London’s Best New Afternoon Teas
It’s hard to keep up with all these national food holidays, but afternoon tea week is one you can’t slip through your fingers. Buttery scones with copious amounts of cream and endless cups of tea – how are we supposed to say no to that? For this decidedly British occasion, we’ve handpicked London’s best new afternoon teas, from traditional to more contemporary offerings…
Konditor & Cook
London’s long-standing bakery Konditor & Cook has transformed its sky-high cakes into mini bakes, especially for afternoon tea week. The classic Victoria sponge is an obvious winner, fluffy and light, finished off with delicate raspberry and vanilla meringues. The Yuzu Zinger is more adventurous; a yuzu syrup-infused vanilla sponge is lavishly spread with lemon curd, which is then wrapped in yuzu frosting and topped with marshmallows – a global-inspired delight. Oh, and don’t miss their mini curly whirly cake: it’s a bestseller, thanks to heavenly swirls of dark Belgian chocolate.
Konditor & Cook, 22 Cornwall Rd, SE1 8TW
The newly opened Palm Court at The Principal is a reason alone to make your way to Bloomsbury, with its striking terracotta exterior and grand design. But the afternoon tea is just as impressive, helmed by chef Roger Olsson (of The Dorchester) and Ryan Thompson (of Dominique Ansel). It will come as no surprise they offer playful twists on British classics, including scones made with camomile and lemon, matcha and sesame, or earl grey (because you can never have enough tea!).
The Principal, 8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE
The Modern Pantry
Owner and chef Anna Hansen is known for her bold use of rare ingredients, and her limited edition afternoon tea is no exception. Taking inspiration from Britain and beyond, finger sandwiches feature tea-smoked salmon and yuzu mayonnaise, scones are topped with whipped black garlic and umeboshi butter, while shortbreads get a helping of garam masala spices. And because The Modern Pantry is celebrating its 10th birthday, there will also be Laurent-Perrier rosé champagne.
The Modern Pantry, 47-48 St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ
Mayfair’s luxury Beaumont hotel has launched its first afternoon tea service, just in time for national afternoon tea week. Bringing the glamour of 1920s New York to London, a vintage-looking cake trolley is spread with all-American classics, both sweet and savoury. Think luscious layer cakes, sandwiches decked with pastrami and bite-sized bagels with cucumber.
The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, W1K 6TF
If you secretly prefer the idea of feeling like a Parisian, head to Maître Choux for their new champagne afternoon tea. A glass of Laurent-Perrier is the perfect partner to creamy, vanilla puff pastries, lemon éclairs sprinkled with lime zest, and macarons filled with sweet raspberry purée. Savouries get no attention here, so make sure to bring your sweet tooth partner in crime.
Please note: launches on August 17.
Maître Choux, 60 Dean St, W1D 6AW
Featured image: The Beaumont