Afternoon tea is a significant part of English culture. We did a survey and found out what people look for most in a great tearoom: atmosphere and ambiance turned out to be the most important attributes, closely followed by tea variety, and then pastries and snacks. Next time you travel to London, don’t miss these three intriguing tea rooms.
Tea Time London by atmosphere and ambiance:
1. Cute and Affordable – Bake-a-Boo
Bake-a-Boo is one of the most inexpensive tearooms in London, but offers guests nothing short of an authentic experience. Pink, pastels, and floral upholstery set the tone for this “princess-esque” tea room, which provides guests with the option of sitting at a long communal table in the back, relaxing on billowing sofas, or sitting quaintly at one of many smaller tables along the wall. Racks of cupcakes line the windows and are the perfect complement to any of the twenty types of tea. Afternoon tea can be booked in advance for large parties, and catering is also available.
2. The Secret Stash – Soho’s Secret Tea Room
Hidden away above the Coach & Horses Pub, Soho’s Secret Tea Room is considered one of London’s trendier tearooms with its vintage styling, fine bone china, and crackling gramophone music. Mismatched mirrors line the walls as scattered windows throughout make the tearoom feel light and airy. Though Soho’s is better known for its ambiance than tea, the service is impeccable (servers are even dressed in vintage waiter and waitress outfits complete with aprons and smocks), and the prices are unrivaled. The menu consists of a few pastries and sandwiches, but focuses on traditional cream teas, as well as champagne teas for those looking for a livelier afternoon.
3. A Quirky Cafe – Drink, Shop & Do
This vibrant café is absolutely defined by its name; “Drink, Shop & Do”. Completely unconventional, this venue is a design shop and café bar that also sells products from local artists, as well as vintage furniture and homewares. Each day afternoon tea is held from 10:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. and features various courses and teas that are purchased together at a reasonable set price. Most of these courses include finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, truffles, and fruit, which go hand in hand with any cup of tea or glass of champagne. During teatime, guests can also purchase items off of the “Do Menu”, which lists a set of crafts and workshops held by the café owners. Visitors can learn to make anything from garters to cake pops, to balloon figurines, or master the art of nail design. Though completely unconventional, this multifaceted venue provides guests with much more than just a cup of tea.
Want to explore more tea rooms in London, including the most renowned and traditional? Check out our recommendations for High Tea in London