My daughter and I love all manner of Afternoon tea-simple and high tea. We have looked at a website presenting the many choices in London. We are in London for 9 days. What are your favorite experiences for tea? In the more elegant establishments, will my husband need a coat and tie?
I don't have favourites but do be aware that afternoon tea is different to high tea. As for jacket and tie, he will need them for The Ritz (but of course no one would dine at The Ritz so the point's moot).
Actually I do have a favourite for tea - Sainsbury's loose leaf Assam brewed for 5 minutes; milk in first (just a drop), made at home. Nothing finer.
Yes, that is the requirement at the Ritz, or it was when we were there a few years ago. Very strictly enforced.
I haven't seen that anywhere else since.
Just today my wife and I fell in love with Harriets Cafe Tea Room https://harrietscafetearooms.co.uk/our-tearooms/cambridge-city-centre-tearooms/ in Green Lane in Cambridge. The tea and cake are absolutely top notch. We don't often do a set tea so can't comment on the other parts of the menu but it all looks proper scrummy. Modest prices. Live piano music. We brought some home and we don't often do that. If you are elsewhere in East Anglia they are also in Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.
Georgian Room at Harrods....no dress code.....
I love afternoon tea at The Wolesley (on Picadilly in Mayfair), and it's on my schedule every year in London. Here's the link to their menu:
It has a quite lively atmosphere, and there doesn't appear to be a dress code -- but I definitely would not want to show up in faded jeans and trainers. I was pleased to be nicely attired when there last month and Sir Patrick Stewart held the door for me and said, "After you, madam." :D
I've never been when it isn't very, very busy, so I highly recommend making reservation ahead of time. Enjoy!
Fortnum and Mason-elegant and quiet with pianist-khakis and golf shirt would be acceptable-I really enjoyed the elegant atmosphere without having to dress up.
I loved afternoon tea at Claridges. Very traditional and elegant. Very classy place where there was a piano player and bass? Player. Did dress for it. Spent a couple hours there, it is pretty expensive but so worth it. Unlimited tea and we even got extra sandwiches and sweets with no one trying to hurry us. Will be going again next year on my solo trip. Need to make reservations in advance, three months is earliest you can book.
If you don't want/need a super fancy expensive afternoon tea. I would recommend Tea and Tattle - across the street from the British Museum
I'll put the link to their site here.
Tea and Tattle Restaurant
For a simple afternoon tea, check out the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin in the Fields. The setting is exactly that - a cafe in the church's crypt. It's a nice respite (no pun intended!) from the hubbub of Trafalgar Square.
My wife likes the Orangery by Kensington Palace. We’ve been there a few times and didn’t notice any dress code.
I agree that The Orangery is nice for afternoon tea and it is great for kids since the price is super reasonable. Our tween girls loved it and it is served on pretty plates--they would have noticed the mismatched plates at Tea & Tattle.
Can I add one more comment to the afternoon tea at The Wolesley (on Picadilly in Mayfair)? Just went there a few weeks ago. A wonderful tea, with excellent food and exceptional service. We went on a very busy Saturday afternoon. We did have a reservation but when we arrived, we had to wait maybe 10 minutes. The people at the door was so apologetic about this, but tried their best and we ended up with a lovely spot. After enjoying a glass of champagne and beginning our food, here came one of the people from the front of the restaurant bearing a bottle of the bubbly! Two more glasses were poured for us, complimentary, because we had had to wait. Great service and a caring attitude. Definitely returning there next October!