Are you looking for a cultural food experience in London?

Then you have to make time for afternoon tea!

Having afternoon tea is not only delicious, but it is like a rite of passage in England.

From the hundred of attractions, restaurants, and cafes, we’ve found the 16 best places in London for a unique afternoon tea experience.

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1. Grand Royale London Hyde Park

The Grand Royale London Hyde Park is one of the finest hotels in London.

Thus, it makes sense that it also happens to serve one of the best afternoon teas in the city.

Grand Royale London Hyde Park Afternoon Tea is a truly regal experience.

Their authentically Victorian tea room is the perfect place for you to enjoy your afternoon tea.

Upon arrival, you will be served a traditional tiered tray filled with finger sandwiches, scones, and decadent desserts.

Desserts include chocolate brownies, Victoria sponge cake, carrot cake, and French macarons.

Of course, you’ll also get to choose from a wide select of fine teas.

  • Address: 1-9 Inverness Terrace, Bayswater, London W2 3JP, United Kingdom
  • Opening Hours: Daily 1pm-5pm
  • Duration: 2-3 hours

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2. Brigit’s Afternoon Tea Bus

Enjoy two traditional London experiences in one on Brigit’s Afternoon Tea Bus.

On this one of a kind tour, you will get to travel around in a signature red double decker bus while indulging in a spot of afternoon tea.

Each vintage routemaster bus is outfitted with tables and comfortable chairs, as well as floral decor.

Upon boarding, you will be treated to high tea featuring an array of fresh made sandwiches, pastries, and cakes.

In addition to the charming English food and setting, this experience also offers you a tour of the city of London.

As you sip on tea and snack on dainty desserts, you will pass by some of London’s biggest attractions, including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, and Hyde Park.

  • Departure Point: Victoria Coach Station, Belgravia, London WC2R 1AL, UK
  • Departure Times: 12pm, 2:30pm, 5pm
  • Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes

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3. Bus Tour with Westminster Abbey Afternoon Tea

Embark on the London tour of a lifetime on this Bus Tour with Westminster Abbey Afternoon Tea.

On this unique tour, you will get to indulge in afternoon tea at one of the most famous sites in  London: Westminster Abbey!

But before you sit down to eat, you will first take a bus tour of London’s main attractions.

You will be transported in a classic red Routemaster bus.

Your group will make stops at the Tower of London and bustling Borough Market, as well as at Westminster Abbey.

In the Cellarium Cafe at Westminster Abbey is where you will get to enjoy afternoon tea made up of scones, tea, and desserts.

  • Departure Point: 258 Vauxhall Bridge Rd, Westminster, London SW1V 1BS, UK
  • Departure Times: 8:15am
  • Duration: 8 hours

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4. Thames River Cruise with Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea on the Thames?

What could be more English than that!

This London tour will have you cruising along the Thames River as you indulge in a tasty afternoon tea.

The sightseeing cruise is 1.5 hours long and goes all the way from Tower Pier to Westminster.

This will allow you to see some of London’s biggest attractions, like Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge.

To ensure you don’t get hungry, afternoon tea will be served early on and includes a combination of sandwiches, cakes, and scones.

  • Departure Point: Tower Millennium Pier, London EC3N 4DT, UK
  • Departure Time: 3:30pm
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

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5. Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition with Afternoon Tea

Calling all English majors!

You are sure to love this London tour that combines afternoon tea and a visit to the famous Globe Exhibition.

For those that don’t know, the Globe Theatre was where many of Shakespeare’s iconic plays were performed.

This tour will take you to Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition, the world’s largest exhibition devoted to Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and worked.

The exhibition is located just beneath the Globe Theatre that stands today and featured interactive displays and exhibits.

After a tour of the facility, you will have the option of enjoying a A Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed afternoon tea at the theatre’s on-site restaurant.

  • Departure Point: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, UK
  • Departure Time: between 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes

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6. Cream Tea at Harrods

Harrod’s is the most iconic department store in the world.

And this tour will let you explore this famous shopping complex and even enjoy afternoon tea there.

But before you arrive at Harrod’s, your guide will take you to some of London’s most exciting sites.

These include St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.

As if that weren’t enough, you will then get to go on a river cruise down the Thames.

Finally, you will be transported to Harrod’s for a cream tea comprising scones with clotted cream, fresh jam, and fine tea.

  • Departure Point: Victoria Coach Station, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RH, UK
  • Departure time: 7:45am
  • Duration: 9 hours

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7. Kensington Palace Royal High Tea

This Kensington Palace Royal High Tea is for all the royal fans!

Royal English Tea is the specialty here, but before you get to the food, you will first explore Kensington Palace.

This tour begins with a stroll through Kensington Gardens.

This will include a stop at the gardens Prince Albert created for his wife Queen Victoria.

Your guide will teach you all about the history of the palace and Hyde Park along the way.

After this, it’s time to enter the palace!

Inside the palace is where you will be served high tea consisting of a selection of sandwiches, cakes, and scones.

It is in this landmark setting where your tour ends.

  • Departure Point: Queensway Station (Stop B), Bayswater, London W2, UK
  • Times: sessions between 10am and 4pm
  • Duration: 2 hours

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8. The Milestone Hotel

Classic afternoon tea in an historic setting is what you get at The Milestone Hotel.

Located in the posh borough of Kensington, The Milestone Hotel’s tea room dates back to 1689.

People have been enjoying afternoon tea in this room for over 300 years!

Thus, there really is no better place for an afternoon tea experience.

Over the course of two hours, prepare to be served some seriously delicious cuisine.

Tea at The Milestone Hotel features finger sandwiches, tartlets, cupcakes, macarons, and fresh-baked scones with clotted cream and homemade preserve.

Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

  • Address: 1 Kensington Ct, Kensington, London W8 5DL, UK
  • Time: 2:50pm
  • Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes

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9. Grosvenor House

High tea at one of the premier hotels in London?

Yes, please!

English glamour and delicious food is what you get at this Grosvenor House afternoon tea experience.

Located inside the historic, 5-star hotel, you will be treated like royalty as you sit down in the elegant tea room that dates back to the early 20th century.

There are two different types of afternoon tea available here.

The first includes a glass of champagne and the second includes tea only.

All afternoon teas at Grosvenor House come with dainty finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones, cream puffs and pastries, and your choice of fine English tea.

It might be worth staying at this hotel too if you want to enjoy the rest of their facilities.

  • Address: 86-90 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 7TN, United Kingdom
  • Time: 2pm
  • Duration: 3-5 hours

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10. The Rubens at the Palace Hotel

The Rubens at the Palace Hotel is the next best thing to having high tea at Buckingham Palace.

This iconic 5-star hotel is located just a stone’s throw away from the Queen’s residence!

Afternoon tea at The Rubens guarantees not to disappoint.

They have one of the widest selections of afternoon tea offerings available in London.

To start, you will treated to a variety of sandwiches, such as egg and cress, smoked salmon, ham and mustard, and cucumber and cream cheese.

Meanwhile, dessert options include lemon meringue pie, carrot cake, jasmine and mango marshmallow, white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake.

Of course, plain and raisin scones with cream and jam will also be served.

  • Address: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London SW1W 0PS, UK
  • Time: 3pm
  • Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes

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11. Claridge’s

A visit to Claridge’s, one of the most famous hotels in the world, is a must while in London.

But why not make your visit extra special by reserving afternoon tea here?

Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can enjoy afternoon tea in their signature tea room.

Claridge’s afternoon tea is served fresh daily and combines delicious sweet and savoury treats.

Their sandwiches include English favourites like poached Scottish salmon.

While their desserts are seasonal and are handmade by Parisian pâtissier Jérôme Chaucesse.

For families with young kids, they’ll love the vanilla fairy cakes and brownies, making Claridge’s the perfect place for an afternoon tea experience.

  • Address: Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, United Kingdom
  • Opening Hours: Daily 2:45pm-5:30pm
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

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12. Sketch London

Don’t miss out on the most Instagrammable afternoon tea in London at Sketch.

Sketch has quickly risen to become one of the trendiest spots in the city.

This is in part due to its all-pink aesthetic, but also owing to its inventive cuisine.

And their afternoon tea is no exception.

Afternoon tea at Sketch London must be reserved in advance and features an array of delectable goodies.

Sandwiches and desserts change seasonally, so there’s always something new to try.

  • Address: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, United Kingdom
  • Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am-4:30pm
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

Official site

From the Grand Royale London Hyde Park to Claridge’s, there are plenty of places in London to have afternoon tea.

We hope this list has inspired you on your upcoming trip to the UK capital.

While you’re planning for London, you may also be interest in these articles:

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Emily is a freelance writer from Canada and it was during her time studying History that she became interested in travel. Countries I've visited include the United States, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, New Zealand, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.