The Beaumont’s Cake Trolley
Bringing a refined slice of 1920s New York glamour to Mayfair, The Beaumont’s Head Pastry Chef Pierre Storti has combined classic American favourites, both sweet and savoury, within the traditional format of an English Afternoon Tea – marking the first time afternoon tea has been served here. Held daily from 3pm to 6pm in the Art Deco surroundings of the hotel’s lobby, this transatlantic take serves up the likes of lobster rolls, pastrami reubens and cucumber bagels; and red velvet cake, coffee and pecan cake and a selection of freshly-baked cookies from an antique cake trolley.
8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, W1K 6TF; from £26.50pp
Cubism & Pop Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London
Voted the UK’s best contemporary afternoon tea for the second year running, the Rosewood London’s art-inspired creation has had a new update for summer 2018. The hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins, has dreamt up a colourful new collection of pastries, inspired by the artistic movements of cubism and pop art. Served in the elegant Mirror Room, this very Instagrammable afternoon tea includes a selection of mouthwatering desserts including a flourless chocolate sponge filled with cherry jelly and chocolate mousse (in the shape of Andy Warhol’s iconic ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’), a banana cheesecake with passionfruit and caramel mousse (in the style of Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Brushstroke’ and yuzu mousse inside a matcha green tea sponge (inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama). Almost too pretty to eat.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN; from £60pp
Balthazar x FLOWERBX Afternoon Tea
Covent Garden staple Balthazar has teamed up with the fashion industry’s favourite flower delivery service, FLOWERBX, to create an afternoon tea inspired by the season’s most beautiful blooms. Devised by the restaurant’s Head Pastry Chef, Régis Beauregard, alongside FLOWERBX CEO Whitney Hawkings, the menu includes freshly prepared finger sandwiches will be served, including cucumber, mint and homemade hummus; smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche; and lobster prawn roll; cakes in the shape of colourful seasonal flowers, in beautiful FLOWERBX hues: ‘Sky Blue Hydrangea’, ‘Violacious Tulips’, ‘Petal White Anemone’, ‘Sunburst Dahlia’ and the newly introduced ‘Balthazar Rose’. Alongside a selection of fragrant teas, guests will also be able to sample the ‘FLOWERBX Fizz’ cocktail – a delicious concoction of Pinky vodka, Cocchi Rosa, Cocchi Americano, blanquette and crushed violet petals.
4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ; from £29.95pp including £10 your first FLOWERBX order
Frida Kahlo Afternoon Tea at The Franklin
This summer, The Franklin is playing host to Frida Kahlo fans across the globe, offering up a colourful array of delicious treats, inspired by the flavours of Mexico. Drawing inspiration from the V&A’s hottest exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, prepare to sip on tequila cocktails, designed by multi-award-winning mixologist Salvatore Maggio and enjoy Mexican delicacies including flan de cajeta, churros with a chocolate dipping sauce and guacamole. The Frida Kahlo Afternoon Tea also gives you complimentary access to the exhibition – the first one outside of Mexico to display Kahlo’s clothes and intimate possessions, reuniting them with key self-portraits and photographs to offer a fresh perspective on her compelling life story.
24 Egerton Gardens, Chelsea, SW3 2DB; £50 including FREE access to the V&A’s Frida Kahlo exhibition
London Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers
A celebration of all things Biscuiteers and everything sweet, this afternoon tea – inspired by classic London sights and emblems – includes miniature versions of Biscuiteer’s best-loved cakes and patisseries in delectable flavours (think passionfruit and white chocolate tea cakes, rose and strawberry Victoria sponge cakes; salted caramel brownies and amarena cherry bakewell tartlets) alongside their famous iced biscuits. You can also now upgrade your afternoon tea experience to include a DIY biscuit icing session – much like a pottery café, you’ll be able to get creative by choosing from the daily selection of biscuit designs, icing colours and an array of delectable decorations.
Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Cafés in Clapham and Notting Hill; from £28.50pp
Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard
Take a trip down memory lane – or treat the kids to something special – with Aqua Shard’s Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea. Expect to be immediately immersed in a magical, imaginary world, as you’re presented with a menu in the shape of a gold-framed mirror, before enjoying quintessentially British savouries served on a custom-made tea stand with an umbrella on top, and delving into Mary’s carpet bag for Mrs Brill's homemade scones with jam and clotted cream. You’ll also be served a quirky array of sweet treats including a 'Strike Me Pink Sponge'; Mary Poppins' very own hat (a black 'Cherry Tree Lane' mousse covered in dark chocolate) and ‘Fairground Candy Floss’. If you choose to add some fizz to the experience, champagne flutes come to life with a kite that flies from the glass and guests can choose to add ‘medicine’ to their glass, with the choice of three homemade liqueurs.
Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY; until 18th April 2019; from £49pp
Midsummer Night’s Dream Afternoon Tea at Swan
With stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s, Swan is the bar and restaurant at the iconic Shakespeare's Globe – and this summer you can eat your way through the twists and turns of Shakespeare's ethereal romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Inspired by the journeys of the characters, expect to eat and drink everything from the pea flower of Oberon’s love potion, to the apricots Titania feeds to Bottom and, of course, mulberries from the lovers’ tree – all served on bespoke crockery designed by Annika Wester. Or, if you’ve got more of a savoury tooth, you tuck into the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea instead – made up of beef sliders, scotch eggs and other moreish treats, paired with a tankard of Hobday’s Smoked Brown ale.
Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT; until 2nd September; from £28.50pp
The Palm Court at The Principal
For a classic-meets-modern afternoon tea experience, head to The Principal’s newly opened Palm Court – the ultimate relaxed space, flooded with natural light from the glass ceiling and filled with lush green planting – to sample their first ever tea menu. Ex-Dorchester Executive Chef, Roger Olsson, and Pastry Chef, Thibault Marchand, have created a quintessentially British menu with a twist – combining ingredients from the four corners of the world. Expect finger sandwiches and freshly-baked scones in unique flavour combinations (think camomile and lemon, matcha and sesame and Earl Grey), followed by a selection of delectable cakes. SL’s top tip? Make a late booking and sample one of the herb-infused cocktails from the Palm Court’s Gin Trolley.
8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE; from £38pp
Truffle Afternoon Tea at The Hari
To mark this year’s Afternoon Tea Week, The Hari has launched its new Truffle Afternoon Tea. Served in the hotel’s elegant Il Pampero Restaurant, the menu features a range of sweet and savoury items infused with Italian black summer truffles (which are less aromatic than winter white truffles, with a delicate and delicious flavour). Executive Chef Claudio Covino and Head Pastry Chef Riccardo Zanetti’s unique offerings include arancini truffle, truffle pears and porcini salad; beef carpaccio and truffle bruschetta; as well as macaroons, caramel salted truffle and milk chocolate bombolone (Italian-style doughnuts).
20 Chesham Place, Belgravia, SW1X 8HQ; 16th August-16th September; from £65pp