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[London] Afternoon Tea

Browners May 20, 2009 03:56 AM

For the June or July Sandwichist article for Londonist, I'm planning to review an afternoon tea. I've experienced the Lanesborough which was good, so I am looking for other ideas.

If anyone can recommend a brilliant place to go for afternoon tea (must include sandwiches) I'd be deleriously happy.


  1. c
    cmj Jul 8, 2009 11:14 AM

    It might be too late to add anything, but I read that the Orangery at Kensington Palace had excellent afternoon tea. Has anyone been there?

    4 Replies
    1. re: cmj
      limster Jul 8, 2009 11:19 AM

      Howler has recommended it a couple of times. I haven't been, but high on my list to go.

      1. re: limster
        hong_kong_foodie Jul 20, 2009 05:33 PM

        What does everyone think about afternoon tea at the Ritz? I know it's supposed to be an institution - and the price certainly makes it clear - but I'm wondering if it's still so great.

        1. re: hong_kong_foodie
          DollyDagger Jul 21, 2009 12:39 AM

          It's still a good 'experience', but your fellow diners will be 90% tourists. (That can be said of most afternoon tea places, but it affects the Ritz in particular). It always makes the UK Tea Guild's 'Awards of Excellence' list though.

          Brown's was their overall winner this year - you really can't go wrong with tea there.


          1. re: hong_kong_foodie
            nanette Jul 21, 2009 01:15 AM

            It is good. Service is very good. I was quite pleased that they refilled our scones and sandwiches and were always refreshing our tea pots. I went with my mother who is disabled and they were very nice and accomodating, much more so than many other places.

      2. limster May 20, 2009 01:58 PM

        Very classic rendition of afternoon tea at Brumus at the Haymarket hotel, details in an old post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/583326
        Very well priced too at under £20, considering the quality.

        Haven't had time to post on afternoon teas I've had in the last couple of months, but Andaman at the St James Hotel and Club stood out - luxe environs, awesome pastry kitchen, and savoury stuff that goes above and beyond sandwiches (there was only one sandwich -- open faced and Italian-ish, with tomato and prosciutto); however in lieu of other sandwiches there were other good things, like caviar and blini with sour cream. And it's steal at £22 in a civilised and quiet part of St James. The offerings for tea change every month.

        2 Replies
        1. re: limster
          nanette May 21, 2009 05:33 AM

          Thanks limster, the St James looks great and I'm going there for my birthday!

          1. re: limster
            klyeoh Jul 8, 2009 05:20 PM

            Placemark for Brumus:

            Brumus Restaurant & Bar
            1 Suffolk Ln, City of London, Greater London EC4R 0, GB

          2. d
            DollyDagger May 20, 2009 06:16 AM

            Possibly not what you're looking for but the No 20 restaurant at the new Sanctum Soho Hotel do afternoon tea. The regular tea includes 'Cucumber, Marmite with watercress, free-range egg with mayonnaise, Bradenham ham with mustard, smoked salmon, Gentleman’s Relish with mustard cress'.

            The slightly more interesting 'New English' tea includes a ham and cheese toastie, Millionaire's shortbread, teacakes, a packet of Munchies (?!) and a Long Island Iced Tea.


            I still like the Dorchester and Browns for 'traditional tea'.

            9 Replies
            1. re: DollyDagger
              zuriga1 May 20, 2009 07:19 AM

              I wonder what Long Island Iced Tea is! I may have to investigate.

              1. re: zuriga1
                DollyDagger May 20, 2009 07:59 AM

                I'm assuming it's the cocktail? I certainly hope so!


                1. re: DollyDagger
                  zuriga1 May 20, 2009 11:41 AM

                  It must be! The Sanctum afternoon tea looks very good!

                2. re: zuriga1
                  klyeoh May 22, 2009 04:05 PM

                  It's alcoholic!!

                  1. re: zuriga1
                    raistlyn May 22, 2009 06:11 PM

                    A Long Island Iced Tea is an extremely powerful drink, if done right. Usually contains around four different kinds of hard liquor, and, because of the sweetness of the mixer, usually doesn't taste as alcoholic as it really is. Definitely a drink for when you don't have any plans for the rest of the day!

                    1. re: raistlyn
                      zuriga1 May 23, 2009 12:09 AM

                      I guess I should have spent more time on Long Island. I was a Westchester person. :-)

                  2. re: DollyDagger
                    Browners May 20, 2009 09:17 AM

                    Sanctum looks awesome. Great suggestion. Thanks very much indeed.

                    1. re: DollyDagger
                      Browners Jun 10, 2009 05:32 PM

                      I went to Sanctum and it was utterly empty and the staff didn't have a clue about the New English. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. We left and went to Yauatcha.

                      1. re: Browners
                        DollyDagger Jun 11, 2009 01:07 AM

                        Ah, sorry to hear that. From what I've heard, they seem to be putting minimal effort into the restaurant. Lets hope their brutally expensive bedrooms are doing better business!

                    2. b
                      berbadeerface May 20, 2009 05:39 AM

                      Fortnum and Mason, on Piccadilly, is a classic.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: berbadeerface
                        klyeoh Jul 8, 2009 05:17 PM

                        Placemark for Fortnum & Mason:

                        Fountain Restaurant at Fortnum
                        181 Piccadilly, London, Greater London W1J 9, GB

                      2. g
                        grobeaar May 20, 2009 05:30 AM

                        Sketch is a very interesting place to explore... afternoon tea served after 3pm with sandwiches £24pp

                        Plus Market Kitchen did a piece of Afternoon tea recently... here's where they went.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: grobeaar
                          Browners May 20, 2009 09:41 AM

                          Sketch looks like a lot of fun for afternoon tea... and I am delighted to have now discovered Momo. Seems fun. Thank you very much.

                          1. re: grobeaar
                            nanette May 21, 2009 05:30 AM

                            Funnily enough, I went to Sketch yesterday for afternoon tea and it was so not worth it.

                            While the jam and eclair were were good, the sandwiches were a major let down on stale bread and far too "creamy". The teapots do not come with leaves in them, leading me to believe it is produced from a bag and we were not offered more hot water/tea as is the standard anywhere else.

                            Scones were nice, but tiny. They get a couple points for playing The Clash rather than the typical piano music, but the tea part of the afternoon tea was a let down.

                          2. zuriga1 May 20, 2009 05:07 AM

                            Brown's Hotel has always been a very luxurious (and pricey) afternoon tea. We always remember our first. :-) Sotheby's also has a very pleasant space and serves a good tea, but I'm not sure if it includes sandwiches. You could call to check. It's a pretty room.

                            Here's a link for so more good ideas.


                            5 Replies
                            1. re: zuriga1
                              isabella_deste May 20, 2009 08:14 AM

                              One of my favourite places for afternoon tea is Duke's Hotel in St James's. The thing that makes it stand out is that they include a hot, buttered crumpet! So you get lovely finger sandwiches, warm scones and clotted cream, a large pot of tea, cakes and crumpets. Its served in the (smallish) drawing room which has the most divinely soft and comfortable sofas and as its not that well-known it's relatively quiet.


                              1. re: isabella_deste
                                Browners May 20, 2009 09:35 AM

                                Ah. Dukes. Douglas always recommends this place. It is well and truly on my short list.

                                1. re: isabella_deste
                                  klyeoh Jul 8, 2009 05:15 PM

                                  Some placemarks:

                                  Duke's Hotel
                                  35 St James's St, London, Greater London SW1A 1, GB

                                  The English Tea Room at Brown's Hotel
                                  34 Albemarle St, London, Greater London W1S 4, GB

                                2. re: zuriga1
                                  klyeoh Jun 10, 2009 11:26 PM

                                  I really liked the Winter Garden (#8 on your 10 best list) when i was there last Nov. Very polite & professional service.

                                  1. re: klyeoh
                                    klyeoh Jul 8, 2009 05:16 PM


                                    Winter Garden
                                    222 Marylebone Rd, Paddington, Greater London NW1 5, GB

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