As Mother's Day approaches and new, spring menus are launched, the afternoon tea scene across the capital gets some pep in its step. Here's where we'll be scoffing scones and chowing down on cakes this month.
1. Around the World in 80 Days Afternoon Tea at The Kensington
The Kensington hotel launches the next stage of the Around the World in 80 Days Afternoon Tea, this time focusing on the Middle East and Asia (the first leg, across Europe towards the Middle East, was served from September 2022).
Dine surrounded by model hot air balloons, inspired by the adventures of Phileas Fogg, in The Townhouse restaurant. The Menu includes dishes representing various countries along this leg of Fogg's route including a toasted pitta bread served with zhoug and hummus (Yemen), an onion bhaji (India) and a miso and sweet potato tapioca ball (Hong Kong).
Fruit and plain scones are served with jams and clotted cream, and desserts include a Yemeni basbousa (a semolina yoghurt cake soaked in orange and rose water with almonds); kheer pudding, cardamon and clove syrup (an Indian rice dish); black sesame choux with mandarin and a layered pandan cake with a mango confit.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available when booked in advance.
Around the World in 80 Days Afternoon Tea. From £58 per person, or £70 with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV. Available from 20 February.
2. Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Experience at 108 Brasserie
The Marylebone Hotel has teamed up with local hair salon Gielly Green for one seriously luxurious Mother's Day experience. Begin the day with a Kerastase hair treatment and blow-dry at the salon, before taking a 10-minute stroll to the 5* hotel for afternoon tea at its chic 108 Brasserie.
The afternoon tea menu has all the classics — finger sandwiches (cucumber with mint butter; oak smoked ham with mustard mayonnaise), followed by plain and raisin scones with Devon clotted cream and jam. The sweet section of the menu includes a Valrhona dark chocolate mousse with hazelnut dacquoise, and a raspberry macaroon.
You'll also get some Tea Lab tea samples to take home with you. Sounds like a surefire way to cement your position as favourite child.
Mother's Day at Giely Green and 108 Brasserie. £100 per person. Available 16-19 March. To book, call 020 7969 3900 or email maryleboneafternoontea@
3. Mother's Day Vintage Afternoon Tea Dance at St. Ermin’s Hotel
For one weekend only, a Vintage Afternoon Tea is available at St Ermin's Hotel in Westminster, to celebrate Mother's Day. Join in on the dance floor as 1940s-themed girl group The Lily Belles provide a live soundtrack, with professional dancers leading the way in a Lindyhop or Jive. It takes place in the Crystal Ballroom, with flowers, bunting and Union Flags draped around the place.
A traditional afternoon tea with unlimited sparkling wine is served as part of the festivities. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available on request.
Mother's Day Vintage Afternoon Tea at St Ermin's Hotel. £80 per person (child £30). Available 18-19 March.
4. and 5. Themed afternoon teas at Biscuiteers
Iced biscuit company Biscuiteers has two new themed afternoon teas on its menu at its cafes in Belgravia and Notting Hill, and both can be booked either on their own, or combined with a biscuit icing experience, where you learn various icing techniques in the best-named place in London: the Grand Icing Hall at the Ministry of Biscuits (!).
The Mother's Day Afternoon Tea runs for almost a month before the big day itself, so there's no excuse to not treat her. It consists of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon and cream cheese; cheese and fig chutney; ham and truffle) followed by scones served with an intriguing-sounding raspberry and rose jam. Patisserie items include a rhubarb and strawberry crumble, and a strawberry and champagne macaron. Naturally, there's one of Biscuiteers' own hand-iced biscuits for everyone, too.
Mother's Day Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers Belgravia and Notting Hill. From £48 per person. Available from 24 February.
The first (probably of many — we'll keep you updated) coronation-themed afternoon teas begins this month as well. Gold leaf features heavily in the patisserie section of this menu, which includes a chocolate and hazelnut choux bun with gold leaf, a yuzu and lemon meringue tart with gold leaf, and a mini Victoria sponge cake... yep, with gold leaf. Finger sandwiches, scones, and a hand-iced biscuit feature here too.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers Belgravia and Notting Hill. From £45 per person. Available from 20 March.
6. Koto Afternoon Tea at The Prince Akatoki
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Marylebone's Japanese-inspired hotel The Prince Akatoki has announced new dates for its Koto Afternoon Tea after a trial run last year. Head to the venue's Malt Lounge and Bar for a menu of Japanese fusion items including brioche with seared tuna, avocado, wasabi dressing; chicken katsu sando; matcha and pistachio cake, and yuzu crème brûlée.
It's all paired with teas, but if you prefer, you can upgrade your booking to include a sake pairing. Japanese musician Keiko Kitamura performs live music on the koto, the national string instrument of Japan (hence the menu's name).
Koko Afternoon Tea at The Prince Akatoki. £62 per person, or £75 with the sake pairing. Available one Sunday a month (upcoming dates 26 March and 23 April).
If you've eaten your way through that lot and need more scone-spiration, take a look at the new afternoon teas which launched in February. Several are still being served in March, including a Peggy Porshcen special, and an afternoon tea with magnificent views.