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Top 5: Afternoon Tea Week in London

9 August 2018 Suzanne Frost

Tea lovers rejoice! Next week it's Afternoon Tea Week again, which means indulging in towers of scones, cakes and sandwiches balanced on multi-storey tea stands in celebration of one of the nation’s favourite traditions. This year's Afternoon Tea Week runs from 13-19 August and pretty much all tea houses and restaurants in the city are going to want to take part in it, with plenty of exclusive offers in tribute to the nation's favourite pastime – tea drinking. So whether you enjoy a fancy 5-star experience or more traditional home baked treats, we have lined up some of the finest offerings in the city:

TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques


Freshly launched in June, TWG Tea, a luxury tea brand founded by glamorous entrepreneur Maranda Barnes, opened two stunning tea houses in Leicester Square and Knightsbridge. TWG Tea Salon & Boutiques offer over 800 blends of tea from 46 tea-producing regions, and they’ve just introduced a tea museum in the Leicester Square branch, packed full of artifacts from all over the world! For afternoon tea, the menu boasts beautiful and exotic offerings such as duck rillette infused with Mandarin pickles - and smoked salmon with creamy Moroccan mint-infused cucumber on malt bread. Sweet treats include scones served with TWG Tea jelly, and their delicious jasmine tea-infused ice cream.
 
TWG Tea Salon & Boutiques are located at 138 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge London SW3 1HY and 48 Leicester Square, central London WC2H 7LT 
 
 
Novikov Restaurant & Bar, Mayfair


Mayfair favourite Novikov enhances the quintessentially British culinary experience of Afternoon Tea with a regal twist. With its unique medley of pan Asian and Italian flavours, artistry and colour, Novikov’s Royal Afternoon Tea is perfect for anyone looking to inject a little more luxury into their ritual. From now until the end of August, feast on delicacies such as king crab and avocado bruschetta, burrata & truffle “tacos”, Wagyu wrap with onion marmalade & rocket, Mediterranean red prawn cocktail and Cornish lobster thermidor. For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll find the allure of the Craquelin Chantilly cream profiteroles, fruit tartelette, mini tiramisu and cheesecake impossible to resist. Finally, whilst Novikov promises a playful new take on a much-loved tradition, there are certain things that really can’t be changed, so the bountiful spread also includes mini scones with jam & clotted cream!

Novikov Restaurant & Bar is at 50 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8HA. Novikov’s Royal Tea is priced at £120 for two.  
 
Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Symphony Afternoon Tea


For those moments when only the best is good enough, Chelsea hotel Jumeirah Carlton Tower was just recently deemed the best in the UK and crowned winner of the 2018’s inaugural “Afternoon Tea of the Year” awards. Executive Chef Simon Young, Head Pastry Chef Lyece Major, and Tea Sommelier Tenna Friis put together their Symphony Afternoon Tea, fashioned upon the four movements of a symphonic orchestral experience and inspired by the resident harpist that serenades diners during every Afternoon Tea service. The taste performance begins with the Overture: a selection of savoury scones to set the tone of your experience. Savoury Symphonies are next, with a Brioche roll with Loch Fyne smoked salmon and duck egg mayonnaise. Following this are the sweet serenades, including a mini tiramisu with whipped coffee ganache and a Sicilian pistachio éclair with cranberry compote. As with every great Symphony, the Finale is last, and guests finish their experience with a delicate coconut and lemongrass sorbet.
 
Symphony Afternoon Tea will be served daily in the Chinoiserie lounge of Jumeirah Carlton Tower. The Symphony Afternoon Tea experience costs £45 per person or £55 including a glass of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.


Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel


For something cute and quirky, tumble down the rabbit hole for the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, and discover a tea party that will surpass your wildest dreams. Another Afternoon Tea Awards 2018 winner for best Themed Afternoon Tea, expect to meet plenty of familiar characters from childhood tales, discover menus hidden inside vintage books, teapots adorned with kings and queens, and sandwich plates decorated with zebras, birdcages and ticking clocks. The Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea has suitably whimsical sweet and savoury dishes to delight your senses, starting with delectable savoury bites from smoked salmon quails egg with caviar and cream cheese, to melt-in-your-mouth King of Hearts parmesan croque-monsieur stacks and some Afternoon Tea classics, before moving onto the main event - desert! Come face to face with Tweedle Dee's lemon and curd financier before enjoying the mocha chessboard gateau, and with the Mad March Hare vanilla pocket watch macaroon, there's no excuse to be late for this important date! Wash everything down with Alice's cinnamon, apple and peach "Drink Me" potion, and, for the Afternoon Tea traditionalists, finish up with warm scones, clotted cream and fruit preserves.
 
The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea is served daily at the Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG for £48.
 
The Wolseley


An oldie but goody, The Wolseley at Green Park has been serving traditional Afternoon Tea for centuries and will continue to do so.  There’s a lovely old fashioned glamour to their black and white interiors and the menu is made up of classic ‘Best of British’ treats such as Victoria Sponges, Sherry Trifles and Strawberry Tarts. Scones with homemade jam & clotted cream are accompanied by an assortment of finger sandwiches, including the likes of Coronation Chicken. Those who love traditionally British combinations can also rejoice in Cheddar & Pickle and Roast Beef & Horseradish sandwiches, along with a choice of teas.

The Wolseley is at 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB. The Best of British Afternoon Tea is £29.75 per person.

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