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Officially London’s best hotel for afternoon tea.

by Rajul on August 14, 2009

Afternoon tea at Brown’s is rated by the Tea Guild as the best in London

Afternoon tea at Brown’s is rated by the Tea Guild as the best in London

Afternoon tea is a quintessentially English experience which lots of London visitors wish to experience.  So we’ve now done some research to find the hotel currently independently-rated as doing it best.

The Tea Guild was founded by the UK Tea Council in 1985.  Its mission is to recognise establishments with the highest standards in serving tea.

Their prestigious annual award is now in its 24th year and highly sought-after.  It’s a kind of “Michelin star” of the tea world.

All the Tea Guild’s inspections are conducted anonymously.

As you’d expect, traditional favourites like The Ritz,  The Lanesborough, Claridge’s and The Dorchester always score highly.

But the hotel currently rated as the best in this speciality may surprise you: it’s Rocco Forte Collection’s Brown’s Hotel in the upscale Mayfair district.

Check the best rate for Brown’s Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Brown’s Hotel is where Rudyard Kipling wrote the Jungle Book and where Alexander Graham Bell made the world’s first phone call

Brown’s Hotel is where Rudyard Kipling wrote the Jungle Book and where Alexander Graham Bell apparently made the world’s first phone call

The Tea Guild declared the English Tea Room at Brown’s a worthy winner due to the following:

  • Overall cleanliness and attractive crockery.
  • Friendly staff.
  • The broad selection of scones, cakes and sandwiches.  Tip: the Victoria sponge gets rave reviews.
  • In-depth knowledge of teas (the hotel employs 2 expert tea sommeliers to advise you on the 17 teas on offer).
  • Calm, relaxing atmosphere with live piano music.
  • Beautifully-written, evocative menus.

It’s clear that the hotel’s dedication to afternoon tea extends to making it an absolute centrepiece of the Brown’s experience.

It’s not cheap but we recommend you treat yourself!

They even run “Tea-torials” where the Brown’s Pastry Chef gives you a personal demo on how to make their award-winning scones and cakes.

Apart from its delectable afternoon tea, how does Brown’s rate in the pecking order of ultra-deluxe hotels in London?

Brown’s is one of London’s oldest hotels but was stylishly re-launched by the Rocco Forte Collection in December 2005 after a £24m renovation

Brown’s is one of London’s oldest hotels but was stylishly re-launched by the Rocco Forte Collection in December 2005 after a £24m renovation

It ranks solidly though not spectacularly within TripAdvisor’s top 100.

Recent guest comments highlight the quality of décor, the well-appointed bathrooms and its handy central location.

Check the best rate for Brown’s Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

The hotel’s restaurant, The Albemarle, has a fantastic collection of British art though is rather expensive.  That should not concern you unduly as you’ll be just a short walk from some of the capital’s best restaurants.

Finally, here are a couple of alternative suggestions for exceptional afternoon teas in London:

Some of the sumptuous treats you’ll enjoy at the Langham

Some of the sumptuous treats you’ll enjoy at the Langham

Palm Court at the Langham

As previously noted in our visit to the Langham, this iconic room (indeed the entire hotel) has been extensively redone.  So now is a good time to visit a venue serving afternoon tea since 1865.  The so-called “Wonderland Tea” (including smoked salmon sandwiches and many other delights) is recommended.  They even serve a “Bijoux Tea” with pastries shaped like jewellery and scones with champagne-soaked raisins.  Pure indulgence!

Check the best rate for the Langham Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Afternoon tea at the Metropolitan allows you to watch your waistline!

Afternoon tea at the Metropolitan is designed to help you watch your waistline!

Afternoon De-Light at the Met Bar (Metropolitan London)

Check the best rate for the Metropolitan Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

This is a trendy bar by night but mutates in the daytime to serve London’s only “healthy” afternoon tea!  Everything is crafted with the use of healthy alternatives including low-fat crème fraiche, olive oil, fruit purees and even “no bread sandwiches”!  It’s a great way to indulge without guilt.

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Photo credits: Como Hotels, Langham Hotel, Brown’s Hotel (Rocco Forte Collection).

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Review of “healthy” London hotel afternoon tea | London Hotel News | Official daily news on London hotels |
February 18, 2011 at 6:04 am
Afternoon Tea at London`s Upscale Hotels | Travel Tips
April 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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