Taking tea is a quintessentially British institution, and nowhere offers a more dizzying array of different choices of "a cuppa" than the capital. Venture into the best tea rooms in London for everything from cream teas to tea-inspired cocktails.
Twinings – 216 Strand
An essential stop for die-hard tea fanatics, Twinings on the Strand is the best place to not only sample world-class tea in London, but learn a little about its history too. Visit the oldest shop in the City of Westminster to have a look around the charming in-house museum, before sampling some truly delicious Twinings blends at the Loose Tea Bar. Shop now
Tea House Theatre
One of Vauxhall’s quirkiest hidden treasures, the Tea House Theatre is located in a cosy Victorian pub, where the antique furniture is endearingly mismatched and the teapots come wrapped in hand-knitted cosies. It serves a selection of loose leaf teas, cakes and full English breakfasts alongside evening theatre performances, open mic nights, ballroom dancing classes and even a weekly knitting club.
Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms
If you’re looking for a tea with a difference, head to the elegant Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms, which serves unusual brews such as Rooibos Tiramisu and Lavender Dream supplied by tea specialist Newby Teas. At this Oxford Street venue, you can match your tea with a full afternoon tea, which you can compose yourself from numerous sweet and savoury options. Book now
Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason
The essence of stylish, refined Britishness, Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was opened by none other than the Queen herself. This tea room is a perfect spot for a civilised break, away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly. Make sure to enjoy a tea tasting offered by Fortnum’s expert ‘Tearistas’ before you savour a full afternoon tea. Book now
Drink Shop Do
If you’re the type who’d prefer to squeeze some fun crafts and activities into your teatime break, then Drink Shop Do near King's Cross Station is the place for you. On top of its menu of 27 delicious tea blends, it offers a number of different classes and workshops ranging from jewellery-making to vintage make-up tutorials.
Urban Tea Rooms
Tucked away in the heart of Soho, a short distance from Carnaby Street, Urban Tea Rooms is one of London’s trendier tea rooms. Peruse its choice of delicious loose leaf tea blends, or opt instead for a tea-infused cocktail. Make sure to browse the mouth-watering savoury menu, from which almost all options are British-sourced, organic and free-range.
Yumchaa – Tottenham Street
In Cantonese, Yumchaa means “drink tea”; while in English slang, it translates as “tasty tea” – which is exactly what this pleasantly relaxed tea house around the corner from Goodge Street delivers. The enormous selection of aromatic teas is almost a little overwhelming, so the friendly staff encourage you to smell before you buy if you’re having trouble deciding – nonetheless, you’re sure to make multiple return visits to sample the ones you missed!
Located a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, the opulent Edwardian Goring hotel will not disappoint those in search of a special high tea or afternoon tea London experience. You can opt to enjoy it either in the Bar & Lounge underneath Swarovski crystal chandeliers, or al fresco beneath the open skies on the garden bar and terrace. Book now
The Teahouse at Petersham Nurseries
Relax amid the greenery in southwest London with tea and cake at the charming Teahouse at Petersham Nurseries. Pair your selection from the numerous loose teas on offer with a salad, soup or baked treats in the light-filled glasshouse, before browsing the quaint nursery which is crammed full of all sorts of green-fingered goodies. Afterwards, you can work off any sweet treats with a stroll along the river or across Petersham Meadows to nearby Richmond.
The delightful, independently owned Hummingbird Café in Shepherd’s Bush offers a small but no less delicious selection of teas, as well as famously moreish coffee and cakes; all sourced as locally and ethically as possible. Friendly staff, an intimate yet bustling atmosphere, and space to sit outside in the summer months all add to its unique charm as a teatime destination.
Soho’s Secret Tea Room
If you prefer to take your tea with fine bone china, vintage décor and 1940’s swing and jazz crackling from a retro gramophone, then Soho’s Secret Tea Room is the tea room for you. Located not-so-secretly above the Coach & Horses pub in Soho, a dizzying array of different sponges, scones and fairy cakes await, alongside 16 different loose leaf teas and champagne by the glass.