Loose-leaf tea, dainty china, fiddly sandwiches with the crusts cut off… it’s all a bit BBC drama for BarChick’s liking. But boozy afternoon teas? Now we're talking. Check out our picks and get booking – you’ll have your little finger poking out before you can say ‘I’ll be mother’.
If there's a better way to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee than a quintessentially British afternoon tea with ample amounts of fizz and bangin' cocktails, we don't wanna know about it. And there's really no place that's more fitting for the occasion than The InterContentinental at Park Lane, which was once home to Elizabeth II herself. Naturally, the hotel has gone ALL out for the festivities, with a menu loaded with all the good stuff - think finger sandwiches with caviar on heirloom beetroot bread and venison with wild truffle, steaming scones with jam and clotted cream (always good for inspiring debate at the table - EVERYONE knows the cream goes first) and v. delicate cakes (Queenie's favourite chocolate biscuit cake, anyone?). And if you're veggie, there's an entire menu just for you, too.
Priced at £48 per person or £65 with a glass of Ruinart Champagne or a Platinum Jubilee cocktail or non-alcoholic cocktail.
One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY
The Four Seasons' afternoon tea is as lavish as they come thanks to its swanky setting in the Amaranto Lounge, with Champagne, fine teas and finger sandwiches. Really, though, the pastries are the big draw here, and they're more adorable than the Queen's corgis: think perfectly formed macarons with lavender ganache, a miniature fruitcake inspired by Liz and Phil's wedding cake back in 1947, an almond Battenberg, scones and a Victoria sponge with Earl Grey mousse.
Priced at £58 per person. Available from 16 May - 21 August 2022, served from 2.30-5.30pm.
Hamilton Pl, London W1J 7DR
A three-Martini lunch? We're in. It might sound like you need to have a titanium liver to get through the afternoon without going sideways, but the Martinis in question are miniatures. Anyone who’s got through two of Alessandro’s legendary Martinis at Dukes will understand. There’s still all the quality – this is Dukes, baby, home of the Martini.
Each of the East India Company Gin cocktails has been designed to pair with part of the meal: the crisp clarity of the lemon twist classic alongside sarnies, Marmalade Martinis with warm scones, and finally there’s the First Romance Tea Martini (now this kind of romance we approve of). It’s made with vermouth that’s infused with the East India Company’s First Romance Tea – a black tea with fruits and flower petals. Sip while you indulge in handmade pastries like a peanut chocolate delice and doughnut praline and congratulations, consider us wooed.
Served every day from noon to 6pm with 4 sittings: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 5.45pm - £48 per person.
35 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NY
Taking a playful approach to the traditional afternoon tea and keeping classic Lyan fun at the forefront, Spirited Tea is a tongue-in-cheek take on the afternoon tea with a classic Lyan twist, complete with cocktails created by the team using their unique core ingredients. Expect all the usual suspects; salmon and cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches (yes, with the crusts cut off), plump scones (it's cream first, then jam, BTW) and extra indulgent sweets (caramelised banana & chocolate éclair, anyone?) and plenty of Lyan flair.
Spirited Tea is priced at £55 for the full tea selection, three paired cocktails, cakes and savouries (with dietaries and aversions considerately accommodated with notification advance). A boozeless tea (£35) and a Champagne tea (£45) are also available. Spirited Tea will be available in Lyaness on Saturday and Sunday, between 12pm and 5pm. Last sittings are at 3.30pm. Must be pre-booked.
Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
Think the afternoon is too early to hit the tequila? Pair it with cakes and savoury treats and you, my friend, have the perfect loophole. This is the world’s first afternoon tea centred around the love and appreciation of our fave spirit. Featuring a sweet and savoury menu of luxurious Mexican-inspired plates, you can expect insane sweets like decadent dark chocolate and chilli brownies that sit alongside a zesty key lime chilli posset and seasonal fruit tarts, plus mini veggie burritos, chicken tacos and tequila-grilled prawns. This is just the right amount of tequila and spice for a sophisticated afternoon out, baby. No afternoon tea is complete without scones, darling, and these come accompanied by a tequila-infused jam packing both a sweet and boozy punch. The fiesta on top of the cake stand is, of course, a Margarita made with Volcán Tequila Blanco, AKA the next best thing to a plane when it comes to transporting you to the shores of Mexico.
Priced at £39.00 per person, Afternoon TeaQuila will launch on Thursday 7 April (also National Burrito Day) at NYX Hotel London Holborn. Bookings can be made via the website at nyx-hotels.co.uk/food.
50 - 60 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR
It's all under-the-radar female winemakers wine-makers FTW at this immersive wine tasting afternoon tea which pairs bad-ass wines with mini servings from 28°-50°’s equally killer à la carte food menu. 28°-50°’s female head sommelier Ksenia Karpenko is the babe behind this vino-laced tea served at the recently opened South Kensington restaurant. You'll explore five awesome wines from leading European women winemakers (including a glass of Bolly) alongside miniature versions of the restaurant’s popular dishes: gazpacho, fresh salmon ceviche, rich truffle arancini and even the slow cooked lamb shoulder. Sweet-toothed? 28°-50°’s famous chocolate Madeleines with crème anglaise and scones with Champagne-infused strawberry jam and clotted cream will sort you out.
Winemakers Afternoon Tea is on offer at all four 28°-50° restaurants from midday until 6pm every day and is priced at £60 per person.
Marylebone: 15-17 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2NE | Covent Garden: 10 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9FB | South Kensington: 96 Draycott Ave, London SW3 3AD | Chelsea: 300 King's Rd, London SW3 5UH
Sure, it’s a mouthful. But not nearly as much a mouthful as you’re going to be taking when you’re presented with these Asian-inspired treats. Ginza Onodera is stylish AF - and it's waving sayonara to the sarnies and ushering in umami-packed Japanese dishes: chicken karaage, wagyu beef sliders and seared salmon tataki. No, you’re salivating. But enough food chat – let’s get down to the business of booze. The sweet thing about this afternoon tea is that you can get busy with Champagne, matcha tea or cocktails. We’re not trying to sway you, but the restaurant's Japanese riff on a Bramble, the Panacea #2 (sake, elderflower gin, crème de mure, apricot palinka, lime), is top.
The Onodera Ochakai Afternoon Tea is served from 2-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. £37 each for afternoon tea with cocktails.
15 Bury St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6AL
Intrepid explorer Mr Fogg is at it again at his House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia, with a Tipsy Afternoon Tea kicking off at 13:01 every Saturday. The man is nothing if not weirdly and precisely punctual. Spend the afternoon among the greenhouse vibes of this flora-filled bar with your pinkies out as you sip on fruity teas laced with plenty of the good stuff (booze). There's a sick choice of five teapot cocktails to indulge in (like A Roaring Brew made with kumquat and butter fat-washed Woodford Reserve Bourbon, amontillado sherry, peach purée, lemon juice and orange marmalade), and obviously plenty of sweet and savoury delicacies to keep you going.
Available every Saturday from £44 per person. Upgrade to a bottomless cocktail teapot for an additional £20pp, or if you're swerving the booze try the tipsy-free tea also on offer.
48 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1QQ
Take a trip down the rabbit hole in the middle of the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia, and you'll find yourself sharing some epic treats and wicked savoury delights with the Mad Hatter. That's our kinda trip. You'll find menus hidden inside vintage books and teapots adorned with kings and queens. Wash everything down with Alice’s Exotic Fruits “Drink Me” potion, a few of the the Mad Hatter's cocktails (the tequila-based Off With Your Head is a bit of us) and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for good measure. And for the afternoon tea traditionalists, finish up with warm scones, clotted cream and fruit preserve, perfectly paired with Alice-inspired tea infusions. You absolutely won't wanna be late for this one.
Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea is served daily in The Restaurant at Sanderson, priced at £48 per person and £35 per child (for children 4-11 years old). On celebratory days and bank holidays, Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea is priced at £58 per person for special packages.
50 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NG
It starts off small n' savoury on the Map Maison Afternoon Tea menu. It's all about tapas at this Haggerston joint, baby. We're talking mini Iberico burgers and mozzarella and avocado baguettes; on the sweet side of things, expect the likes of mille-feuille, chocolate cake and the chef’s daily choux mix. The best bit? It's the 90 minutes of free-flowing cocktails and prosecco, as well as your choice of teapot each from their eclectic tea selection, which has all been designed in collab with one of the UK’s top tea specialists.
Afternoon tea, the bottomless way, is £50 per person, or you can take the non-alcoholic route for £25. Available from Tuesday to Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00 throughout the year.
321 Kingsland Road, London E8 4DL