Free flowing champagne, 52-foot trees, and £80 million renovations: Festive afternoon tea this season promises indulgence and decadence
Words by Miriam Carey
Our pick of the best festive afternoon tea in London
LANES OF LONDON
Just off Oxford Street, Lanes of London is the perfect place to enjoy festive afternoon tea. You can celebrate the accomplishment of completing Christmas shopping, with free-flowing bubbly, in the opulent setting of a former Edwardian mansion block. Tea is served between 12-5pm, where guests will enjoy an array of dainty festive finger sandwiches – duck bacon, maple syrup, and wholegrain mustard; prawn and crème fraiche topped with caviar; and roast turkey, cranberry and brie. Tea is priced at £22.50 per person, or £39.95 with free-flowing Rose Champagne.
The Bulgari signature afternoon tea has been reimagined for the festive season. Along with the classic assortment of savoury delights, their Pastry Chef has created indulgent holiday inspired pastries including a mini panettone, traditional scone, dark chocolate and orange yule log, gingerbread macaroon, and mince pies. A wealth of fine teas from all over the world are on offer to complete the festive feasting. The tea is priced at £54 with a glass of Champagne R de Ruinart or £58 with a glass of Champagne R de Ruinart Rosé.
Festive afternoon tea at The Connaught is an elegant celebration of the afternoon tea tradition which dates all the way back to 1840. Introduced by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, society ladies would pause the afternoon’s events and change into long gowns, gloves and hats to enjoy tea. This year The Connaught is going all out with their Christmas preparations. You can expect to see carol-singers, stockings, horse-drawn carriages, and other favourite festive traditions. Festive afternoon tea is priced at £75 inclusive of a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée champagne.
ROYAL LANCASTER LONDON
The Royal Lancaster has recently completed its extensive £80 million renovations, which have transformed the hotel into a five-star icon of modern elegance in London. The hotel is inviting guests to enjoy a festive afternoon tea featuring savoury treats of wild mushroom and white truffle tartlet, and pigs in blankets. Sweet treats include a delicious gingerbread macaron, chocolate and clementine tart, and marbled chocolate Bailey’s truffle lollipops. Only a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park, we also recommend popping into Winter Wonderland for ice skating afterwards. Festive afternoon tea is £35 or £45 served with a glass of Champagne.
The Savoy is a must-visit this Christmas, with a magnificent tree in the front hall created exclusively by artist Kristjana Williams, on behalf of fragrance house Penhaligon’s. The tree is adorned with Christmas baubles, red velvet ribbons, and Savoy Christmas crackers with miniature Penhaligon’s fragrances. Penhaligon’s festive afternoon tea will feature refined pastries crafted with flavours which evoke the nostalgia of Christmas – mulled pears, brandy mousse, gingerbread, chestnut, and clementines. Festive afternoon tea is priced at £68 or £85 with a glass of Louis Roederer Vintage 2009 champagne.
The show-stopping festive afternoon tea at One Aldwych is inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Guests will begin with a festive cocktail topped with Perrier-jouet champagne or enjoy a glass of Lallier Champagne. Next, a stream of spectacular goodies follow: a golden chocolate egg, chocolate caramel milk, home-made candyfloss, and Christmas pudding pops. Irresistible warm scones, seasonal tea sandwiches and savouries round off the occasion. Tea is priced at £54 per person with a glass of champagne or £57 with a glass of Rosé Champagne.
One of the most charming destinations for afternoon tea in London. The Ritz serves tea in the spectacular Palm Court, a light airy room adorned with glittering chandeliers and elegant mirrors. With festive afternoon tea at the Ritz, guests can enjoy a selection of finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and mouth-watering pastries. The Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK to have a certified tea sommelier. He travels around the world to various tea plantations to source wonderful teas, meaning they are able to serve 18 different types of loose-leaf tea which you can choose from. Tea at The Ritz is priced at £54 for adults and £30 for children.