Afternoon Tea as the ultimate treat. And, not just for adults. Today, so many Luxury London hotels, chic restaurants and even in-store dining spaces in department stores have created special menus with children's appetites in mind. Many are themed around a classic book character, some offer a more classic experience and some are just so magical and creative, that sharing them with a child is the ultimate family treat.
Traditionally, afternoon tea is taken between the hours of 4 – 7pm, to tide you over from lunch through to dinner, but now it can be ordered anytime between 12-5.30pm and the delicious drawn out experience of eating it can last for hours. It’s the perfect way to finish off a day of shopping or sightseeing, a special treat for say a birthday or, just a lovely indulgent experience to enjoy with the all family.
With so many places to choose from in the city, here is the Junior guide to the very best places in London to take afternoon tea with the children.
1. Classic Children's Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly
Fortnum & Mason provides a luxurious afternoon tea, paying immaculate attention to detail without being too serious, proving that afternoon tea can be a relaxed affair with little ones. The children's tea aimed at 4-10-year-olds, is just the right size for a child 's appetite and a delicious menu featuring light finger sandwiches, plain and fruit scones and a selection of cakes including Jammy Dodger biscuits served with hot chocolate, fruit juice or milk (as an alternatives to tea) will definitely appeal to their tastebuds. For those children who just can't quite finish it all, a beautifully presented take home box is provided for left-overs. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Monday to Thursday (11.30am - 7pm) | Friday to Saturday (11.00am - 7pm) | Sunday (11.30am - 5.45pm)
- Priced from: £49.00 per adult and £29.00 per child
- Dietary Options: Offers gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan
- Address: Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly London W1A 1ER
- Nearby: Visit Green Park for a stroll and walk under The Ritz Hotel Arches
2. Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea at The Terrace on Piccadilly
Inspired by the classic Beatrix Potter tale, the Peter Rabbit™ themed Afternoon Tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly is a mini-wonderland of Peter's favourite treats and a feast for the eyes. Mr. McGregor’s garden literally comes alive with tasty treats including vegetable patch sandwiches, a delectable baguettini filled with fresh vegetables and red pepper hummus and 'Caught In A Twist' smoked salmon and sun-dried tomato pinwheels. Sweet treats include the 'Flower-Pot Hideout' chamomile chocolate pot, an eye catching 'Magnificent Mushroom' of strawberry ganache with a crunchy meringue stem, a blackberry, chocolate ‘mud' and sponge cake and of course, some classic carrot cake.
Tea is served on a tiered slate trestle for adults and inside a wooden vegetable box for little ones in the spacious surroundings of the Terrace On Piccadilly. This bright and airy room, boasting floor to ceiling windows, a balcony overlooking Piccadilly and an array of foliage, is the perfect foil for The Tale of Peter Rabbit and this beautifully presented tea is a great way for children and grown-ups alike to enjoy this classic childhood story. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Monday to Sunday (12.30am - 5pm)
- Priced from: £39 per adult and £29 per child
- Dietary Options: Offers a vegetarian menu
- Address: Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly W1J 0BH
- Nearby: Hamley's and Regent Street, National Portrait Gallery and Trocadero Centre
3. Little One's Children's Afternoon Tea at The Lanesbourgh, Hyde Park
As a member of the Leading Hotels of the World it will be no surprise that Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough is top-notch. As well as the hotel's traditional afternoon tea, there are often limited and exclusive tea experiences - there is currently a show stopping tea designed by world famous baker Peggy Porschen. The children's afternoon tea is extra fun and starts with hot chocolate or fruit juice and includes honey roast ham, mint yoghurt and cucumber, cheddar cheese and strawberry jam sandwiches. And, for those with a sweet tooth treats include American pancakes/waffles with Nutella, Smarties and marshmallows, and homemade plain and raisin scones with strawberry jam and clotted Devonshire cream. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily (12pm -5.30pm)
- Priced from: £25 per child up to 12 years
- Dietary Options: Speak to hotel on booking
- Address: The Lanesbourgh, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
- Nearby: Wellington Arch, Oxford Circus and Regent Street (for Hamley's)
4. Children’s Afternoon Tea with Daunt Books at The Langham, Regent Street
Back by popular demand, the Children's Afternoon Tea with Daunt Books at The Langham is not to be missed. This is a unique opportunity for young bookworms and their parents to spend an afternoon in the presence of a celebrated author and take home a signed copy (or, select another book from the specially curated mini library that Daunt Books have prepared exclusively for The Langham, which caters for readers between 3- 12 years old in their very own Daunt Books tote bag.) The interactive tea has been specially conceived to stimulate creative minds and is made up of savoury jigsaw puzzle sandwiches, an assemble-your-own 'dog' shaped cake, which you glue- together with salted caramel before devouring and endless hot chocolates or milkshakes. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily (12pm -5.30pm)
- Priced from: £62 per adult and £35 per child
- Dietary Options: Speak to hotel on booking
- Address: The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA
- Nearby: Oxford Circus, Pollock's Toy Museum and The House of MimaLima
5. The Original Sweet Shop Children's Afternoon Tea at The Chesterfield Hotel, Mayfair
The Original Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea at The Chesterfield Mayfair is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for adults and will get the children just as excited as, well, children in a sweet shop! An ode to Hardy's Original Sweetshop, rediscover old favourites and traditional treats in delicacies that celebrate old sweets from rhubarb and custard macarons, apple drops, a coca-cola slice and a liquorice all-sorts lemon cheesecake. Chocoholics won't be disappointed as a decadent chocolate fudge eclair and peanut butter cup are amongst the sweet treats on offer. There’s the option with the children’s menu to enjoy milkshakes alongside the traditional tea offering. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily (12.30am - 5.30pm)
- Priced from: £40.00 per adult and £21.50 per child under 12 years old.
- Dietary Options: Offers gluten-free and vegetarian
- Address: Chesterfield Hotel,35 Charles Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5EB
- Nearby: In the heart of exclusive Mayfair, shopping in Piccadilly, Bond Street, Regent Street or Oxford Street is a must.
6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych, Covent Garden
- Opening times: Monday - Saturday (12.30pm -3pm) | Sunday (12.30pm - 5pm)
- Priced from: £47 per adult and £37 per child under 12 years old.
- Dietary Options: Dietary requests available upon request 48 hours in advance.
- Address: One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych London WC2B 4BZ
- Nearby: Covent Garden and the market, of course. Plus the Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum and you'll be bang smack in the heart of theatre land if a show is on the cards.
7. Science Children's Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington
For an afternoon tea experience that’s completely out of this world you need to try the Science Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand. Kids and adults alike can enjoy a range of sweet delicacies that have all been crafted in a space theme, inspired by the hotel's South Kensington neighbour, The Science Museum. This afternoon tea boasts a star menu of sweet and savoury dishes and includes some more unusual treats - everyone can discover their inner palaeontologist and dust for mini dinosaur biscuit ‘fossils’ hidden beneath chocolate soil to excavate an edible dinosaur. For any adults who might fancy something a little stronger than tea, the Teapot Tails menu sees afternoon tea favourites served alongside a cocktail flight. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Monday - Saturday (2.30pm -9pm) | Sunday (12.30am - 7pm)
- Priced from: £49.50 per adult (with cocktail flight) and £31.50 per child
- Dietary Options: Offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan versions
- Address: The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ER
- Nearby: The Science Museum, of course. Also, the Natural History Museum and the V&A are near and free to enter.
8. The Grover Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House, Mayfair
The Grover Children's Afternoon Tea at the iconic Grosvenor House (built in 1929 in the former residence of the Duke of Westminster) is a classic afternoon tea served in the elegant Park Room - with a fun twist for little ones. Featuring a mix of tiny sweet and savoury sandwiches (banana, egg mayo and strawberry jam) followed by sweet bites which include fresh fruit skewers, a Victoria cupcake with raspberry filling and a miniature Knickerbocker Glory. Children also receive a toy 'Grover' dog to take home as an extra treat. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily (12pm -6pm)
- Priced from: Anna's Afternoon Tea from £62.50 per adult and Grover Afternoon Tea £25 per child up to 12 years
- Dietary Options: Offers a vegan version
- Address: JW Marriott Grosvenor House London, 86-90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN
- Nearby: Hyde Park (and Winter Wonderland in Nov/Dec each year), Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.
9. 'Little Prince and Princess Tea' at The Milestone Hotel, Kensington
The Milestone Hotel offers up three lovely spaces to enjoy Afternoon Tea in luxurious 5* surroundings. Enjoy in a modern conservatory or a more traditional space. Treat the little ones in your life to their specially crafted 'Little Prince and Princess' Tea (for children under 12) where they can enjoy a lovely selection of finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones, French pastries, donuts and hot chocolate. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily (12pm -5pm) | Saturday (12pm -6pm)
- Priced from: Traditional Afternoon Tea from £52 per adult and 'Little Prince and Princess' Tea £26 per child up to 12 years
- Dietary Options: Speak to hotel on booking
- Address: The Milestone Hotel, 1 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
- Nearby: Kensington Gardens, Kensington High Street and the V&A museum are nearby
10. Alice Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea at Taj 51, Westminster
TheQueen of Hearts Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 features beautifully designed pastries and scrumptious savoury treats inspired by the foul-tempered monarch from the beloved children’s classic Alice in Wonderland. The whimsical afternoon tea sees tables adorned with Alice-type-treasures, miniature pocket watches, playing cards, dainty teacups and the like. Any 'Wonderland' fan, whatever their age will delight at the detail. To start, you are given mini ‘drink me’ fruit juice bottles and, then you're served up a selection of tea sandwiches (to replicate the Queen’s soldiers), decadent pastries and unique delicacies such as 'pocket watch' macarons, jelly filled chocolate cups and Checkmate (a redcurrant and chocolate Battenberg cake in the style of a classic checker board). The all-important Queen of Hearts playing card can be spotted on each table, alongside a bespoke hand-made top hat centrepiece. >> BOOK HERE
- Opening times: Daily seatings at (12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30 pm)
- Priced from: from £45 per adult and children 4 - 11 years old get 50% discount on adult price
- Dietary Options: Vegetarian and vegan versions of the tea are also available upon request 48 hours in advance.
- Address: Taj 51, 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1E 6AF
- Nearby: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Tate Britain are all within walking distance.
11. Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at Sanderson Hotel, Fitzrovia
On the subject of Alice in Wonderland another afternoon tea inspired by this curious girl is the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel. This tea that will remind you of the crazy world of Alice in Wonderland is one very important date we wouldn't be late for. With menus hidden inside vintage books and teapots adorned with kings and queens, the kids will be intrigued by the menu featuring savoury delights such as Smoked Salmon Scotch Quail Egg with Caviar and Cream Cheese and the melt-in-your-mouth Stack of King of Hearts Ham and Parmesan Croque-Monsieur. Sweet treats include Queen of Hearts Rose and Strawberry Jammy Dodgers and Mad March Hare Vanilla Pocket Watch Macaroons - all washed down with Alice-inspired tea infusions, Alice’s Exotic Fruits “Drink Me” potions and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for good measure (for adults only of course!)
- Opening times: Monday - Saturday (12.30pm -4pm) | Sunday (1pm - 5pm)
- Priced from: £48 per adult and £35 for children 4 - 11 years old
- Dietary Options: Speak to hotel upon booking
- Address: Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NG
- Nearby: Tottenham Court Road, Soho and Oxford Circus