This week, we’re celebrating National Afternoon Tea Week. The tradition of Brits taking afternoon tea began back in 1840 when Anne, the 7th Duchess of Bedford began to request tea, and a light snack to stave off mid-afternoon hunger pangs. This tradition developed into the practice with which we are accustomed today: A mid-afternoon dining occasion resplendent with cake, sandwiches, pastries and a pot of tea (and occasionally Champagne!).

As Marie Antoinette was famously quoted, “Let them eat cake”. Here are our top three London Afternoon Tea experiences:

British Afternoon Tea with a twist at The Strand Dining Rooms

The Strand Dining Rooms Afternoon Tea

Enjoy traditional afternoon tea with a twist in the shadow of Nelson’s column at the newly opened Strand Dining Rooms. Located just off Trafalgar Square and priced at £21 or £29 with a glass of Delamotte NV Champagne, guests can enjoy classic scones and tea sandwiches, as well as a selection of pastries and cakes such as Chocolate Orange cake, Banoffee Pie Tartlets and Lemon Drizzle and Basil cake.

Celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week at Hotel Café Royal

cafe royal

Hotel Café Royal’s Importance of Being Earnest Afternoon Tea is the perfect place to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week this month (11-17 August). Executive Chef Andrew Turner and Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Blas’ sumptuous new tea has been created to coincide with the play’s run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Taking inspiration from the play’s characters and history, Turner and Blas have created a unique and playful menu priced at £42 or £55 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot, held in the iconic Oscar Wilde Bar. Click here for more information and to view the menu.

Afternoon Tea in The Palm Court at The Ritz

The Ritz Carlton afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is an institution in itself. Housed in The Palm Court and popular since the hotel first opened in 1906, it has now become the quintessential British experience. An extensive choice of 16 different types of loose leaf tea is offered, including a Ritz Royal English tea, a Lapsang Souchong Imperial, and a Darjeeling First Flush. The traditional English Tea menu includes freshly cut finger sandwiches with six types of filling, warm scones with strawberry preserve and clotted Devonshire cream followed by a delectable selection of cakes and afternoon tea pastries topping the tiered cake stand. Traditional Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is priced at £47 per person, with the option to include a glass of Champagne (£59 per person). Reservations are required (it is recommended they are made well in advance) for a choice of five daily sittings at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm or 7:30pm and can be made either online here, emailing or by calling 020 7300 2345.