If you need to impress out-of-town friends, catch up with the girls, or just want to demolish some scones, it’s hard to beat the old-world charm of traditional afternoon tea. If your budget won’t stretch to the elegant tearooms at Claridge’s or The Dorchester, don’t worry – we’ve rounded up some of London’s best value teas so you can dine in style without breaking the bank.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury, St Paul’s – This quirky café offers afternoon tea beside St Paul’s Cathedral for just £19, or £26.50 if you include a glass of Moet Chandon Champagne. They serve wonderful Jing teas alongside savoury baguettes, freshly baked scones, mini meringues, brownies, marshmallows and more. You won’t leave hungry! Tea is also available at their Bloomsbury café on Saturdays and Sundays but please note that reservations are essential at both venues.
Cellarium Café & Terrace, Westminster – At The Cellarium, part of Westminster Abbey, you can linger over a traditional afternoon tea for just £16. If you’re feeling decadent, an added glass of Prosecco will bring the bill up to £20 – a bargain in SW1. Book a table.
The Tea Rooms, Stoke Newington – Decked out in pastel colours, antique mirrors and vintage prints, this North London tearoom is perfect for a girly catch-up. Pop in for a light lunch, tea and cake, or the full works for £20 (or £23 with a glass of Prosecco).
Camellia’s Tea House, Soho – Tucked away from the bustle of Carnaby Street, this tranquil top floor tea room is also a specialist tea shop selling over 100 different blends. Their full afternoon tea is £17.50 and you can enjoy a cream tea (scones with jam and clotted cream and a pot of tea) for just £6.50. If you’re feeling under the weather, ask about their herbal infusions which are handmade in London with healing properties in mind. Book a table.
Dean Street Townhouse, Soho – This stylish hotel in the heart of Soho serves tea between 3 and 6pm in its atmospheric English dining room. Their tea menu is short and sweet but there’s something to suit everyone, from fresh mint to Lapsang Souchong. The full Townhouse Tea will set you back £17, but you can order sandwiches, crumpets, scones and cakes separately for a wallet-friendly deconstructed version. Book a table.
BRGR Co, Soho – On nearby Wardour Street, BRGR Co serves a £17 burger-themed tea that’s guaranteed to impress kids and reluctant boyfriends. It features bite-sized sliders instead of sandwiches, tiny fries, and sweet treats like salted caramel doughnuts, cheesecake and mini brownies. It comes with a mini vanilla milkshake and one of their homemade infused ice teas, but ‘everyday tea’ is available for an extra £1.95.
Bluebird Bar, Chelsea – If you skip the Champagne, you can enjoy afternoon tea for just £18.50 at this chic King’s Road bar. It’s popular with the immaculately dressed local ladies-who-lunch and the perfect place to catch up with friends over a cup of Earl Grey. Book a table.
Gallery Mess, Chelsea – A little further up the King’s Road is Gallery Mess, the light and airy café at the Saatchi Gallery. You can enjoy the sunshine on their alfresco terrace and afternoon tea starts at £11.50, or £9.50 if you just fancy tea and scones. Book a table.
For more teas-under-£20, check out Le Chandelier (SE22); Bond & Brook (W1); Bake-A-Boo (NW6); The Modern Pantry (EC1); and Orange Pekoe (SW13). You can also browse our list of London tearooms and our Best For Afternoon Tea list for some more decadent options.