With more talk of lockdown we need something to cheer us up, and what better than a spoiling Afternoon Tea. Aside from being quintessentially English, many a problem has been solved over a cuppa. Tea for two from the same household or bubble is still allowed under the new government guidelines, though keep your ear open for any changes!

Afternoon Tea | Where it all began

It began with King Charles II and his Portuguese infanta, Catherine de Braganza, who enjoyed sipping a warm beverage. Later is would be the Duchess of Bedford who would put Afternoon Tea on a firm social standing.

The Duchess of Bedford would request a tray of bread and butter with some tea to be brought to her chamber at 4pm. It should come as no surprise that it was the Earl of Sandwich who thought that it would even better to put something in-between the bread. The rest they say is history.

Afternoon Tea in 2020 | London

As travel restrictions begin again, a day trip to a little English tea house may no longer be on the map. But if you live in London, you will find beautiful Afternoon Teas being served in many of its more prestigious hotels. Staycations should be about doing something a little different, and this is a delightful pick me up.

All the hotels I have listed are open and operate with socially distanced tables. They adhere to government guidelines and do everything to make you feel comfortable so that you can enjoy the experience. Top your afternoon off with a glass of bubbly and the world is your oyster for a couple of hours.

Afternoon Tea | My Top Seven in London 2020

Claridges Hotel

It is well documented that Claridges Hotel has been referred to as an annex to Buckingham Palace. Why? It was the sheer number of royal visitors that came through those art deco doors to enjoy the comfort and style of London’s top hotel. Sitting in the iconic art deco Foyer and Reading Room is one of life’s tick-the-box moments, I felt like Cinderella. Bookings for Christmas 2020 afternoon tea are already being taken.
Claridges Hotel Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at Claridges

The Lanesborough

If pink is your thing, this is THE tea for you. Enjoy the wonderful collaboration between The Lanesborough and Peggy Porschen. The elegance of the Celeste Room with its stunning chandeliers just adds extra sparkle to this truly delicious Peggy Porschen Pink Afternoon Tea. Open Thursday to Sunday.
Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea

A perfectly pink tea at The Lanesborough

The Ritz

You have a choice of 18 fine teas, exquisite finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and Victoria sponge cake. The Palm Court is famous for its beautiful pink glass ceiling. Designed with a women in mind, Mr Ritz claimed it would be “… showing her in the best possible light’. We thoroughly enjoyed our tea for the Visit London collaboration as part of our Royal Day Out in London.
The Ritz Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

Ham Yard Hotel

Probably my favourite of the Kit Kemp Firmdale hotels in London. Their afternoon tea service is back up and running. A slightly more relaxed vibe with hanging lampshades and the bright pop of colour and art that greets you at every turn. If you like savoury teas, the Ham Yard should be on your list.
Ham Yard Afternoon Tea

Hamyard Hotel

Browns Hotel

Another London hotel with some Royal history; they say Queen Victoria enjoyed nothing better than going to Browns Hotel for her afternoon tea. Sit in this boutique hotel filled with history and enjoy a tea fit for a Queen.
Browns Hotel Afternoon Tea

Four Seasons Hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel sits on the edge of Hyde Park, so you can build up an appetite with a gorgeous autumnal walk through London’s Royal Park before indulging in their Afternoon Tea.

Once you sink into the deep, plush red velvet chairs of the Amaranto Lounge at the Four Seasons, you won’t want to move. We had the Burlington Afternoon Tea last year and it was truly exceptional.
Four Seasons Hotel Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at The Four Seasons

A final highlight: if your birthday is in October, Fortnum & Mason is offering one person in your party a free afternoon tea. Isn’t that a happy note to end on.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”  HENRY JAMES