Mother’s Day ideas: 20 fabulous afternoon teas

gallery-tea-palm-courtPalm Court, The Ritz W1

From £60 pp

Afternoon Tea is served daily at 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 3.30 pm, 5.30 pm, and 7.30 pm.

Loved by some (“the afternoon tea is unparalleled!”), but this famous and elegant chamber is to many disappointing (“dry, mechanically-cut sandwiches with fillings I had not seen since a wartime Sunday School party, aimed at naive tourists!”); whichever camp you’re in, it’s not cheap.


claridges afternoon teaClaridge’s W1

From £58 pp

Served daily 2.45-5.30 pm

At Claridge’s, staff have been observing this delightful aspect of our nation’s culinary heritage for the best part of 150 years. Their afternoon tea includes the classic combination of finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet pastries, with teas sourced by tea connoisseur, Henrietta Lovell. Set in the art deco splendour of Thierry Despont’s Foyer.


the connaughtEsplette at The Connaught W1

From £50 pp

Served Mon-Fri 3-3.30 pm & 5-5.30 pm, Sat & Sun 1-1.30 pm, 3-3.30 pm & 5-5.30 pm

Enjoy all the traditional afternoon tea trappings, like finger sandwiches, fresh scones, delicious cakes and pastries, with the official seal of approval from the British Tea Council. As well as an array of teas, Esplette’s serves a range of 16 homemade jams. Add a glass of champagne for £10 extra pp.


Screenshot 2016-02-25 11.44.00Agatha Christie afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel W1

From £47.50 pp

Served noon-6 pm daily

“Where else would you go for afternoon tea?” – this long-established Mayfair hotel “makes you feel like you’re in an Agatha Christie novel”, and is well-known for its “elegant” panelled tea room. Chose from over 17 teas, including Brown’s own blend, and a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. Even Queen Victoria loved to take her tea here!


the goringThe Goring Hotel W1

From £42.50 pp

Served every day in the Bar & Lounge 3-4 pm, and Saturdays in the Dining Room 1-4 pm.

“Marvellously discreet” bastion near Victoria (complete with royal warrant) – “a fine example of everything old-fashioned and English”, not least its “magnificent” staff. “Superb” traditional fare is served in the “beautiful” and “civilised” dining room, with top billing going to the “breakfast fit for a queen” and “quintessential afternoon tea”.


the delaunayThe Delaunay WC2

From £23.75 pp

Served every day 3-6.30 pm.

“Less hectic than the Wolseley but with all the good bits” – Corbin & King’s “so-very-civilised” three-year-old, on the fringe of Covent Garden, is a less showy, more “luxurious” alternative to its bigger stablemate (and likewise “pitch perfect” for business). The mitteleuropean cooking “isn’t really the point”, but it’s usually highly “satisfactory” (in particular the “utterly fab” breakfasts and “most delicious afternoon teas”).


fortnums jubileeThe Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum & Mason W1

From £44 pp

Served Mon-Sat, noon-7 pm, and Sun noon-6 pm.

“I didn’t think posh afternoon tea would be my thing, but I was bowled over!” – Fortnum’s “light” and “elegant” third-floor salon is a relatively new addition to the store, with cake trollies and “light and fluffy scones” à gogo; it’s pricey though, and critics say “the big hotels do it better”.


chesterfieldThe Chesterfield W1

From £36.50 pp

Afternoon Tea sessions are available 1-5.30 pm daily.

Enjoy delicate finger sandwiches and chocolate dusted scones while drinking specially blended chocolate tea before moving on to a delicious selection of cakes and pastries inspired by Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

Children can tuck into nutella sandwiches and sip hot chocolate with marshmallows with our Oompa Loompa menu.  Book your table via:



The Athenaeum Hotel W1

From £34.50 pp

Served at 12.30 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm every day.

“It aspires to no great heights”, but this “pleasant” and well-located dining room (facing Green Park) wins consistent praise for its “lovely afternoon teas” (“the sandwiches kept coming…”) and “good value set lunches”.


egerton house hotelThe Egerton House Hotel SW3

From £35 pp

Served noon-6 pm daily.

Afternoon Tea is a great British tradition, and each afternoon the Egerton’s Drawing Room serves a tempting assortment of delicate finger sandwiches and pastries with freshly baked scones, thick clotted cream and fruit preserves.

To complete this classic treat, choose from an extensive selection of teas or coffee or perhaps enjoy a glass of chilled Champagne. To book email:


RG-07fc-3714Park Lounge, The Milestone Hotel W8

From £40 pp

Three sittings at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm daily.

A delicious array of delicate finger sandwiches is accompanied by warm freshly baked scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and home-made preserves, as well as a selection of pastries including éclairs, tartlets, cupcakes and macaroons.

Enjoy with one of the teas from their vast tea menu or perhaps a glass of champagne. Let staff know which treat you liked best and they’ll bring you another, as well as free flowing tea or coffee.


rubensPalace Lounge, The Rubens at the Palace SW1

£32.50 pp

Served 2-4:30 pm Mon-Fri, and 1-5 pm Sat & Sun.

A ritual fit for royalty.

Enjoy afternoon tea with mum while overlooking the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. Enjoy the traditional pastries and cakes, incorporating a few twists along the way.


montague gardensThe Montague on the Gardens WC1

£28 pp

Served daily noon-6 pm

Take your mum to The Montague, overlooking peaceful gardens in the heart of London, for an al fresco afternoon tea. Weather permitting of course! Tea is served on the hotel’s Wood Deck and comes with a choice of cocktails as well as hot beverages.



sketchThe Parlour, Sketch W1

From £45 pp

Mother’s Day afternoon tea available 5 & 6 March

“OMG the cakes are amazing”, but “the best thing is actually the decor”, say fans of this cute and stylish Mayfair room, best liked for afternoon tea or breakfast; other food can be “very ordinary”, though, and service likewise.


pump roomThe Pump Room, Bath

From £22.50 pp

This “beautiful” and famous Georgian landmark (it’s “especially magical with the trio playing”) is a “busy” feature of the city centre (as it has been for 200 years); the food can seem a “tad disappointing” in comparison – best play it safe with a “great” breakfast or afternoon tea.


Bettys, York

Traditional afternoon tea: £18.95 pp (champagne afternoon tea £26.85 pp).

“A place that’s always happy” – these “lovely, classic tearooms” are a “continued delight, with genuine old fashioned charm and excellent service”. They’re “not cheap”, touristy, and “dont expect great fare”, but for “a first class breakfast and fabulous afternoon tea” they’re still “worth queueing for”.


Bettys, Harrogate

Traditional afternoon tea: £18.95 pp (champagne afternoon tea £26.85 pp).

For a “leisurely afternoon tea, elegantly served”, few institutions deliver such a “lovely, traditional experience” as these renowned, “stately” tea-rooms – “even though there are long queues to enter, once inside you are in an unhurried world where time stands still”. “It’s always a magical visit; a treat for my mum, shared history with my sister, and introducing my daughter to its delights; the raclette, the fish ’n’ chips, the citron pressé, the cake trolley… need I go on?”


Bettys, Ilkley

Traditional afternoon tea: £18.95 pp (champagne afternoon tea £26.85 pp).

This branch of the “fabulous tea rooms” continues to prosper “with its good range of specialist coffees” and “well-cooked” lunches, as well of course (above all) its “classic afternoon teas”.


hartwell houseDining Room, Hartwell House, Aylesbury

From £18.95 pp

Served Mon-Sat 3.30-5 pm

In “magnificent” surroundings, this “splendid” hotel dining room provides “imaginative” food, including “stupendous” afternoon teas served “in the lounges that in their day received Louis XVIII”.


summer lodgeSummer Lodge Country House, Evershot

£28 pp

Served Mon-Fri 3-5.30 pm, Sat & Sun 4-5.30 pm

Or why not take mum for a traditional treat in the idyllic English countryside? Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant & Spa serves afternoon tea in the conservatory, whiskey lounge, drawing room, or during finer weather, outdoors on the terrace.

Enjoy delicate finger sandwiches, freshly made scones and a glorious array of cakes and delicacies served with a selection of speciality teas.

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