Born in London, the ritual of Afternoon Tea has been loved by generations for almost two centuries. Covent Garden is home to some of the very best spots to indulge in tea, cakes, sandwiches and Champagne - what better place to do so than in the historic Covent Garden Piazza.
Whether it’s spoiling a loved one, enjoying some quality mother and daughter time or simply treating yourself (because, why not?), then look no further as we’ve rounded up the best places to enjoy Afternoon Tea in the West End of London.
Catching up with the parents? Meeting a friend for a spot of shopping? For an afternoon treat in Covent Garden, I highly recommend the Ivy Market Grill for their Champagne Cream Tea which includes freshly baked fruit scones, clotted cream and strawberry preserve - with a glass of Champagne and choice of teas, infusions or coffees.
For those who prefer something a bit more savoury, you can also order off the ‘All Day’ menu including The Prawn & Avocado Open Sandwich or the famous Ivy Shepard’s Pie - with slow braised lamb and beef, red wine sauce, plus cheddar potato mash.
Clerkenwell Boy Approved→ Ivy Market Grill
Ladurée’s Afternoon Tea - or should we say, L’heure Du Thé, is served every day in Covent Garden from 12pm until 6pm. It’s the perfect place to treat a loved one with panoramic views across Covent Garden’s West Piazza, and you can even watch the street performers outside St. Paul’s Church.
The iconic Ladurée afternoon tea includes elegant finger sandwiches served on a silver tiered stand, along with delicious mini viennoiseries and stunning cakes - the St Honoré rose framboise, with layers of choux pastry, rose-petal cream and raspberries is a must try.
All to be enjoyed with THOSE signature macarons and a glass (or two) of champagne of course!
Clerkenwell Boy Approved
The iconic Petersham Nurseries in Richmond opened an upscale version of their restaurant in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.
The stunning afternoon tea is served on a bespoke glass blown multi tiered platter - made in the island of Murano. Wild and seasonal flowers adorn the top of the stand, which diners can take home after enjoying delicious Smoked Trout Blinis and Lemon Meringue Tarts alongside Garden Herb Scones with Lobster and Créme Fraîche, alongside Tea and house made jams with a glass or bottle of their signature bubbles.
Clerkenwell Boy Approved
From the largest the wall in the world, to a full menu infused with tea this is the place to go for any tea lovers. To fully experience Mariage Frères' first home in the UK it is simply impossible not to try their Afternoon Tea.
On the first floor, diners at the 100-cover Salon de Thé will be seated in the ornate gallery, flooded with daylight from the atrium above and surrounded by an intricate listed heritage balustrade. For the menu, there is an exquisite range of handcrafted sandwiches that are almost too good to eat, ornate cakes that are infused with tea and all the French pastries you can imagine.
For a special treat, pre book their signature Afternoon Tea Experience which includes:
Clerkenwell Boy Approved→ Mariage Freres
Tea with a twist: Cinnamon Bazaar
Titans of the culinary world, Vivek Singh, and Great British Bake Off star Tamal Ray, have come together to create a modern, Indian-inspired take on the quintessential classic afternoon tea.
Now on the menu at Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden, the bespoke menu brings fire and spice to the traditional tea-time spread, and is inspired by the duo’s shared family roots in Kolkata, West Benga.
Travel back to the nostalgia of your childhood with a trip to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych. Discover the classic Roald Dahl tale translated into a flavoursome experience, suitable for the whole family.
In the heart of London’s theatreland, feast on scrumptious savouries such as our not-quite-as-it-seems salmon and beetroot macaron and juicy roast beef and horseradish, then journey on to fabulously fluffy floss and a box stacked high with wondrous cakes, sweets, mallows and creams – all washed down with chocolate or lemon sherbet tea, juicing room mix or water pistol punch cocktails, or fizzy lifting Champagne. Spot on for spectacular special occasions or simply an indulgent afternoon immersed in one of the tastiest tales ever told.
The Only Scone You Will Ever Need: Frenchie
They may not be considered a typical ‘afternoon tea’ staple, but we just couldn’t go without giving an honourable mention to Frenchie’s bacon scones with maple syrup and Cornish clotted cream. Baked fresh daily, the scones are a delicious alternative to a full-blown afternoon tea, and tickle both sweet and savoury tastebuds.
Order them with some tea, coffee or wash them down with something a little stronger; Frenchie’s signature Hazelnutini or Figatella cocktail. And for afters, there’s always Frenchie’s desserts - try the lemon and passionfruit tart with speculoos ice cream or chocolate malt lollipop with treacle ice cream.