiffany’s Afternoon Tea includes sandwiches, scones and delicate desserts including a baby blue chocolate egg. The Tiffany Blue Egg, a key lime and vanilla mousse encased in a coconut chocolate shell, in the original Tiffany’s blue colour inspired by the Robin’s egg.

I absolutely loved the decor and wore a pale blue skirt suit from And Other Stories with a white blouse and white Valentino sandals. For some unknown reason (I blame Reels) there’s a lack of photos from this visit in July 2022 so I will embed my video so you can see.

best_afternoon_tea_london_tiffany_blue_box_cafe_harrods blue skirt and white top best_afternoon_tea_london_tiffany_blue_box_cafe_harrods  best_afternoon_tea_london_tiffany_blue_box_cafe_harrods

 

Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly London

Fortnum & Mason gives me butterflies every single time I visit! I’d lived in London for YEARS before I took a trip to Fortnum & Mason and boy, had I been missing out! There’s the historic and iconic exterior which is turned into an advent calendar at Christmas. From there you’ll enter the ground floor which is full of luxury tea, sweets and chocolates. Upstairs you’ll find interiors and beauty plus downstairs for food and wine.

best_afternoon_tea_london_fortnum_and_mason best_afternoon_tea_london_fortnum_and_mason best_afternoon_tea_london_fortnum_and_mason best_afternoon_tea_london_fortnum_and_mason

I took my mum for Afternoon Tea at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon overlooking Piccadilly so you can look at the streets below! My favourite part was a swan pastry which was so creative. Also enjoyed the gorgeous teas, sandwiches, scones and the ambience created by the pianist on arrival! I wore a printed summer dress and sandals. It was a special time to visit as it was the Queen’s Jubilee when I went! I visited in August 2022, easily the hottest day on record I swear lols.

Afternoon Tea Fortnum London

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cv1hjCOIQ9a/?igsh=MXR6YWkzbW80OHByNg==

Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough

This perfectly pink Afternoon Tea was a gift for my birthday from my friends Rachel and Kate. At the time it was a collaboration with Peggy Porschen cake shop and illustrator Megan Hess. The Lanesborough is just next to Hyde Park on a roundabout, making it a busy place to visit. However, it is perfect for a stroll round the park afterwards or head to nearby Knightsbridge to hit the shops. The room is a beautiful blue and very elegant surroundings. I wore a long floral dress and Valentino Shoes, but the dress code is not as strict as The Ritz (smart casual).

the_lanesborough_afternoon_tea_peggy_porschen the_lanesborough_afternoon_tea_peggy_porschen the_lanesborough_afternoon_tea_peggy_porschen

I love the attention to detail here. The menu was so beautifully illustrated to match the Afternoon Tea. We enjoyed traditional sandwiches and scones with a glass of Mercier Champagne. My favourite part was the decadent and intricate mini cakes on the top including the cutest pink cupcakes. I visited in October 2021.

the_lanesborough_afternoon_tea_peggy_porschenthe_lanesborough_afternoon_tea_peggy_porschen

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CU5X41DoKnu/?igsh=MTdybnQ2cTd3bGVz 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CU24GMrg6b-/?igsh=MXI2dDllM2F0am15cA==

Afternoon Tea at Kona Taj 51

I was invited to this Afternoon Tea by my lovely friend Suze last year. It was one of my most popular Reels because when you open the menu a beautiful (paper) butterfly flies out! Inspired by The Secret Garden, it was full of cute surprises.

To start off, you’re served a wooden box which opens with a gold key (spot the theme) which reveals a chocolate key hidden in the box. I love the attention to detail!

This is followed by sandwiches. My favourite sandwich was the Garden herb roast chicken, lemon mayo on brown bread

The mixed berry scones had a spritz of lavender spray and drizzle of honey

My top dessert was the chocolate brownie crumble in a chocolate flower pot – all edible! Delicious!

We finished off with cup of lavender and camomile tea and a glass of Secret Garden Gin with grapefruit and rosemary tonic. This setting is near St James’ Park and Buckingham Palace so perfect for a stroll afterwards. I visited in March 2023.

Afternoon Tea London Taj 51 Afternoon Tea London Taj 513 Copy Afternoon Tea London Taj 51 Afternoon Tea London Taj 51

Sketch Afternoon Tea in London

Alright – I first went to Sketch a hundred thousand years ago (BEFORE iPhones people – before Instagram!) and back then I was looking for venue for a press event. I remember VIVIDLY this beautiful pink room with textured walls that seemed to have been painted by an artist and had jewels on them. I was in a vintage inspired heaven with cutesy tables and beautiful intricate light. Now that room is a blue/green colour and they informed me it is changing again soon to a new colour scheme but it is divine. 

Also beautiful is the Tea Parlour where you can enjoy afternoon tea and macaroons or booze while you look onto the busy streets of London. There’s also a restaurant upstairs which is more a place for fancy fine dining. Out the back, when I first went was a large dark booming nightclub space where I (THINK) people were kinda hanging out, laying down, taking it all in. 

Now it is transformed into a social media friendly pink restaurant – the perfect place for a classic afternoon tea. The thing that makes this place so talked about are the ‘egg-shaped’ white pod toilets. It is the most amusing place to be watching people take selfies if nothing else 😉

Afternoon Tea London Sketch1 Copy afternoon_tea_london_sketch afternoon_tea_london_sketch afternoon_tea_london_sketchsketch_afternoon_tea_london

Note – this room has now been re-decorated but they still serve Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London

How cute is this Afternoon Tea? I visited The Grand Saloon at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane in March 2022 and loved the interiors. It delivered Bridgerton vibes with huge chandeliers and ornate ceilings. This is actually above the Theatre (as the name suggests) and when I visited, they were showing Frozen. You’re really in the heart of theatreland, so a good place if you have a show booked. These cakes by Lily Vanilli were really spectacular! My fave was the decadent chocolate cake with the cherub on top and green / pink icing.

Afternoon Tea London Theatre Royal Drurys Lane1 CopyAfternoon Tea London Theatre Royal Drurys Lane Afternoon Tea London Theatre Royal Drurys Lane4 Copy Afternoon Tea London Theatre Royal Drurys Lane5 Copy Afternoon Tea London Theatre Royal Drurys Lane

 

Laduree Afternoon Tea in Covent Garden London

In the middle of Covent Garden is the beautiful Laduree which serves a really pretty Afternoon Tea. Covent Garden is a busy hive of smaller shops and cafes which makes it a fun place to visit. I was invited to try this Afternoon Tea by Suze and we met at this pastel coloured cafe. As you can imagine, we had plenty of glorious macarons which Laduree is famous for!

afternoon_tea_london_laduree_covent_garden afternoon_tea_london_laduree_covent_garden

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3sBSEWJssz/?igsh=ZGJ4cmNoZGpod3o2

Houses of Parliament Afternoon Tea

Here’s a curve ball, did you know the Houses of Parliament do an Afternoon Tea? If you book a tour to look round the Houses of Parliament, you can also add on an Afternoon Tea. This might not be the most Instagrammable interiors but you will be in the most historic building! You can also pop out onto the terrace to take a look at the River Thames and Southbank.

Read more about visiting Parliament here.

NakedPR Girl guided tour, UK Parliament, London

NakedPR Girl at UK Parliament

NakedPR Girl at UK Parliament

 

Ivy Asia Afternoon Tea on King’s Road in Chelsea London

An Afternoon Tea with a difference. I got invited to try a new Blossom Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Asia in Chelsea on Kings Road and it was really different. Instead of the traditional scones and sandwiches, we enjoyed Asian treats served on a cherry tree style cake stand delivered with smoke pouring out. 

 afternoon_tea_london_ivy_asia_kings_roa

afternoon_tea_london_ivy_asia_kings_road

The bottom layer had warm food including Aromatic Duck Spring Rolls and Prawn Dumplings, on the next layer we had Steamed Bao Buns and Maki Rolls. The top was my favourite part, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Blossom Trees were sticks of chocolate with a lovely pudding with sweet cherries. Also enjoyed Raspberry Macaroons and the cutest Coconut Doughnuts. The Ivy Asia Afternoon Tea is a lot of bang for your buck and you can add on extra drinks if you wish. 

Afternoon Tea London Ivy Asia Kings Road3 CopyAfternoon Tea London Ivy Asia Kings Road15 Copy

The decor is probably the thing to shout about the most! From the optical illusion style green shiny floor to the cherry blossom interior and exterior, it is very Instagrammable. I teamed my outfit with a Lavender Haze Cocktail (always a Swiftie) which was Haku Vodka, Sakura, Vermouth, Lavender Syrup, Citrus and Lychee Juice.

Love dining out in pretty places?

You’ll love my next blog post on Most Instagrammable Cafes And Restaurants London here.

Elan Cafe Knightsbridge Most Instagrammable Cafes And Restaurants London2

Elan Cafe Knightsbridge Most Instagrammable Cafes And Restaurants London

0 Comments

Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter

Sign up to receive monthly PR tips, interviews and modern marketing updates.

You have Successfully Subscribed!