From fantas(t)y treats in a fairy-tale wonderland to chic Christmas cakes and sweets, experience this season's best afternoon teas in central London. Escape the bustle of everyday life as you sip tea (or champagne) and reconnect with loved ones. Pick from our favourite festive afternoon teas for a unique Christmas present and way to wind down 2021.
1. The Langham
Try Cinderella's white chocolate shoe with The Langham's afternoon tea, a perfect fit for the festive season. Whether a treat for your partner or surprise for the kids, prepare for a true fairy-tale experience set to the soothing soundtrack of the hotel's piano. Come hungry and work your way through its indulgent collection of sandwiches, savoury cheese scones, seasonal cakes and pastries, before finishing with freshly baked scones topped with clotted cream and jam. Heaven.
Book now for £79 per person, or from £82 with champagne.
2. Hotel Café Royal
The Van Gogh Afternoon Tea at Hotel Café Royal is an inspired choice this Christmas. Sample savouries like pulled lamb tarts and delicate crab and black garlic roast beef sandwiches ahead of the main event. Head Pastry chef Michael Kwan brings Van Gogh’s masterpieces to life in his series of artistic fancies. Find creative touches like an edible paintbrush, miniature replica of Van Gogh's Self-Portrait and magical colour-changing tea.
Book now for £65 per person or £75 with champagne.
3. The Stafford
Take an epicurean tour of St James's with afternoon tea at the Stafford inspired by some of the neighbourhood's oldest and best-loved residents. Enjoy the quintessential scone with clotted cream and jam served alongside a warm Paxton & Whitfield Westcombe Cheddar scone with soft cheese and chives. Nibble on a white chocolate and lime top hat which echoes the eminent designs of the world’s oldest hat shop, Lock & Co. Or you may find the shortbread tuxedo representing celebrated tailors Henry Poole & Co more fitting.
Book now for £45 per person or £60 with champagne.
4. The Ritz
Treat that special someone to a traditional afternoon tea with a festive twist in the iconic Palm Court at The Ritz. Expect the usual gourmet sandwiches and mouth-watering scones alongside an assortment of exquisite Christmas cakes and of course, mince pies. Wash everything down with a cup of Christmas tea, infused with orange, apple and cinnamon. Or savour your champagne as you get into the spirit surrounded by the uplifting sounds of the Ritz choir.
Book now for £85 per person, or £85-91 with champagne.
5. Fortnum & Mason
Your Christmas experience at Fortnum & Mason begins the moment you enter its bauble-studded doors. Sit down to a sumptuous afternoon tea inside the famous Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Keep all palettes happy and choose between a classic afternoon tea or swap out the sweets for its savoury menu which offers a splendid spread of cheese scones, a rich duck and pistachio mousse, stilton and port cheesecake and more.
Book now for £65 per person.
Plan more time together and settle in to a leisurely Christmas meal in London’s West End. Don’t want your evening to end? Prolong the party with the best places for a Christmas cocktail nearby.