Afternoon tea is a special treat, and what better time to treat yourself and your family and friends than at Christmas? These restaurants and hotels are all offering special festive twists on their menus and Christmas afternoon teas and high teas this December, so whether you're Christmas shopping in Oxford Street, skating at one of London's seasonal ice rinks or just catching up with friends, there's one nearby. You'll need to book in advance, so get your diary out and get planning.
Christmas afternoon tea at Biscuiteers, Notting Hill and Battersea
Figgy scone with mulled winter jam, a coconut snow cake and a Christmas pudding macaron are just some of the festive treats swapped into Biscuiteers' afternoon tea for the Christmas period. Enjoy the meal at either Biscuiteers in Battersea or Biscuiteers in Notting Hill, and if you want to make a day of it, book an icing class afterwards for an extra £15 — once you've seen the beautifully iced biscuits, we've got a feeling you'll want to learn their secrets.
Biscuiteers Christmas afternoon tea, £30 per person, booking required, available 12 November - 31 December 2018
Festive afternoon tea at The Langham Hotel, Regent Street
The Langham Hotel near Regent Street teams up with Liberty department store for a festive afternoon tea. No details yet on how the menu will vary from the regular afternoon tea menu, but the tea list here is impressive, and the price includes a glass of champagne and a "great Liberty bonus".
Festive afternoon tea at The Langham. £79 per person, booking required, available from 19 November
Festive Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych
If you're like a kid in a sweet factory at Christmas, head to One Aldywch for a festive twist on the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon. On the menu is cinnamon-glazed brioche, mulled wine jelly and gingerbread, and playing with your food is not only allowed, it's encouraged. The hotel lobby normally looks spectacular at Christmas too.
Here's what the Christmas 2017 version looked like:
Festive afternoon tea at One Aldwych. £46-£60 per person, booking required, available 19 November-31 December 2018
Festive afternoon tea at The Cavendish
The 4* Petrichor Restaurant inside Mayfair hotel The Cavendish offers a festive afternoon tea with flavour such as berries and winter spices, as well as turkey sandwiches and cheese & chutney quiches. The sweet selection includes Christmas spiced fruit cake, orange & cinnamon scones and — our favourite — winter spiced chocolate brownie.
Cavendish Festive Afternoon Tea, £29 per person (or £42.50 with free-flowing champagne for 90 minutes), booking required, 19 November 2018-6 January 2019
Christmas afternoon tea at London Hilton, Park Lane
Just across the road from the madness of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Podium Restaurant at London Hilton serves up a festive twist on its regular afternoon tea. An iced shortbread snowman is the star of the show, served alongside a white chocolate ganache macaron, coconut and mango log, plus open sandwiches and freshly baked scones.
Festive afternoon tea, London Hilton on Park Lane. £39 per person (£49 with champagne), available Saturday and Sunday, 22 November 2018-6 January 2019.
Festive afternoon tea at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Never one to do things by halves, pastry chef Dominique Ansel has put together one heck of an impressive menu for his Belgravia bakery.
The savoury bites are inspired by a Christmas forest, and include very realistic trees of various colours and flavours — think smoked Scottish salmon, or wild mushroom and confit garlic.
Eat your way up the spiral tiered stand to reindeer, Santa and Snowman treats, designed to look like tree baubles. Freshly baked scones are served too.
Festive afternoon tea at Dominique Ansel Bakery. £42-£80, booking required. Available from 23 November 2018.
Festive afternoon tea at The Savoy
Afternoon tea is served in the Thames Foyer at The Savoy hotel, a decadent space at the centre of the luxurious hotel that's usually decorated for Christmas. The classic sandwiches and savouries have has a festive twist — think roast turkey and cranberry chutney sarnies and spiced pumpkin and ginger tartlet.
The scones are served with clotted cream, lemon curd, and winter preserve, and the sweet treats have a festive makeover: festive fruit cakes, hazelnut macarons, and salted caramel chocolate baubles.
Festive afternoon tea at The Petersham Restaurant, Richmond
Scottish smoked salmon sandwiches, cranberry and lemon scones, Christmas cupcakes and classic gingerbread — just some of the items on the menu at The Petersham Restaurant in Richmond. That's the restaurant where you're guaranteed snow five times a day this Christmas, including once during afternoon tea.
Christmas afternoon tea at The Petersham Restaurant. £32.5o per person (glass of champagne for £12.75 extra), booking required, available 1-24 December 2018
Christmas afternoon tea at The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington
Handy if you're attending a Christmas concert at the Royal Albert Hall, or perhaps taking a twirl on the ice at Natural History Museum — The Royal Garden Hotel offers plenty of festive dining options, include a Christmas afternoon tea. Finger sandwiches, scones and cakes are served in the hotel's Park Terrace Lounge, which has views over Kensington Gardens.
Christmas afternoon tea at Royal Garden Hotel. £31 per person/£41 with a glass of champagne, booking required, available 1-24 December 2018
Christmas Mad Hatter's Tea Party afternoon tea at Sanderson Hotel
The much-loved Mad Hatter's afternoon tea at the Sanderson gets a limited edition festive twist. A mini Christmas pudding and Mad Hatters Christmas tree meringue are just some of the treats added to the usual enchanting menu of sweet and savoury goodies.
Christmas afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel. £58 per person, booking required, available Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.