London's Most Affordable Afternoon Teas

Last Updated 17 May 2024

London's Most Affordable Afternoon Teas
A table outside laid out for afternoon tea
The Tea House in Fulham offers a wallet-friendly afternoon tea.

London does a sweet line in afternoon tea, from fancy hotels to themed menus to treats for kids. It can be a pricey affair — but it doesn't have to be. We've hunted out the best value and most affordable afternoon teas in London, so you can celebrate that special occasion/eat your body weight in scones and cakes/ just spend a couple of hours feeling a little bit fancy, without the huge price tag. These afternoon teas are all under £35 per person.

Prices are correct at time of writing, but do check with individual venues, as these things have a habit of going up. And yes, we know, there's many a cream tea to be had for cheaper in London, but we're focusing on full afternoon teas here: think sarnies, scones, and cakes, ideally served on a tiered stand with a bit of a flourish.

The Tea House in Bishop's Park, Fulham: £19 per person

A table in a garden set for afternoon tea

A lovely park, with the river running along one side, a palace on the other, a lake, tennis courts... what more could you want from Bishops Park? Afternoon tea? Oh go on then... the park's Tea House offers what is possibly the best value afternoon tea in London. £19 per person (minimum of two people) gets you finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and a selection of mini cakes, served on a traditional three-tiered stand.

Choose between tea or coffee to accompany it, and make sure you book in advance. Note that the area (though not necessarily The Tea House itself) tends to get busy on Fulham FC matchdays, as Craven Cottage is very close by.

Afternoon tea at The Tea House, Bishops Park, Fulham, SW6 6EA. Available Thursday-Sunday.

Sweet Things, Primrose Hill: £25 per person

A platter of food, including brownies and miniature cupcakes

When our sweet tooth takes us to Primrose Hill, it's normally the magnificent Primrose Bakery that lures us in. But it's worth venturing over to the busy parade of shops on Regent's Park Road for Sweet Things, a cafe and bakery which serves a surprisingly affordable afternoon tea for such a well-heeled area.

Everything is made in house. For £25 per person, you'll be served two brioche rolls (smoked salmon with cream cheese, and smashed avocado with roasted peppers), mini scones with clotted cream and jam, mini cupcakes, banana bread mini bites, mini brownies, Belgian chocolate-dipped strawberries, and unlimited tea. You'll need to book at least 24 hours in advance.

Even better — and perhaps unique — is the takeaway afternoon tea, priced at £44 for two people. It includes two bagels, four mini cupcakes, four mini scones with toppings, two chocolate brownies and a drink. It must be ordered in advance, and you can collect it (ideal for Primrose Hill Picnics) or have it delivered.

Afternoon tea at Sweet Things, 138 Regent's Park Road, NW1 8XL.

Masala High Chai at Masala Zone: £25.75 per person

The Masala High Chai afternoon tea being served

The Piccadilly Circus branch of restaurant Masala Zone serves a British-style afternoon tea with an Indian twist. The Masala High Chai includes the flavours of various Indian regions, with bhajias, pakoras and Punjabi vegetable samosa on the menu, along with Chettinad fishcake croquettes. Traditional finger sandwich fillings are given a punchy makeover, with flavours including chicken tikka and cheese with a spiced Bombay green herb chutney.

Sweet menu items including mango shrikhand — a yoghurt with saffron, layered with fresh berries, ginger crumble and fresh mango — and a traditional nankhatai biscuit — a popular shortbread found in Gujarat.

Masala High Chai afternoon tea at Masala Zone, 224 Piccadilly, W1J 9HP.

Arthur's At Liberty: £26.50

Exterior of Liberty's building, a black and white timbered building
Perhaps surprisingly, there's a budget-friendly afternoon tea to be had inside Liberty. Image: Andrew O'Neil

Swanky central London department store Liberty isn't the first place that springs to mind when you're on a budget, but in this case, second floor restaurant Arthur's Cafe is its secret weapon. Mainly aimed at weary shoppers looking to freshen up on cocktails or champagne before giving the credit card another whacking, it also serves afternoon tea, for a rather reasonable £26.50 per person (or £50.50 for two).

The afternoon tea — served all day — includes finger sandwiches, a selection of pastries, a warm plain or sultana scone, strawberry jam, clotted cream, and tea or coffee. Add £10 per person for a glass of prosecco, or £16 per person for a glass of champagne.

Note: Arthur's Cafe doesn't take bookings, so you may have to wait a while, especially at weekends, close to Christmas, and other busy periods.

Afternoon tea at Arthur's Cafe, Liberty London.

Boulevard Brasserie, Covent Garden: From £26.95 per person

Covent Garden must be one of London's priciest afternoon tea hotspots, but the French-inspired Boulevard Brasserie offers a traditional afternoon tea for under £30 per person. £26.95 gets you a selection of sarnies, plain and raisin scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and sweet treats, some of which have a French twist: think chocolate tart, passionfruit posset meringue, carrot cake, and raspberry macarons.

Wash it all down with a choice of teas, or upgrade to bottomless prosecco for £34.95 per person.

Afternoon tea at Boulevard Brasserie, 40 Wellington Street, WC2E 7BD.

The Angel of Bow: £26.95 per person

A table with two tiered afternoon tea stands, plus a teapot and crockery
Image: The Angel of Bow

Afternoon tea in a pub? Yep, stick with us here. The Angel of Bow is a family-run place, where focus is very much on quality food, specifically local and well-sourced ingredients. To that end, afternoon tea is served on Friday and Saturday — somewhat incongruously on Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Royal Albert and Worcester crockery. You don't get that in every local boozer.

Choose between 15 teas (or hot chocolate) to wash down your meal of homemade scones with jam and clotted cream, finger sandwiches (think cucumber, smoked salmon, hummus and red pepper, prosciutto and cheese — though they can be changed to suit your taste with advance warning), and homemade cakes, usually cooked up by landlady Odette herself. Vegan and gluten-free options are available when booked in advance, and you can add a small bottle of prosecco for £36.95.

Oh, and if you need to sleep all that food off afterwards, the pub doubles up as a B&B, with five rooms upstairs.

Afternoon tea at the Angel of Bow, 171 Devons Road, E3 3QX.

5th view at Waterstones Piccadilly: £26.99 per person

We've long been fans of the top floor cafe/bar/restaurant (it's evolved somewhat over the years) in Waterstones Piccadilly. Tucked away enough that there's usually a seat available, with skyline views that other establishments would charge a lot more for, it's worth making the trek to the very top of Europe's largest book store.  

Among the breakfasts, brunches and main meals is a decent menu of desserts and cakes, including a traditional afternoon tea priced at £26.99 per person — which, when you consider the views to enjoy as you munch, is very good value.

Afternoon tea at 5th View, Waterstones Piccadilly.

Budget stretching to £35 or a jot above? Try these options: