If you didn’t know, this week (8th – 14th August) marks National Afternoon Tea week. If you’re thinking Afternoon Tea ain’t for you – think again! We’ve teamed up with DesignMyNight to hand-pick the quirkiest and most traditional options in London. Think everything from extravagant Mad Hatter treats to scoffing buttery scones on a moving red double decker bus!
Tonic and Remedy
Tea and alcohol are two vital staples of the British diet and the ingenious people over at Tonic and Remedy have come up with a brilliant idea by fusing the two. They’ve combined mouth-watering herbs, tasty spices and exotic alcohol to provide a menu that crosses between the traditional and, dare we say, the adventurous (think drinkable scones, boozy ice-cream and BBQ chicken sliders). These savoury delights and sweet treats complement the carefully selected drinks they accompany, providing for an incredibly well thought out, unique afternoon tea experience.
BB Bakery Bus Afternoon Tea Tour
They don’t come much more British than this; enjoy tea, scones and fresh cakes all whilst taking a tour around Central London on the BB Bakery Bus – a classic double decker Routemaster. The cake menu here gives a deserved nod to our cousins across the Channel with a strong French influence, but this only adds to what is surely the most stylish way to see the finest sights of London. Enjoy British bites whilst gawping at Buckingham Palace and sip tea whilst driving past Nelson’s Column. Organise your own pick up points for private parties or head down to Victoria Coach Station for an evening of true Britishness this Afternoon Tea Week.
Little Nan’s Tropical Afternoon
This charming, in-demand drinking den, tucked away in no less than three different London locations, has fast become a true thirst quencher. Combining local popular culture with dreams of exotic holidays, you can grab a snap dressed as Pat Butcher or Del Boy whilst sipping on anything from tropical craft lager to heady concoctions. Afternoon Tea Parties with bottomless teapot cocktails, unlimited pic ‘n’ mix and general sunny vibes will take you away from British shores to the white sandy beaches and blue seas of the Caribbean. Prosecco based cocktails are also available to help create those memorable holiday-like moments. Head down to Little Nan’s ASAP, their whimsical tea party is set to finish on the 20th August.
Scandal Water have successfully mixed traditional supply with modern demand to create a fantastic alternative to the cake and scone carb-heavy afternoon we have all grown accustomed to. True to the traditions of the 19th Century, they have used the exclusive oak clad Punch Room at London’s Edition Hotel to put on an afternoon of high-class drinks and culinary delights. Influenced by the rumour spreading echelons of elitist 19th Century society, Scandal Water want you to drink, chat and gossip to your heart’s content. They’ve also teamed up with Rare Tea Co. and Berners Tavern to produce five exotic teas to complement their delicious light bites. And that’s not all, their creative spark has continued to burn resulting in their must-try tea-infused punch.
Sanderson Hotel ‘Mad Hatter’ Tea Party
Named after suffragette activist Emmeline Pankhurst, Emmeline’s Lounge serves up sweet treats with a socially aware twist. Catering for baby showers, hen parties, business meetings, and simple catch ups, Emmeline’s holds the social aspect of afternoon tea close to heart. The restaurant’s chic design and seasonal menu ensures year round attraction and have just recently won an award at the 2016 Afternoon Tea Awards. Throughout the most important week of their year, Emmeline’s will be fronting a candy shop theme to bring your culinary dreams alive. Add a live harpist playing a mixture of classic and contemporary covers and you have the perfect finishing touches to an especially sweet afternoon.
No Afternoon Tea list could be complete without the inclusion of the world famous Ritz. Indulge in the most prestigious, most aristocratic of afternoons with the creme de le creme of the Afternoon Tea world. Dress to impress and live like nobility with elegant chinaware, 18 different types of loose leaf tea, royal sandwiches, scones, and delicious strawberry preserve. As expected, service and offerings at the Ritz are second to none – they even have a vegan option available. Your evening here will be accompanied by a captivating musical (harpist and pianist included) counterpart making for the most breathtaking afternoon. Despite five sittings throughout the day in the grandiose Palm Court, pre-booking is essential. Celebratory and Champagne Tea menus are also available to make your afternoon or special occasion that tad more exceptional. Just remember pinkies up!
Oxo Tower’s ‘Not Afternoon Tea’
Times (in the afternoon tea world) are finally changing as Oxo Tower bring a fresh meaning to the culinary tradition. Take a trip to the Southbank to try an incredible, locally sourced food menu accompanied by hand picked cocktails. No stone is left unturned with daring options like dark chocolate peanut tart, rhubarb and ginger cheesecake and a ‘Totally Tea’ cocktail that may not be as teetotal as it sounds. Add fantastic panoramic views of the city and you have an afternoon tea like no other, it’s guaranteed to have you merrily wobbling out the exit.
Dubbed ‘the birthplace of afternoon tea’, The Langham has continued to pioneer and spruce up the everlasting tradition by partnering up with children’s favourite, Hamleys. Cute cakes, yummy sandwiches and tasty pastries will occupy the little ones whilst you enjoy fine Wedgewood tea, all in a glorious setting. Finish the afternoon with a surprise sweet bag; it’s sure to capture the imaginations of both you and your child. If you are in need of that much-needed respite from the little terrors, Langham also offer a spectacular Spa Day and Afternoon Tea package guaranteed to re-energise both soul and body.
For more great bars and info on what’s on in London visit DesignMyNight; and follow them on Twitter @DesignMyNight.