The Resident chooses the best Christmas afternoon teas in the best hotels and restaurants in London so you can treat yourself this winter…
1 St. James’s Hotel & Club
Created by Executive Chef William Drabble of the hotel’s Michelin-starred Seven Park Place restaurant, this evening is served in the luxurious 1857 The Bar and lounge. You have white chocolate snowmen filled with coconut cream and pineapple fruit pate, as well as decorations made with milk chocolate and gingerbread spices and Christmas tree cupcakes.
When: Available until January 5
Price: £45 per person
Address: 7 Park Place, London SW1A 1LP
2 Sketch, Mayfair
Served in the gastronomic brasserie and Gallery restaurant amid Sketch’s lavish festive floral display, afternoon tea comes with a whimsical French twist. Try the foie gras on a brioche bun and the egg mimosa with cucumber sandwiches, as well as the delicious lychee and red currant éclair, the cheerful blueberry macaron and coconut marshmallow. There’s also a festive Christmas log in the cart, and you can have it by a glass, serve or bottle of soda, or try a tea like Sparkling Jasmine Pearls.
When: until January 6
Price: from £85
Address: Calle Conducto 9
3 Wire Palace, West End
Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Store Christmas Afternoon Tea is one for the kids. After tucking into seasonal snacks and fairytale-inspired pastries, such as Toymaker’s strawberry-vanilla yo-yo macaron and chocolate-praline éclair dusted with Fairy Sugar Plum gold, kids will be sent home with leaves. coloring and themed pencils, a miniature Pollock cut. theater and a little surprise toy. For adults, add a glass of bubbles to your tea.
Price: from £39/£19 adults/child
Address: 372 Strand WC2R 0JJ
4 Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly
A classic to be sure, an afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason is a quintessential London experience at any time of the year. However, for Christmas, it is served in the elegant Diamond Jubilee Tea Room with Christmas carols played on the piano. The shop’s brigade of pastry chefs have prepared festive treats like blueberry-orange Christmas cake, gingerbread and a cherry-and-chocolate-garnished Christmas wreath, and there are gluten- and dairy-free menus, as well as menus for vegetarians and vegans.
When: Until December 23
Price: From £75
Address: 181 Piccadilly W1A 1ER
5 One Aldwych, Covent Garden
The five-star hotel’s Nutcracker Afternoon Tea is a festive twist on tradition, inspired by the Sugar Plum Fairy and the kingdom of candy. Expect the classics with some holiday additions, like turkey and cranberry sandwiches, and a delicious array of treats like the Snowflake Waltz, a white chocolate coconut snow globe, and The Battle of the Mouse King, a genoise chestnuts with caramel cream. Served with a selection of loose leaf teas and a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne.
When: November 26 – December 31
Address: 1 Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ
6 Royal Lancaster London, Hyde Park
A sweet and elegant afternoon tea that comes with vegan and champagne options. Start with sandwiches made with classic fillings like roast beef, egg and cucumber, before finishing with a selection of pastries made by the in-house team. These include a Bakewell Santa’s Hat orange tart and the Bauble made with vanilla bavarois, caramelized apple and shortbread.
When: from November 26 to January 1
Price: From £45
Address: Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY
7 Shangri-La The Shard, London Bridge
Towering tall and featuring a space-age Christmas tree, this festive gift is inspired by a galaxy. He comes with roast turkey and cranberry sandwiches, a prawn cocktail roll and sparkling galactic cakes, before sharing an edible replica of the Shard made with white chocolate, spiced pear and vanilla.
When: Available until January 31
Price: from £69
Address: Level 35, 31 St Thomas Street SE1 9QU
8 Corinthia London, Embankment
At the Crystal Moon Lounge (where you can bask in the warm glow of 1,001 Baccarat crystals), Corinthia’s festive afternoon tea is a sophisticated meal. Finger sandwiches include beetroot, goat curd, and fennel seed butter, as well as truffle egg mayonnaise and dijon mustard. The scones come with strawberry, rhubarb and litsea cubeba (a type of berry) jam and the sweet treats include a yuzu Florentine tart, a Buche de Noel milk chocolate walnut and a black forest Christmas tree. Afternoon teas with caviar and champagne are also available.
When: Now through January 4, 2023
Price: From £85/£50 adult/child
Address: Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
9 Pan Pacific London, City
Inspired by The Nutcracker and featuring a selection of handmade pastries that come traditional or with an Asian-inspired twist, Pan Pacific’s festive afternoon sea is sumptuous and visually exquisite. Go to Kopi Tiam for a shiitake bun, pork pun and Singaporean kaya toast or traditional for truffle egg mayonnaise, turkey crown and pickled cucumber and crab sandwiches. Both come with snowy scones and decadent sweet treats like the caramel walnut mousse sponge cake and crispy feuilletine nutcracker, and the Prima Ballerina, a cherry blossom macaroon and cranberry fruit pate. Add a festive cocktail or glass of sparkling English to go with it.
When: from November 7 to January 2, 2023
Price: from £78
Address: 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB
10 The Biltmore, Mayfair
Taken in the hotel’s impressive tea room, delights gracing the tea stall include roast turkey, stuffing and cranberry stuffed sandwiches on cranberry bread; cucumber and truffle cream cheese; and roasted ham with molasses honey, mustard, gherkins and watercress; as well as a holly candle with chocolate mousse, a homemade Christmas stollen and a pistachio and raspberry santa claus for dessert.
When: from December 1 to 31
Price: From £80/£40 adult/child £55/£28 adult/child
Address: 44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HP
11 Four Seasons Hotel London at 10 Trinity Square, City
Taken in the resplendent art deco Rotunda, afternoon tea comes with live music, festive sandwiches and whimsical cakes from Executive Pastry Chef Sylvain Goujon. Traditional sandwiches include truffle egg mayonnaise and crowning turkey, while cakes include The Snowman, vanilla rice pudding, cinnamon-coconut mousse and cranberry glaze, and The Reindeer, which is candied pear, zest chantilly lime and crunchy pear biscuit. Enhance your tea with a glass or two of champagne.
When: from November 4 to January 8, 2023
Price: from £65
Address: 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ
12 Lanesborough Hotel, Hyde Park Corner
A magical year-round hotel, The Lanesborough is at its most fantastic during the festive season. Taken in the opulent Lanesborough Grill, the hotel’s award-winning afternoon tea is given a touch of festive magic for the season. Classic finger sandwiches, including turkey sausage roll and truffled duck, and apple chutney and chedder, start the meal, and heavenly pastries, like the Pistachio-Amarena Cherry Christmas Tree, and a snowflake of pear and bergamot finish the meal.
When: from November 11 to January 8, 2023
Price: from £80 with a mulled wine martini cocktail
Address: Hyde Park Corner SW1X 7TA
13 The Landmark London Christmas High Palms High Tea, Marylebone
Housed in the stunning Winter Garden restaurant, the festive five-star Landmark London Afternoon Tea in Marylebone offers classic sandwiches, scones with a choice of jam (Bergeron Apricot, London Jam, Raspberry Deluxe, Rhubarb Red Currant and Vanilla , and strawberry) and festive desserts. These include a Christmas gingerbread hazelnut pudding mousse and a white chocolate clotted cream and a blueberry yule log – what a treat.
When: December 1 – January 4, 2023
Price: £78 including a glass of Champagne Brut
Address: 222 Marylebone Road NW1 6JQ
14 Palm Court at Sheraton Grand Park Lane, Piccadilly
Taken in another stunning art deco dining room, Palm Court is hosting a Selection Box evening this year. After your festive scones and sandwiches, the final tea, a selection of cakes created by the in-house pastry team, comes in a box and is a twist on Selection Box favorites like Flake, Orange Twirl,. Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut and Dairy Milk Caramel.
When: from November 18 to January 8, 2022
Price: From £55
Address: Piccadilly W1J 7BX
15 The Rubens in the Palace, Westminster
Curated by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Sarah Houghting (2021 Bake Off: The Professionals Finalist), The Ruben’s Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is a tribute to a traditional English afternoon tea and Christmas roast that comes with a glass of mulled wine or Champagne if it is a Christmas present. Vegan, vegetarian, halal and gluten-free options are available.
When: from November 14 to January 1, 2023
Price: From £72/£25 adult/child
Address: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS
16 The Chesterfield, Mayfair
Another Winter Wonderland afternoon tea that is both traditional and appropriately festive. Feast on sandwiches of apple chutney and crumbled ham, smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread, as well as a chocolate Christmas log, Christmas tree pot with winter berries and a Ferrero Rochers macaron.
When: from November 18 to January 2, 2023, holidays included
Price: From £65/£35 adult/child
Address: 35 Charles Street, Mayfair W1J 5EB
The best festive menus in London for December and Christmas
Skate at Somerset House opens for festive ice skating and fun
The best Christmas hampers from London’s top retailers