Taking tea is a quintessentially British institution, and nowhere offers a more dizzying array of different choices for "a cuppa" than the capital. Venture into the best tea rooms and tea shops in London to sample everything from cream teas to tea-inspired cocktails.
Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason
The essence of stylish, refined Britishness, Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon 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.
Location: 181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1A 1ER
Tea and Tattle
Take in some culture with your food at Tea and Tattle in Bloomsbury where you can enjoy one of the best tea rooms in London before you wander into the adjoining Oriental and African bookseller, Arthur Probsthain. Opt for simple cream tea with scones, clotted cream and your choice of jams, including the recommended strawberry and black pepper variety, or enjoy a full afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes as well.
Location: 41 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3PE
Soho Secret Tea Room
If you prefer to take your tea with fine bone china, vintage decor 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.
Location: 29 Greek St, London W1D 5DH
Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms
Try high tea at the elegant Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms, where they serve unusual brews such as Rooibos Tiramisu and Lavender Dream supplied by tea specialist Newby Teas. Located in Oxford Street, the team invites you to match your tea with scones or a full afternoon tea, which you can compose yourself from numerous sweet and savoury options.
Location: 350 Oxford St, London WC1 1BY
Twinings - 216 Strand
An essential stop for any true tea lover, 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.
Location: 216 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1AP
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.
Location: 139 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HL
Located a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, the opulent Edwardian The Goring hotel will not disappoint those in search of a special high tea or afternoon tea London experience. You can enjoy your time underneath Swarovski crystal chandeliers, or al fresco beneath the open skies on the garden bar and terrace.
Location: 15 Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW
Candella Tea Room
Experience a touch of class at the elegant Candella Tea Room in Kensington. Sample more than 50 teas and delicious light food choices in a cosy environment. This is your chance to try Lakrysiew, Palm Paradise, Morrocan Mint or something more traditional, like Lavender Earl Grey.
Location: 34 Kensington Church St, London W8 4HA
Whittard's Covent Garden Tea Bar
Far more than just a brilliant tea shop, Whittard's flagship store in Covent Garden is also home to a specialist tea bar serving an indulgent afternoon tea. The cosy tea room is located on the lower level of the shop. Afternoon tea is served all day and features a selection of more than 100 loose leaf teas, alongside finger sandwiches, scones, tea-infused preserves and delicious cakes.
Location: 9 The Marketplace, London WC2E 8RB
The Teahouse at Petersham Nurseries
Relax amid the greenery in south west 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, work off any sweet treats with a stroll along the river or across Petersham Meadows to nearby Richmond.
Location: Off Church Lane, Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10 7AB
Kensington Palace Pavilion and Tea Room
Kensington Palace Pavilion offers a premium location for a classic London afternoon tea, nestled in the royal grounds of Kensington Palace. Surrounded by more than 300 years of history, indulge in sandwiches, cakes and scones, filled with cream and jam, served along your pick of tea, bubbles or British Pimm’s. Sit on the alfresco terrace when the sun shines and enjoy views over the exotic plants of the Sunken Garden created in 1908. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
Location: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX