Traveling to London, England? Make tea time a reality. There are plenty of cafes to experience high tea. Traditionally, high tea occurs a bit after 5 p.m. and is a heavy meat meal for the working class. This differs from low tea, the standard picture of finger sandwiches, dainty lace napkins, and gloves, served at mid-afternoon. Select your preference as to mood, time, and ambiance and enjoy a memorable high tea in London.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
The Four Seasons is the perfect place to spend time with a loved one. It offers delicious breakfast delicacies to entice your palate. The staff of The Four Seasons caters to your wishes in a friendly service-oriented manner. The candle décor of the café sets a unique, soft atmosphere while melodies from the 24-hour piano player float by.
Ladurée at Harrods
Although there are many places to visit in London, the Ladurée at Harrods in Knightsbridge is one of the most popular. Ladurée is undoubtedly the leader in tea services. They offer numerous dishes to tease even the most discerning tastes. Their specialty is macarons shipped seasonally from Paris. On warm summer days, enjoy the fresh, cool gelato. Located just behind the Harrods’s Department store, you can have a delicious high tea encounter before or after shopping. It is the perfect place to refresh your mind and soul.
For elegance and refinement, a visit to Fortnum and Mason is necessary. This establishment is one of the oldest cafés and has been offering an award-winning Afternoon Tea since 1926. The scones, cakes, sandwiches, and, of course, tea pay reverence and honor to their royal beginnings. Fortnum and Mason is available for private dining and special events in their Tea Tasting Room, North and South Salons, and Drawing Room. This remarkable setting embodies its mission that tea is for sharing.
Sketch in Mayfair is the perfect platform if you and your dearest friends want to hang out in a colorful and energetic place for high tea. High tea here is considered to be a girly-afternoon stop. Sketch’s bright atmosphere adds flair to the perfect pre-tea-time glass of Champagne. They are known for delivering high-grade food with complimentary dishes, including strawberry jam and fresh scones. According to Restaurant Magazine, Sketch was awarded the distinction as the 18th best restaurant in the world. Do not forget to visit the egg-inspired architecture of the bathrooms before leaving.
Claridge’s in Mayfair is considered the personification of London. Their high tea offers outstanding flavors and mouthwatering food. Chocolate combined with clotted cream and scones with pears and walnuts highlight their menu. This five-star establishment earned the nickname of ‘annex to Buckingham Palace’ because of their enduring relationships with the royal family.
Kew Gardens with Cream Tea for Two
There are so many places that offer excellent high tea. However, few are in a royal botanical garden setting. Established in 1840, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is 500 acres of science and seed conservation work. Surrounded by plants and fungi, high tea is transformed into an exceptional experience. Described as the most diverse place on the planet, the gardens does not disappoint. This location can be hired as a venue for events, and patrons can enjoy shopping for gifts, stationery, and homeware. Proceeds from their store sustain their crucial scientific efforts.
Cafes of London abound and range from the famous to infamous. So whether it is high tea or low tea, crumpets or meat pie, do partake of the experience. The unique designs, as well as the service of cafes in London, will create an unforgettable memory.
Cover image credit: Eva Katalin / iStock