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Honest Mum's Top 5 Afternoon Teas

Afternoon Tea is one of the simplest yet most elegant English culinary rituals. Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, is commonly credited as inventing afternoon tea after feeling peckish in between lunch and dinner when she visited Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire in 1840. Since then, we’ve been enjoying this light supper of tea, scones, cakes and sandwiches as the years have gone on, the ingredients and styles of afternoon tea have developed and expanded to please all palettes and dietary requirements.

Here are my 5 top spots in London.

  1. The Royal Garden Hotel

The Royal Garden Hotel’s Afternoon Tea is award-winning and comes in at the top spot. With fresh, seasonal ingredients and options made to your request, you can enjoy unlimited and delightful sandwiches, raisin and cinnamon scones, delicate cakes and fine loose tea, all to the sound of a pianist playing for your pleasure. You can even upgrade to the Royal Tea, adding a glass of champagne accompanied by strawberries with vintage balsamic drizzle. This is all enjoyed in the Restaurant Terrace overlooking Kensington Palace. An afternoon tea fit for royalty!

  1. The Ritz

The Ritz are renowned for their afternoon tea, and set in the mirrored Palm Court Salon. You can opt from 16 types of tea with your crustless sandwiches, macaroons and fruit tarts. Do note that there’s a dress code with men being required to wear a jacket and tie, women can be less formal but there is a no jean and trainer rule. 

  1. Claridges

Claridges offer two sittings for afternoon tea, either in the elegant Foyer or the more discreet Reading Room so do mention when you book. Freshly baked scones, four types of sandwiches and 24 varieties of loose tea and a cellist and pianist awaits you.

  1. Diptyque

Diptyque afternoon Tea at Hotel Royal Cafe is one to remember. In collaboration with French perfumer and artist, Diptyque, you can enjoy this decadent afternoon tea in the Oscar Wilde Lounge. The afternoon tea is inspired by some of the most favoured scents in the Diptyque collection, including violet and lemon verbena and Tahitian vanilla. Perfect for a Hen Do or girlie experience.

  1. Afternoon Tea on the River Thames

Get on board a river boat and drink tea in style on the River Thames. The cruise sets off from the Tower of London to the Houses of Parliament and back again, allowing you to take in the views as you enjoy traditional sandwiches and scones. Spot Shakespeare's Globe, Tower Bridge and the Tate Modern and add a glass of bubbles too!

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