While I love a traditional afternoon tea, there are a bunch of cool, unique afternoon teas in London that are worth experiencing just as much. Depending on your personality and interests, you might think that tea experiences in this list are more up your alley than the typical one.
*These are not all tried and tested by Jess or the Love and London team. The top teas that we have tested and fully recommend are in the 3-Day London Itinerary.
*Some of the links in this article will earn a very small commission if you click them and then purchase something.
1. Mad Hatter’s Tea at Sanderson
If you’re an Alice in Wonderland fan, check out the Mad Hatter’s Tea at Sanderson in Fitzrovia. Each treat in the tea is beautifully crafted and tastes good too. If it’s a nice day and it’s not too crowded, you may be sat in the hotel’s courtyard for your tea experience, which is lovely. My biggest tip for this tea is to go during the week so you can take advantage of Bookatable’s Star Deal, which brings the price from £48 per person to £40 per person and includes a yummy cocktail.
*Can accommodate diet-restrictions, kid-friendly
£££ | Fitzrovia | Sanderson Website
2. G & Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Residence
If you like your tea hard (um yes thankyouverymuch) then try the Tipsy Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Residence, one of the most unique afternoon teas in London.
Mr. Fogg’s Residence, located in Mayfair in an inconspicuous spot, is a bar that takes on the persona of being the home of the fictional Phileas J. Fogg who “flew around the World in 80 Days”.
Your tea will include a selection of ‘Champagne’ and ‘Spirited’ teas, with a focus on gin and flavours from all over the globe, plus some entertainment on the side.
Mr. Fogg’s now has a couple of other locations but the Mayfair one is still my favourite because it’s quite hidden and many people have no idea it’s there.
You can get a gift voucher for the Tipsy Tea on Virgin Experiences if you want to surprise your travel buddy. And, if you’re a big gin fan, book the G&Tea instead, as it first includes a gin tasting with a very entertaining “gin explorer” who will talk you through the history of gin. It’s hosted at the Gin Parlour in Covent Garden.
*Veggie-friendly, just let them know ahead of time
£££ | Mayfair | Mr. Fogg’s Website
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon tea at One Aldwych
Both adults and kids love the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tea at the luxe One Aldwych hotel in Covent Garden. It’s beautifully done, with the treats being as delicious as they are adorable. The cocktails are also magical, I recommend upgrading to get one (or a few? I’ve been there…)
In December, One Aldwych typically “Christmas-fys” the tea, so it’s even more magical. It’s included in my Festive Teas to Try in London guide.
*GF, vegan and veggie-friendly, kid-friendly
£££ | Covent Garden | One Aldwych website
4. High Tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
You can have afternoon tea amongst actual cats. Yes, this is a thing. I can’t think of anything worse because I’m allergic, but it might be the dream afternoon for you. The tea is pretty traditional (and meat-free) but I mean, the appeal is, of course, the furry guys running around you while you tuck into your second scone…
*Pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free, and gluten-free vegetarian-friendly, kid-friendly (strictly 12+)
££ | Bethnal Green | Book it on Virgin Experiences
5. Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London
Rosewood London is one of the most luxurious hotels in London; I actually had lunch with the cast of Mary Poppins Returns here (magical).
Their Art Afternoon Tea has been voted as the Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea in the UK for two years now. The Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins, created a colourful collection of pastries inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s work. Plus, if you’re looking to try tea (the drink) that’s the best of the best, this is the place to do it, as they serve Mariage Frères varieties.
A few times a year, instead of the art tea, Rosewood serves a seasonal tea for special events, like Wimbledon and the Chelsea Flower Show. They definitely serves some of the most unique afternoon teas in London.
*Diet-restriction-friendly, just let them know ahead of time
££££ | Holborn | Rosewood London website
6. Science Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel
Now one of London’s most famous afternoon teas, the Science Tea at the beautiful Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington is great for families, although, adults without kids tend to like it too. The inspiration for it comes from the nearby Science Museum, so pair your tea experience with a visit and you’ll have a very science-y half-day in London.
The tea is served in the Amersand’s drawing room, a beautifully-decorated part of the hotel, which is actually under the Small Luxury Hotels of the World label.
*GF, vegan and veggie-friendly, kid-friendly. Let them know in advance
£££ | South Kensington | The Drawing Rooms afternoon tea options
7. Royal Afternoon Tea at Madame Tussauds
I’m a pretty vocal hater of Madame Tussauds but theirs is definitely one of the most unique afternoon teas in London.
The experience includes tickets to Madame Tussauds, followed by “tea with the queen” at the “royal garden party”, which, yes, means you will have your tea next to a wax statue of the queen. So… there’s that.
£££ | Piccadilly Circus | Book the Royal Afternoon Tea on Virgin Experience Days
8. B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
B Bakery combines a vintage bus tour with afternoon tea, taking you around to see some of the most famous sights in London while enjoying a lovely traditional afternoon tea, gin (optionally) included. Tourists tend to love this as it’s a very unique afternoon tea, however as I have pretty bad motion sickness it’s definitely not a tea I’ll try anytime soon :/
*Allergy info from website: “Brigit’s Afternoon Tea are able to cater for vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free (but not coeliac as traces of gluten may be found), vegans, halal. They are unable to cater for Nut Free, Combination of Dairy & Gluten free, Combination of Vegan & Gluten Free or Coeliacs”. Kid-friendly (5+, under 18 needs to have an adult present), not wheelchair accessible but they can store a folding wheelchair on the bus. Service-dog friendly.
££££ | Victoria | B Bakery Teas
9. Ace of Spades Afternoon Tea, Sanctum Soho Hotel
If you want to try one of the more unique afternoon teas in London that has a more cosmopolitan-vibe, the Sanctum Soho Hotel has two options. First, for just £25, you can book their Ace of Spades afternoon tea, served in their restaurant Wild at Heart.
For what is absolutely one of the most unique afternoon teas in London, you can upgrade your tea to the Rock Cab Tour And Ace Of Spades Afternoon Tea. You’ll start your day with a black cab tour of some of the city’s most famous music landmarks, led by a music legend-turned-taxi-driver. Then you’ll make your way back to the hotel for your afternoon tea. It’s £99 per person and can only be booked by email.
££ or ££££ | Carnaby | Sanctum Soho Hotel restaurant
10. Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard
Head to the top of the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, to have a Mary Poppins-themed afternoon tea with incredible views of the city skyline. It’s only available until November 2019 so it’s practically a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As with all restaurants in the Shard, you’ll want to book well in advance and request a table at the window. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get that coveted window seat, but of course it’s not guaranteed.
££££ | London Bridge | Find out more about the Mary Poppins tea
11. Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
If you love high-end fashion, then head to the stunning Collins Room at The Berkeley (named after designer David Collins) for Prêt-à-Portea. The sub-theme changes every six months, and as I’m writing this it’s the Dior Couture Collection. If you love the pastries enough that you’d like to learn how to make them yourself, you can also book yourself into Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat’s masterclass.
*Alert them of any dietary restrictions ahead of time if you can, they should be able to accommodate
££££ | Knightsbridge | Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
12. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Afternoon Tea at Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
If you plan to visit Shakespeare Globe, you might want to book in for afternoon tea at Swan, the beautiful restaurant in the globe that overlooks the River Thames. The treats included with the tea are “inspired by the journeys of the characters: from the pea flower of Oberon’s love potion, the apricots Titania feeds to Bottom and, of course, mulberries from the lovers’ tree.” The tea is actually very reasonably priced, being one of the least expensive of unique afternoon teas in London.
Swan also offers a “Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea”, which is actually a great way to sample a lot of traditional British dishes like scotch eggs and baked stilton.
*Dietary requirement guidelines, from the website: “with advanced warning, we can accommodate pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and yeast free diets. Whilst we will do our best to accommodate other special diets, unfortunately we cannot guarantee to do so. We are unable to offer vegetarian or gluten free options for the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea.”
££ | Southbank | Book afternoon tea at Swan
For more tips for your London trip, read:
- Where Can You Store Luggage in London? A Comprehensive List of Luggage Storage Locations
- Is The BritRail London Plus Pass Worth It? I figured it out so you don’t have to.
- How to Make the Most of a London Photo Session
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