During the 18th century, dinner came to be served later and later in the day until, by the early 19th century, the normal time was between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. An extra meal called luncheon had been created to fill the midday gap between breakfast and dinner, but as this new meal was very light, the long afternoon with no refreshment at all left people feeling hungry. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, found a light meal of tea (usually Darjeeling) and cakes or sandwiches was the perfect balance. The Duchess found taking an afternoon snack to be such a perfect refreshment that she soon began inviting her friends to join her. Afternoon tea quickly became an established and convivial repast in many middle and upper class households. (source:wikipedia)
Below, is the list of my favourite venues. Afternoon tea is always a special experience but if you are visiting London for the first time this should be on your check list.
Hotels – The Classics
Brook Street, Mayfair|£££|Have a look!
Fortnum & Mason
181 Piccadilly|£££|Have a look!
Park Lane, Mayfair|££££|Have a look!
Beeston Place|£££|Have a look!
St James’s Hotel & Club
7-8 Park Place, Mayfair|£££|Have a look!
Carlos Place, Mayfair | £££| Have a look!
Hyde Park Corner, Mayfair|££££|Have a look!
150 Picadilly|££££|Have a look!
Hotels – Modern
Ham Yard Hotel
1 Ham Yard, Soho|££|Have a look!
Intercontinental Park Lane
1 Hamilton Place, Mayfair|£££|Have a look!
Sanderson Hotel (Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea)
50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia|£££|Have a look!
7 Sloane Square, Chelsea|££|Have a look!
Palace cafe|Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park|££|Have a look!
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea|£|Have a look!