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Afternoon Tea in London

By Viator, May 2014

4.5 218 Reviews | Add your review

Afternoon tea is considered to be a tradition in England and one that both locals and visitors take great pleasure in taking – although it is now seen as more of a treat to be taken in a hotel or tea shop than part of everyday life. Afternoon tea was first introduced in the 1840s when Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, complained of feeling hungry between meals and asked for tea and cakes to be sent to her room to see her through to her evening meal at 8pm. This idea caught on amongst the middle and upper classes, and before long it became a daily activity, becoming more sophisticated and elaborate as well as developing into an important social occasion.

Afternoon tea is offered in many of London’s famous hotels such as The Ritz, The Langham or The Dorchester, and it is often an elegant affair in a luxurious setting. Menus generally consist of a choice of teas such as Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon or Early Grey, finger sandwiches such as cucumber, egg and watercress,  or smoked salmon and cream cheese, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a selection of cakes and pastries. Afternoon tea menus can include a glass of champagne, and ‘high tea’ menus are sometimes available which include more savory items. Formal afternoon teas are found not only in London but in many plush country house hotels around the UK.

Afternoon tea is available at St Paul's Cathedral, so feel free to combine this exquisite English tradition with one of the most famous buildings in British history. For a less extravagant affair (but equally as satisfying) head to one of the many traditional tea rooms located in almost every town and village to enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

This makes for a pleasurable stop-off when out shopping to replenish those all-important energy levels. After all, Henry James once said ‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

Tours & Tickets

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Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea

4.5 star rating: Recommended 45 Reviews

Enjoy three quintessential British experiences on a 4.5-hour royal London tour, combining the legendary Changing of the Guard ceremony with an audio tour of ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $114.05

London Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 97 Reviews

Combine old-school English glamor with delicious cakes, sandwiches and tea on this must-do afternoon tea experience in London! Choose between one of two ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: Varies

From USD $66.03

London Vintage Bus Tour with Afternoon Tea

4 star rating: Recommended 44 Reviews

Discover London’s hotspots on this exciting half-day tour that includes an afternoon tea at the Kensington Palace Orangery. You'll start with a sightseeing ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $80.99

London Thames River Afternoon Tea Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 29 Reviews

Complement a London sightseeing cruise on the River Thames with an indulgent afternoon tea, and experience an English tradition at its finest. Aboard a luxury ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $52.07

London Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

There is no better place in London to enjoy the English tradition of afternoon tea than at the New Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon located in the world-renowned ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: Varies

From USD $92.56

St Paul's Cathedral Entrance Ticket with Traditional Afternoon Tea

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Complete your visit of St Paul’s Cathedral in typical English fashion – with afternoon tea! Explore the cathedral, one of the most recognizable buildings in ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: Varies

From USD $57.85

London City Tour by Vintage Bus Including The View from The Shard and Afternoon Tea at Kensington Palace

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

See London’s many sights from the vantage points of vintage bus, boat and skyscraper on an action-packed city tour, and visit Kensington Palace, too! After ...  Read more

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Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

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