Afternoon Tea Escapes: Beautiful Destinations in the UK

Afternoon tea is a beloved British tradition, and there’s nothing quite like indulging in finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and, of course, a nice hot cup of tea. While afternoon teas are offered at hotels and restaurants across the UK, some venues have perfected the experience with over-the-top spreads served in lavish surroundings, making for an ultra glamorous affair. 


The Ritz London


It should come as no surprise that London’s iconic luxury hotel The Ritz offers one of the most decadent and delightful afternoon teas in the UK. The Palm Court dining room is a beautiful venue bathed in natural light, with tall floral displays and classy decor. Guests can choose from a traditional afternoon tea with homemade scones and preserves, or opt for the indulgent Champagne afternoon tea, which is served with a chilled glass of bubbly. Expect flawlessly executed sandwiches, pastries and cakes along with stellar service.


The Savoy


Another legendary London hotel renowned for its elegant afternoon tea is The Savoy, which overlooks the River Thames. The Thames Foyer, with its soaring glass atrium and winter garden ambiance, sets the stage for the hotel’s award-winning afternoon tea. Guests are treated to a range of sandwiches, including smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread, along with warm raisin and apple scones and decadent pastries like chocolate and salted caramel choux buns. Live piano music adds to the sophisticated atmosphere.


Lanesborough Hotel


For a thoroughly British experience in London, the afternoon tea at the Lanesborough Hotel can’t be beat. The richly decorated Regency-style dining room known as The Garden Room is the stage for this over-the-top tea service with a Rolls Royce theme. In addition to unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate, guests indulge in bite-size sandwiches, scones and an array of miniature cakes and pastries—all perfectly executed. Add champagne or a seasonal cocktail for extra luxury. Reservations must be made quite far in advance to secure a table. 


Hotel Café Royal


In the heart of London, the historic Hotel Café Royal treats guests to a glitzy take on classic afternoon tea in the Instagram-famous Oscar Wilde Bar. Known for its abundant fresh flowers and dramatic decor, the bar sets the tone for the theatrical While We Wait champagne afternoon tea. Mini bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne keep the bubbly flowing while guests nibble on sandwiches, pastries and cakes paired beautifully with teas or coffees. Dressing up is part of the experience of a properly posh outing.


Gilpin Hotel & Lake House


Set in the stunning Lake District countryside, the Gilpin Hotel’s “Tea by the Lake” experience takes a serene approach to afternoon tea. Guests are seated by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking tranquil lake views and served Prosecco afternoon tea along with delicate cakes, scones and finger sandwiches featuring high quality seasonal and local ingredients. Attentive service and peaceful lake vistas make it an idyllic spot to slow down and savour this enduring English tradition. A scenic countryside stroll can be added to work up more of an appetite or walk off the indulgence.


The Goring


For a truly memorable English countryside afternoon tea steeped in history, a visit to The Goring Hotel near Buckingham Palace fits the bill. Afternoon tea is served in the Conservatory overlooking the hotel’s private garden. Queen Elizabeth II reportedly enjoys their signature tea when she stays at the hotel, savouring their egg and cress sandwich on white bread among other refined nibbles. Guests can feel like royalty for the afternoon, surrounded by the conservatory’s 1,500 blooms. Booking far in advance is required, as this is one of London’s most in-demand luxury afternoon tea destinations.


In conclusion, afternoon tea is revered in British culture, and these venues take the experience to luxurious new heights. Visit WonderDays for more ideas on the afternoon tea experience, they are one of the best experience day gift providers in the UK. Treat yourself by booking well in advance to secure a spot at one of these magnificent venues serving up edible finery on tiered displays, unlimited tea, bubbles and warm hospitality—the perfect recipe for an indulgent escape.