The Dilly launches a new London-style afternoon tea.
May kicked off with a spate of royal afternoon teas to celebrate the coronation (FYI some of these are still available throughout the summer) but as the excitement around this afternoon dies down we are seeing a new wave of brand new tea afternoon tea menus coming to London . Read on to find out what we’ll be sipping and sipping to whet our appetites in the coming weeks.
1. 150 Years of St Pancras Afternoon Tea at The Hansom
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year (the station itself celebrated this milestone in 2018) and it’s doing so in style and with a special afternoon tea. It consists of classic sandwiches (cucumber, mint and crème fraîche; smoked salmon and chive-lemon cream cheese; beef and horseradish; egg, truffle mayonnaise and mustard cress) and fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, followed by a sweet selection that is inspired by the era in which the hotel was built.
These include the St. Pancras Battenberg; a cherry and chocolate black forest; Strawberry Vanilla Victoria Sponge Cake; and a lemon curd eclair with orange chantilly and candied citrus.
150 Years Afternoon Tea at the Hansom. £49 per person or £62 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot. Available from Wednesday to Sunday.
2. London Afternoon Tea at The Dilly
We *may* squealed with delight when this landed in our inbox. Dilly – formerly known for its top-quality Peter Rabbit afternoon tea (no longer available) – has turned its attention to London landmarks. Big Ben (or the Elizabeth Tower, for the pedants among you), a red telephone box, a black cab and the subway roundel have been recreated in miniature in the form of cakes, biscuits and macarons.
There are also traditional scones and finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, ham and cheese, egg mayonnaise, and roasted vegetables and hummus) as well as vegetarian options. And while we’re sure they’ll be absolutely delightful, it’s going to be hard to take our eyes off the leading group.
For its price, The Terrace at The Dilly is one of our favorite spots for afternoon tea in London. It’s light and airy, spacious enough that it never feels crowded, and peaceful despite the madness of Piccadilly unfolding right below you. Splendid.
London afternoon tea at The Dilly. £49 per person/£65 with champagne/£67 with rosé champagne/£39 per child. Available daily from May 11th.
3. Ping Pong’s Dim Sum Afternoon Tea
Chinese dim sum restaurant Ping Pong takes a foray into the world of afternoon tea at two of its London locations – with a heavy focus on dim sum.
The afternoon tea menu includes three steamed and three fried dim sum per person. There are meat or vegetarian options to choose from, including crispy duck spring rolls, flavorful chicken dumplings, crispy tofu, and a steamed dumpling with mushrooms and leeks.
Then there are three desserts; a black coconut ice cream bao, a petit cheesecake and a petit chocolate fudge. It’s served on a tiered stand alongside hot or iced tea or coffee – or treat yourself to a glass of Prosecco or a gin and tonic teapot.
Ping Pong Afternoon Tea. £20 per person. Available daily from May 15th in Ping Pong stores in St Katharine Docks and St Christopher’s Place.
4. Strand Palace Afternoon Tea with Love Cocoa
Here’s a treat for chocolate lovers: Haxells Restaurant at the Strand Palace Hotel has teamed up with Love Cocoa to create an afternoon tea menu that’s all about the good.
Love Cocoa was founded by James Cadbury, great-great-grandson of one John Cadbury. So you can assume that they know their way around cocoa beans. But before you get to that, try a quirky twist on traditional delights, including a tomato tart with buffalo mozzarella and basil and a honey and ham Wensleydale wrap, followed by a traditional fruit scone with blackberry jam and clotted cream.
The cocoa-infused sweet portion of the menu includes an espresso martini brownie with coffee beans; Pistachio Macarons with Cocoa Caramel Popcorn; and a tart apple marshmallow served with a stick of white chocolate. To round things off, there are six types of tea to choose from and a vegan version is also available.
And if you need an extra incentive to enjoy: a tree is planted for every afternoon tea sold. So you can definitely rate it as your good deed of the day.
Strand Palace Afternoon Tea with Love Cocoa. £45 per adult (£49 with Prosecco)/£27 per child. Available from May 16th to November 12th.
5. High Tea in Sri Lanka at Lyaness
Afternoon tea at a cocktail bar can be a godsend, but when the cocktail king himself, Mr. Lyan, is involved, you know it’s going to be good.
Drawing inspiration from his parents’ hometown of Galle, Sri Lanka, Ryan Chetiyawardana expertly combined sweet and savory dishes with the flamboyant cocktails for which he is known.
Start with a curry leaf champagne cocktail (Bombay Sapphire, mango, curry leaf, champagne) paired with finger sandwiches including chicken kukul mas and coconut, masala-spiced tuna with mayonnaise, and marinated eggplant and eggplant butter. The fillings are based on the spices and flavors of the island of Sri Lanka.
The next course of savory bites includes a mutton croquette with tomato sambal and turmeric-spiced deviled eggs and a coconut blossom daiquiri cocktail (Bacardi Carta Blanca, coconut water, lime, grapefruit, jaggery).
The sweet dishes are classic Sri Lankan treats reimagined for a British palate and include a pandan sponge cake and a wattalapam tart (coconut cream) accompanied by a selection of teas from Rare Tea Co, handpicked in support of local Sri Lankan suppliers became.
Simple scones and raisin scones are served with clotted cream and berry jam, along with a Ceylon milk tea punch cocktail (grey goose, rare Sri Lankan black tea, clarified rice milk and tamarind).
High tea from Sri Lanka at Lyaness. £43 per person/£53 with cocktail pairing/£63 with cocktail pairing and champagne. Available every Saturday and Sunday from May 20th.
6. Summer Ready-to-Porte at the Berkeley
As sure as bluebells turn into cherry blossoms into wisteria, the fashion-forward ready-to-wear at the Berkeley gets a seasonal makeover every few months. This time it’s inspired by individual pieces from designers like Kenzo and Moschino.
The Hermès bucket bag with tassels is recreated in Victoria biscuit with apricot jam, wrapped in chocolate and finished with a chocolate feather plum. Loewe’s viral Anthurium dress features Sacher biscuit, espresso caramel and chocolate mousse, topped with a chocolate flower.
There’s also a tribute to the late designer Vivienne Westwood: a Madagascar vanilla biscuit portrait, intricately glazed, complete with the iconic red hair.
Spring/Summer 2023 ready-to-wear at the Berkeley. £80 per person. Available every day throughout the summer.
7. Bring Bali to Belgravia in Como at The Halkin
As much a wellness experience as it is afternoon tea, Bringing Bali to Belgravia aims to transport guests to the shores of COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali.
Upon arrival, receive hot towels infused with COMO Shambhala’s signature scent before enjoying a selection of dishes inspired by recipes from The Pleasure of Eating Well.
Hearty dishes include corn and basil soup; “Real Toast” with seeds and avocado; and seasoned crispy shrimp and marinated chicken lollipops with rice salad and pomegranate seeds.
Cucumber jelly, apple and avocado sorbet follow; Wholemeal Banana Waffles with Peanuts and Yogurt Sauce; and mango passion fruit cheesecake. A highlight is the zen garden made of protein rock, chocolate stone, and matcha cake.
Wash it down with a selection of juices and teas including COMO Shambhala Ginger Tea, Lean and Clean Greens designed for muscle building and boosting energy and immunity, and Blood Builder which purifies the blood, blood circulation improves and your muscles strengthens mood. If you are looking for an ‘afternoon tea but healthy’ then this is it.
Bali Afternoon Tea in Como at The Halkin. From £55 per person. Available daily.
8. Musical afternoon tea at eight o’clock
Despite launching in March, this music offering escaped our radar at the time – but it looks absolutely delightful.
Inspired by the Covent Garden Hotel’s name, Middle Eight, it features cakes with musical accents, including Blood Orange Opera citrus panna cotta layered with blood orange jelly; Treble Clef Treat Pistachio Macaron Filled with Buttercream and Toasted Praline; and crunchy and creamy Hazelnut Harmony, a twist on the classic hazelnut eclair.
Clotted cream and jelly scones and finger sandwiches are also served (think coronation chicken, salmon and cream cheese, as well as grilled vegetables and hummus). The tea itself consists of several types of black, green and white teas as well as blends of flowers and herbs.
Musical afternoon tea at mid eight. £45 per person/£55 with a glass of Prosecco. Available from Wednesday to Sunday.