Turkey and all the trimmings is all well and good, but December indulgence shouldn’t be restricted to the big day. Take your seasonal sarnies up a gear, add some snowflakes to your scones, and mull everything in sight – because things are just better when they’re festive.
We’ve rounded up some of the best Christmas afternoon teas in London – from the most traditional of teatime spreads, to one-off festive fancies.
Festive Mad Hatter’s tipsy evening tea Book The Sanderson
Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson, Fitzrovia
The Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea has earned itself a stellar reputation as one of the quirkiest afternoon teas in London. They’ve now taken things to another level with the addition of 2 very enticing words – ‘festive’ and ‘tipsy.’ Breaking from tradition as ever, this afternoon tea is served in the evening, and includes a cocktail flight, and sweet and savoury creations with the signature Wonderland twist. The likes of smoked salmon Scotch quail egg with caviar and cream cheese, and Alice’s naughty hazelnut and amaretto ‘drink me’ potion beat a glass of eggnog and a mince pie hands down.
Festive afternoon tea & unlimited champagne £48 Book The Waldorf
The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych
Tea at The Waldorf is special any time of the year, but dining amidst chandeliers and historic splendour at Christmas is quite something. Sticking with the view that it’s the season to indulge, sip on an unlimited supply of champagne alongside white chocolate & pistachio eclair and Christmas tree-topped Victoria sponge: all to the sounds of favourite Christmas carols played by the resident pianist.
Festive Afternoon Tea with free-flowing Chapel Down £48 Book The Sheraton Grand
Sheraton Grand, Park Lane
Showered with praise by the ultimate-authority Tea Guild, The Palm Court at Sheraton Grand brings an intricate Christmas twist to its afternoon tea until 31st December. As well as reindeer, snowflake & tree-adorned sweet treats, enjoy scones filled with juicy rum-soaked raisins and cranberries.
Festive afternoon tea £44 Book One Aldwych
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea, Aldwych
The Roald Dahl-themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych is a constant fixture, but it takes on a magical festive theme come December. Weird and wonderful Wonka-style delights include Christmas pudding cake pops, a golden chocolate-filled egg, and hand-swirled mini candyfloss. Enjoy alongside wintry teas and a zingy whisky, cherry & grapefruit signature cocktail at One Aldwych.
Christmas afternoon tea £75 Book sketch
sketch – Gallery, Mayfair
Ruler of eccentricity, sketch hosts its Christmas afternoon tea in the sugar-pink Gallery, where its luxury dainties are served to a backdrop of David Shrigley artwork and a mind-bending light show for the festive season. As well as finger sandwiches and scones, festive-themed sweets include cinnamon & chocolate tart, and blood orange & walnut cake.
Festive afternoon tea £68 Book The Dorchester
The Promenade at The Dorchester, Park Lane
Yuletide cheer doesn’t get more luxurious than at 5-star The Dorchester’s impeccable afternoon tea hideaway, The Promenade. Perfectly formed seasonal dainties are fashioned to resemble gifts, trees and miniature baubles, and the classic sandwiches and scones are on hand to make the experience a true homage to tradition.
Anna’s Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea – £ 54.50 Book The Park Room
The Park Room, Park Lane
A plush lounge filled with marble, fresh flowers and forest-green velvet furnishings, The Park Room offers an afternoon tea from acclaimed pastry chef, Dale DeSimone. Along with both finger and open sandwiches and cake from the magnificent counter, enjoy fancies including chestnut & hazelnut meringue, clementine snowball, and gingerbread éclair.
Christmas afternoon tea £29.50 Book The Capital
The Capital, Knightsbridge
Another Tea Guild award-winner, independent 5-star hotel The Capital presents a tea from acclaimed pasty chef, Claire Clark. As well as the traditional scones and savouries, intricate little treats include Santa and red-robin macarons, a mini chocolate yule log and chocolate orange mousse.
Christmas afternoon tea £35 Book Kona
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Victoria
Purveyor of magical themed afternoon teas, Kona is found within the immaculate Taj 51 Buckingham Gate. In a dining room filled with plush furnishings and eclectic artwork, guests can enjoy one of London’s most treasured traditions just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. Feast on treats including a marshmallow snowman, a chocolate log, and champagne & cranberry jelly.
Christmas champagne tea by Shaun Rankin, £48 Book The Drawing Room
Flemings Hotel, Mayfair
Nestled in a boutique hotel in the heart of Mayfair, The Drawing Room presents its Christmas afternoon tea curated by multi-award-winning chef, Shaun Rankin. This elegant tea stays true to tradition, with timeless cakes, desserts and savouries given a swirl of winter flourish.
Festive afternoon tea with champagne mulled wine, £42 Book 108 Brasserie
Marylebone Hotel, Marylebone
An elegant brasserie in Marylebone, 108 stays true to tradition with its tea, with a roaring log fire providing some extra winter toastiness. Served alongside champagne mulled wine, enjoy the likes of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwiches (keeping things classic), truffle sausage roll, and eggnog & gingerbread trifle. There’s also a version of the tea available gluten free.