Best Loose-Leaf Afternoon Tea in London
August 5, 2013 10:27 AM   Subscribe

I would be grateful for suggestions on the best afternoon tea in London under £30 per head, with an emphasis on the quality of tea and cakes. So here I assume that places serving loose-leaf is better than bags. I am not too fussed about the pomp (though it is a special occasion). Many of the afternoon teas in that price bracket, according to my research, tend to serve teabags, are too busy or full of tourists.
posted by ashaw to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Brumus has good teas. Don't know about the quality of the cakes, though.
posted by vacapinta at 10:41 AM on August 5, 2013

Teasmith has exquisite teas, unusual and delicious pastries/biscuits to go with, and a gorgeous, peaceful atmosphere. The staff are all really into the ritual of preparing perfect tea, so you'll get really engaged with the process, not to mention enjoy the product.

It's tiny so only about 10 people can be served at once, which preserves the atmosphere, but means it's worth leaving a little extra time in case you have to go do something else for 10 minutes until a spot becomes available. But it's in the middle of Spitalfields indoor market so that's not exactly a hardship either.
posted by greenish at 11:14 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

It's not central, but I enjoyed high tea at The Petersham Hotel in Richmond overlooking the Thames. The cakes were lovely, the tea was certainly looseleaf and I think it was around £25 with champagne extra.
posted by goo at 12:28 PM on August 5, 2013

We recently had a lovely afternoon tea at Dukes Hotel in St James' Park. Good atmosphere, excellent loose leaf tea well-served with great cakes for just under £30.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 2:09 PM on August 5, 2013

I with greenish - Teasmith are as serious about tea as anywhere you'll encounter in London, basically the opposite of all the touristy places where you get a bag and a tower of over-iced cakes. Their pastries are exquisite and very unusual, but there aren't very many of them - the focus is really on the tea. It's served at a bar where you watch the tea infusions being prepared, so if you want everyone around one table it might not be quite right. You can actually book afternoon tea in advance, which is what I'd recommend. It's £20.
posted by Acheman at 3:15 AM on August 6, 2013

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