A perfect Christmas treat for the family or kids, or a lovely way to catch up with friends during the silly season, a festive afternoon tea always delights.
If you’re looking for small sandwiches and bauble-shaped patisserie, here are some of the best festive afternoon teas in London.
Inline with the hotel’s festive theme, Coming Home for Christmas, The Savoy’s traditional festive tea is served in the glass-domed atrium Thames Foyer, surrounded by twinkling lights, snow dusted branches and old-fashioned street lamps reflecting the peaceful snowy streets of historical London. If you add a glass of champers, it will come with a scented bubble on top, which when popped will release seasonal spices into the air.
Price: From £90
Address: Strand, WC2R 0EZ
Always a spectacle to bask in, The Ned’s impressive interiors get a festive makeover, as does its afternoon tea. Take in Millie’s Lounge, expect to nibble on mince pies, decadent Santa had ands a gingerbread and salted caramel Christmas tree. Vegan options available and served until December 26.
Price: From £60 per person
Address: 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
The Grade II listed Oscar Wilde Lounge is baroque and lavish and exquisite, and comes with wine splashes on the ceilings from riotous past knees-ups. The festive afternoon tea is fitting for such grandness – finger sandwiches of turkey and stuffing, and beef wellington and as selection of rich patisserie such as mince pies with Tahitian vanilla cream and nougat with light mousse and citrus and pine crèmeux. Available from November 22.
Price: From £85
Address: 68 Regent Street W1B 4DY
The three Michelin-starred restaurant goes all out for the festive season, so you could have an afternoon tea in a surreal White Winter fantasy. Feast on finger sandwiches amongst elaborate flower installations, near a huge snow globe or next to a large, fantastical tree embellished with sparkling crystals.
Price: From £80
Address: 9 Conduit Street
Served in the hotel’s art deco tearoom, The Strand Palace’s Ice Palace afternoon tea comes with a very festive selection of treats – a vanilla and white chocolate Christmas tree cakesicle, a snowball made from coconut and citrus, a reindeer Yule log and a macaron with a snowflake.
Price: From £49
Address: 372 Strand WC2R 0JJ
A classic, for sure, an afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason is a quintessential London experience any time of year. For Christmas however, it is served in the dressed-up Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, that if you’re lucky will have carols on the piano. Classic finger sandwich fillings lead on to mixt spiced loaf, a rose éclair and a Tonka bean chocolate bauble.
Price: From £80
Address: 181 Piccadilly W1A 1ER
The five star hotel puts a festive spin on the already wonderous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea. After trying a spinach roly-poly and not quite as it seems beetroot macaron, nibble or gobble on hair toffee mousse, fizzy lifting lemonade posset and a caramel chocolate milkshake that’s been mixed by a waterfall.
Price: From £90
Address: 1 Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ
This tea is a good one for kids. After a succession of festive finger sandwiches filled with the likes of roast turkey and cranberry; smoked salmon and cream cheese; and roast sirloin with mustard mayonnaise, get stuck into a a selection of charmingly festive treats. These include a festive candle, Frosty the Snowman, a Christmas star and a bauble. Served from November 24 to January 5, 2024.
Price: From £45
Address: Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY
Taken overlooking the city from 35 floors up, the Shangri-La’s festive tea comes with a red bauble made of green shiso mousse, a white chocolate and pistachio Christmas tree with sour cherries and and an apple crumble to chare among the festive sweets. Available November 14 to January 9.
Price: From £89
Address: Level 35, 31 St Thomas Street SE1 9QU
In the Crystal Moon Lounge (where you can bask in the warming glow of 1,001 Baccarat crystals), Corinthia’s festive afternoon tea is a sophisticated meal. In a truly decadent meal, you can add course of caviar to your tea, if your smoked salmon rillette and roast turkey sandwiches are savoury enough. Among the patisserie is a speculoos and pear Christmas tree, an orange and vanilla snowball and ginger and orange cookies. Available November 17 to January 3.
Price: From £95
Address: Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
Opt for a Singaporean-inspired selection of siu mai and sui bao to start with or go down a more traditionally British route with classic finger sandwiches. Either way you’ll end up with a biscoff pecan and apple festive forest; and a snow globe made from chestnut, blackcurrant and port among the final course of pastries. From November 2 – January 6, 2024.
Price: From £78
Address: 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB
Taken in the hotel’s impressive Tea Lounge, mulled wine cured salmon, roast turkey with stuffing and treacle honey gammon flavour the first course, while chestnut mousse and quince jelly, a cherry sponge cake with pistachio cream, a milk chocolate mousse with orange confit and a dark chocolate ganache montee are starting points for a reindeer blessing, an ornament, a wreath and a holly bell. Served November 20 – December 25.
Price: From £80/£40 adult/child
Address: 44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HP
The Lanesborough -a magical hotel all year round – is at its most fantastic during the festive season. Taken in the opulent Lanesborough Grill, the hotel’s Queen Charlotte afternoon tea gets a Christmassy reworking for the festive season. Finger sandwiches are traditionally festive and the selection of patisserie get a royal work over so that they are both festive and regal. You can even go a festive cocktail too. From November 10 to January 7, 2024.
Price: From £90
Address: Hyde Park Corner SW1X 7TA
Hosted in the stunning Winter Garden Restaurant, the five-star afternoon tea comes with a selection traditional finger sandwiches including egg mayonnaise, Coronation chicken, and cucumber, before moving on to Christmas spiced mandarin scones served with clotted cream and hazelnut spread. Then there’s Christmas pudding mousse, a white chocolate yule log and a sour cherry and gingerbread opera for dessert. Served November 30 to January 3, 2024.
Price: From £88
Address: 222 Marylebone Road NW1 6JQ
This is another traditional afternoon tea that gets a festive glow up and taken in yet another stunning art deco dining room. There’s also a really sweet kids afternoon tea too. Served November 27 to January 8, 2024.
Price: From £55
Address: Piccadilly W1J 7BX
Created by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Sarah Houghting (a finalist in 2021 Bake Off: The Professionals), The Ruben’s Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is a tribute to a traditional English afternoon tea and the Christmas roast that comes with a glass of mulled wine. Served November 14 to January 1, 2024.
Price: From £82
Address: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS
Another Winter Wonderland afternoon tea that’s traditional and appropriately festive. Buttercream topped cupcakes are dressed up with festive motifs and Christmassy figures, while Christmas macarons and sugar-dusted yule logs continue to bring the seasonal cheer. Served November 17 – January 2, 2024.
Price: From £90
Address: 35 Charles Street, Mayfair W1J 5EB