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March means Mother's Day, so as you'd expect, London's afternoon tea scene is looking lively this month. Temporary menus to mark the occasion, and new, long term offerings are all launching. Here's the lowdown.
Blue Decade afternoon tea at Brasserie of Light
Best known for its giant jewel-encrusted horse and mirrored interiors, Selfridges restaurant Brasserie of Light celebrates the 2020s with a Blue Decade Afternoon Tea. It's inspired by this year's pantone colour, with the food spanning several shades of azure.
Savoury and sweet dishes including smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread, and blue velvet cake with lavender buttercream are on offer, and a bespoke Blue Decade cocktail has been created to wash it all down.
Blue Decade afternoon tea at Brasserie of Light. £29.95 per person. Cocktail £9.75 extra.
Available: Until Monday 20 April 2020.
Peggy Porschen afternoon tea at The Lanesborough
We already told you about cute cake parlour Peggy Porschen's foray into the afternoon tea scene, and it's now up and running, albeit for a limited time.
Head to Céleste restaurant at The Lanesborough hotel — where Porschen launched her career — to tuck into sandwiches, scones and cakes with Peggy's signature pastel pink hue. The menu includes pink pavlova, chocolate heaven cupcake, and a slice of towering layer cake served from a specially-designed tea trolley.
Available: Until 2 June 2020.
Royal English Affair afternoon tea at The Punchbowl, Mayfair
Who's to say you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Mayfair's oldest pub, The Punchbowl, predates the very idea of afternoon tea by 111 years, but has turned its hand to serving the popular meal alongside its usual gastropub menu.
The Royal English afternoon tea sticking to tradition, with finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones and classic desserts inspired by English classics, such as sticky toffee pudding and lemon drizzle cake, all washed down with a pot of tea. Grand.
Royal English Affair afternoon tea at The Punchbowl. £25-£35 per person.
Fruit & Veg Patch afternoon tea at Dominique Ansel
We had a sneak peek at Dominique Ansel Bakery's Fruit & Vegetable Patch afternoon tea before it launched, and can confirm, it's as beautiful as you'd expect from the famous pastry chef.
The tea is served on four tiers, beginning with savoury items on the bottom, and working up to the sweet. The 'Peas in a Pod' English pea mousse, crushed peas, fresh mint, crème fraîche, pea and parmesan sablé pod looks exactly like its green namesake, and the strawberry cube is rather photogenic too. The Instagram-famous flower wall in the conservatory has had a spring makeover too.
Fruit & Vegetable Patch afternoon tea at Dominique Ansel Bakery. From £39 per person.
Available: From 5 March 2020.
Tea for Scoundrels at Cahoots Ticket Hall
Cahoots Ticket Hall — sister venue to much-loved tube bar Cahoot — has launched Tea for Scoundrels, a traditional British afternoon tea with a boozy twist. The menu is full of sweet and savoury food, plus plenty of cocktails disguised as cuppas to wash it down.
You're presented with your crate, a key, and a telegram, and left to your own devices to crack codes and decipher clues in order to get at the salt beef, smoked salmon and cucumber sarnies, cocktails, and petit fours which lie within.
Tea for Scoundrels at Cahoots Ticket Hall. From £44 per person.
Available: From 5 March 2020.
Ladies Who Tea Together Spa Together afternoon tea
Can't decide between afternoon tea and a spa day for your mum for Mother's Day? Brown's Hotel lets you combine both with a Ladies Who Tea Together Spa Together package. The title could be catchier, but it's basically two gifts in one. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with champagne together, and take home a 100ml bottle of Irene Forte Body Oil. The package also includes an invitation to experience The Spa at Brown’s with a special discount (on a separate occasion).
Ladies Who Tea Together Spa Together. £75 per person.
Available: 8-22 March 2020
Swan Lake afternoon tea at Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House celebrates Swan Lake returning to the stage with a themed afternoon tea for adults and kids in its fifth-floor Piazza Restaurant.
Seasonal ingredient are prioritised on the savoury menu, which includes glazed gammon, grain mustard butter and pickled gherkin on granary bread, followed by warm scones, cream and jam. The piece de resistance is a range of sweets inspired by Swan Lake’s infamous characters, including a white swan macaron with chocolate wings. Swan Lake-inspired cocktails are also available for grown-ups, including Odette (lychee juice mixed with coconut syrup and topped with Rivani Prosecco, £12), Von Rothbart (a vesper martini made with Belvedere gin and red vermouth, £14.50) and Birthday Ball (Cognac and aromatic bitters soaked into a sugar cube and topped with Ruinart Champagne, £16).
Swan Lake afternoon tea at Royal Opera House. £45 adult/£27 child.
Available: Selected dates Thursday-Sunday between 12 March and 18 April 2020.
The Runway afternoon tea at Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square
To coincide with an exhibition celebrating the work of fashion designed Karl Lagerfeld, the Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square launches The Runway afternoon tea, and a cocktail on the same theme. We'll update this article with more information when we get it.
Available: From 18 March 2020 for three months.
Mother's Day afternoon tea at Severndroog Castle
One of our favourite spots in London is upping its game for Mother's Day weekend. Take a special guided tour of the two main rooms of the fairytale-esque Severndroog Castle, admire views of up to seven counties from the top, then take afternoon tea in the historic Lady James Room. Sandwiches, scones, homemade cakes, tea and bubbly are all on the menu, with details TBC at time of writing.
Mother's Day afternoon tea at Severndroog Castle. £25 per person.
Available: Saturday 21 March 2020, 1.30pm-4.30pm.
BB Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Brigit's Bakery runs special Mother's Day versions of its afternoon tea bus tours, for one weekend only. Board the double decker bus at Victoria and tuck into a traditional afternoon tea with a French twist as London's sights roll past outside your window. A salmon pretzel with cream cheese and cucumber, grapefruit meringue tarts and strawberry cupcakes are all on the menu.
The same company also runs a St Patrick's Day special this month.
Brigit's Bakery Mother's Day afternoon tea tour. £57-£65 per adult.
Available: 21-22 March 2020.
Miffy afternoon tea at Maggie & Rose, Islington
Maggie & Rose Cafe in Islington serves a limited edition Miffy-themed afternoon tea for Mother's Day. Tuck into Miffy-themed treats including sandwiches, orange macarons and cookies, aimed at both adults and kids. Maggie & Rose is a members' club, but the afternoon tea is available for everyone, regardless of whether you're a member of not.
Available: 22 March-14 April 2020.
Nothing here to tempt you? Have a look back at other afternoon teas which launched recently — plenty of the menus are still running: