Anyone have any good suggestions for formal tea in London at a place that is not outrageously expensive.???
My husband and I have had tea, upstairs at "Harrod's", two times. It is a very pretty setting. The server even offers you more sandwiches or scones, if you care for them. We were very happy there. We have eaten in that same Georgian Room (something like that) many times. Next to where they have tea, they also offer a delicious lunch, until 3:30 PM. It is a buffet lunch, including prime rib. You can go back a many times as you want. The ella who cuts the meats, has served there for something like 30 years. We totally enjoy eating in the food court on the bottom floor or upstairs at "Harrod's".
The Orangery at Kensington Palace is one of my favorite places to have tea in London! Not cheap but not outrageous. Fortnum and Mason is very nice too.
WOW!! I'd seen the suggestions about Harrods before but never looked to see how much they were. So I had a look. £49 per person for a lunch carvery buffet? I could never spend that. The carvery down the street from my house charges £3.95 to us seniors. I've never spent £100 for lunch. No wonder they let you have a bit more! We usually pay £11 for 2 people for a full afternoon tea near us. There are undoubtedly nice teas in London closer to the OP request of not outrageously expensive. The Time Out listings of the best teas in London at http://www.timeout.com/london/food-drink/afternoon-teas-in-london have many excellent reviews of many places, including some very tasty ones at which a bank loan is not needed.
I know someone that swears by the National Dining Rooms. At least I think she swears by it not at it. The name might sound Orwellian or conjure up the smell of over-boiled cabbage and Brown Windsor Soup, but it is the more upmarket dining place in the National Gallery so you can leave your siren suit at home. It is in the Sainsbury wing, but the tea doesn't come from there. Good view over Trafalgar Sq.
I like this place http://www.thewolseley.com/afternoon-tea We've always had great service there and the full tea seemed to include refills on the tea sandwiches and pastries if we wanted(which we didn't as there was quite a bit to eat) Also, there's no dress code as I think there may be at some of the nicer hotels.
I think you won't find anything that isn't at least quite outrageous in terms of price. One suggestion is that of Lord's Cricket ground which has afternoon teas in the Long Room which is part of the pavilion at the world's most historic ground with lots of paintings and views over the ground. You also have a tour of part of the ground including the museum included in the price.
You would have both a decent tea and an insight into a sport that is England's summer game which at the moment we are rather good at unlike football (soccer) at which are not. Search google at Lords.org for more details.
I second the Orangery as a nice but reasonably priced option. And it's a nice setting to boot!
I love Orangery, BUT be sure to check their website for their hours, they close sometimes on random days and times and either go early or late or make reservations, they book up. http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/Foodanddrink/Orangery Another option that I did on our last trip was the Haymarket Hotel, I wanted to go some place central because I was meeting back up with my husband at Trafalgar Square afterwards. The food was incredible, it was reasonably priced (£21) and I may have gone at an odd time, I know I did go on a weekday, but I was the only person in the entire place so had great service and they also will offer you more food if you like (but its a lot of food to begin with).
Just got back from London in May and we had afternoon tea at the Wolseley which was nicely sitauted next to the Ritz and near St. James Park...it was lovely! I'm still dreaming of the scones with clotted cream and jam...I would recommend making reservations beforehand...enjoy!
Just back from london. We enjoyed Fortnum and Mason, also on a previous trip - Harrods. While there I saw a comment that tea at the hotels is extermely expensive and not better than F&M. Besides F&M has at least as much prestige