The tradition of afternoon tea began in Britain around the Victorian Era, when most Brits generally only had 2 meals a day. It was limited just to breakfast and dinner. It was the Duchess of Bedford who introduced the tradition, which was already in practice in parts of Europe, of having something as more of a snack in the late afternoon. She introduced the custom of having sandwiches or cake along with tea, which became popular with other members of the aristocracy with time. It helped to bridge the gap between having an early breakfast and a late evening meal and began to be adopted by other social classes in the country as well.
Nowadays most people have a substantial meal for lunch to help them remain energised through a long working day. Tea breaks mostly are limited to sipping on a cup or two of tea as a drink which serves as an alternative to coffee. As a result while the practice of afternoon tea is not as common as it once was, it is still to be found in many luxury hotels and restaurants. More people are again taking a fancy to the idea of adopting the practice be it as a celebratory occasion or just as an event to treat themselves and family or friends.
You can enjoy a lovely traditional afternoon tea service at some of the finest hotels in London and it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The tea or coffee (depending upon your preference) will be served in the finest of tradition and is accompanied by an excellent selection of cold meat, smoked salmon, cheese, or egg sandwiches, along with cake, scones and pastries. These are light and easy to digest and will not spoil your appetite for the evening meal, while providing an opportunity to socialise or catch up with friends.
There are plenty of fine hotels in London to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea where you could relax and indulge yourself in a most delightful experience. Some of the best hotels in the city of London to treat yourself to a fabulous traditional afternoon tea are –
The Ritz is synonymous with old world charm and elegance and your experience of having afternoon tea at The Ritz, is bound to remain the best you will find as there is no place better.It is a very formal affair with a formal dress code, in the most pleasant of surroundings which can only be experienced at The Ritz.You can choose from a wide selection of menus, which of course includes the traditional afternoon tea, Champagne afternoon tea ora celebration tea to commemorate a special event or occasion. It is an experience that you must indulge yourself in but ensure that you book well in advance, as they always have a long queue of reservations in place.
You will be surrounded in opulent art deco surroundings with an equally unbeatable selection of teas, which helped Claridge’s to win the Tea Guild’s coveted Top London Afternoon Tea award in 2011. The foyerof the hotel exudes an atmosphere of sheer glamour quite unlike any other hotel in London, with the afternoon tea menu being just delicious. You will be served the classic finger sandwiches, scones and warm pastries that will titillate your taste-buds to say the least. You can choose between a variety of afternoon teas which include classic afternoon tea, champagne afternoon tea, a festive afternoon tea and even a children’s afternoon tea. Again you need to book well in advance.
The Royal Horse guards Hotel
Afternoon tea is a tradition with certain specific ways of doing it but that does not mean that one cannot be innovative and try something new. The confectionary chefs at The Royal Horseguards Hotel are known for their genius and creativity in coming up with the most extraordinary creations to make the afternoon tea experience absolutely pleasurable in every sense. This is evident in their menu which offers seasonal teas that are tied in with special occasions and events in the city of London. That coupled with fantastic views of the Thames on an outdoor terrace for afternoon tea makes it a combination hard to beat.
Having a tradition afternoon tea at The Montcalm London, is a leisurely and most pleasurable experience. The menu includes as assortment of delectable sandwiches, scones accompanied by cream and jam, sweet biscuits and cakes. All of this is served on the finest bone china and on a tiered cake stand. The tea leaves are out of the finest brands chosen by a connoisseur and you could enjoy a glass of bubbly (if you wish) as well. What enhances the experience even further is the plush and comfortable atmosphere it is served in. An experience not to miss!
The Chesterfield Mayfair
The very tradition of afternoon tea is supposed to be a delightful treat and the chefs at The Chesterfield Mayfair ensure that it is just that. With its terrific customer service that is caring and friendly it becomes all the more pleasurable service. All of this has made it a winner of an Award for Excellence from the Tea Guild for five years consecutively. The warm and cordial atmosphere is enhanced by the beautiful surroundings and its innovative menu. You will love The Chocolate Lover’s Tea i.e. a milkshake or hot chocolate served with a variety of pastries and treats. A great place to enjoy afternoon tea!