Mention afternoon tea and the Ritz’s Palm Court, strewn about with beautiful people chattering in the Queen’s English, springs to mind. But don’t be put off. Afternoon tea is booming in popularity in the Big Smoke and beyond, and your backpacker’s budget does not mean you need to miss out on the fun.
Here are five of London’s best alternative afternoon teas:
A Bit of Burlesque?
High society would be shocked at the thought of consuming tea and scones in full view of naughty burlesque dancers. But afternoon tea at The Volupte Lounge is an indulgent fusion of fine living and sensual show, with feather-clad girls performing as you sip your Earl Gray. Best not show Grandma your holiday snaps of this place though.
Cosy up with Camellia
Camellias Tea House, a refuge for London’s waifs and strays for years, is the perfect place to seek solace from the hustle and bustle of Carnaby Street below. Plonk yourself down and enjoy 1930s swing and modern Jazz classics.
What a Little Cute-tea!
Famed for its sumptuous Victoria sponge and large array of cakes, High Tea at Highgate is very popular with the locals and provides a quintessential taste of old Blighty.
It’s a Secret
Hidden Tea Room is one of London’s best-kept secrets and is perfect for intimate tea parties. A secret location, only revealed on booking, plays host to six lucky patrons for a Champagne Royal Afternoon Tea. With your own private restaurant and all that champagne, best take a cab home after this one!
Shop and Then Drop
If burlesque and surprises aren’t quite your thing, the mighty department stores in Knightsbridge all offer their own take on afternoon tea. Try hopping across the road to Richoux for a gargantuan choice of pastries and all the traditional trappings; be warned though, the price is gigantic too.
Where are some of your favourite places to afternoon tea? Share your thoughts below…