Afternoon tea is a special treat, and what better time to be indulgent with family and friends than at Christmas? These restaurants and hotels are offering special festive twists on their afternoon teas and high teas this December — perfect if you're Christmas shopping on Oxford Street, skating at one of London's seasonal ice rinks or just catching up with friends. You'll need to book in advance, so get planning!
Festive Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
The long-running, fashion forward Prêt-à-Portea menu at this swanky Knightsbridge hotel gets its usual festive makeover. Expect delicate canapes and sandwiches, along with (as yet undisclosed) festive treats and a mocktail, or a glass of champagne or mulled wine. Santa Wintour, anyone?
Festive Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley. From £79 per person. Available 12 November 2021-2 January 2022.
Winter Wonderland afternoon tea at The Rubens at The Palace
Located opposite Buckingham Palace, the opulent The Rubens at The Palace offers a festive interpretation of its award-winning afternoon tea. Along with themed sandwiches and sweet treats, the menu includes bottomless (!) mulled wine. What could possibly go wrong?
Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at The Palace. £59.50 per adult/£19 per child. Available 15 November-23 December 2021.
Festive afternoon tea at The Dorchester
Whatever sort of Christmas afternoon tea you're after, The Dorchester has it — festive champagne afternoon tea, Christmas carols afternoon tea, festive high tea, Boxing Day jazz champagne afternoon tea... it's all (Christmas) present and correct.
All teas are served in The Promenade restaurant, a luxurious, lounge-style restaurant in the centre of the hotel. Visit at weekends during the festive season to be serenaded by live carols from a choir as you tuck in.
Christmas afternoon tea at The Dorchester. From £85 adult/£45 child. Available 20 November 2021 - 3 January 2022, depending which option you choose.
Festive afternoon tea at The Petersham, Richmond
The festive afternoon tea at The Petersham is a staple of any London foodie's festive calendar. Have a seat in a dining room overlooking the Thames, and dig into the restaurant's usual top-notch sandwiches and scones, followed up with Christmas-themed cakes and pastries. A Christmas cake and Christmas pudding get things off to a traditional start, while the almond cake and opera cake add something of a twist. The surroundings are pretty special too — the entire restaurant gets a makeover for December, including guaranteed 'snowfall' daily.
Festive afternoon tea at The Petersham. £36.50 per person (extra charge for champagne). Available 1-30 December 2021.
Winter Wonderland afternoon tea at Podium, Park Lane
We'll be honest, they had us at choc chip scones and salted caramel spread. But continue down the Winter Wonderland afternoon tea menu, and you'll find delights such as Christmas fruit cake in a brandy mousse, mulled wine and chocolate bauble, and clementine and chocolate reindeer macaroon.
Winter Wonderland afternoon tea at Podium. £32 per adult (add a glass of champagne for £10) or £24 per child. Available 3 December 2021-2 January 2022.
Waldorf Hilton's Winter afternoon tea
Though not specifically for Christmas, the Waldorf Hilton is currently offering a Winter afternoon tea, aimed at families, with one menu for adults and another for younger visitors. Judging by its poster, it's taken inspiration from a certain Disney animation-turned-West End musical (presumably they can't mention it by name for copyright reasons).
Winter Afternoon Tea at Waldorf Hilton. From £45 per person. Available 1 October 2021-31 March 2022.