Afternoon tea is a delightful tradition – thank goodness the Duchess of Bedford created it in 1840. Here are some of the best places to try in your area.

Words Charlotte Johnstone  

The Petersham Hotel

The Petersham has views over the surrounding meadows and the river. Get ready for The Royal Afternoon Tea in May – so good the Queen recognises it.

Hilton London Syon Park

Set in the serene parkland that was once the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, this is an idyllic location in which to escape the city bustle. Enjoy a classic afternoon tea, with a selection of sandwiches, pastries, and of course scones.

The Bingham

Bingham is a gorgeous Georgian Townhouse on the banks of the River Thames. It offers a unique setting to enjoy loose leaf tea and a freshly-baked scone (no matter how you pronounce it).

Strawberry Hill

Take tea like a princess in Horace Walpole’s Gothic-inspired fairytale castle. With views over the lawns, meadows and an open terrace overlooking the river, it makes a perfect spot for afternoon tea.

The Lensbury

Lensbury afternoon teas are a sumptuous affair. With a good choice of sweet treats and light bites to enjoy. This is one of Teddington’s most magnificent country house hotels.