Where to find afternoon tea fit for a King in London

Afternoon tea (Getty Images)

Whether you’re in the mood for a royal or looking to avoid the Coronation crowds this weekend, stop by one of London’s great tea locations. After all, what better way to spend the day than by taking part in a quintessentially British activity?

Ahead of the big royal bonanza, ES Magazine has teamed up with the best evening spots in the city, where you can squabble over the most controversial questions… cream before jam or jam before cream? (the second is the correct answer and the only way to eat such food).

Fortnum and Masons

Fortnum and Masons

With an eye for tradition, Fortnum and Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon over in Piccadilly should be your first port of call. There is peace to be found inside the iconic department store, where you can expect to hear squeals of joy and cutlery clinking against green china plates. It’s an unforgettable experience if nothing else.

The dishes are inspired by those served at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and some of King Charles’s favorite foods – Welsh lamb scotch egg drizzled in wild herb aioli, spicy native lobster, Harborne blue cheese mousse with honey glaze London and popcorn, and all of them. An ode to his love of local produce. Warm scones are filled with lashings of thick clotted cream followed by ambitiously piled strawberry jam, best paired with teas from here, there and everywhere – the Darjeeling blend reigns supreme!

Searcy at The Gherkin (Searcy's at The Gherkin)

Searcy’s at The Gherkin (Searcy’s at The Gherkin)

If you want to eat with a view, let Searcys at the Gherkin be your guide with their Coronation evening special. The cosmopolitan building is a restorative experience, and indeed a great pleasure with more treats to follow. After finally navigating the building’s many elevators, wake up to the top floor and bask in the sunshine over a cup of blackcurrant and hibiscus tea and a multi-tiered cake stand served in the sky.

Feast your eyes and hips on a pot of pheasant breeches, delicious green trifles, created using Searcy’s new signature gin and seasonal Lincolnshire poached rhubarb. Don’t worry plant based people! There’s plenty for you, Coronation jackfruit rags filled with spiced sultanas, dinky mushroom pastries studded with nigella seeds and finger-sized candied coffee chocolate mousses. For the ultimate sugar shock, try a summer berry macaron, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and topped with edible butterflies, it’s a winner!

The Rosewood

The Rosewood

Although The Rosewood is taking a less-than-usual approach to the post-lunch meal, with their excellent Coronation art afternoon tea. Cucumber finger sandwiches, bite-sized tarts and mouth-watering pastries are to be expected, but the luxury hotel over in High Holborn is in for a treat.

It is a business inspired by David Hockney and many bold and innovative types are available. Earl gray flavored sponges with a chocolate top, pistachio and sable sable biscuits and tangy bright blue treats, conjure up images of the work of the famous artist. Quirky and cool but keeping it really important at heart (that’s how we Brits are).

The Bollinger Burlington Bar in Mayfair (The Bollinger Burlington Bar in Mayfair)

The Bollinger Burlington Bar in Mayfair (The Bollinger Burlington Bar in Mayfair)

Meanwhile in Mayfair, Champagne Bollinger is having a great time with its Afternoon Treat Menu. The interior of this is lit only by the Bollinger Burlington Bar, and its luxurious gold-flecked furnishings, which make the perfect setting for a light bite. This one-off Coronation menu was dreamed up by none other than Royal Warrant patisserie chef Didier Merveilleux. Here you’ll find layers of tangy peach and vanilla tarts and passion fruit yuzu macaroons so bright they put the crown jewels to shame.

Toast the King’s accession to the throne with a glass or two of the signature Bollinger Special Cuvée – it’s as divine as you’ll be buying the bottle. Expect flushed cheeks and a playful head this bank holiday weekend. Bye!

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