Afternoon tea is a British classic beloved by people from all over the world. With finger sandwiches to fill your stomach, scones to indulge in and mouth-watering cakes, it is no surprise that afternoon tea is so popular. However, afternoon rarely comes under £30 and it can easily go up to £50. That’s why in this list we are tackling the issue of affordability and looking at some afternoon tea for £21 pounds or less.
1. Hoi Polloi
It’s really hard to find a delicious afternoon tea. One person on Trip Advisor compares this to finding a needle in a haystack, claiming that Hoi Polloi is that needle. Quite the statement, but it’s understandable.
Located in Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel, this modernist brasserie provides a relaxed and fashionable atmosphere for your afternoon tea. They don’t shy away from the classics, such as the scones and the cucumber sandwiches, but you can expect a bit of a contemporary twist on the afternoon tea as a whole (the carrot cake! OMG!).
The tea can also be swapped for coffee for those who love the idea of afternoon tea, but don’t necessarily love tea that much.
2. Dean Street Townhouse
This will be quite a proper afternoon tea. Dean Street Townhouse offer a very traditional afternoon tea with a delightful assortment of cakes, lovely scones and the must-have finger sandwiches. I would definitely go for at least a smart casual look in this place, because it is quite smart and sophisticated and you don’t want to feel underdressed. You’ll also probably want to take pictures on their comfortable big chairs, with their beautiful afternoon tea set.
Only a walk away from Tottenham Court Road, but hidden away from the rush, it’s a great place for a more traditional fancy afternoon tea. They also offer Creat Tea and High Tea. You can take a look at their menu here.
3. The Delaunay
The afternoon tea in The Delaunay is the perfect place for people who love Viennese cakes. This Viennese-themed afternoon tea serves a beautiful assortment of sandwiches poppy seed Gugelhupf with apricot jam and whipped cream (traditional fruit scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream are also available), together with a selection of classic Viennese cakes and a choice of teas or coffee.
They also offer Cream Tea (£9.50) for those who are not ready to tackle a full afternoon tea.
4. The Wallace Restaurant
The Wallace restaurant is not only great for afternoon tea, but also great for an afternoon outing. It is located within the Wallace Collection gallery, which is considered to be one of the best art collections in the UK, home to works by Rembrandt and Velazquez. So if you are an art lover, this is a place you should definitely check out. Admission to the permanent collection is free, so there’s even more reason to indulge in some afternoon tea.
You will be enjoying that afternoon tea surrounded by trees and sculptured in the covered courtyard, where there’s an abundance of natural light. The menu is quite traditional, with freshly made sandwiches, scones and a selection of cakes.
5. German Gymnasium
The German Gymnasium probably looks nothing like you would guess from the name. It is located at King’s Cross and it is one of the most beautiful locations on this list (and has been named the most beautiful restaurant in the world). This won’t be your most traditional afternoon tea, however. The afternoon tea menu offers to options: “The German” and “The Austrian”, so you can expect something with a twist.
If you are an experienced afternoon tea goer then this is definitely a place you should try. If this is your first afternoon tea, you should probably consider one of the more traditional options as a first stop.
6. Paul in Covent Garden
A traditional afternoon tea with a French twist at the lowest price on this list. And the lowest price I’ve ever seen for afternoon tea. The French cafe chain Paul in Covent Garden offers a great variety for its afternoon tea. There are both veggie and non-veggie sandwich options, delicious pastries and macaroons. The classic scone is swapped for an almond brioche, served with jam and Chantilly cream.
It looks beautiful, it tastes great and it’s perfectly located for an afternoon meal if you are sightseeing, shopping in central or visiting any of the museums/galleries in the area (London Transport Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery).
Do you have any recommendations for budget-friendly afternoon tea? Share in the comments!
Featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/qfRsevOtQXE
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.