If you’ve ever tried to get a same-day reservation for afternoon tea in London on a weekend, you’ve likely found yourself out of luck. Places like the very trendy Sketch or the opulent Wolseley offer stellar teas with plenty of atmosphere, but they book up weeks in advance. Here, our favorite spot for sipping afternoon tea in London on a whim.
For a less crazed option, try one of two different teas offered in very different settings at the Stafford London in the heart of the St. James neighborhood. The first is a traditional option: the standard afternoon tea, which is served in the hotel’s whisper-quiet, pastel-hued restaurant, The Lyttelton. Think cucumber sandwiches, hot cross buns, and fresh-baked scones served in front of the fire.
The second is a new tea just rolled out by the hotel for its signature, memorabilia-filled American Bar, and it’s officially designed for gentleman, but anyone will enjoy the more robust fare. Eschewing typical crustless sandwiches and crumpets, this Gentleman’s “Tea” offers mini Wagu beef burgers on brioche, slow-cooked sirloin, and rum brulee accompanied by draft beer, or whiskey and gin and tonic tasting flights. We’re guessing after that, you won’t even miss the actual tea.
Traditional tea (called the Lady Lyttelton Afternoon Tea) costs £32.50 ($48.21) per person, while the Gentleman’s Tea is £37.50 ($55.63).