Tuck into a festive afternoon tea with our contenders for the best Christmas afternoon tea London has to offer over the holiday season.
Christmas afternoon tea in London 2020 ranges from the opulent to the downright quirky – so get your Insta game face on, ready your tastebuds and be prepared for indulgent treats between Christmas shopping sprees.
Check back nearer the time for confirmed festive afternoon teas in 2020. In the meantime, take a look at the tantalising teas that were on offer in 2019 below.
Find festive takes on traditional afternoon tea in London
1. Sugar Plum Fairy Afternoon Tea at Waldorf Hilton London
Be transported to the magical world of The Nutcracker, with Waldorf Hilton London’s fun-filled Sugar Plum Fairy Afternoon Tea. Breathe in the magical sugar plum mist and watch in awe as the amuse bouche changes in front of you, before delving into salmon blinis, pistachio and chocolate-filled sandwiches and sugar plum jam with scones. If you’re a bit of a mover, put on your dancing shoes for the Festive Tea Dance.
2. Festive Queen of Afternoon Teas at Hotel Café Royal
The winter version of Queen of Afternoon Teas at Hotel Café Royal celebrates the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. Enjoy turkey, beef, gravlax and duck liver sandwiches and delight in chocolate and cherry cake or Christmas pudding vanilla tart, plus more than 25 types of tea. Add a glass of champagne for some extra sparkle with your Christmas treat.
3. Festive Afternoon Tea at InterContinental at The O2
Seeing Disney on Ice or shopping at ICON Outlet at The O2? Make it a day to remember by tucking into a Christmas-themed afternoon tea in the Meridian Lounge within the InterContinental at The O2. Savour views over Greenwich and the Docklands as you bite into a host of homemade seasonal treats and themed fare. Upgrade to enjoy a glass of Laurent-Perrier rosé champagne
4. Christmas afternoon tea at Sofitel London St James
Combine the flavours of Christmas with Sofitel London St James’ afternoon tea, served in the stylish Rose Lounge. Classic pairings of turkey with cranberry, ham with piccalilli, prawn cocktail, and cheese and chutney make up the savouries; while you can also munch on picture-pretty sweets, including a mont blanc and gingerbread cookie.
5. Christmas afternoon tea at The Royal Horseguards
Treat your tastebuds this Christmas with The Royal Horseguards’ festive afternoon tea, featuring a sack-load of sweet and savoury bites: London smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche sandwiches, Christmas battenberg and “snowflake” white chocolate cube to name a few.
6. Festive Afternoon Tea at The Connaught
Spoil yourself with Festive Afternoon Tea in London at Jean-Georges at The Connaught, and enjoy a whimsical selection of delicious bites that are almost too pretty to eat! Snack on blackberry and chestnut biscuit, spiced turkey sandwiches and a Christmas log, alongside 15 teas.
Indulge in an iconic festive afternoon tea in London 2019
7. Christmas afternoon tea at The Ritz London
Spark that festive feeling with The Ritz Christmas Afternoon Tea in the iconic Palm Court, which is gloriously dressed for the Christmas season. As well as delicious finger sandwiches, seasonal pastries and 18 varieties of fine tea, you’ll be treated to classic carols for a quintessentially British Christmas afternoon tea experience.
8. Festive Afternoon Tea at The Langham
Relax in the luxurious surroundings of The Langham for its festive afternoon Tea in the Palm Court. Also available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the tea is inspired by travels over the holiday season and includes plenty of spice-infused nods to afternoon tea classics. There’s also a special version for the kids!
9. Claridge's Christmas afternoon tea
Step through the stunning frosted doorway at Claridge’s in Mayfair and marvel at its magnificent Christmas tree. But that's not all this winter; its opulent Festive Afternoon Tea served in the Foyer & Reading Room is full of seasonal treats and comes with Laurent-Perrier champagne, specially selected teas and carols.
10. The Savoy Christmas Afternoon Tea
The Savoy hosts its Festive Afternoon Tea in elegant surroundings, as the world-famous hotel is decked out with lavish decorations and a spectacular Christmas tree. Served throughout the season (including Christmas Day) in the Thames Foyer, this London afternoon tea features traditional flavours of Christmas, from coronation turkey sandwiches, to festive fruit cake and mince pies.
Christmas afternoon tea ideas for Instagrammers
11. Christmas afternoon tea at Marriott County Hall
Gaze out at the Thames and the Houses of Parliament from your spot in The Library at Marriott County Hall, as you pick up fun treats, including mince pies with gingerbread and Christmas scones. The perfect way to refuel before wandering along the pretty South Bank and exploring its Christmas market.
12. B Bakery Christmas afternoon tea bus tour
Check out some of the dazzling London Christmas lights aboard the festive-themed B Bakery Christmas Afternoon Tea bus tour while you enjoy Stilton muffins with chestnuts, sable Breton with hazelnut cream, and chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Then, sit back and enjoy the view with a glass of mulled wine, a cup of hot chocolate or a cheeky gin cocktail.
13. Ting at Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard Christmas afternoon tea
Start Christmas on a high, as you head to the 35th floor of The Shard for a decadent afternoon tea. Ting at the Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, puts a festive twist on its usual offering which can be enjoyed with a side helping of stunning views. Upgrade to include champagne for a little extra sparkle.
14. Festive Afternoon Tea at The Landmark London
Stop by The Landmark London in the run-up to the big day, where you can try its delightful Festive Afternoon Tea in the picture-pretty Winter Garden. Decked out in beautiful Christmas decorations, the London hotel’s seasonal spread includes gingerbread mousse, cranberry and cinnamon opera cake, served alongside a glass of champagne.
Marvel at a quirky Christmas afternoon tea in London
15. Mad Hatter's Festive Tipsy Evening Tea at Sanderson
Enjoy a selection of Alice in Wonderland-themed treats with the Mad Hatter's Festive Tipsy Evening Tea at Sanderson. You'll find White Rabbit, wild mushrooms and truffles, parmesan tartlets and Mad Hatter’s Festive Surprise. And, as it’s the season to be jolly, this tea includes a flight of three festive cocktails.
16. Sketch Christmas afternoon tea
Step into Sketch’s winter wonderland, as you explore its snowy decorations and listen to music from a sting ensemble while enjoying a Christmas afternoon tea in the famous pretty pink Gallery. Delve into the likes of truffle croque, scones served with fig jam and chocolate and praline bûche de noël.
17. Cream G&Tea at Hello Darling
Step into a Dickensian world with Hello Darling’s Cream G&Tea. In collaboration with A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, this colourful tea includes scones, pots of tea and gin and tonic cocktails, served on vintage crockery. It will make this Christmas present one to remember!
18. Christmas Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers
Seek out London afternoon tea shopping pit stops
19. Our Winter Afternoon Tea at Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms
Take some time out from Christmas shopping on Oxford Street to indulge in Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms Our Winter Afternoon Tea. Kick things off with a peach and cranberry Bellini cocktail, before sandwiches, scones and sweets such as raspberry and vanilla choux crumble. It’s also served at sister restaurant Scoff & Banter Kensington, where you can warm up after ice skating at the Natural History Museum.
20. Festive Afternoon Tea at Conrad St James
White chocolate and orange mousse, gingerbread sable with caramel eggnog, Christmas-themed sandwiches… that’s surely enough to tempt you into a pit stop at Conrad St James between flashing the plastic in St James’s’ upscale boutiques. If not, add a glass or bottle of Pommery Brut Royal champagne for extra indulgence.
21. Festive Afternoon Tea at Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
Delight in peaceful surrounds as you feast on Petersham Nurseries' seasonal afternoon tea between exploring the stylish beauty, fashion, homeware and fragrance stores of Covent Garden, which is decked out in splendid festive dress. Enjoy turkey and stuffing crostini, clementine trifle and mince pies... Even take home the flower decorations for a little extra!
22. Christmas Afternoon Tea at Hilton Park Lane
Reward yourself after a shopping spree in Mayfair with a creative Christmas afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant, housed within Hilton Park Lane. Full of quirky treats, such as a chocolate Christmas tree, mulled wine bauble and passion and coconut log, it’s definitely one for the ‘gram.
23. Festive Afternoon Tea at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a Christmas afternoon tea at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. This Christmas, enjoy savoury bites such as turkey and cranberry finger sandwiches, and cranberry, chestnut and Kentish blue cheese tart alongside fancies such as double chocolate yule log. Afterwards, venture to nearby Oxford Street to see the world-famous Christmas lights.
24. Bottomless Champagne Festive Afternoon Tea at The Cavendish
For a special treat this Christmas, opt for a bottomless champagne afternoon tea at The Cavendish hotel's Petrichor restaurant. Alongside the free-flowing bubbles for 90 minutes, you’ll savour festive finger sandwiches, savoury bites, scones and pastries. It’s bang on Jermyn Street, the perfect spot for Christmas gift hunting at Fortnum & Mason or finding stocking fillers at the many men’s outfitters.
More Christmas in London ideas
Make a whole day or weekend of it by exploring London's Christmas shopping hotspots, seeing the fabulous Christmas lights, discovering twinkling Christmas trees or delving into the many stalls at London Christmas markets. Check out this one-day Christmas shopping itinerary and ideas for a festive weekend in the capital.