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Any affordable afternoon tea in London?

Hi,
Is going to an afternoon tea in London worth it? We have quite a bit of tea rooms in our area. Wasn't sure if I should shell out about USD 45 (and up) per person for sandwiches, scones, and tea.

If it's worth it, any recommendations?

Thanks.

Posted by
1046 posts

We tried some years ago (well - many years ago) and there was so much to eat that it replaced dinner.

Posted by
53 posts

I recopmmend afternoon tea at the Wallace Collection. This is an art gallery with a superb collection of paintings, furniture and armour. The gallery is free, but it also has a restaurant. This has a range of tea menus from cream teas (£6.50) to full afternoon tea (£18.50). The Wallace Collection is in an historic building in Mancester Square, not far from Oxford Street. See www.wallacecollection.org.

Posted by
8293 posts

Oh, go ahead and “shell out” the 45 dollars or whatever it costs. Don’t you think the whole experience of afternoon tea in London might be more interesting than at a tea room in your own area?

Posted by
14399 posts

Afternoon tea is a full meal. Places that were recommended to me were the National Gallery, the British Museum (upstairs restaurant) and Kensington Palace. The Wolseley is supposed to be one of the best, though pricey and you should make a reservation. I once went to Fortnum & Mason for afternoon tea, but got distracted by their ice cream parlor . . .

Bea's of Bloomsbury (about 10 min walk from the British Library) has the best scones I've tasted in London, but it's small with limited seating and the savories and cupcakes didn't impress me.

The best place I had closed before my next visit to London.

Posted by
1965 posts

I will give a thumbs up to the Wallace Collection, a highlight of my trip in 2013, and to their tea which we enjoyed in the solarium. Lovely and delicious!

Posted by
2634 posts

The Orangery at Kensington Palace is beautiful, very good and is £28.00pp. We had tea there a couple months ago really enjoyed it.

Posted by
1886 posts

Reminds me of a dear (now deceased) then-elderly friend of mine who when I asked her for advice on life (because she was so loved by sooo many and always so upbeat) said:

"Never miss the opportunity to do something truly special in life."

.....to which I always then add: When you will be that close (to the location) again?

Go for it!!

But ONLY YOU can decide if it is "worth it." If you compare it to what you might pay for a tea room experience wherever you live (we have no basis for comparison since we have no idea where you live), you may be constantly trying to determine if you got your money's worth. But, if you are up for the experience of enjoying Afternoon Tea in London....just being in London and experiencing it there, then go and enjoy!

Tell us later how you liked it.

Oh, and the other piece of advice my friend gave me was: "Always be interested in something, or you will mold." She was a constant learner. Miss her very much, but her spirit is still with so many of us. She would have told you to go enjoy tea.

Posted by
3299 posts

Another vote for the Orangery. $45 isn’t much different than many tea houses in the states. It’s vacation, endulge and enjoy the experience.

Posted by
2023 posts

Yes the Orangery is a great place for afternoon tea, The sandwiches and cakes are very nice. We had tea at the Lanesborough a few years ago and the tab came to around $150. Good but not worth that price. There was a pianist playing and a glass of champagne was included-

Posted by
8293 posts

Susan, the $150 was for how many people?

Posted by
2710 posts

My favorite place to have afternoon tea is the British Museum.
The great thing about afternoon tea at the British Museum is that you can take a break from seeing the exhibits, have tea, then go right back to browsing in the museum. They do a fine tea, without the break-the-bank price.
My second favorite place for tea is Bea's of Bloomsbury. Great scones.
I have had afternoon tea in London several times but I'm just not into sweets that much.

To answer your question you asked, "Is going to an afternoon tea in London worth it?"
Only you can judge if it's something you want to do/Have on your bucket list.

Other great places to have tea:
Brown's Hotel. The full treatment, including someone playing a grand piano in the tearoom.
The Landmark Hotel. Someone playing a harp in the atrium where tea is served.

Posted by
324 posts

Are you interested in afternoon tea in London? If not, then I would say no.

Posted by
3173 posts

Wasn't sure if I should shell out about USD 45 (and up) per person for
sandwiches, scones, and tea.

Then definitely avoid places like Fortnum & Mason as afternoon tea costs £46 -- a lot more than $45. Let's face it, the real cost of finger sandwiches, tea and sweets is MUCH LESS than what is charged for afternoon tea. It's an enormous markup and probably a huge profit center. That said, if you want to experience being served and enjoying afternoon tea with a pianist playing classical compositions for example, you might find it worth it to splurge on yourself and forget the huge markup.

You might enjoy afternoon tea as a break from hours on your feet enjoying the masterpieces at the National Gallery, the Wallace Collection or the British Museum. £19 for afternoon tea at a museum is just over $25 as of today, December 22. It's not $45.

So think about what you'd like to try. Don't let anyone here stop you if this is an experience you wish to enjoy. Likewise, don't let anyone here convince you to spend this money as some "must see" experience either. It's up to you.

Posted by
409 posts

I had afternoon tea recently in Ireland, at a very posh hotel. There were three of us, and the waitress said "girls, you'll never eat all this food -just order two and share!" so we did. So it doesn't even have to be as expensive as you may fear!

I've also discovered after living over hear the past few years, that most nice spots (and they nice ones seem to be hotels) for afternoon tea will customize the trey for you. One time, a friend doesn't really like sweets. She asked "are the deserts really sweet - I'm not much of a sugar person!?" and they said "how about if we go heavier on the savory bits and lighter on the sweets?" and all was fine!

Susan
Living in Waterville, Ireland

Posted by
3 posts

If it’s your first time in London, I’d go for it. So many posh places from which to choose but there are also many that are less expensive and still very enjoyable.

The first time I was in London, we had tea at Fortnum and Mason, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus. It was expensive and lovely. They serve tea in a lounge area with sofas and low tables.

The next time we were in London (2013), we were with friends, prices had gone sky high and I could not make myself spend over $50 per person at F & M, Harrod’s, etc. We were staying in Westminster and opted for a little French patisserie a few doors down. It was less posh but still quite nice and we could not finish all the food.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you everyone for your advice! We actually went for it, and had afternoon tea at Wellcome Kitchen, which is inside the Wellcome Collection. We got a groupon for it, and it was lovely. We got to tour the museum too. For a family on a budget, Wellcome Kitchen, especially with Groupon, is totally worth it and a must-do.

Posted by
1886 posts

Helen,
Thank you for sharing your experience, and I'm glad you had a chance to enjoy Afternoon Tea in London.
I just checked out Wellcome Kitchen on Trip Advisor, and the photos posted of the Afternoon Tea look so delightful...lovely china, yummy-looking food, and nice, yet comfortable setting :) I'll make a note should I find myself in London again in the future.

Posted by
2834 posts

When you consider the tea to be your dinner it doesn't seem as expensive. And the atmosphere at Fortnum's, which has a pianist, is very relaxing on the day you arrive in London from the U.S.

Posted by
109 posts

I'll be in London soon. The idea of tea at a museum or one of the gardens (rather than a hotel or F&M etc) appeals to me. Good surroundings are also important. Which of the central attractions has the most beautiful surroundings plus good food?

Posted by
14 posts

Hi, we went to Wellcome Kitchen, which is inside the Wellcome Collections. It has a good selection of teas, sandwiches, and desserts. Quite good, especially if you purchase a Groupon. But the ambience is not as fancy as F&M.

If you want ambience, then go have tea at the British Museum. Reservations required.
Have fun

Posted by
1217 posts

And grab at least a snack at the main Cafe at the Victoria and Albert (they only do a reservations required specialty tea on Sundays) Really interesting architecture and interior design there.

Posted by
7601 posts

For perspective, Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria BC is $75cdn ( ~ $60 US)