Afternoon tea is a British tradition, and lucky for me, I had plenty of opportunities to try it while I was living in London! A classic afternoon high tea normally consists of tea, scones served with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches, and little cakes or sweets. Traditional afternoon teas are delicious on their own, but you can also find quirky and themed afternoon tea in London! From a Harry Potter-themed tea set in a potions class to an afternoon tea dedicated to chocolate, these are my favorite picks for a unique afternoon tea in London!
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Best Themed Afternoon Teas in London
Art Afternoon Tea at The Rosewood Hotel
The themed afternoon tea at The Rosewood Hotel in London’s Holborn neighborhood is one of my favorites in the city. They offer an “art afternoon tea” that is themed to different artists and changes every so often. When I went, the tea was Vincent Van Gogh-inspired, and it included Dutch influences and beautiful pastries themed to the artist’s most famous paintings. Now, the tea is inspired by Anthony Gormley, a British sculptor. This afternoon tea starts at 60 GBP, so it’s pretty expensive, but its beautiful setting in the Rosewood’s Mirror Room and its impressive spread make it worth it, in my opinion.
Science Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand Hotel
The Drawing Rooms at The Ampersand Hotel offer what I think is the best themed afternoon tea in London for children – the Science Afternoon Tea. This tea starts at 39.50 GBP per person for adults and 29.50 for the children’s tea! We opted for the Science Teapot Tails, which included the full science tea plus a tea-inspired cocktail for each course (for 49.50 GBP per person). I went with my parents, and we really enjoyed it. I thought the savories were great, and I loved the creative, unique pastries!
Harry Potter Themed Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge
Cutter and Squidge offers a themed afternoon tea that Harry Potter lovers can’t miss! Set in a “potions class,” this tea is part immersive experience part high tea! Over the course of the class, you’ll mix magic drinks and enjoy tasty treats. Cutter and Squidge is one of my favorite bakeries in London, so everything is delicious, and they even send you home with more sweet treats! Be sure to book your ticket ahead of time – prices start at 49.50 GBP per adult and 39.50 per child!
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Top Quirky Afternoon Teas in London
Afternoon Tea at Sketch London
Sketch London is home to one of the most quirky afternoon teas in London. Even though it comes with a high price tag at 59 GBP per person, its stunning location and luxe experience make it worth it (in my opinion). Afternoon tea is served in The Gallery 7 days a week, from 11:30 to 4:30. The setting is absolutely beautiful, with art-adorned pink walls and blush velvet chairs. Sketch is famous on Instagram for its picturesque dining room and its egg bathrooms (which you have to see if you go). I was originally skeptical when I booked this tea because I thought it might be overrated, but the experience is truly unique. After selecting our tea, “Gus the Caviarman” served us caviar alongside a variation of eggs and soldiers for the first course. After that, we were served scones, beautiful pastries, and finger sandwiches before a slice of Victoria sponge cake. Throughout the 2-hour experience, there was a string quartet playing. It truly felt like we had fallen down the rabbit hole to the most luxurious Alice in Wonderland-like afternoon tea. Be sure to book ahead of time- reservations can fill up fast!
Chocolate Afternoon Tea at the May Fair Hotel
The May Fair Hotel offers a chocolate-themed afternoon tea inspired by famed London-based chocolatiers Charbonnel et Walker. This afternoon tea starts at 35 GBP per person (45 GBP per person with a glass of Moet). My sister and I spontaneously decided to book this tea for lunch one day, and I’m so glad we did. It was delicious and super filling, and the staff was really lovely. The menu features finger sandwiches, chocolate scones, truffles, and more.
B Bakery Bus Afternoon Tea
The B Bakery bus tour combines sightseeing with high tea, and it’s a great way to see the city if you’re visiting London! The company offers several themed teas, including seasonal Christmas teas and a gin lover’s tea (which is what I chose). This tea takes place aboard a vintage red double-decker bus, so it provides a very stereotypically “British” experience. The tours run every day, and tickets start at 45 GBP per person, but I recommend splurging for a top deck ticket so you can get the best views! The pastries and sandwiches were super delicious, and they even served the scones warm! This quirky afternoon tea is really lovely, and I have recommended it to several friends who visited London!
Afternoon Tea at Ting in the Shard
Ting in The Shard is the ultimate place to go for tea with a view. This tea is pricey, starting at 60 GBP per person, but if you’re lucky, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the best view in London (in one of its most iconic skyscrapers) while sipping your tea. Ting doesn’t always have a themed tea, but they often offer a themed or seasonal tea – when I went, they had a royal baby-themed tea, complete with baby carriage-shaped pastries and more. Right now (in early November 2019), they are not offering a themed tea, although they just finished an all pink tea for breast cancer awareness.
Elizabeth Everywhere’s Favorite Quirky and Themed Afternoon Tea in London
These are some of my top picks for a themed afternoon tea in London. I thoroughly enjoyed each of these teas, and I think they each offer something unique and exciting, whether that’s a quirky Harry Potter potions class or a tour of London set aboard a vintage double-decker bus. Would you try any of these quirky afternoon teas in London? Let me know in the comments!
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All prices are accurate as of early 2020, although some offerings may change due to the COVID-19 outbreak.