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Our Pick for a Festive Afternoon Tea in London

festive afternoon tea at aqua shard

How better to celebrate the season of indulgence with a decadent and delicous teatime treat? Festive afternoon tea in London promises free flowing champagne, Christmas treats and a sprinkling of holiday cheer

By Helen Brown

The Lanesborough

The Lanesborough - christmas afternoon tea

The award-winning afternoon tea at The Lanesborough is set to get a sprinkling of festive magic as head pastry chef, Fabio Bardi, reimagines Christmas classics. Served in the spectacular setting of the Michelin-starred Céleste, the tea features festive treats such a Santa belt made of spicy apple and pear mouse, a Rudolf nougat mousse and a Christmas tree of hazelnut and dark chocolate. These can be enjoyed alongside classic scones, jam and clotted cream, smoked salmon roulade, Turkey cranberry brioche, and pumpkin tart.

Available 20 November until 7 January, £60 per person or £79 per person with a glass of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut;

Royal Lancaster London

Following the appointment of Fortnum & Mason alumni, Scott Villacora, as the hotel’s new executive pastry chef, Royal Lancaster London is serving a festive afternoon tea that is guaranteed to impress. The luxurious offering begins with an amuse-bouche of Yorkshire pudding with chestnut and truffle, followed by a selection of gourmet sandwiches. What follows is a decadent display of homemade scones and delectable desserts including a chestnut and white chocolate Mont Blanc. Alternatively, guests can choose the free-from festive afternoon tea which is gluten-free, wheat-free and vegan and has been carefully designed to deliver the same exceptional festive experience with a selection of free-from scones served with homemade jam and whipped coconut cream and dark chocolate reindeer mouse with spiced honey cake.

Available from 29 November to 5 January, £39 per person or £45-£49 per person with a glass of Champagne or Rosé Champagne;

Corinthia Hotel London

festive afternoon tea

At the Corinthia Hotel, enjoy a fabulously festive afternoon tea to match the endlessly decadent decor of the Crystal Moon Lounge from where it’s served. Choose from a variety of seasonal finger sandwiches, before tucking into treats from the trolley. Head pastry chef Loic Carbonnet has created a tantalising selection that includes a chestnut, vanilla and rum tartlet, a spiced pineapple and vanilla éclair, and a maple syrup sponge with a pear and cranberry compote.

Available from Friday 15 November until 5 January, £60 per person or £70 per person with a glass of Laurent Perrier La Cuvée Brut Champagne;

Do You Like Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Fitz’s Bar

Do you Like Chocolate Afternoon Tea - Fitz's Bar

Bloomsbury’s Kimpton Fitzroy London will launch a new afternoon tea to celebrate the season of indulgence. Packed with chocolatey treats and carefully considered cocktail pairings, the ‘Do You Like Chocolate?’ tea takes diners on a journey of chocolate through the ages, from the heady drinking habits of the Mayans, to chocolate’s arrival in the bawdy alehouses of 18th century London and the finely-tuned Swiss chocolate we know and love today. Cocktails include an aromatic champagne spritz and an indulgent cherry and Bahibé chocolate serve, which can be sipped alongside the likes of a rich chocolate layered cake, a tonka bean, lime and chocolate choux, and a coffee tart with sweet liquorice.

Available from 1 November, £65 per person with paired cocktails or £45 per person for non-alcoholic offering;

The Rose Lounge at the Sofitel St James

Rose soft St James Afternoon Tea

This beautiful neoclassical hotel’s Rose Lounge will be serving a festive afternoon tea featuring Christmas-themed cakes and sandwiches, gingerbread men, and of course, the very best fine tea selected by their Tea Sommelier.

Afternoon tea available 18 November-1 January, 2.30-6pm Monday-Sunday, from £45pp;

Aqua Shard

Aqua shard - festive afternoon tea

Head skywards this Christmas for a seasonal afternoon tea served 31 floors up at aqua shard. Alongside spectacular views, guests can delight in a selection of savoury sandwiches including turkey and cranberry, black truffle and egg, and fig chutney and brie.  A variety of homemade cakes and sweet treats top off the tea, including freshly-baked vanilla scones, a moreish gingerbread, milk chocolate and coffee Christmas tree, a sweet clementine and prosecco trifle, and a fun pear and cinnamon Santa hat.

Available from 18 November until 1 January, £67 per person with a glass of Veuve Clicquot or £72 per person with a glass of  Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne;

Conrad London St James

Conrad London St. James

White chocolate and orange mousse, gingerbread sable with caramel eggnog, and frosted coconut sponge with lime meringue snow are some of the seasonal sweet treats that will be served at the Conrad London St. James as they put a wintery twist on the traditional tea. Alongside these, there will be freshly baked scones, toasted almond quiche and delicate Christmas sandwiches.

Available from 25 November until 5 January, £39 per person or £45 per person with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne or a cocktail of choice;

If this didn’t put you in the festive spirit, check out our round-up of London’s prettiest ice rinks. 

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