Tea Time Treasures. Discovering London’s Tea Rooms

London Tea Room Guide

If you find yourself in London and want to experience a quintessentially British tradition, indulging in afternoon tea at one of the city’s traditional tea rooms is a must. These charming establishments offer a delightful atmosphere, delectable treats, and a chance to relax and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Here’s everything you need to know about experiencing afternoon tea at traditional London tea rooms.

Choosing the Right Tea Room

London is home to a plethora of tea rooms, each with its own unique charm and character. Here are some popular options to consider:

  1. The Ritz: Known for its elegant setting and exquisite service, The Ritz is one of London’s most renowned tea rooms. Prepare for a luxurious experience surrounded by opulent decor.
  2. Claridge’s: With its art deco style and a long-standing reputation, Claridge’s offers a refined setting for afternoon tea. Indulge in a selection of delicious pastries and sandwiches in this sophisticated establishment.
  3. Fortnum & Mason: A historic institution, Fortnum & Mason has been serving afternoon tea since the 18th century. It offers a wide range of teas, accompanied by delectable pastries and sandwiches, all within a charming atmosphere.
  4. The Savoy: Located on the Strand, The Savoy is an iconic tea room that combines tradition with contemporary flair. Enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea experience in the grand surroundings of this renowned hotel.

The Afternoon Tea Experience

Once you’ve chosen your tea room, it’s time to savor the experience of afternoon tea. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Tea Selection: Upon arrival, you’ll be presented with an extensive tea menu featuring a variety of blends from around the world. Whether you prefer classic English Breakfast or exotic herbal infusions, there’s a tea to suit every palate.
  2. Finger Sandwiches: Traditional afternoon tea starts with a selection of delicate finger sandwiches. These typically include classic fillings like cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, and egg mayonnaise. Each bite-sized sandwich is designed to whet your appetite.
  3. Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam: One of the highlights of afternoon tea is the scone course. Enjoy freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The debate over whether to spread the cream or jam first is a matter of personal preference!
  4. Sweet Treats: Prepare for an array of sweet treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. From dainty pastries and cakes to macarons and petits fours, the selection will vary depending on the tea room. Be sure to save room for these delectable delights.
  5. Tea Etiquette: While not strictly enforced, traditional tea rooms often observe certain tea etiquette. Remember to hold your teacup with your fingers gently placed on the handle, stir your tea gently, and sip it rather than slurping. It’s all part of the refined experience.

Tips for the Perfect Afternoon Tea

To make the most of your afternoon tea experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Reservations: Traditional tea rooms can get busy, so it’s advisable to make a reservation in advance. This ensures you secure a table and avoids disappointment.
  • Dress Code: Many tea rooms have a smart casual dress code. While you don’t need to be overly formal, it’s best to avoid wearing overly casual attire.
  • Time and Duration: Afternoon tea is typically served between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Plan to spend around two hours indulging in the experience, allowing ample time to savor each course.
  • Special Dietary Requirements: If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, inform the tea room when making your reservation. Many establishments offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to cater to different needs.
  • Gifts and Souvenirs: Traditional tea rooms often have gift shops where you can purchase teas, biscuits, and other British delicacies to take home as souvenirs. Consider picking up some goodies to extend your tea experience beyond the visit.

Experiencing afternoon tea at a traditional London tea room is a delightful way to immerse yourself in British culture and indulge in a feast of flavors. So, sit back, sip your tea, and enjoy the charming ambiance that these establishments offer. Did we forget to mention we add this charming activity to our London team building events!