You may have heard; King Charles III's coronation is happening in London on 6 May, and it's kind of a big deal (and includes an extra bank holiday on 8 May — win!). For those of us not lucky enough to get an invite to the main event, there are plenty of ways to mark the occasion, including coronation-themed afternoon teas. Take a look at the regal menus popping up all over London and get booking.
1. Coronation Afternoon Tea at Westminster Abbey
Having a coronation afternoon tea in Westminster Abbey is probably the closest most of us'll get to the actual, regal shenanigans. It's served in Cellarium Cafe and Terrace, the public cafe and restaurant at the Abbey, which is part medieval cloisters, part modern, airy terrace with views of the historic building. You can visit the Cellarium without a ticket to the Abbey itself.
The afternoon tea uses British produce with a focus on sustainability, reflecting the King's own ethos. Begin with smoked chicken, egg mayo, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and a courgette, pea and mint tart. Earl grey tea scones with Tiptree jam and Cornish clotted cream are served next, followed by a selection of cakes; carrot and quinoa, sweet pea and lemon, and passion fruit and raspberry.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at Cellarium Cafe and Terrace. £32.50 per person (or £42.50 with a glass of Ridgeview sparkling wine). Available 23 March-31 July. Note that the Abbey and Cellarium are both closed to the public 25 April-8 May, to prepare for the festivities.
2. Coronation Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason unveils a special Coronation Afternoon Tea menu, with a focus on British flavours and 'the King's favourite ingredients'.
This translates into finger sandwiches including Cotswold Legbar egg mayonnaise; cucumber with minted pea and horseradish; salt beef with kohlrabi and tarragon sour cream dressing; Kames bay trout with preserved lemon and dill cream cheese; and a woodland wild mushroom éclair.
Freshly baked scones are served with Fortnum’s strawberry preserve, lemon curd, and Somerset clotted cream.
Coronation Afternoon Tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. Price TBC. Available from early April.
3. Coronation Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House
If you're thinking of going fancy, Grosvenor House is the way to go. The Park Lane hotel is an apt setting for coronation celebrations, as it hosted a Coronation Ball for King George VI in 1937, the Coronation Year Ladies' Night for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and Queen Charlotte's debutante balls.
But that's enough history: what about the food? Finger sandwiches and fresh scones are part of the deal, and Head Pastry Chef Anthony Hurst has whipped up five limited-edition pastries to represent the countries that make up the United Kingdom, as well as London:
- Journey to the Highlands is a mousse with organic honey extracted from foraged heather in the Scottish Highlands.
- Across The Irish Sea is a traditional Irish apple cake with layers of chilled English custard and organic Bramley apple compote, from the orchards of Armagh, Northern Ireland.
- The English Rose is a rose and cream pudding using handpicked strawberries from Kent and natural rose extract from Berkshire.
- Carriage to Cymru is a lemon baked cheesecake made using Welsh Perl Wen soft cheese, sourced from an artisan and organic dairy farm in Carmarthenshire.
- And finally, The Carolean Era is an edible replica of the St Edward's crown, made from rich dark chocolate, produced here in London.
Diners can take home the hand-illustrated commemorative menu as a keepsake of the occasion.
Coronation Afternoon Tea in The Park Room at JW Marriott Grosvenor House. From £62.50 per person. Available 4 April- 10 May.
4. Coronation Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers
As we mentioned back in March, icing cafe Biscuiteeers is serving up a Coronation Afternoon Tea, with plenty of gold leaf to keep things blingy.
The patisseries section of the menu 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.
There's also the chance to pair your afternoon tea with a DIY icing experience, and hour-long workshop where you can hand-ice your own biscuits with edible decorations and coloured icings.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at Biscuiteers, Belgravia and Notting Hill. From £45 per person, 0r £65 with a DIY icing experience. Available until 31 May.
5. Coronation Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at The Palace
Located right across the road from Buckingham Palace, The Rubens at The Palace has a permanent Royal Afternoon Tea menu, so it's unsurprising that it's going all out to welcome its new neighbours with a three-month programme of coronation events, including a Coronation Afternoon Tea.
The menu takes inspiration from His Majesty's 'known favourites', and includes a wild mushroom quiche and orchard plum confit. Happily, coronation chicken makes an appearance in the form of a brioche roll, followed by plain, fruit and cheese scones, and sweets including a raspberry and pistachio torte, and 'The Crown', a white chocolate & cherry chocolate brownie.
On Coronation Day itself (6 May), they're serving an extra-special six-course Coronation Afternoon Tea, with everyone attending receiving a commemorative tea tin to take home. If you choose this option, bear in mind that the area around Buckingham Palace — and therefore this venue — will likely be extra-super busy on the day.
Veggie, vegan, gluten-free and Halal options available on request.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at The Palace. From £70 per person/£35 per child (different pricing on 6 May). Available 1 May-1 August.
Other coronation afternoon teas in London
- Coronation Afternoon Tea at Ochre at the National Gallery (available 6-8 May)
- Royal Coronation Afternoon Tea at The Milestone Hotel (available 1-14 May)
- Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel Trinity Square (ongoing)
- Coronation Tea by Lily Vanilli at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (available 19 April-10 May)
- A Tribute To Nature Afternoon Tea at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah (available 24 April-14 May)
- The Crown Afternoon Tea at Vintry & Mercer
- King's Coronation Afternoon Tea at Dolly's at Selfridges
- Coronation Tipple Tea at Rockwell at Trafalgar St James Hotel (available 4-18 May)
- British Afternoon Tea at the Sun Street Hotel (including live coronation screening) (available 6 May)