There’s nothing more British than a hot cup of tea, and these five teahouses add a contemporary twist to the tradition of high tea.
Tea is an English staple and Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley is a high tea fit for any fashionista. From sparkling champagne to cakes representing famous designers, every aspect of the tea brings you closer to the runway. And, like the ever-changing world of fashion, each season brings out new flavours, colours, and desserts. With cake designs based on famous brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Emilio Pucci, and Balenciaga, Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley is a unique experience that combines culinary delights with the world of high fashion. The bright colours, beautiful porcelain, fun flavours, and lovely atmosphere found in the tea room contribute to a delightful afternoon with family and friends.
Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson
Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson is a whimsical journey into the world of Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts. With teapots, drinks, and cakes themed after the famed story by British author Lewis Carroll, this is one story you do not want to miss. Every tea, cake, and treat is a creative take on a classic tale that changes depending on the season. If you come in the spring, you might sample a mouth-watering King of Hearts parmesan croque-monsieur stack, Tweedle Dee’s lemon curd financier or a special “Drink Me” concoction made from cinnamon, apples and peaches. For traditional tea enthusiasts, scones and clotted cream are also part of the menu.
Located in The Shard, an architectural wonder that stands as one of the tallest buildings in Western Europe, Aqua Shard offers dazzling views of the London Skyline as well as a cosmopolitan dining experience. Open from dawn until the wee hours of the morning, this restaurant with a three-story high atrium bar is a frequent stomping ground for travellers looking for delicious English fare with a contemporary twist, an English cup of tea, a magnificent vista, or a signature drink. Made with locally grown and sourced ingredients, meals here reveal a traditional culture influenced by London’s international connections. Aqua Shard is like London, grounded in history and tradition, but at the forefront of global innovation.
A posh destination for a cup of tea or a meal, Sketch goes beyond the traditional fairytale tea parties of childhood. Three Michelin Starred French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire dreamed of a centre where one can enjoy food, art, and music simultaneously in a playfully modern space. Constructed in an 18th-century building, Sketch has an assortment of restaurants, bars, and egg-shaped toilettes that are Instagram famous. Each room has unique decorations and distinct vibes. For instance, the Gallery is reminiscent of Barbie’s dream house, while the Lecture Room is a sophisticated red and gold affair. The Parlour, a quirky mixture of eras and styles, contrasts nicely with the East Bar which contains a sense of Manhatten’s glitz and glamour. Perhaps the most enchanting of all the rooms, however, is the Glade which seems fit for a meeting between King Oberon and Queen Titania. Like the beautiful art pieces and unique interior of the various rooms, every meal or cup of tea here reveals a new story.
London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin recognise the importance of local and fresh food, which is why their restaurant, Galvin at the Athenaeum, uses homegrown produce from independent farmers throughout the UK. Each dish is based on traditional English fare, but with a Galvin twist. You might find a linguini, brown shrimp, coriander, and chilli dish or a terrine of Lincolnshire rabbit, goat’s cheese, elderflower, and hazelnut. The menu also includes afternoon tea, a British staple. The Galvin brothers design their cuisine with seasonal ingredients and flavour in mind. A cup of tea here is a glimpse into Britain’s local food movement, a taste of British culture and an escape from the hustle and bustle of London.