Afternoon tea is synonymous with English culture, so it’s no surprise that there is a plethora of them to chose from across London! With soo many to pick from venues are increasingly offering themed experiences to make themselves unique and to appeal to fans across the country.
I’ve been lucky to indulge in several of these fabulous themed afternoon teas across London which aim to tell their story through the wonderful selections of savouries, sweet treats and some surprises along the way! Here are some of my favourites!
Alice in Wonderland at The Sanderson Hotel
The whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland definitely comes alive at the quirky Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia! The theme is marvellously embraced from the very beginning of your experience with friendly staff encouraging you to discover your menus hidden in vintage books. The Alice inspired unique tea infusions, also available to purchase, are presented as dry blends in little potion style bottles for you to select from and the teapots are designed with kings and queens!
The tea has plenty of delicious themed savouries and sweet treats to enjoy! The savouries start with book references in their choice of smoked salmon scotch quail’s eggs and King of Hearts croque-monsieur! Plus it wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without some warm scones, clotted cream and jam.
The sweet treats take the theme to another level with fantastic playing card shaped Queen of Hearts jammy dodger biscuits, mushroom marshmallows, wonderfully colourful caterpillars and a March Hare’s Pocket Watch Macaroon! You really can’t be late for this very important date!
Staff even went the extra mile to make it particularly special when my best friend Curious Claire & I visited as a joint birthday treat by surprising us with a Happy Birthday cake plate!
I thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon tea and it has encouraged me to fall down the rabbit hole with the idea of attempting to host my own Mad Hatter’s tea party!
Cost: £48 per person and £35 per child (4-11 years old)
Mary Poppins at Aqua Shard
Standing tall above London, Aqua Shard on the 31st floor welcomes all guests to take a trip down memory lane with their nostalgic homage to the iconic Mary Poppins whilst providing guests with stunning views of the London landscape!
The tableware for the tea is beautifully themed, I’d secretly love to own it all including the cake stand (& Mary Poppins carpet bag on the display!).
I especially loved that the menus were presented on gilt gold framed mirrors which constantly show how ‘Practically perfect’ Mary is in their reflection!
The theme of the tea has been expertly thought out in reference to the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers, rather than the Disney films, and staff have fully embraced the characters to enhance the experience! Our friendly waitress quickly offered us two choices of tea; Mary which is faintly sweet & floral or Burt which unsurprisingly has a smokey finish! I instinctively opted for Mary & was extremely happy with my choice!
The savoury options & scones were my favourite part of the afternoon tea! They included themed items such as Mary’s favourite food, warm mini crumpets with smoked salmon and a wonderful crab brioche roll. The delicious selection of traditional finger sandwich flavours also contained little twists, like egg mayo with truffle or adding a mustard ploughman’s.
The sweet treats were designed to match up with stories from the books. There was a ‘Strike me pink’ sponge, Mrs Corry’s gingerbread star and a ‘back to front zoo’golden syrup cake! Mary’s hat reflects ‘Cherry tree lane’ with his fruit packed cherry filling and I dare anyone not to get excited when you’re handed fairground candy floss! I did find most of the sweets, very very sweet (and I have a sweet tooth!), so I was a little disappointed with the flavour of them although the theming and designs were good.
Cost: £49 per person (service charge not included)
Charlie & the Chocolate factory at One Aldwych
Enter a world of pure imagination inspired by the magical, mouth-watering and sometimes surprising world of Roald Dahl’s iconic Charlie & the Chocolate Factory at One Aldwych.
The ever evolving menu consists of fabulous savouries ( some of the most exciting I have had on an afternoon tea!). Examples of what you could discover include quiches, savoury cheesecakes, finger sandwiches featuring flavoured breads and even a meal-in-one marshmallow!!
Uniquely we didn’t get any scones when we visited, but instead we had warm madelines and flavoured brioche with compotes and chocolate spreads! Delicious!
The sweets really were like a journey into the marvellous story in their uniqueness! Cheesecake filled golden eggs, chocolate milkshakes, popping candy cake pops and even candyfloss that we had to guess the flavour of! All washed down with fizzy lifting drinks (champagne!) or teas like chocolate or mango noir!
Peter Rabbit™ at The Terrace on Piccadilly
Enjoy a relaxed Peter Rabbit & friends themed afternoon tea in the vibrant Victorian Conservatory at The Terrace on Piccadilly in the heart of London.
Paying tribute to Beatrix Potter’s wonderful stories of the adored & rather cheeky Peter Rabbit and friends, the tea is presented beautifully with fantastic treats both savoury & sweet honouring the tales.
Two of the highlights are the ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden’ baguette filled with tiny fresh veggies and the entirely edible Flower Pot Hideout made of chocolate & filled with a sponge cake base, subtle chamomile mousse and topped with chocolate soil. Although it appears Peter Rabbit ignore the instruction ‘Now run along and don’t get into any mischief’ as he’s already sampled some of the delights!
A fantastic afternoon tea experience for both children and big kids alike!
Cost: £35 per adult & £25 per child
Check out my full review here!
As is unfortunately the case, good things can’t last forever so the themed afternoon teas below are no longer available for booking. The venues listed will most likely run another theme soon, so I’ve left these in for you to see the standard you could hopefully expect of their new offerings!
Tale as Old as Time; Beauty & the Beast at The Kensington Hotel
Relax & pull up a chair as the Dining Room at the Kensington Hotel very proudly presents ‘A Tale as Old as Time’ Beauty & the Beast themed afternoon tea!
Inspired by the song ‘Be our Guest’, special attendees Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts & Chip offer up beautiful savouries & sweets on the signature Tiffany blue crockery in the intimate dining room. The savoury starters quite literally play on lines from the song, ‘Beef ragout, cheese soufflé, pie & pudding’ , with scones replaced by Marie’s baguettes.
The sweets did not disappoint, with a fabulous jelly containing an edible rose petal representing the iconic bell jar. A chocolate ganache tart took the form of Cogsworth alongside an covertable Chip cup containing the ‘grey stuff’ (white chocolate mousse!).
The whole afternoon was a Disney lovers’ delight and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with friends!
Check out my full review here!
Updated: August 2019