Our favourite weird but wonderful afternoon tea experiences on offer right now.
Freshly-cut cucumber sandwiches, a selection of petite pastries and cakes, a china pot of tea leaves… afternoon tea is a quintessentially British tradition.
But if you’ve done the sandwiches and scones thing a few times, here are some different takes on the traditional afternoon tea.
An Indian twist on afternoon tea in central London at the Cinnamon Club. Savoury treats such as Bangla Scotch eggs and bombay potato bonda line the plates, and you can then look forward to garam masala cake and spiced scones. Teas on offer range from rich masala chai to delicate and mellow silver needle leaves.
Where: Cinnamon Soho
Cost: From £25 for two, £35 with a Cinnamon Bellini each.
Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea
At the Radisson Blu in Manchester, you can find the Opus One restaurant where you can indulge in a gentlemen's afternoon tea. This features speciality tea, rustic sandwiches, a miniature hot Yorkshire pudding, pork pie, miniature fish and chips, with scones to follow.
Where: Opus One Bar & Restaurant, Peter Street, Manchester
Cost: from £18.95 (£22.95 with a pint of beer, or £27.95 with a glass of Champagne)
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory tea
Roald Dahl's classic children's book inspired this wonderful tea at One Aldwych. It features golden chocolate eggs filled with cheesecake and mango, raspberry trifle, homemade candy floss and plenty more.
There may be no chocolate river in sight, but we still think it's rather a good effort.
Where: One Aldwych Hotel, Covent Garden, London
Cost: from £37.50
Not Afternoon Tea
An afternoon tea without finger sandwiches? Good grief! The OXO Tower Brasserie pulls it off though with a range of Not Afternoon Teas. You can choose from the likes of Penny's Herb Garden, which includes lemon balm panna cotta and blackcurrant meringue pie, and Summertime Blooms (pictured above) with rose cake and charcoal ice cream.
Also on offer are Not Afternoon Tea 'experience' teas which are pricier but based around one of three themes: 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', 'I Believe in Pink' or 'Something to Celebrate'.
Where: OXO Tower Brasserie, Southwark, London
Cost: from £24.50 per person
Prêt-à-Portea – the tea that changes with the seasons
Just like the fashion world itself, the Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea at London’s Berkeley Hotel changes its designs with the seasons. So you could be served a Stella McCartney polka dot sponge cake dress or a Burberry Prorsum stylish black and white double breasted chocolate biscuit coat with snow white vanilla icing.
Where: The Caramel Room, The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London
Cost: from £41 per person
An artistic tea
If you fancy indulging in some edible art, then head for the Merrion Hotel next time you’re in Dublin. Its Art Tea features cakes inspired by the works of artists such as J.B. Yeats, William Scott and Louis le Brocquy.
A must for art lovers who need to relax after a hard day perusing galleries.
Where: The Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin
Cost: from €36 per person
Tumble down the rabbit hole
Heston Blumenthal would surely approve of the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel in London. Among the sensory delights are 'strawberries and cream' homemade marshmallow mushrooms, a sponge clock, and a multitude of jellies and other treats.
Where: Courtyard Garden, Sanderson London, 50 Berners Street, London
Cost: from £38 per person
This is a classic lovefood article that is frequently updated
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