Tea Tuesday: Afternoon Tea in London

It’s the triumphant return of Tea Tuesday!

I first visited London during my semester abroad in Barcelona. I had a friend studying in London, and spent a weekend visiting him; my two days in London were amazing, but they definitely weren’t enough time to see and do everything. One thing that I missed the first time around, which I knew I had to do when my brother and I visited was…

Afternoon Tea.

Now, there are a couple of ways to enjoy this quintessential British experience, which has been around since the 1840s. The most famous is probably to go to a fancy hotel like the Savoy or the Langham, but partaking of afternoon tea at one of these places will set you back around £30 per person before the tip.

So, my brother and I found a more economical option. Dean Street Townhouse is a boutique hotel in Soho, which has a lovely dining room complete with velvet couches and cushions piled high, and offers a scrumptious afternoon tea.

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Their set menu costs £16.75 or you can order a la carte. I’d definitely recommend the set menu, which includes finger sandwiches (the classics: egg and cress, ham, and smoked salmon, although unfortunately, no cucumber), scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream (amazing and not too dry), a selection of fancy cakes (each one more delicious than the previous), and, of course, a tea of your choice. You can see the menu for yourself here or you can just admire the above photo. Please note the adorable china and three tiered stand.

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My brother enjoying his Jasmine Green tea.

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Me with my Earl Grey Red Baron tea. I think I tried to order the most British sounding tea on the menu. All in all, it was a wonderful experience–everything this tea lover had hoped it would be.

Afternoon tea is typically enjoyed between 3:00 and 5:00, although Dean Streets Townhouse’s lasts until 6:00. And, let me be a cautionary tale, because it is incredibly filling. My brother can attest to the fact that after those rich, heavy scones, I had to force myself to eat my share of each fancy cake. That being said, there was no way I wasn’t trying everything. So that you don’t have to eat to the point of discomfort, I’d recommend skipping lunch and going straight from breakfast to afternoon tea.

Have you ever taken part in the grand tradition of afternoon tea?

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