One of the most exciting aspects of international travel is being able to immerse ourselves in the local cultures of where we visit. One truly unique British cultural experience is to indulge in a traditional afternoon tea. It will delight even the most sophisticated palate.
This tradition began in the mid-1700s but increased dramatically during the reign of Queen Victoria. It soon became fashionable for high society to partake each afternoon. It is now only on occasion that the British indulge for afternoon tea, however, the tradition continues at many of London’s upscale hotels.
Only the best tea is served in fine English china. The tables are elegantly arranged, often in elaborate settings. An afternoon tea may include a selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and preserves as well as homemade pastries.
Brown’s Hotel serves a traditional afternoon tea in its elegant English Tea Room while guests are serenaded with sounds from a baby grand piano.
The Ritz began serving afternoon tea when the hotel opened in 1906. It is served in the lavish Palm Court. This is a very prim and proper event with a dress code. Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie. You need to make a reservation at this location well in advance as it books up quickly.
The Savoy eludes to a time of elegance as you enter the historic Thames Foyer to enjoy an afternoon of tea, scones and finger sandwiches whilst listening to a pianist entertain guests.
Fortnum & Mason’s special room for a traditional afternoon tea is the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. A highlight is choosing savory delights from the Highgrove Cake Carriage.
Located near Buckingham Palace is the Edwardian Goring Hotel. It offers an afternoon tea in stately elegance with ornate features and regal furnishings.
Regardless of where you choose to take pleasure at an afternoon traditional English tea, remember that it is completely optional to extend you pinky finger while sipping from your tea cup (although highly recommended)!
If visiting Britain seems exciting to you (have having afternoon tea as well), check out our upcoming Scottish Castles and Garden's Trip we have planned.