The best places to go for festive afternoon tea in London

It's a totally made-up holiday, but it involves cake so we're fully embracing it! Here are some of the best afternoon teas on offer

Stylish spots in the capital for when you need a hit of cake (and sandwiches, obvs)

Looking for the best afternoon tea in London? As people of Britain, it's our God-given right to indulge our sweet tooth in lavish surroundings at least once a year as part of the sacred ritual that is High Tea.

From tiny sandwiches cut into squares (never triangles – please) to cherry-topped desserts and immaculate white-gloved waiters, here are the best places to have afternoon tea in London.

For a quirky and unexpected take on the traditional high tea, opt for an afternoon spent in Sketch's Gallery room. With its plush baby pink velvet interior and walls covered in humorous posters, the decor is as much a part of the experience as the delicacies it serves.

If you can make it down before 6th January, you're in for a treat, since you'll be able to enjoy Sketch's Festive Afternoon Tea. From £75 per person, you can expect to feast on traditional scones, a selection of Christmas-inspired mini cakes (we loved the cranberry Battenberg and Cherry and Coconut Globe decorated with Santa's belt buckle) a string of more-ish sandwiches (the Christmas truffle brioche is the star here) AND your very own Sugar Plum Fairy ballerina performance.

If you've still got room after that, you even get a slice of bonus Yule log cake.

The Christmas Afternoon Tea starts from £75 per person and goes up to £77 if you would like to enjoy your high tea with some added bubbly. 

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Christmas Afternoon Tea, Kona

Tucked inside the opulent courtyard of Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences is Kona, just one of the hotel's many eateries - infamous for its award-winning themed afternoon teas, including Alice's Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea, inspired by the much loved children's classic Alice in Wonderland.

For Christmas though, we're into their festive-themed tea, which includes savoury Festive fancies - such as Honey & mustard roasted turkey, cranberry chutney & quail egg pie and Sweet Tidings - including Manjari chocolate mousse, chocolate sable & reindeer horns. Yum.

The Afternoon Tea costs £60, and is available until 2nd January.

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Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum and Mason

(Image credit: Fortnum and Mason)

For a quintessentially British high tea, take a seat at Fortnum and Mason's; set with crockery so fine, even the queen would be impressed, this is an experience for those seeking tradition steeped in abundant elegance mixed with a hint of teal. You can look forward to a selection of finger sandwiches filled with reformed takes on British classics: cucumber with mint cream cheese, smoked salmon with tartare dressing and Norfolk cured ham with english mustard to name but a few. And of course, no high tea would be complete without a roster of lovingly crafted patisseries - think, scones accompanied with rich clotted cream and strawberry preserve as well as a carriage brimming with cakes.

The Afternoon Tea costs £70 per person and is served with Fortnum's famous British tea.

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Christmas High Palms High Tea, The Landmark

Served beneath the luscious palms of the hotel's elegant Winter Garden Restaurant, you can sit back and relax all the while indulging in a cream tea or two over the festive period. With the soft sound of a piano playing in the background, The Landmark promises refinement in a soothing, utterly tranquil atmosphere.

The menu is every bit as appealing, offering warm freshly baked cranberry and orange scones Cornish clotted cream and choice of jams, delicate sandwiches and yule-inspired cakes.

Christmas Afternoon tea at The Landmark costs £68 per person including a Glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée. 

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Festive Prêt-à-Portea, The Berkeley

For the fashionista extraordinaire, this festive twist on the iconic haute couture inspired afternoon tea is as beautiful as it is delicious. Expect the usual fashion-inspired delicacies, as well as festive treats and your choice of a mocktail, a glass of champagne or a glass of mulled wine..

From £79 per person, until 2nd January 2022 only.

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Festive Afternoon Tea, The Lanesborough

In the heart of Knightsbridge, The Lanesborough hotel’s special Peggy Porschen is back for another season. Festive finger sandwiches include Christmas turkey & stuffing as well as Roast beef & horseradish cream, and sweet treats to look forward to are Frangipane & mince pie tartlet and Peppermint & chocolate chip cupcake to name a few. The experience is completed by festive entertainment daily at Céleste, with carol singers bringing festive cheer on weekdays and our resident pianist Brian Morris performing on weekends.

The Festive Afternoon Tea is available until 5th January 2022 at The Lanesborough, priced from £75 per person with a Paradis Chocolate Martini or £78 with a glass of champagne.

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Designer Afternoon Tea, Thomas' Cafe at Burberry

best afternoon tea in london

(Image credit: Jamie Lau)

Head to the Burberry flagship store on Regent Street to delight in a truly British offering at Thomas' Cafe - primed and ready for Instagram. With all the classic staples like delicate finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of miniature desserts including blackberry marshmallow teacake and classic fondant fancy, it's all served on a vintage-chic brass cake stand. It also washes down a little too easily with a complimentary glass of sparkling Kent rose.

Afternoon tea is priced from £46 per person without alcohol and £58 served with 2015 Gusbourne Rosé, Kent, England.

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