London's best luxury afternoon teas for Mother's Day, from the Shard to the Ritz

berkeley afternoon tea
Cakes and fancies are inspired by couture catwalks at The Berkeley

The Langham London

The setting

Glide through the marvellous marble lobby of the Langham London三级成人视频 - bang opposite the BBC in the West End - and ensconce yourself in pastel-coloured heaven, where a blue grand piano reworks classics and every handbag is offered a little stool of its own to perch on while you eat.

The Palm Court is one of the loveliest tea rooms in London and it strikes just the right notes of femininity and glamour. And so it should: The Langham has been serving afternoon tea since it opened in 1865. The room itself is fairly large but the service is attentive and noise levels never rise above a contented murmur.

The entrance to The Langham's Palm Court

The tea

A clear sense of tradition, light scones paired with delicious clotted cream, Langham’s homemade Jam and delicately cut finger sandwiches start the formalities. But seasonal ingredients are the big obsession here, so much so that the tea has been christened SeasonaliTea and features the finest ingredients, for the best flavours possible.

三级成人视频Still, classic flavours have their place; if you come along with a hankering for cucumber sandwiches and strawberry jam, the Palm Court delivers those too. Tea choices are extensive. Offering an extensive range of white, green and black teas, the team of tea sommeliers are on hand to guide you through them.

Floral Wedgwood crockery adds a feminine note to afternoon tea at The Langham

The flourishes

A三级成人视频 dainty cup of jasmine tea appears just as you’re seated, and if there’s anything you don’t manage to eat by the end of your sitting, take it home: The Langham’s origami-like floral-printed doggy bags are beyond chic.

三级成人视频Naturally, pastries arrive on a silver stand, and their delicacy is tempered by the knowledge that pastry chef Andrew Gravett works to create mouthful-sized cakes that are fun and flavourful. The cakes update regularly dependent on what is in season and are brought to life with a reduction of refined sugar to really highlight the natural flavours of the ingredients.

三级成人视频Add a glass of champagne if you’ve got no plans later on, or upgrade your menu to a High Tea, which includes an extra savoury course such as Lobster cocktail with avocado and cep sable, or a roasted squash and comté pickled beetroot tartlet.

Best for

Special occasion teas to treat the deserving person in your life, or a romantic mid-afternoon feast à deux.

The details

Afternoon tea is served from 12.30 -5.30pm and costs from £62 per person. Champagne afternoon tea costs £75 per person.

Portland Place, London, W1B 1JA; 

The Ritz

The setting

三级成人视频Unsurprisingly for a hotel that’s a byword for opulence, afternoon tea in the Palm Court has to be, well, the ritziest in London. White tablecloths, gilded chandeliers and lofty ceilings provide the requisite sense of pomp and splendour, while shades of pink and gold, and the tinklings of a live piano, make for a genteel atmosphere.

Afternoon tea at the Ritz's Palm Court is an opulent affair

Take note of the formal dress code: gentlemen must wear a suit and tie, and while there are no hard and fast rules for women, even your fanciest glad rags couldn’t outdo the splendid surroundings.

The tea

Quintessentially English, with a five-star polish. Finger sandwiches are a roll-call of classics: cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and lemon butter, egg mayonnaise and so on - crusts off, naturally - with extra options available for vegetarians.

Freshly baked scones - plain and raisin - are gargantuan, crumbly affairs, served with Cornish clotted cream and Ritz-made jam. Photogenic pastries, made by the hotel’s pastry chef, vary seasonally, while the day’s freshly-baked cakes are served from an old-school dessert trolley.

Twenty-one varieties of tea, selected by the Ritz’s ‘tea sommelier’, include several exclusive to the hotel, and three exotic prestige blends that incur a £5 supplement. Everything is refillable, so it may actually be the world’s classiest all-you-can-eat.

The hotel's Palm Court 

The flourishes

Champagne afternoon tea comes with a glass of Champagne Barons de Rothschild Ritz Reserve - as the name suggests, served exclusively at The Ritz in London and Paris. Service is every bit as refined as the fine bone china and polished silver cake stand on which it is served.

三级成人视频Dapper staff provide a sense of ceremony without veering into fawning territory, and resident pianist Ian Gomes has been taking requests for 25 years and counting. His biggest crowd-pleaser? Puttin’ on the Ritz.

Best for

Marking a seriously special occasion; celebration cakes, ordered 48 hours in advance, come out to a chorus of ‘Happy Birthdays’.

The details

Afternoon tea is served daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Traditional afternoon tea costs £60 per person, Champagne afternoon tea costs £79 per person.

150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR;


The setting

A dash across the chequerboard marble floor of Claridge’s lobby, the hotel’s Foyer and Reading Room is a stalwart of the afternoon tea tradition. Starched white tablecloths, towering floral displays and original art deco mirrors make for a stylish backdrop, and there’s a genuine sense of occasion thanks to the ceremonious bustling of white-jacketed waiters.

Champagne afternoon tea at Claridge's

Groups can cocoon themselves on leather sofas or banquettes in the cosier Reading Room, set behind those mirrors. Flash or ‘intrusive’ photography is banned - as are ripped jeans and flip-flops, as befits the refined setting.

The tea

Having served afternoon tea for over 150 years, Claridge’s has the finer details down to a tee. Sandwich fillings are meticulously measured so that their innards - whether Clarence Court duck egg and mustard cress or chicken, lemon thyme mayonnaise and gem lettuce - are precisely the same width as the uniform slices of (laterally cut) bread either side.

Scones are served with clotted cream and Marco Polo gelee at Claridge's

Such attention-to-detail is evident throughout the tea: neat pairs of scones, plain and raisin, are baked to a consistent golden hue, their upright silhouettes echoing the jade-and-white striped pots in which clotted cream and Marco Polo gelée (“one of the finest jams in the world”) is served.

Beautifully decorated pastries change every week - crafted by Parisian pâtissier Jérôme Chaucesse, they add French flair to this most British meal, and might include orange mousseline Opéra gâteau or miniature chestnut and honey éclairs. A 26-strong tea menu is one of just two in the world that offers ultra-rare Malawi Antler tea, alongside a bespoke Claridge’s blend.

The flourishes

三级成人视频Staff are expert when it comes to making guests feel at once cosseted and comfortable; as if helping oneself to a puff-pastry tart from a tiered silver stand to the strains of a live piano-cellist duo is an everyday occurrence. An extra course of profiteroles was an entirely unnecessary but welcome surprise; as were the packet of Claridge’s sweets offered as a gift, alongside the beautifully packaged up leftover pastries, at the end.

Pastries add French flair to the menu

Best for

三级成人视频Traditionalists who want to feel spoilt for a few hours.

The details

Afternoon tea is served in eight sittings daily, between 2.45pm and 5.30pm, and costs £70 per person, or £80 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut.

Brook Street, London W1K 4HR;

Ting, Shangri-La at the Shard

The setting

London’s highest afternoon tea is served from the 35th floor of the Shard, amid the polished calm of the Shangri-La hotel’s Ting restaurant and lounge. The decor is inoffensive, contemporary five-star hotel chic with an Asian flavour courtesy of delicate bamboo-style screens and the odd decorative lacquer and gold-leaf cabinet.

London's highest afternoon tea, served at Ting at the Shangri-La Hotel

B三级成人视频ut you’re not here for the furnishings: the jaw-dropping 360-degree view of London from the wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows is all the decoration you need.

The tea

With a menu that changes seasonally, the tea fuses the traditional roster of finger sandwiches and scones with delectable, Asian-inspired twists. Vegetarian sandwiches include a spicy nut and tomato mix along with cucumber, pink pepper and cheddar on beetroot bread, and sweets might include sesame, yuzu and lemon choux, mango and coconut chocolate brownie, or vanilla rice pudding with rhubarb.

Everything is daintily sized, so you won’t feel overly indulgent ordering refills - which are unlimited. Finish up with a slice of cake - chocolate and pistachio marble, perhaps. Effusive service amps up the special-occasion nature; guests are never made to feel rushed, and are encouraged to explore the 32-strong list of teas while drinking in those city views.

Ting's afternoon tea offers traditional flavours with an Asian-inspired twist

The flourishes

三级成人视频The ceremony begins with porcelain bowls of palette-cleansing fruit tea, presented on what resembles a bamboo steamer over which water is poured, dousing the table in a creeping layer of dry ice. It’s a flamboyant start, and everything that follows is just as meticulously presented, without ever drawing attention away from the setting.

Best for

Out-of-towners who want a unique view of London’s most iconic landmarks.

The details

Afternoon tea is served from 12pm - 4pm Monday to Saturday, and from 12pm - 6pm Sundays. It costs £59 per person, or £69 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU;

Fortnum & Mason

The setting

The grande dame of traditional afternoon tea establishments, the Fortnum & Mason facade on Piccadilly is as identifiable as its peppermint green carrier bags and signage. And that traditionalism carries through into the dainty eau-de-nil and dove grey tones of the grandly titled Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, which exudes the kind of white-gloved, Edwardian charm you’d expect aboard a turn-of-the-century ocean liner.

The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon

The tea

Flutes of champagne arrive as if by magic as we settled into our seats and we were impressed that, despite the old-world environment, Fortnum & Mason is progressive in its menu offerings: vegan, gluten free and dairy free items all feature.

三级成人视频Vegetarians the world over tend to be lumped with one-note risotto, but this menu is expansive and interesting; pickled celeriac with kale pesto sandwiches, alongside more traditional cheese and red onion, and marmalade and cucumber (with the addition of mint cream cheese).

We opted for the savoury afternoon tea; the usual fruit scones are replaced by Shropshire blue cheese with cranberry jelly, and confections take the form of delicious canape “desserts”.

The refined afternoon tea

The servings are, thankfully, light; no sooner have we bid farewell to the mini sweet offerings than the arrival of the princely-sounding “Cake Carriage” sweeps ceremoniously to our table.

T三级成人视频here are myriad teas on offer; our waiter guides us to the herbal infusions for a more innovative take on afternoon tea, with blends of sour cherry and orange that tastes almost cocktail-like, and a peppery, aniseed mix of liquorice, mint and lemon verbena.

The flourishes

The showstopper cakes are a fitting grand finale; a traditional line up of British favourites such as lemon drizzle and Victoria Sponge are perfectly in-keeping with the coiffed clientele in Sunday best.

Best for

三级成人视频Sightseers in town for a traditional, authentic London experience.

The details

Afternoon tea costs £60 per person, with champagne from £13.50 per glass.

181 Piccadilly, W1A,

The Corinthia

The setting

A few steps up from the Corinthia hotel’s三级成人视频 flower-filled lobby, the Crystal Moon Lounge is dominated by an enormous Baccarat chandelier hanging from the domed skylight.

A three-tier cake trolley provides an almost overwhelming array of dessert options at The Corinthia

D三级成人视频espite the room’s soaring ceiling and stately columns, ‘lounge’ still feels apt: groups can linger on sofas, while couples can relax on slipper chairs around the central floral display, or, more comfortably perhaps, in the leather wingback armchairs that line the windows onto the internal courtyard.

三级成人视频Bright and contemporary, it feels more relaxed than other, chintzier five-star hotels; or as relaxed as it’s possible to feel beneath two tonnes of crystal baubles.

The tea

三级成人视频There’s no prize for guessing the contents of the sandwiches that are delivered to the table on dainty silver trays, but each classic flavour comes with a twist: egg mayonnaise is truffled, while smoked salmon is accompanied by marmalade curd. Rhubarb and Litsea Cubeba jam makes a delicious alternative to strawberry (which is also served) - and there’s an almost overwhelming choice of desserts, wheeled around the room on a three-tier trolley.

The Corinthia's afternoon tea is served on custom-made Richard Brendon striped bone china

We loved the miniature salted caramel, pecan and chocolate mousse and lemon drizzle cake so much that we had extras packaged up to take home. The tea menu includes a bespoke Corinthia blend in three different strengths along with a decent selection of caffeine-free options, and staff will urge you to finish with the marshmallow-topped hot chocolate.

The flourishes

三级成人视频With tables set with striped bone china by Richard Brendon and hefty crystal champagne flutes - more Baccarat - there’s little space left, so desserts are presented on a tiered stand on the side, while scones come in a padded jewellery-box-like container, the better to keep them warm.

The woman wielding the dessert trolley was compelling in her attempts to make us try as many as possible; the long strands of flavoured marshmallow, snipped into pieces at the table, are impossible to decline.

Best for

三级成人视频Groups looking for a glamorous yet relaxed spot to settle in for the afternoon.

The details

三级成人视频Afternoon tea is served from 2-6pm weekdays, and 12-6pm at the weekend. Traditional afternoon tea is £55 per person, or £65 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne.

Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD;

The Collins Room at The Berkeley

The setting

Nestled between Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens, The Berkeley is a five-star hotel in a prime Knightsbridge location. The Collins Room, a bright, spacious and modern light-flooded conservatory, makes for a refreshing setting for afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea here is as much a lesson in the history of the catwalk as it is about enjoying the opulent bakes

T三级成人视频he glass tables play host to custom-designed Wedgwood tableware in shades of lilac and yellow, alongside pink-hued roses and powder-pink lamps for when the evening sets in. For the comfiest seating, try to secure a corner table, where you can sink into sofas for the afternoon.

The tea

The Berkeley's Pret-a-Portea is something of legend among fashion followers, and the current Couture Cakewalk edition is a brightly coloured hit, tailored to guests’ likes and dislikes.

The main event is the selection of seven cakes and fancies inspired by iconic catwalk moments

A三级成人视频 savoury selection of sandwiches on different breads, from brioche to seven grains, includes fillings ranging from heirloom beetroots and horseradish-scented feta to home-smoked salmon with shallot soya mirin butter. A side of savoury treats comes with a French flourish, including baked camembert brioche with spiced Victoria plum jam.

The main event, though, is the selection of seven cakes and fancies inspired by the most iconic catwalk moments of recent times, from the Moschino million-dollar bill topping a pistachio delice to the glittering spun-sugar reincarnation of the neon pink Molly Goddard dress that Villanelle wore in Killing Eve

The flourishes

Champagne Prêt-à-Portea comes with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, Laurent-Perrier Rosé or Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature. As the three tiers of couture-themed cakes and sweets are set down, the knowledgeable and friendly staff talk through the menu; it’s as much a lesson in the history of the catwalk as it is about enjoying the opulent bakes.

The Moschino million dollar bill-topped pistachio delice 

Best for

三级成人视频Fashion-lovers with hours to spare.

The details

Prêt-à-Portea – Couture Cakewalk is served from 1pm-5:30pm every day. It costs £60 per person, £70 including a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne, or £76 per person including a glass of rosé champagne.

Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL;

The Rosebery at The Mandarin Oriental

The setting

The Mandarin Oriental三级成人视频 is one of the most decadent hotels in London and, with its unmistakable Victorian facade and the famous Bar Boulud by its side, it draws a well-heeled crowd. Named after Lord Rosebery, the tearoom started life in 1889, becoming popular with the Prime Minister in the 1920s before it eventually closed in 1929.

Reopening last summer after extensive renovations, the hotel has never felt more fresh - and The Rosebery has not been left behind, with bright and glamorous interiors also updated by interior designer Joyce Wang.

The light-filled space has an opulent art déco bar (complete with a moving portrait of a peacock that catches you off-guard mid-scone) and an exceptional, 'Travel the World' afternoon tea. Original Victorian features, such as high ceilings and an immense fireplace, combined with modern artistic flourishes make this a grand spot to take tea.

Original Victorian features, such as high ceilings and an immense fireplace, combined with modern artistic flourishes make the Mandarin Oriental a grand spot to take tea

The tea

三级成人视频Finger sandwiches are made even easier, served pinched together like sushi rolls, and the globally-influenced fillings make for an exciting twist on the traditional tea. The Portland crab, wasabi tobiko, crayfish, miso, coriander and yuzu sandwiches have quite a kick, and the salmon, teriyaki and asparagus sandwich rolls are perfectly balanced.

There are, of course, plenty of teas on offer, from green to puer, and there is a supplementary charge for some of the more elaborate oolong varieties. Especially enjoyable is the Oriental Beauty, a bright citrus tea from Taiwan.

Finally, handmade pastries and scones, both raisin and plain, are hung on an ornate metal branch by your table. Taking inspiration from different cities around the world, the patisseries range from 'Ride Around a Rickshaw in Kyoto' (a grapefruit, grape, pear & lemon sponge) to 'Sweet Treat in St Petersburg' (a honey Russian cake, sour cream mousse and honeycomb gel). 

The Rosebery's 'Travel the World' afternoon tea

The flourishes

A number of upgrades are available for a supplementary price, from a glass of Ruinart blanc de blancs to an Alsacian grand cru.

Make the most of your location by opting for the Sake Afternoon Tea and enjoy a trio of pairings; Akitabare “Shunsetsu” Honjozo (Spring Snow) is matched with sandwiches, Dewazakura “Oka” Ginjo (Cherry Bouquet) with scones, and Ume No Yado - Aragoshi Umeshu to finish off with, alongside the pastries.

The Oriental Beauty, a bright citrus tea from Taiwan, is a refreshing tea to choose

Best for

三级成人视频Those who love worldwide flavours and are seeking a twist on the traditional.

The details

The traditional afternoon tea costs £58 per person, with a supplement of £14 for champagne, £18 for rose, and £19 for a selection of three different sakes.

66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA;

Oscar Wilde Lounge at Hotel Café Royal

The setting

三级成人视频This low-lit lounge is lavish, with a pianist tinkling away at the centre, gold and mirrored walls, ceiling murals and pink roses cascading from the ceiling and across the doorway - through which excited faces peek, to catch a glimpse of this magnificent setting.

The best tables are those that come with plush red settees, allowing you to relax into the afternoon of indulgence. And you’re in good company; Virginia Woolf, Noel Coward and Lord Alfred Douglas are just some of the members of high society who would take tea at Hotel Café Royal in times gone by.

This low-lit lounge is lavish, with gold and mirrored walls, ceiling murals and pink roses cascading from the ceiling and across the doorway

The tea

T三级成人视频he concept of afternoon tea was Victorian, invented to fill the ever-so-long gap between lunch and dinner. In celebration of Queen Victoria, Hotel Café Royal offers The Queen of Afternoon Teas.

Each sandwich, pastry and cake is inspired by the late queen, from curried chicken sandwiches - marking her influence in India - to the rose and lychee mousse with raspberry jam, inspired by her preferred scent of Bulgarian roses.

With over 30 teas on the menu (and available for sale) it is wise to ask for advice when choosing. For a fruity flourish, opt for the hibiscus tea; a scarlet infusion of forest fruits and hibiscus flower.

The Queen of Afternoon Teas was created in celebration of Queen Victoria

The flourishes

三级成人视频As each part of this very traditional afternoon tea is laid before you, waiting staff will explain how each element is linked to Queen Victoria. Upgrades to include champagne are available, but if you want to stretch your experience into a whole luxurious day, Hotel Café Royal also offers an afternoon tea and spa package for £225 on weekdays.

This includes the champagne afternoon tea, a 90-minute aromatherapy facial or massage at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing and full access to spa facilities.  

Each sandwich, pastry and cake presented before you is inspired by the late queen

Best for

Royal followers with a penchant for opulence, gold, and more gold.

The details

The Queen of Afternoon Teas costs £55 per person, £65 per person including a glass of Veuve Clicquot, £70 per person including a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé, and £75 per person including a glass of Ruinart blanc de blancs.

10 Air Street, W1B 4DY;

The Mirror Room at the Rosewood London

The setting

Located at the heart of the Rosewood London三级成人视频, the Mirror Room is designed to resemble a jewel box, with artfully curated floor to ceiling mirrors and spacious, lounge-style seating. It’s a vast and relaxed space, which works both for tea for two and for larger groups. Books, clocks and trinkets and forest green hues give it a homely feel, as if you’re in a grand, welcoming living room.

The Mirror Room is designed to be like a jewel box, with artfully curated floor to ceiling mirrors and spacious, lounge-style seating

The tea

三级成人视频Contrary to the relaxed vibe of the Mirror Room, the Picasso Art Afternoon Tea models itself on the Spanish painter, sculptor and printmaker's bright and bold aesthetic. Executive pastry chef Mark Perkins drew inspiration from elements of Picasso's Cubism and Surrealism contributions, and the quirky decor of The Rosewood London itself.

Whilst the sandwiches - traditional and not themed - are perfectly well put together and enjoyable, the experience is elevated a notch when the pastries are set down, each taking after a Picasso artwork.

A light, airy sponge made with meringue, infused with colourful orange blossom and honey ganache and topped with Turron flavoured whipped chocolate cream depicts Oh Those Guitars (1921) and and a Valrhona Jivara chocolate mousse with orange genoise and mango jelly with passion fruit references The Dream (1932). All are delightful in aesthetic as well as to eat.

The Picasso Art Afternoon Tea models itself on the Spanish painter, sculptor and printmaker's bright and bold aesthetic Credit: Patricia Niven

The flourishes

三级成人视频The infusions on offer are bought in from Mariage Frères, the French tea company that, having operated since 1854, is one of the oldest in the world.

The waiting staff have an incredibly in-depth knowledge of these teas, and, for a supplementary charge, you can try some unusual varieties like the Maori Blue; harvested in the Waikato district in New Zealand it is known for its ecological diversity and aromas of clover, honey, sandalwood and vanilla.

This cake is inspired by Picasso's Oh Those Guitars (1921)    Credit: Patricia Niven

Best for

Cubism fans who are big on aesthetic and enjoy a relaxed vibe.

The details

The Picasso Art Afternoon Tea costs £65 per person, £75 per person with a glass of Ruinart Brut and £110 per person with a glass of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008.

252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN;

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