February 20, 2024

The fanciest Christmas afternoon teas in London

While the capital might currently still be in Tier 2, that’s not stopping us from indulging in our favourite pastime – even if we’re only allowed to enjoy it indoors with our household.

After all, who doesn’t love tea, sandwiches and dainty cakes? And yes, before you ask, a traditional afternoon tea is considered a ‘substantial’ meal so a glass of bubbly is definitely on the cards.

The quintessential English tradition of afternoon tea dates back to 1840 when Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, complained she was feeling hungry around 4pm, after lunch and before her 8pm dinner time. The Duchess requested that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room and, alas, a new dining ritual began.

Now lockdown 2. 0 has come to an end, we are totally immersing ourselves in the festive season and welcoming any opportunity for a Covid-safe celebration in London, which means booking ourselves in for a Christmas afternoon tea.

Yes, now some of London’s best hotels and restaurants are back up and running again, it’s the perfect way to soak up the season (not to mention a chance to glam up a bit after months in loungewear) enjoying their twinkling Christmas trees and, of course, the platters of elegant and tempting tea treats in store.

The great news is that London isn’t short of some spectacular offerings. From the Ritz hotel’s famous Palm Court, where its festive afternoon tea is served alongside a live choir singing classic carols, to Fortnum Mason’s tea served inside the diamond jubilee salon, the perfect respite from a spot of Christmas shopping. Whether you’re there for the sandwiches, the crumbly scones or the seasonal sweet treats, just make sure you go hungry.

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