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Afternoon Tea - Best Places & Best Value

I am interested in finding out some good places to have afternoon tea (a/k/a "high tea"). I'm not talking about tea at Claridge's, I'm talking about a good place for afternoon tea without breaking the bank. What is a good value for the $? I'll be staying in the Kensington area, near the Gloucester tube stop.

Also, what about reservations for afternoon tea, do I need to worry about making any?

Posted by
390 posts

There's a difference between afternoon tea and high tea - I'm guessing you want afternoon tea, which is tea, scones, finger sandwiches, pastries. High tea in England is just what they call a light supper.

For afternoon tea (3-5:30 most places) try the Orangery at Kensington Palace - it's one of the cheapest I've found. £12 for afternoon tea - they also have fancier ones w/ champagne, etc. for £18+. It's still fairly pricey considering the exchange rate, but it's a lot better than the £30-40 you'll pay at most hotels. No reservations needed.

Also look into tea at The Wolseley on Piccadilly near The Ritz - cream tea (tea, scones, clotted cream, jam) from £9.50 and afternoon tea for £19.50. Reservations are not necessary, but recommended. If you go to any of the fancier hotels, you'll want to make reservations several days in advance.

Posted by
3580 posts

About 2 pm the cafe at St Martins-in-the-Field in London (near Trafalgar Square) begins serving tea and scones, with clotted cream if you want it. It's not very expensive, and you have the ambience of having tea in a crypt.

Posted by
993 posts

Thank you Jennifer/Lincoln. I was about to suggest The Orangery as well. Also the department stores are not as dear as the hotels. Liberty does a nice one and so does Fortnum & Mason. We know Harrods and Harvey Nicks do as well. I've only ever had to make reservations at the hotels.

Posted by
2023 posts

Harrod's and Fortnum & Mason are good for afternoon tea. It is not inexpensive but less than hotels. I did not care for tea at the Orangery at all. It was very noisy and the tea was served like a lunch. Food not very good either. We had tea at the Lanesborough once and did need a reservation. It was wonderful but pricey.

Posted by
23 posts

Try Bramah Tea Museum. Tea is their thing. Big time. They are at 40 Southwark Street
London SE1 1UN. Phone:020 7403 5650 Tube: London Bridge.

Posted by
98 posts

Jennifer -

If you haven't decided yet you can also have Afternoon Tea at the restaurant in the British Museum and at Richoux ( There is a location in Knightsbridge near Harrods.

I love afternoon tea and usually don't eat dinner that night if it is late enough.