Best Places for 5 O’clock Afternoon Tea in London

What could be more charming than having afternoon tea in the heart of England?

Just imagine you are sitting in a small café looking out the window onto a busy street in London.

Outside it is mild, a little obscure and foggy; the London weather makes your afternoon even more pleasant. You sense the aroma of a traditional English bakery as you observe the people sitting at nearby tables. Isn’t that a lovely vision?

Five o'clock. Tea time.

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Five o’clock tea is a quaint, long-lasting English custom. It all started during the days of Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who was a lifetime friend of Queen Victoria. Before then, the English were in the habit of eating only two meals a day, having breakfast early in the morning and taking the second meal late in the evening.

Weary of late afternoon hunger and inactivity, Anna initiated an innovation that has become one of the oldest and most esteemed culinary traditions in Europe.

YYZ Travel Advisors have made a list of five cafes in London that should not be overlooked, where you can choose from a wide variety of teas, delicious baked goods, and scrumptious deserts.

English afternoon tea

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THE GORING HOTEL

A wonderfully flavored traditional English tea has been served here for more than 100 years. Tea and  gastronomy experts give this place their highest evaluation – plain but tasty food and flawless service.

At 5 o’clock they serve a special set menu with Darjeeling tea, a glass of wine, and a savory snack of lobster and eggs. We suggest you don’t miss the chance to try the delightful pastries that are also available there.

It is no wonder that in days past a frequent visitor to The Goring might have spotted Catherine Middleton – just before she became Duchess of Cambridge.

English breakfast

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CLARIDGE’S

Traditional yet very stylish and up-to-date, this café is a must-visit place for every guest coming to London.

Claridge’s is popular for having not just one but two tea ceremonies – in the morning and in the afternoon – featuring a big tea card, live music (with melodies from the 1920s), and a  fashionable menu of salmon and fennel sandwiches, four types of freshly baked rolls, plus a selection of amazing desserts.  

Afterward, a walk in Hyde Park is strongly recommended.

English breakfast

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SAVOY

 The Thames Foyer was always a place where you could show yourself off and observe others strutting their stuff. The after-dinner teas are highly popular in London and have become a prime reason to visit the Savoy Hotel.

In the evening, savor the sandwich menu of eggs, cheeses, salmon and mango, as well as fresh pastries with strawberries and cream, éclairs, and macaroons.

In addition, you can enjoy a glass of Champaign while listening to wonderful piano playing.

English Afternoon Tea

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GEORGE

This café is acclaimed by many visitors for its delicious deserts as well as the excellent bakery and cocktail menus. Here you can mingle with a variety of visitors from fashionable socialites to lovers of tradition.

We recommend that you try The Earl’s Tea, Chamomile Flute, and Queen’s Tipple — a mix of green tea, cucumbers and roses. You should definitely try this terrific combination.

The Queen would certainly say, “Yes!”

THE LANESBOROUGH

This is an amazing option for those who take tea ceremonies seriously.

Here everything is done in the best traditions: a tea sommelier serves you the most popular types of tea in the country, and the Michelin-starred hotel chef composes numerous variations of individual offerings.

All activities are held in the luxury restaurant Apsleys, and the ceremony itself has earned every award possible.

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Published: 04/09/17