NOTE: this post contains a map, pricing info and menu links to some of London’t top afternoon teas, correct on the publication date
When visiting London, there are two things that anyone who wants to experience the more refined side of the capital should seek out – a traditional afternoon tea and a West End show.
Why not combine the two into a memorable afternoon and evening by nipping into one of our top 10 hotel afternoon tea venues in the West End before taking in a show?
We’ve researched the pricing of some of our favourites so you don’t have to and have even created a little map for you at the bottom of this post.
1. The Savoy
The Savoy is one of several hotels in London synonymous with luxury.
The 5-star hotel has a number of choices to enjoy everything from a snack to a refined dinner. If you want to experience afternoon tea at The Savoy, the Thames Foyer is the one of London’s premier venues in London. The hotel is close to the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane as well as the Lyceum.
2. The Royal Horseguards Hotel
The Royal Horseguards claim their afternoon tea is quintessentially British.
If you’re looking for both an afternoon tea and a hotel that mixes traditional and modern elements, the Royal Horseguards can deliver. Their signature tea comes with traditional finger sandwiches and a selection of contemporary savories, as well as scones and sweet treats. The hotel’s location is ideal for accessing both the West End and Westminster.
3. One Aldwych
Just steps from the Novello Theatre and the Lyceum, One Aldwych is in prime position to catch the latest London’s stages have to offer.
Their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea menu is one of the most playful on our list. It features such delights as golden eggs and blueberry brioche – perfect for indulging in before seeing another Roald Dahl favourite, Matilda, at the Cambridge Theatre.
4. Walforf Hilton
You’ll find a sterling example of a classic afternoon tea at The Waldorf Hilton, including two unique tea blends only available at the hotel.
Not only will be in the perfect location to enjoy a play or musical before your afternoon tea, but you might spot some famous faces too. The hotel regularly plays host to stars from all over the world.
Price: £38.50 (£5 uplift on Saturday and Sunday)
5. The Ritz
No one can hear The Ritz and think of anything but luxury and decadence.
The Palm Court is one of the most popular places in the city to experience a top-notch traditional afternoon tea. Your meal will be accompanied by music too, with a harpist or string quartet performing from 11.30am to 9pm every day. Not only are you close to the best shows in London, but you can try a spot of shopping at nearby Fortnum & Mason too.
One of Mayfair’s premier hotels, Claridge’s has afternoon tea down to a fine art after serving it for more than 150 years.
They don’t do anything by halves, with their tea handpicked by their “tea connoisseur”. You’ll get a choice of 24 teas to choose from with the classic menu, to be enjoyed in the art deco-inspired Foyer. The London Palladium is nearby, where you can currently catch School of Rock The Musical.
7. The Connaught
If Claridge’s doesn’t tickle your fancy, try The Connaught down the road.
You can enjoy their traditional afternoon tea at Espelette, which offers a more informal, brasserie style setting to the hotel’s more formal restaurants. It’s the perfect setting for a relaxed and intimate afternoon tea. The hotel itself is one of Mayfair’s most luxurious, with great offers that tie into the season, like their Winter Welcome package.
8. Dean Street Townhouse
Afternoon tea in London needn’t be an expensive affair. If you’re looking for great value before or after you see a show in the West End, head to Dean Street Townhouse.
Their cosy dining room is ideal for anyone who wants an informal place to enjoy their afternoon tea and the Georgian townhouse hotel is decorated in a contemporary but timeless British style.
9. The Bloomsbury Hotel
Like several of the hotels on our list, The Bloomsbury has been no stranger to famous faces throughout the years.
And The Bloomsbury has played host to the most famous of faces. It was once a favourite place for the Queen to use the swimming pool, as well as drink tea. So with royal approval, you know their traditional afternoon tea must be worth waiting for – not that you’ll have to wait long.
10. The Montague on the Gardens
Anyone who wants to have tea at The Montague has a choice of settings to enjoy their meal.
In the summer, guests can sit out on the Wood Deck, and when the weather isn’t so fine, there’s the Blue Door Bistro and the Terrace Bar. When not indulging in afternoon tea, guests can experience the deluxe rooms of this mid-sized hotel in Bloomsbury.
To see our interactive map, complete with afternoon tea prices, click here. The markers show hotels and the dots are nearby theatres.
Enjoy a fantastic start to 2016 with lots of afternoon tea!
Photo credits: Chris Yiu, The Savoy, The Royal Horseguards, One Aldwych, The Waldorf Hilton, The Ritz, Claridge’s, The Connaught, Dean Street Townhouse, The Bloomsbury Hotel, The Montague on the Gardens.
Nb. Prices are sourced from official hotel websites (20/12/15) and are for a traditional afternoon tea for a single person. Further options, for example champagne afternoon tea, are available on the menus linked to above.