In Brief

Best luxury afternoon teas in London

Our choice of the most delightful spots for a truly indulgent treat in the capital

There's nothing more quintessentially English than tucking into an afternoon tea – and the capital can be one of the best places to do it.

Whether visiting from abroad or from much closer to home, many tourists in London are keen to indulge in a photogenic tier of delicious sandwiches and delicate cakes.

But with countless cafes and restaurants offering the treat, which to choose?

Luckily, the Afternoon Tea Awards 2016 judges have named the very best afternoon teas in London ahead of next month's Afternoon Tea Week, which runs from 8 to 14 August.

Here are the places that go the extra mile to make the experience truly special:

Best Traditional Afternoon Tea – Claridge's

Price per person: From £58

They say: "Our ingredients are painstakingly sourced, skilfully prepared and served fresh each day… Set in the splendour of Thierry Despont’s magnificent Foye, inspired by the 1930s heyday of art deco, Afternoon Tea at Claridge's is truly a magical experience."

The judges say: "An exceptional experience… Staff were bubbly, enthusiastic and helpful... A relaxed and lively atmosphere, nothing stuffy and formal here."

Even more importantly, the pastries were judged to be "perfect in flavour, texture, and presentation".

Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea - Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Price per person: From £53

They say: "Our Tea Master has created an enticing menu of bespoke blends" which customers can enjoy in a "stylish, contemporary backdrop".

The judges say: "Lovely ambience… Staff were attentive and thoughtful throughout".

The Knightsbridge hotel also won praise for its "innovative sandwich presentation" and "delicate and intricate pastries".

Best Themed Afternoon Tea – Sanderson London

Price per person: £48

They say: "Sanderson invites you to tumble down the rabbit hole for the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and enjoy all the splendour of our Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea."

The judges say: "This is how to run a themed afternoon tea… Inventive, fun, tasty."

The thoughtful novelty touches and high-quality fare adds up to an "excellent tea for small and big kids alike".

Best Family Friendly Afternoon Tea – Grosvenor House

Price per person: £42.50, children's tea £15.00

They say: Set in a "typically British stately home", the Hyde Park hotel is "an idyllic, Central London location to enjoy the quintessentially British tradition of Afternoon Tea".

The judges say: "The children’s afternoon tea selection was cleverly designed… Our waitress was amazing; everything was served in perfect timing."

Importantly, in a market where top price does not necessarily equal top quality, afternoon tea at Grosvenor House "offers good value for money".

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