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Top 10 Champagne afternoon teas in London

What better way to treat your mum this Mother’s Day than with a sumptuous Champagne tea at one of London’s top hotels.

Afternoon tea is a typically English tradition which evolved in the early 1840s and gained popularity throughout the early nineteenth century.

Its origins are said to be linked to the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who apparently once complained of having a “sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. At the time it was normal for people to eat just two meals a day; breakfast and dinner. The Duchess’ solution was to have a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately, during the afternoon.

Later she invited friends to join her who became so taken with the practice that they too began to host their own afternoon teas. It was not long until all of high-society were hooked on taking tea.

Traditionally “afternoon tea” was served around 4pm for the high classes, with a more substantial “high tea” served at 5 or 6pm intended for the middle and lower classes.

Afternoon tea traditionally includes sandwiches cut delicately into ‘fingers’, sweet pastries and cakes. Scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.

Today adding a glass of Champagne to an afternoon teas has become increasingly popular with a plethora of top London hotels and restaurants offering this ever more indulgent tea time treat.

Scroll through to see some of London’s top spots to take tea…

The Ritz

Served its famous Palm Court – a salon intended for high society and glamourous guests – afternoon tea at the Ritz is a truly quintessentially British experience.  Originally known as the Winter Garden, The Palm Court is surrounded by high walled mirrors and  intricate gilded trellis with birdcage chandeliers and vibrant floral displays. Its afternoon tea offers a selection of 16 loose leaf teas, cut finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, a daily selection of tea cakes and pastries as well as warm baked scones with strawberry preserve and Devonshire clotted cream. Its Champagne tea starts from £57 person.

150 Piccadilly, St James’s, London, W1J 9BR

Tube: Green Park Station


Claridge’s has been observing afternoon tea for the last 150 years with its chef remaining faithful to the tradition’s classic menu of finger sandwiches, scones served warm, and sweet pastries. Add a glass of champagne to make your visit even more special while taking in the 1930s art deco inspired interior of Thierry Despont’s foyer. A Champagne tea starts from £61 per person. 

Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1A 2JQ
Tube: Bond Street Station

The Wellesley

Set in its Jazz Lounge, The Wellesley is one of London’s newest hotel’s having opened its doors last year. Its afternoon tea is presides over by resident Tea Connoisseur Leonardo Mattera who has selected teas from estates across the world, and pastry chef Cristiano Paolini. Afternoon tea is served between 2pm and 7.30pm weekdays and weekends with a smart casual dress code, with a Champagne tea starting from £50 per person.

1 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

The Lanesborough

Currently closed for renovations, The Lanesborough in London’s Belgravia was the winner of the UK Tea Council Award of Excellence in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Served in the hotel’s restaurant Venetian-style restaurant Apsleys, its afternoon tea boasts freshly baked scones, clotted cream and home made fruit preserves, overseen by its “tea sommelier”. Apsleys is a with a glass roof.

Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7TA

Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station

Brown’s Hotel

Brown’s Hotel lays claims to be one of Queen Victoria’s favourite English tea rooms with its afternoon tea featuring a choice of 17 teas, including its own signature blend, alongside a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. Its tea room blends both old and new with original wood panelling and antique fireplaces alongside designers floor lamps and contemporary artwork. A Champagne afternoon tea starts from £51.50 per person. 

Albemarle Street, Mayfair, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BP
Tube: Green Park Station

Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon

The famous Fortnum and Mason store on London’s Picadilly has been sourcing and selling tea for more than 300 years and has served afternoon tea since 1926. In March 2012, its newly refurbished St James’s restaurant was opened by HM the Queen accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge, and renamed The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. A Champagne tea starts from £51 person.

Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Goodge Street Station

The Savoy

Served in the Thames Foyer, The Savoy’s afternoon tea offers a range of teas and finger sandwiches with fillings including lemongrass chicken salad, smoked salmon and Wiltshire ham with honey mustard, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of seasonal cakes and pastries created by executive pastry chef, Ludwig Hely. A Champagne tea starts from £59 per person.

The Savoy, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 0EU
Tube: Holborn Station, Covent Garden Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

The Dorchester

Take in the decadent surrounding Mayfair’s Dorchester Hotel while sipping on a glass of Laurent-Perrier NV Champagne. With no crusts in sight, The Dorchester’s afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, egg, chicken, cream cheese and cucumber and warm scones made from a recipe unchanged for more than half a century, alongside pastries, clotted cream and jam. A Champagne afternoon tea starts from £55.00 per person.  

53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station

The Athenaeum  

Enjoy an afternoon tea in the Athenaeum’s Garden Room, voted “Top London Afternoon Tea 2012” by the tea guild for its dainty  delicacies, loose leaf tea and Champagne trolley. Add a glass of Champagne to the hotel’s Evergreen Afternoon tea which includes traditional finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and home-made pastries. Champagne afternoon tea starts from £39.50 per person.

116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 7BJ
Tube: Green Park Station, Hyde Park Corner Station

The Berkeley

The Berkeley offers and ever changing take on the tradition afternoon tea, currently serving its designer Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea inspired by the world of fashion, with the menu changing every six month to changing seasons in fashion. This season’s afternoon tea stand features a Burberry signature trench coat and Saint Laurent’s red leather duffle bag. Champagne afternoon teas start from £51 per person.

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7RL
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station, Knightsbridge Station

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