The Ritz London, W1J
The Ritz is the most obvious choice, but there’s a reason this grand dame always pops up on afternoon tea round-ups – it’s bloody marvellous and wholeheartedly deserves its heavyweight reputation. Everything about this experience reeks of decadence – Champagne, chandeliers, crisp white tablecloths. And that’s before you’ve even got stuck into the perfectly formed sandwiches, scones and superb cakes – proving that good taste never goes out of style. Just be sure to book well in advance. From £52 per person for traditional afternoon tea; from £68 per person for Champagne afternoon tea. 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR.
Ting, Shangri-La Hotel, SE1
Setting a chic scene on Level 35 of the Shard, Ting is the Shangri-La’s swoon-worthy restaurant with epic 360-degree views of the Big Smoke. And while it offers a traditional afternoon tea, your best bet is to plump for the Asian-inspired menu. It changes everything three months but you can expect yummy plates such as matcha tea scones with clotted cream and yuzu curd, peanut pastries with peanut ganache, macaroons with black sesame and kumquats, tuna and wasabi mayo rolls and vegetable gyoza. All washed down with a glug of fizz. From £54; £62 with Champagne. 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9QU.
Sanderson London, W1T
Embracing Lewis Carroll’s fantastical novel, the Sanderson puts on a damn good interpretation of a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea, with ‘magic marshmallow mushrooms’, ‘red velvet ladybird’, and ‘the blue caterpillar’ just some of the sweet treats. And it’s not just the food that’s been given the Wonderland treatment – menus are hidden inside books, crockery is adorned with the tale’s characters, and diminutive ‘Drink Me’ potions are served up. From £48 per person; from £58 per person with Champagne. 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG.