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The hottest, freshest and quirkiest new afternoon teas in London this month include Chocolate Week and half term specials, plus plenty of traditional scones, sarnies and cakes — and an appearance by a GBBO alumni. Read on, then get booking to be one of the first to try these new menus — some of them aren't around for long.
Selasi Gbormittah's afternoon tea at Dukes London
Just a few days left to catch the special menu put together by Great British Bake Off alumni Selasi Gbormittah. The series 7 semi-finalist worked with Duke's executive chef Nigel Mendham to compile the menu in celebration of British Food & Drink Fortnight.
Highlights include a decadent chocolate cluster with orange cream and crunchy feuilletine, and a fig and almond tart with spiced almond cream, toasted almonds and a honey glaze.
Selasi Gbormittah's afternoon tea, £35 per person.
Available: Until 6 October 2019
Tony's Chocolonely Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Bluebird Chelsea
Stylised chocolate brand Tony's Chocolonely had developed something of a cult following here in the UK, (and more specifically, with one member of Team Londonist). Tony's has teamed up with Bluebird Chelsea for a special afternoon tea for Chocolate Week, a three-tiered feast celebrating all things cocoa.
White chocolate and raspberry scones, milk chocolate sea salt ganache and a hazelnut choux bun are some of the items on the sweet-centric menu.
£1 from each afternoon tea is donated to the Chocolonely Foundation, which has a mission to make all chocolate 100% slavery free.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea with Tony's Chocolonely, £29 per person.
Available: 14-20 October 2019.
Maitre Choux afternoon tea at Oblix at The Shard
Oblix at The Shard and Maître Choux team up for an autumnal afternoon tea offering, with a sticky toffee éclair and tea flight taking centre stage. Savoury finger sandwiches such as ham, Spenwood cheese, celeriac and mustard; smoked salmon, cream cheese and rye are served alongside scones with raspberry jam, and a selection of mini desserts, each course expertly paired with a tea.
All sounds delish, and the views from the 32nd floor of The Shard are a definite bonus too.
Maitre Choux afternoon tea, £42 per person.
Available: 14 October-end of November
Tiny Tea at Bluebird Chelsea
Following the Chocolonely special (above), Bluebird turns its attentions to its younger customers, just in time for half term. The Tiny Tea is designed to make them feel like adults, without the fancy food or expensive price tag — and with activities to keep them busy. Nutella doughnuts, baby fruit scones and a mini milkshake are on the menu, with a chance to get hands-on with cupcake decorating.
Tiny Tea at Bluebird Chelsea, £12 per person (ages 3-10).
Available: 19-27 October.
Game afternoon tea at The Jugged Hare
In a break from the usual sweet afternoon teas, The Jugged Hare welcomes game season with a game afternoon tea, consisting of savoury treats and snacks paired with tasting ales. Think hearty sandwiches, scotch eggs and mini pies — ideal fodder for a chilly autumn afternoon.
Game afternoon tea, £37.50 per person (minimum two people).
Available: Until November 2019
Autumn Winter 2019 Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley
The Berkeley's fashion forward Prêt-à-Portea isn't new, but it has had an update to keep up with the latest trends. Design houses including Moschino, Fendi and Emilia Wickstead are all represented.
The pistachio and mascarpone cream delice topped with a sugar $1million bill is a nod to Jeremy Scott’s money-print ensembles, while the yellow raincoat lemon sable reflects Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection for Fendi.
The towering red choux bun represents a Godfather-inspired Emilia Wickstead red velvet gown. And those legs akimbo? Richard Quinn’s floral gown and latex boots.
Prêt-à-Portea Afternoon Tea, from £60 per person.
Available: From 1 October. Festive version begins 15 November
Gauguin-inspired afternoon tea at the National Cafe
Running alongside The National Gallery's exhibition of work by Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, The National Cafe serves a Gauguin-inspired afternoon tea.
The afternoon tea features delicate finger sandwiches including smoked salmon, horseradish and crème, along with freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Playing on Gauguin’s bright colour palette, sweet treats include a pistachio and raspberry layer cake and a and passion fruit tart.
Gauguin-inspired afternoon tea at The National Cafe at The National Gallery, £22.50 per person/£31.50 with champagne.
Available: 7 October-26 January
Nineteen Twen-Tea Afternoon Tea at The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
Ah, the roaring twenties. The decade is the inspiration for the new afternoon tea at The Palm Court in the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane.
The hotel itself is replete with 1920s and art deco features. The Palm Court itself was built in 1927, an ideal setting for a feast of chocolate and coffee tart, strawberries and champagne opera, vol au vents, quiche and Waldorf salad, among other menu items.
It's served in a birdcage stand, representing the nickname given to the hotel building itself when it was abandoned as steel structure during the first world war, only for construction to continue at the end of the war.
Nineteen Twen-Tea Afternoon Tea, £42 per person/£55 with champagne.
Available: Daily, 12pm-6pm.
Antony Gormley afternoon tea at Rosewood London
Another that's an update rather than a whole new afternoon tea, Rosewood London's art afternoon tea has adopted an Antony Gormley theme.
Previously centred on Van Gogh, the new direction is timed to coincide with the current Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy. Centrepiece of the meal is a series of three show-stopping desserts inspired by some of the Gormley's most famous masterpieces, Body and Fruit, Full Bowl and Matrix II.
Anthony Gormley art afternoon tea, £60 per person/£75 with champagne.
Time Stops Here @ 146 afternoon tea
Served in an intimate, floral-inspired tearoom, Time Stops Here @146 promises to be an Instagrammer's dream of an afternoon tea, and a peaceful oasis away from the commuter hub of Paddington station.
It's a three-way collaboration between Hilton London Paddington, tea brand Hope & Glory, and Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini.
Praline Financier, Yuzu Melove Cake, Passion Fruit Macaron and Chocolate Ice Cream are some of the masterpieces from Pierre Marcolini. Four types of scones — chocolate chip, blue cheese, fruit and plain -– are served with clotted cream, homemade jam and chutney. Savoury treats include smoked salmon swiss roll, mini beef steak pie, and harissa halloumi with honey mustard, beetroot bread.
Time Stops Here @ 146, £36 per person/£46 with champagne.
Retro afternoon tea at K West Hotel
If you like your afternoon tea Instagrammable, head to K West Hotel for a meal so colourful, you won't even need a filter.
The retro afternoon tea is designed as a throwback for adults who still want to dine like they did when they were kids. Think mini prawn cocktail (spiked with JD now that you're a grown up), devilled eggs and coronation chicken.
Follow that up with apricot and ginger scones, served with traditional clotted cream and strawberry jam, and finish up with retro desserts such as berry trifle.
Finish up with a takeaway bag of pick 'n' mix sweets from your childhood, including liquorice allsorts and candy canes. You'll be buzzing for weeks on the sugar high.
Retro afternoon tea, £28.50 per person/£36.50 with prosecco/£41 with champagne.
Slingsby Gin afternoon tea bus tour
B Bakery's afternoon tea bus tour isn't new, but its partnership with Harrogate-based Slingsby Gin is. The adult-only roving restaurant offers a chance to see the sights of London while you tuck into a gin-laced feast.
Gin cakes sit alongside the traditional sandwiches and scones, washed down with — you guessed it — gin cocktails. A word of warning — there's no toilet on board for the 90-minute tour, so pace yourself.
Oh, and mind the steps as you get off, eh?
Slingsby Gin afternoon tea bus tour, from £62.50 per person, including three gin cocktails.
Available: Indefinitely, Thursday and Saturday departing Northumberland Avenue (6.30pm) and Friday and Sunday departing Victoria Coach Station (5.30pm).
We'll soon be bringing you our pick of the best festive afternoon teas in London this winter. In the mean time, book ahead for a Sugar Plum Fairy afternoon tea in the Homage Restaurant at the Waldorf Hilton. Full details have yet to be released, but it's available from 25 November.