The best luxury afternoon teas to enjoy this festive season
Celebrate Christmas season with our selection of the best luxury festive afternoon tea experiences in London and beyond
With the festive season now in full swing, everyone is gearing up towards celebrating the holidays in a grand fashion. There are so many festive events, activities and fine dining experiences for everyone to try. And one said evergreen experience is the afternoon tea — which is made even more special this time of the year because it gets a holiday makeover.
Indulge in some of the most luxurious and decadent afternoon tea experiences in the UK with some very exciting themes, decor and an abundance of festive spirit. To help make your search easier, here is a list of some of the best festive afternoon teas you can experience this holiday season.
Festive afternoon tea at Middle Eight, Covent Garden
Covent Garden is one of the few areas of London where Christmas truly comes to life. The streets are filled with festive lights and decor, there is a giant Christmas tree on display alongside a wonderful festive market for visitors to explore, and there are live street performances to keep you entertained. Amid all of that is the Middle Eight festive afternoon tea experience.
Throughout December, guests can experience this afternoon tea featuring some delicious sandwiches and scones, as well as yuletide sweet treats like a black forest bauble and a milk chocolate and praline yule log. Not to forget, some champagne to wash it all down. If you’d like to have a relaxed afternoon after a few hours of Christmas related activities, Middle Eight is the place to be.
Japanese inspired afternoon tea at the Prince Akatoki, Marble Arch
If you want to have an afternoon tea experience with a fun, Japanese twist, the offering at the Prince Akatoki London is the one for you. Menu highlights include smoked salmon blinis, celeriac and wasabi remoulade, shrimp tempura maki, strawberry and white choc mocha and clementine and sake trifle.
This menu will be complimented with a selection of teas and guests can enhance their experience with some optional extras such as Gyuokoro, glass of sparkling sake or a glass of champagne.
Countryside afternoon tea at Coworth Park, Ascot
Guests can enjoy some seasonal sandwiches of roast turkey, sage and apple compote, smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraiche and English brie and cranberry. This is followed by warm scones with strawberry jam, fig compote and clotted cream. To finish, festive pastries include mandarin and ginger choux, spiced pear and cinnamon crumble cake and black cherry, chocolate and kirsch.
The Clockspire’s festive afternoon tea, Sherborne
Westcountry’s fine dining destination, the Clockspire, has an afternoon tea experience that will be available until January 2024. Guests can enjoy a selection of seasonally inspired finger sandwiches, like flavour-filled turkey and stuffing and delicately truffled egg mayonnaise, as well as a selection of some sweet treats.
Among them, a classic Mont Blanc tart with sweet chestnut flavours, a winter fruit pavlova with chantilly cream and pickled blackberries, and a ‘Clockspire Christmas Bauble’ – a ruby red centrepiece of spiced mousse with apple compote centre, crafted by The Clockspire’s talented pastry chefs. All of these treats are served with a selection of teas – or champagne if you’re feeling flamboyant.
Afternoon tea at Lympstone Manor, Devon
This holiday season, guests at Lympstone Manor can partake in the hotel’s festive afternoon tea. Available until 23 December, guests can relish in an array of seasonal treats and holiday-inspired creations. The experience includes a selection of freshly made sandwiches, accompanied by warm scones paired with Devon clotted cream and local jams.
Complementing the selection are handmade cakes and French pâtisseries, expertly crafted daily in the manor’s kitchens. This experience is set in a beautiful setting, overlooking the Exe Estuary and the Lympstone Manor vineyards.
The Langham x Liberty afternoon tea, Regent Street
The Langham has been serving afternoon tea since the hotel first opened in 1865, so we couldn’t possibly make an afternoon tea roundup without including them in the list. And this year, their offering is extra special as the hotel has partnered with Liberty to create a special menu inspired by the luxury London department store.
Savouries include the Liberty jewelled egg bauble with turkey, potato, bacon and cranberries, followed by sweet treats such as a bauble that contains vanilla cream, blackcurrant compote and almond sable, and caramelised puff pastry with caramel and cinnamon cream.
The grand return of The Grand’s festive afternoon tea, York
The Grand, York has relaunched its festive afternoon tea for this year’s Christmas season. Diners can enjoy an array of seasonal treats prepared by The Grand’s expert chefs. The menu includes holiday favourites such as pork, apple, and cranberry sausage rolls, delicately filled turkey sandwiches, and freshly baked cinnamon scones.
These treats are served with a festive cocktail, and can also be had with champagne, prosecco or gin. And there is something here for the kids as well, because this luxury hotel also has a children’s menu which includes ham and cheese white star sandwiches, cinnamon scones, cake pops and more, served with a choice of tea, orange or apple juice.
Flemings Mayfair Hotel’s afternoon tea, Mayfair
Flemings Mayfair Hotel is offering a decadent afternoon tea experience in the heart of London, accompanied by a special Christmas cocktail with gin and gingerbread to toast to the season.
Guests can enjoy some traditional finger sandwiches alongside warm freshly baked scones with a selection of handmade sweet treats including lemon tart and delicate choux apple. All of this can be enjoyed along with a specialised tea blend, which includes a limited-edition spiced rooibos blend.
Parisian afternoon tea at Mariage Frères, Covent Garden
Mariage Frères, the luxury French tea emporium in the heart of London’s Covent Garden, is serving a seasonal afternoon tea in its Salon de Thé.
Guests can select from over 1,000 aromatic varieties of tea – including festive blends Noël Amour, Christmas in Love and Bûche De Noël – before indulging in a Parisian afternoon tea complete with tea-infused scones, sandwiches and picture-perfect patisserie made fresh every day.
The Hyatt Regency’s festive afternoon tea, Marylebone
From 18 November on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, guests can enjoy a festive afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency London’s The Churchill. This experience features an assortment of Christmas themed pastries and confections, including seasonal sweets, savouries and freshly baked scones.
The menu includes foods like mini lobster roll with marie rose, chive and avocado as well as a spiced pumpkin pithivier with pecan, an array of sandwiches, a choice of scones and special Christmas sweet treats. Some of the sweet treats include Santa’s Belt, which is made up of Christmas pudding and coconut marshmallow; a rice profiterole reindeer made with rice pudding, cranberry compote and choux; a snowflake roll, and a ‘Christmas Present’ brandy chocolate cake.
Festive afternoon tea at The Londoner, Leicester Square
Available from 13 November, The Stage at The Londoner will be offering a magnificent festive afternoon tea experience, complete with all the classic accompaniments and artisanal cakes inspired by the season’s joys.
Crafted by executive pastry chef, Sarah Mountain, the sweet treats include Festive Forest, a patisserie made with valrhona guanaja mousse, passion fruit and ginger jam, popping candy, chocolate glaze and gold leaf speckle; and Igloo, which combines bourbon apple compote and cinnamon sponge along with a white chocolate ganache igloo, dusted in coconut snow.
All of this can be enjoyed with champagne, luxury tea from the East India Tea Company, a selection of sandwiches, artisanal cakes, and freshly baked scones. There will also be live music performances to set the scene.