Whether you’re looking for a festive afternoon tea with all the trimmings or a seasonal treat with a sprinkle of quirkiness, take a look at our selection of the best Christmas afternoon tea London has to offer over the holiday season.
Below are some of our favourite festive afternoon teas from 2017. Most begin in mid-November and many last into early January - check back later in the year for more information on London's top Christmas afternoon teas in 2018.
Traditional London afternoon tea with a Christmas twist
Spark that festive feeling with a traditional Christmas afternoon tea at The Ritz, while seated in the iconic Palm Court gloriously dressed for the Christmas season. As well as delicious finger sandwiches, seasonal pastries and 18 varieties of fine tea, you’ll normally be treated to a glass of champagne (or a Ritz teddy bear for little visitors) and classic carols performed by The Ritz Choir for a quintessential British afternoon tea experience at Christmas in London.
Royal Lancaster London
Feast on seasonal favourites with a Christmas-themed afternoon tea at the Royal Lancaster London. Last year's treats included gingerbread macaroons, Christmas pudding scones, chocolate and Baileys lollipops, turkey finger sandwiches and pigs in blankets. Afterwards, take a wander over to nearby Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or finish off the last of your Christmas shopping in London’s West End.
The Arch London
The Arch London hotel offers up a feast of seasonal treats at Christmas with their festive afternoon tea. In 2017, diners enjoyed a deliciously festive mix of sweet and savoury bites, from smoked salmon and turkey finger sandwiches to fruit-filled scones, chocolate yule logs and macaroons served with eggnog cream.
Spoil yourself during a festive afternoon tea in London at Jean-Georges at The Connaught, which was filled with a whimsical selection of seasonal bites such as finger sandwiches with an Asian-inspired twist, Instagram-worthy pastries and chocolate fondue with a side of gingerbread men in 2017.
Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a festive-themed afternoon tea in the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. This Christmas treat usually offers savoury bites and finger sandwiches alongside a selection of seasonal sweets. Last year's afternoon tea featured fancies such as marshmallow snowmen, mini praline yule logs and festive cake pops. Afterwards, hop over to nearby Oxford Street to see the world-famous Christmas lights.
Luxurious festive afternoon teas in London
The Savoy hosted the Scents of Christmas Penhaligon’s Afternoon Tea in opulent surroundings in 2017, as the world-famous hotel was decked out with Victorian-themed decorations and a spectacular Christmas tree. Served in the Thames Foyer, this London afternoon tea featured the nostalgic flavours of Christmas, such as cinnamon, chestnuts, gingerbread and clementines.
Head to Claridge’s in Mayfair for a festive afternoon tea, serving up a mouth-watering range of seasonal fare and Laurent-Perrier champagne. Last year, diners could tuck into treats including turkey, cranberry and stuffing finger sandwiches, hand-crafted macaroon baubles, Claridge’s famous Christmas pudding and specially selected teas. Afterwards, marvel at the magnificent Claridge’s Christmas tree.
The Landmark London
Stop by The Landmark London in the run-up to the big day, where you’ll normally find a delightful Christmas-inspired afternoon tea in the luxurious atmosphere of The Winter Garden. Decked out with beautiful Christmas decorations, the London hotel’s seasonal spread included a selection of festive-inspired cakes and tartlets, traditional finger sandwiches and a glass of champagne in 2017.
London afternoon tea at a winter terrace
Soak up the atmosphere at the cosy Dalloway Terrace, complete with Narnia-like foliage and snuggly blankets at Christmas. Last year offered a menu packed with creative flavour combinations, delicious scones and savoury treats, designed by 2016’s Great British Bake Off winner, Candice Brown. If you’re still craving something sweet, there's usually also hot chocolate cocktails.
Find more rooftop bars in London.
Quirky Christmas afternoon tea in London
Hotel Café Royal
Last year's festive Diptyque afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal took inspiration from four of French perfumer Diptyque’s most popular winter scents. Brimming with the flavours of raspberry, lemon, vanilla, pistachio and hazelnut, the Christmas afternoon tea in London offered more than 30 varieties of tea, or a glass of champagne to add some extra sparkle to your Christmas feast.
Enjoy a selection of Alice in Wonderland-themed treats with the Mad Hatter’s Festive Tipsy Evening Tea at Sanderson. You'll normally find festive fare such as a marshmallow snowman, chocolate fudge yule log, savoury scones and an amaretto “drink me” potion. And as it’s the season to be jolly, this Christmas afternoon tea included a flight of four festive cocktails last year, such as the Hot Bouquet: Grey Goose Le Citron vodka infused with hot Mad Hatter tea.
Relive your favourite childhood story with a festive afternoon tea at One Aldwych, inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can usually tuck into treats such as bubble gum panna cotta, a cheesecake-filled golden egg, savoury scones and homemade candyfloss, before toasting to the festive season with a glass of Lallier Grand Réserve champagne or a Cocktail Charlie.
More alternative festive afternoon teas
Find plenty of other things to do in London at Christmas.