There is nothing more English than afternoon tea. The tradition was started in 1830 by the Duchess of Bedford when she ordered a light meal be served between lunch and dinner. Today the custom has morphed into a meal reserved for very special occasions particularly in London’s most exclusive venues:


The Savoy

Located in the heart of theatreland, The Savoy has become a favourite of the international jetset. On any given day the hotel is known to play host to royalty and celebrities alike. In fact, Monet painted a series of watercolours of the Thames from his room during his famed residence in the hotel. The afternoon tea lives up to the Savoy’s legacy. Located in the Thames Foyer, guests are surrounded by mirrors. A giant gazebo reminiscent of a birdcage occupies the centre of the space, with the rest of the room in orbit. A resident pianist is on hand to complete the experience.


The Ritz

Perhaps the most renowned in the world, The Ritz serves its afternoon tea in the Palm Court. Featuring a colour palettes of pale green, pink and gold, the space brings luxury, tradition, formality and impeccable service together all under one roof. Waiters are dressed in tails, tea is served on fine bone china and a resident harpist plucks chords in the background. The experience will evoke memories of the imperial grandeur of times past.


The Sanderson – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

In celebration of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Sanderson Hotel has put together London’s most whimsical afternoon tea yet. A nod to the story’s most beloved scene and character, the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is served in the hotel’s courtyard, surrounded by fountains, mosaics and blooming flowers. The menus are enclosed in vintage books, while the napkins wrapped in riddles. Each dish contains references to the books including playing card motifs and sweets in the shape of magic mushrooms.

Art Deco


Known affectionately as “the extension to Buckingham Palace”, Claridge’s hosts its high tea in the Foyer and Reading Room. Having been recently restored in 1999, Claridge’s Art Deco interior was brought back to life. Offering 40 blends of tea from all corners of the globe, Claridge’s offers guests seasonal themes including Chelsea Flower Show, Lawn Tennis and Christmas in addition to a Children’s Afternoon Tea.


Aqua Shard  

Located on the 31st floor of The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, Aqua serves traditional afternoon tea with a twist. Their chicken sandwiches are finished with lavender mayonnaise, salmon smoked with Earl Grey and their freshly baked scones are flavoured with orange blossom. And then there’s the view. Overlooking iconic Tower Bridge, the experience brings so much more than just delightful nibbles to the table.

For more information on afternoon tea in London, contact your Insignia Personal Assistant.

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