The best festive afternoon teas in the City of London


Festive afternoon teas have increasingly become a must-experience around Christmas time. Parents come to London to visit and spoiling them with all kinds of cakes, scones and fancy brewed teas is such a great way to ensure you get a top notch present this year.

It’s also the ideal way to celebrate the festive season with a group of friends or colleagues. Dress up and drink all of the Champagne you can bare before ending up at a theatre show or live music gig in the City. And the kids love afternoon teas too. Especially these themed options – Santa Claus will even be wandering around some of these London afternoon tea destinations. Read on for more.

Rosewood London

Rosewood London is known for having some of the best afternoon teas every year – the even win awards for it. They are both creative and delicious. And this year’s is no exception. Until 1 January, guests can sample some of their Antony Gormley Art treats with a few glasses of Champagne. Every weekend, they’ll even have live music and their very own Santa Claus wandering about the room greeting the kids on both 21 and 22 December. Afterwards, head over to their pop-up chalet for a little more festive cheer and some extra cheeky cocktails..
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN

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Rosewood London has been transformed into a Christmas utopia again this year

The Ned

Millie’s Lounge at The Ned is adding a seasonal touch to its very traditional afternoon tea, served on bespoke Burleigh china tea sets amid the Grand Banking Hall. This is where you take the parents to impress them with all of the grand architecture as well as the super hip clientele. Get into mince pies, gingerbread men, Christmas tree cakes and other festive treats, plus scones with seasonal jam and clotted cream, and a selection of sandwiches in this menu running until 28 December. You can also head to Kaia’s for an alternative Asia-Pacific inspired afternoon tea throughout the year.
27 Poultry EC3V 0EH

london magazine
Millie’s at The Ned is a new classic destination for afternoon tea

One Aldwych

One Aldwych is putting a festive spin on its much-loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea this Christmas. Plates will be piled high with sandwiches, cinnamon glazed brioche buns and festive fruit scones with all the trimmings. Sweet-shop inspired treats include marzipan chocolate milk, home-made candy floss, gingerbread and white chocolate pops with violet popping candy and cocoa bean financiers. This is where they excel. All the chocolate desserts are next level delicious. The afternoon tea will be served in both the Indigo restaurant and Lobby Bar until 5 January.
1 Aldwych WC2B 4BZ

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One Aldwych has given their usual Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea a little festive twist

Aqua Shard

Celebrate Christmas in style this year right up at the Aqua Shard. Up until 31 December, guests can indulge in a range of seasonal treats while enjoying panoramic views from level 31 of the iconic London skyscraper. This festive edition embraces the spirit of Christmas with a selection of savouries including a cranberry and turkey lettuce sandwich that can be enjoyed before sweet treats such as a dark chocolate and cherry present. Those afraid of heights best keep away from the window seats though – just FYI.
Level 31, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street SE1 9RY

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Aqua Shard does a festive afternoon tea each and every year

The Curtain

To celebrate its new partnership with the London perfumers, Penhaligon’s, The Curtain Hotel and Member’s Club is offering a limited-edition Christmas afternoon tea. And, to make it even more special, guests can even visit the private rooftop on a few select dates in December. Usually, only hotel guests and private members are allowed up here, so this is the ideal time to check out the space. Expect desserts inspired by different Penhaligon scents and bespoke cocktails designed by their expert bar staff. All guests will receive a Halfeti-scented handkerchief and an invitation to experience Fragrance Profiling at Penhaligon’s store.
Green Room at The Curtain, 45 Curtain Road EC2A 3PT

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The Curtains private members club is open to the public for Christmas