‘Tis the season: The best festive afternoon teas in London

Get in practice for Christmas feasting by indulging in these high-end seasonal takes on the classic afternoon tea

Festive Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal

The hotel has once again partnered with Diptyque to create a wintry spread inspired by some of the perfumer’s most popular scents. Here executive pastry chef Sarah Barber has transformed the fragrances into creative treats, from a raspberry and lemon mousse tart that takes its cues from the citrusy Oyedo to a vanilla and caramel-infused Victoria sponge influenced by the sweet notes found in Benjoin.

From £55; hotelcaferoyal.com

Festive Afternoon Tea at Jean-Georges at the Connaught

Jean-Georges Vongerichten launched his eponymous restaurant at the Connaught earlier this year, and as with the main restaurant the afternoon tea menu showcases his internationally focused culinary outlook. This special take works in flavours of miso, chipotle and kaffir leaf into the savouries, while the sweets are focused around more seasonal fare of chestnut, cinnamon and mulled wine. The biggest talking point, however, is guaranteed to be the chocolate fondue, complete with gingerbread for dipping.

From £75; the-connaught.co.uk

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough

One for traditionalists, this afternoon tea ticks off all the festive favourites. After turkey and cranberry sandwiches tuck into homemade gingerbread, a classic chestnut Mont Blanc and tea-infused caramel shortbread star.

From £65; oetkercollection.com

Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

At The Ritz, the afternoon tea is just as much about grand surrounds as the top-notch patisserie on the plates. Those partaking in this seasonal spin will be serenaded with carols in the stunning Palm Court, while children will receive a Ritz teddy bear or a visit from Santa if dining on Christmas Day.

From £80; theritzlondon.com

Festive Afternoon Tea at Royal Lancaster London

This hearty feast starts with pigs in blankets and turkey and stuffing sandwiches before moving onto playful Christmas pudding scones, piled with clotted cream and cranberry jam. Sweets are similarly seasonal, from a spiced cranberry marshmallow tea cake to boozy chocolate Baileys truffle lollipops.

From £35; royallancaster.com

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Langham

The whimsically named pastries dreamt up by the Langham’s executive pastry chef Andrew Gravett have the rich, festive flavours to match. ‘Gold, frankincense and myrrh’ comes in the form of caramelised puff pastry, salted caramel and vanilla, while you’ll know ‘It’s Christmas’ with the pastry’s flavours of chocolate, mandarin and cinnamon.

From £72; palm-court.co.uk

Festive Art Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London

Executive pastry chef Mark Perkins has built on the Rosewood’s successful art-inspired afternoon tea to offer this new festive take. Each pastry takes its form from the works of a leading contemporary artist – this edition looks to the creative talents of Jeff Koons, Wassily Kandinsky, Hubert Le Gall, Jackson Pollock and Banksy.

From £55; rosewoodhotels.com

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Rubens at The Palace

This hotel’s royal-inspired afternoon tea has been given a Christmas makeover, with a number of seasonal specials. Alongside the Queen’s jammy dodger biscuit and traditional lemon curd and poppy seed cake you’ll find yule log, a mulled wine spiked macaron and vanilla cheesecake livened up with cranberry.

From £49; rubenshotel.com

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