Find an afternoon tea for less than £20 per person. You don’t need to go over budget to enjoy this English tradition, with plenty of cheap afternoon tea options available in the capital.
Traditional afternoon tea
To A Tea
Pop over to the Blackfriars emporium of all things tea and enjoy a proper afternoon tea from To A Tea. Buttery scones come with cream and jam, finger sandwiches, dainty cakes, and bottomless teacups. These guys are serious about tea. Their three boilers (named Tom, Dick and Harry) are kept at different temperatures to ensure a perfect brew no matter what style of tea you choose. £12.50 per person (minimum 2 people).
Look around the magnificent interior of The Wolseley on Piccadilly, once a car showroom, now described as an all-day cafe-restaurant in the grand European tradition. This is a cream tea, meaning they stick to tea and scones (no sandwiches). It makes for an indulgent afternoon snack; and if you do need more, you can always splash out on the full afternoon tea. Cream tea for £15.75 per person.
Afternoon tea and culture
The Wallace Room
Enjoy fine arts, including paintings, porcelain and furnishings at the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, then take a well-deserved break with a cream tea or a full English afternoon tea in the lovely Wallace Room restaurant. Either way, you can choose from an extensive range of specialist teas. Cream tea for £6.50 per person, afternoon tea for £18.50 per person.
Imperial War Museum
The Fan Museum
Overlooking a “secret” Japanese garden, the beautiful orangery in Greenwich’s unique Fan Museum is the perfect space to unwind over one of their delicious teas. In a radical break with tradition, you can opt for a cafetiere of coffee instead of a pot of tea. They offer amazing value at only £8 per person (museum admission is £4, free to London Pass members).
Sample the modern art in this world-famous Kings Road gallery and then savour any one of the afternoon tea choices offered in the Gallery Mess. It’s just at the limit of our cheap price range but you do get a selection of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, strawberry tart, macaron, chocolate and hazelnut praline bar, lemon tart and salted caramel canelé with a selection of Canton teas. Quite the indulgence! They also have a children’s option, called Origamitea, and a cream tea option if you’re not quite hungry enough for the whole thing. Afternoon tea is £39 for two people, cream tea for £8.50 per person, and children’s Origamitea for £7.50 per person.
Afternoon tea with a modern twist
The Modern Pantry
Make your way over to the modern casual dining space that is The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell for a comprehensive cream tea. Featuring a cheddar, chive and garlic scone, a chive and poppyseed swirl basil and black pepper scone, macerated blackberries, clotted cream and a cake from the daily selection, not forgetting a selection from the Lalani & Co seasonal tea library, this is a modern take on the traditional afternoon tea. You’ll still be inside budget even if you add an optional glass of white peach, lychee or passionfruit Bellini or prosecco, so why not? Afternoon tea for £12.50 per person, or £17.50 with a Bellini or prosecco.
Take a break from Oxford Street shopping and visit Ethos, where the team is dedicated to serving delicious and creative meat-free cuisine with broad appeal. With vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, this is a great option for a group of friends with varying dietary preferences. Afternoon tea for £20 per person.
Best for children
Le Meridien Hotel
Unleash your wild side with a Jungle Book-themed afternoon tea in this upmarket hotel in the heart of Piccadilly. The children’s afternoon tea features tiger bread sandwiches in honour of Shere Khan, and rainbow fruit skewers inspired by Baloo the bear’s favourite snacks. All washed down with a Cheeky Monkey mocktail combining banana, pineapple and melon. Fuel for the London jungle at £15 per person.
Unusual afternoon teas
Step out of your afternoon tea comfort zone with an Indian twist - High Chai Twisted Afternoon Tea in this Soho branch of the famous Cinnamon Club. Enjoy a pot of tea (why not try the Masala Chai, freshly brewed in-house using ginger and cardamom?), then tuck into savouries including Hyderabadi caramelised onions and mint samosa followed by Malabar plum cake. £17.50 per person.
Try a Taste of Yauatcha, a dim sum based afternoon tea in this award-winning Soho Chinese restaurant. Available from Monday to Thursday, we think it’s worth the visit for their crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin and pine nut alone. £19 per person (minimum 2 people).
Looking to splash out? Take a look at the full range of afternoon tea in London including traditional, unusual and gentlemen’s options.