Afternoon Tea is a wonderful British tradition and London's grand hotels do it best. At The Lanesborough, Afternoon Tea is served in Aspleys – a dining area flooded with natural light from its decorative glass roof. Your dining pleasure is accompanied by soft piano music.
Tea Guild Awards
- Award of Excellence 2009
- Top London Afternoon Tea 2008 Award
- Award of Excellence 2007
- Award of Excellence 2006
- Top London Afternoon Tea 2005 Award
For more afternoon tea reviews see:
Best Afternoon Tea in London.
Hyde Park Corner
Tel: +44 (0)20 7333 7254
Monday - Saturday: 3.30pm - 6pm
Sunday: 4pm - 6pm
- Knightsbridge location, opposite Hyde Park
- Aspleys is a luxury setting
- Staff willingly take photos for you
- Everyone makes you feel special
- You are not rushed
- Afternoon Tea feels like a very British pastime
- Good for a pre-theater dining option
- More filling than you would expect
- Weekends can get booked up so try and go on a week day
- Say what you like about tea and listen to the recommendations
- Staff will offer more tea and cakes – say yes!
- Try more than one tea blend – we tried four!
- Come on a week day as you can usually book at short notice
- Try Assam White Tea - it's definitely worth the small supplementary charge. The Lanesborough got only 10kg in 2007 to give you an idea of how exclusive it is. Every tea leaf was hand picked and hand rolled and it’s very light and refreshing. Try at the end of your ‘meal’.
Lanesborough Afternoon Tea Review
I tried the Belgravia Tea with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. This upgrade from the Traditional Afternoon Tea added a glass of Taittinger Champagne or Kir Royale plus fresh strawberries and cream. This was a wonderful start to our afternoon but it was made even better by the small lime mousse with fresh raspberries that we received to cleanse our palette. I saw other diners smile too when they tasted it – it was divine! I am not a Champagne fan but the upgrade was worth it for me when I tasted this pre-dessert.
Tea is a serious business in England and the Lanesborough employs a Tea Sommelier – an expert on all things tea – who tastes the teas daily to ensure quality and consistency of flavor. The Tea Sommelier is in attendance at Afternoon Tea so you can be advised and informed in making your choice from the 20+ varieties including decaffeinated options.
We took the recommendation of Lanesborough Tea – a Darjeeling blend with fresh rose buds. I found the roses overpowered the other flavors but my friend loved it and was given a sample to take home. We next tried the Assam Golden Tippy Moklbari. What an amazing name for a tea! It was unusually a pink color but very pleasant to drink.
The Sommelier brought a wooden box of six specialty teas to our table and described each in detail then asked us which we would like to try. We chose the Assam White Tea which has a much lighter flavor than black tea and is rich in antioxidants. It was extremely refreshing and I would recommend this choice for the end of your Afternoon Tea.
After scones, I took another staff recommendation and tried Rose of the Orient Green Tea. This time the rose buds worked for me and I enjoyed a full pot. My friend loved the Assam White too much to try anything else.
It is always a pleasurable sight to see a tiered cake stand coming to your dining table. The staff really know their subject so let them describe the delights. There are five different finger sandwiches plus various cakes and pastries. You may think it is not much food and that you will still be hungry after just that but I can assure you good quality tea and cakes is very filling - plus they will happily bring you more of all. My friend described the salmon rolls as "delectable" and the best she had tasted in her life. She said, "quote me!" so I have.
Do not get too carried away with the cakes as Afternoon Tea is not complete without traditional scones served with clotted cream which is cream so thick you can spread it was a knife. This with fruit preserve on a scone is scrummy. As was the toasted teacake which comes with the scones.
During our Afternoon Tea the staff regularly refilled our teacups without being intrusive. We were served by mostly European staff, who were all courteous. The staff made you feel very special which, as you will know, makes a huge difference. The Lanesborough staff are trained by their Sommelier (tea expert) and were able to give personal tea recommendations.
The Lanesborough use a Samovar to heat the water for the tea. A Samovar is a large, attractive metal urn that was invented in Russia and came to England in the late 1700s when it started being used in the tea making progress.
Value for Money
Afternoon Tea at any of the top London hotels is not cheap but it certainly does offer value for money. You are not rushed – we stayed for two and a half hours – and you can eat as much as you like as the waiting staff will keep replenishing your table with more tea and nibbles for as long as you desire. It also offers an opportunity to enjoy the elegant surroundings of one of the world's finest hotels without being a guest.
Oh yes, I would definitely recommend Afternoon Tea at the Lanesborough. It is a wonderfully relaxed dining experience where you will be treated extremely well. A real ‘must do’ for any visit to London.
Disclosure: My Afternoon Tea was complimentary and the Lanesborough knew I would be writing a review.