Four Standout Spots for Afternoon Tea in London

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There’s one thing delightfully theatrical about slipping into night finery mid-afternoon. From the primary clink of bone china, tea-lovers re-enact the ritual of Victorian Britain, with the soundtrack of a well-tuned piano and the heat of a well-buttered scone. The place higher to grow to be a part of the efficiency than the tea capital itself? From glitzy classics to whimsical interpretations, right here you’ll discover our curated listing of 4 of essentially the most distinctive spots for afternoon tea in London.

The idea of Afternoon Tea didn’t come up till 1840, when one lady skilled a mid-afternoon stoop. With the night meal changing into later and later, the Duchess of Bedford requested {that a} tray of tea and light-weight refreshments be delivered to her boudoir between meals. As she started to ask mates, a rumbling abdomen turned a day ritual, spreading by social circles throughout England. The follow was relocated to drawing rooms and high-society gardens, full with refined costume codes and particular social customs. While the world of espresso was reserved for males, tea turned a female affair, the place girls might categorical identification, opinions and a dose of idle gossip.

While immediately, afternoon tea is just an occasional indulgence, the follow has undergone a revival in recent times. There’s a host of distinctive afternoon teas to discover, from themed affairs to champagne-based alternate options, London gives loads of numerous and beautiful venues to take pleasure in a tower of treats.

The Savoy Resort | Greatest for: A Trendy Expertise with Basic tastes.

Positioned on the Strand, overlooking the River Thames and a stone’s throw from Covent Backyard, The Savoy is the plain alternative for these in search of a contemporary tea expertise that respects the custom of the traditional afternoon tea expertise. Since its opening in 1889, the Savoy stays thought-about to be Britain’s first luxurious resort. Afternoon tea figures prominently as a staple of The Savoy expertise and takes place within the radiant Thames Lobby, the glass-domed atrium the place the notorious thé dansant is believed to have been invented. Right here, suited workers serve mild tea blends in floral bone china cups and saucers, while gentle piano music from a central backyard gazebo envelopes the room. There are a selection of over 30 tea brews on provide, from a syrupy ‘Purple Dragon’ black tea to a tangy ‘Yellow Gold’ Oolong, identified for its distinctive cleaning properties.

A beneficiant menu takes visitors on a journey by conventional British favorites. First comes the savory, a traditional number of pillowy gentle sandwiches, from English Cucumber to a lemon brioche full of oak smoked salmon and light-weight whipped cream cheese. Subsequent come the scones, freshly baked and served with lashings of tangy, buttery lemon-curd. The ultimate course is the pièce de résistance, a platter of inventive treats designed by Government Pastry Chef, Daniel Pearse. The handcrafted assortment options an Amalfi lemon meringue shortbread, an Iranian pistachio praline and a creamy piedmont hazelnut dice. On request, the expertise could be topped with an effervescent glass of champagne, courtesy of Laurent-Perrier.

TING on the Shangri-La Resort | Greatest for: Tea with a view.

Swapping Victorian tearoom for up to date skyline, TING on the Shangri-La Resort serves afternoon tea 125 meters above-ground. Positioned on the thirty fifth ground of London’s majestic Shard, the modern lounge captures the essence of contemporary luxurious, with low tables and plush armchairs angled to absorb spectacular views over the Metropolis of London. There are two menus to select from: a conventional afternoon tea and its Asian-inspired counterpart. Themes are taken critically right here, with a meticulous eye for element and workers who will advise the perfect tea blends for every chunk.

TING permits every visitor to decide on their very own menu, that means that companions can get pleasure from each the traditional and the oriental providing. Within the latter, plump prawn dumplings and crab rolls change duck-egg mayonnaise and peppered cucumber sandwiches.  Scones are served with a candy gooseberry relish to revive style buds. Each menus embrace imaginative desserts – from pink guava mousse to peach melba macarons – washed down with fruit-infused concoctions, or a glass of the crisp and distinctive Veuve Clicquot. Regardless of its cosmopolitan stance, TING offers a gracious nod to British custom, utilizing traditional Wedgewood crockery to go with the general expertise.

Alice at The Franklin Resort | Greatest for: Quirky truffles and pastries.

Camouflaged amongst the bronze buildings of Kensington, the purple flag of The Franklin invitations visitors down the rabbit gap for a singular and memorable afternoon tea in London. Impressed by the V&A’s Alice: Curioser and Curioser exhibition, Alice at The Franklin imagines what the adventurer’s superb afternoon tea would seem like immediately. Anticipate whacky decorations, nostalgic bites and a ramification which is able to depart visitors grinning just like the Cheshire Cat himself.

Regardless of the menu’s virtually childlike edge, there’s nothing gimmicky concerning the flavors. Savory dishes embrace a vibrant beetroot pitta with burrata cheese and bresaola, and scones are of the blueberry selection, served with a meringue and berry compote. It’s the truffles themselves that obtain the total Lewis Carrol therapy; from a carrot caramel cupcake, topped with a white chocolate rabbit, to a brownie prime hat, utilizing kataifi pastry and a gentle pecan cream. There are six teas to contemplate, all developed particularly for the resort by Camellia’s Tea Home. Ticket choices embrace a tea and exhibition bundle, that means that visitors can proceed their keep in wonderland exterior the resort doorways.

The Royal Horseguards Resort | Greatest for: Historical past-buffs and traditionalists.

Sitting throughout from the London Eye on the banks of the River Thames, The Royal Horseguards Resort is a quintessentially British establishment. As soon as house to the primary Chief of MI6, the 5 star resort has been totally restored to its Victorian splendor, making it the right place to take pleasure in British custom. Retracing the footsteps of a few of England’s biggest writers and thinkers, visitors can sink into the luxurious purple velvet chairs of the resort lounge for a proper royal afternoon tea in London.

The meals is as comforting because the interiors, served on delicate towers of pink and white crockery. Savory choices function honey roast ham sandwiches, while scones are accompanied by the all too acquainted thick and luxurious Cornish clotted cream and do-it-yourself protect. For individuals who make it to the highest, a number of candy treats – together with a Marmalade Jammy Dodger and a Gooseberry Inside Out Victoria – awaits. The expertise wouldn’t be full with out the gathering of loose-leaf teas, together with the resort’s bespoke Strawberries and Cream home mix.

Over 150 years after its genesis, afternoon tea comes with a spread of theatrics, together with inventive menus, elegant ceramics and refined performers. With so many distinctive afternoon teas in London, guests can select the well-trodden path of custom or take a evenly modernized sideroad. Whether or not its traditional bites at The Savoy Resort or a whacky unfold at The Franklin, there’s a approach for everybody to revive, or replace, the famed British ritual.

Article written by Maria Lennard courtesy of Haute SocieTea

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