‘Tis the season for unashamed over-indulgence, so it’s definitely time for a Christmas afternoon tea.
Few things are as quintessentially British and indulgent as an afternoon tea – but with a Christmas afternoon tea, that indulgence really kicks into overdrive. Cute cafés and fancy hotels alike have been unveiling the best Christmas afternoon teas in London, and we really do want them all. Ah go on, it’s Christmas – we all deserve a treat, right?
1. Christmas afternoon tea at The Savoy
Starting with the big dogs of the Christmas afternoon tea game isn’t exactly a cheap endeavour. But seventy-eight of your hard-won English pounds will win you a mouthwatering selection of carefully prepared sandwiches, with fillings such as Scottish salmon gravaldax with fennel pollen and spinach bread, or Burford Brown eggs with Wiltshire truffle. The Savoy’s afternoon tea pastries and signature Savoy cakes are equally inviting, with delights such as white chocolate ganache and spiced cherry compote and a candied fruits Christmas cake on the menu. There’s also the option to add a glass of fizz, but this will, unsurprisingly, push the price even higher. Find out more here.
2. Christmas pudding macarons and more at Biscuiteers
The biscuit-makers par excellence go ever bigger during the Christmas period. As you’d expect, this Christmas afternoon tea includes a smörgåsbord of festive biscuits, in the shape of trees, presents, and festive jumpers. Biscuiteers are also a dab hand at patisserie, so this tea also boasts treats like Christmas pudding macaroons, cranberry and orange scones with festive jam and cream, and a coconut and pineapple snow cake. Which feels a little like showing off, TBH. You can find out more and book here.
3. Deliciously sweet delicacies at the Royal Lancaster London
For a rather fancy London hotel, the Royal Lancaster does a very reasonably priced Christmas afternoon tea. Starting at £29, you’ll be enjoying a menu of delectable sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats before you can say “bring us some figgy pudding”. The standout offerings here are the roast turkey sandwich topped with cranberry jam, and a Black Forest dark chocolate yule log that just screams Christmas. Here’s all the info.
4. Coconut snowflakes and a glass of fizz at The Ned
Running until December 27th, The Ned’s festive afternoon tea might well be the best in the City of London. In-house British restaurant Millie’s Lounge is another spot opting for the sandwiches-and-sweets approach, but their menu is bolstered by the cute-as-you-like addition of gingerbread and pear Christmas trees and mango and coconut snowflakes. Delectable chocolate caramel mousse and white chocolate and redcurrant choux buns are also on the menu. The tea starts from £55, or £65 if you add champagne – time for a treat yo’ self moment? Discover more here.
5. Discover a Christmassy Peter Rabbit at The Dilly
The Dilly’s location – mere steps from Bond Street’s Christmas lights and the city’s Christmas markets – will certainly get you in the festive mood. But if you’re looking for even more magic to get you in the Christmas mood, don’t miss the Official Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea which brings the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter to life in cake and sweet treat form. Great for kids and adults alike, you’ll get to dine on a cutesy selection of sweet and savoury treats, including ‘Farmyard Friends’ sandwiches, ‘Every Bunny’s Favourite’ carrot cake and ‘Blackberry Bushes’ macaroons. A festive twist includes an edible snowman made from meringue by the hotel’s head pastry chef. And the best part is that this unique Christmas afternoon tea will cost just £29 for kids and £39 for adults. Dive into the enchanting world of Beatrix Potter here.
6. A pre-Winter Wonderland treat at The Chesterfield Mayfair
It’s never been made clear whether The Chesterfield’s Winter Wonderland afternoon tea is inspired by the nearby Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – what we do know is that you could do ’em both in one super-festive day! This Mayfair hotel boasts finger sandwiches and sweet treats, with the vanilla bavarois with apple jelly snowball and the pistachio and cranberry slice standing out. It also begins with a warming glass of mulled wine, which is never a bad idea in our book… All the information can be found here.
7. Twelve days of Christmas at the InterContinental London Park Lane
Another Mayfair hotel, another fab festive afternoon tea. They’ve gone down a more conceptual route for their offering, calling it a Twelve Days of Christmas Afternoon Tea. That means sweet treats including a ‘maids a milking’ chocolate tart, a ‘geese-a-laying’ orange macaron, and a ‘pear tree’ matcha joconde. The partridge, meanwhile, is no longer in the pear tree but inside a pie, which is bad for the partridge but pretty tasty for you. It’s normally £65 with a glass of champagne, but if you pay £94 it comes with unlimited bubbles – and let’s face it, that’s where you’re making your money back… Check it out here.
8. See London Town while you dine with B Bakery
There’s one distinct advantage to this Christmas afternoon tea: it rolls around town, showing you the sights of London with a cup of tea in hand. Having commandeered a Routemaster bus for a more delicious purpose, B Bakery now run the B Bus Tour, with afternoon tea included. Turkey with cheddar and onion chutney sandwiches, smoked salmon pretzels, and chocolate and vanilla cupcakes all grace this menu, and champagne and mulled wine are also available. There are five tours per day, and prices start from £45 – book yourself on one here.
9. Eat like lords and ladies at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate
The former social spot of lords and ladies, Taj 51 is now notorious for their themed afternoon teas. This Christmas, the hotel is going all out – the menu features honey-glazed roast beef and horseradish cream rolls, tutti frutti cinnamon scones with spiced clotted cream and beetroot eclairs with a coronation chicken mousse. The standout treat has to be the honey and mustard roasted turkey, cranberry chutney and quail egg pie. Sittings start from £60 with a glass of Prosecco, and you can find out more here.
10. Luxe out this Christmas at The Landmark London
An iconic London hotel, The Landmark London has been always been a favourite spot to wine and dine. This Christmas they are going one step further with their festive afternoon tea menu, which includes a lip-smackingly good selection of finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and a wide assortment of tasty cakes and pastries – all served in the famous Winter Garden Restaurant. You’ll also get a luxury touch with an included glass of champagne, and prices are £68 per person. You can out more about the hotel’s festive offerings here.
Afternoon teas are for life, not just for Christmas – here are the best year-round afternoon teas in London!
Also published on Medium.