When it comes to choosing where to go in London for an enjoyable and relaxing Afternoon Tea you are spoilt for choice, as just about every hotel and many restaurants in the capital now offer their take on this oh so British tradition.

With my top three venues, I didn’t want to select the obvious and traditional such as the iconic Ritz, but rather three 5-star hotels that are elegant yet offer a relaxed atmosphere and have created something a little bit different and innovative that make for a really enjoyable afternoon out.

Sex and The City Par-Tea at The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

This has to win the prize for the most eye-catching themed Afternoon Tea. Launched last autumn, this popular Tea, named after the hit US sit-com is served daily in The Montagu and has a very New York feel to it. So sit back and let Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte take you through a journey of Waldorf salad sandwiches, New York Bagels with pastrami, mustard and mayo and delicious smoked salmon and dill cream cheese balls. I also love the American mini burgers and mini hot dogs, reminiscent of those Manhattan street vendors.

There is of course plenty for those of you with a sweet tooth including a diamond-studded red velvet cupcake and New York vanilla cheesecake with pink hot lips.

This fun Sex and The City Afternoon Tea costs £38 per person or £47 with a cocktail.
Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7299 2037

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych

I also wanted to include a theatrical twist on the traditional Afternoon Tea and being the official hotel for the musical Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, One Aldwych in London’s Covent Garden has created a rather unique Tea in their vibrant Lobby Bar. As well as some tasty sandwiches you can enjoy a Coconut Cream and Mango Golden Egg, Eton Mess and pear drop flavoured Candy Floss as well as homemade scones and summer berry jam and the obligatory Devonshire clotted cream. There is a choice of four Tea Palace infusions as well as a glass of bubbly, but may I suggest their ‘Cocktail Charlie’ which is a mix of Dalmore Whisky, Cherry Marnier, Chocolate bitter and topped with Champagne that comes in a smoking carafe and three home-made chocolate truffles.

At £45 per person that includes a glass of Lallier Grand Réserve Champagne or the special smoking ‘Cocktail Charlie’ I think this makes for a wonderful afternoon out with or without the kids.

The Lobby Bar, One Aldwych, London, WC2B 4RH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 1070

Take Away Afternoon Tea at The Park Tower Knightsbridge

My last choice is different in so far as you don’t actually have your Tea in the elegant surroundings of The Park Tower Hotel but rather take advantage of the warm summer we are currently enjoying and have your Afternoon Tea al fresco in one of London’s picturesque parks.

This seasonal and exclusive Strawberry Take Away Afternoon Tea comes served in a special case so you can carry it away with you, and even includes traditional tea-stand tiers with hand-made sandwiches such as a Silver Hill Duck Mayonnaise and Mustard Cress Briochette, tasty pastries and scrumptious desserts including a Wimbledon Strawberry and Lemon Victoria sponge. You also get a choice of a bottle of iced tea to take with you, or if you are feeling really indulgent, a half bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé.

This new Tea will change with the seasons but is going to be available right the way throughout the year and costs £39 for two people and £69 if you include the Champagne. The hotel will even lend you a picnic blanket for a £10 deposit.

The Park Tower Knightsbridge, A Luxury Collection Hotel, 101 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RN
Tel: +44 (0)207 235 8050

By Simon Burrell, Editor-in-chief of Luxury Travel Website www.omotg.com