Afternoon tea is a cultural tradition in England just like how Spaniards have siesta time. Except, the Brits need a little caffeine pick-me-up in this case. You won’t believe all the flavors of teas you will experience in England, but here are a few of my favorite places that I tried in England that I thought I would share with you.
Harrods has a Tea room where it might be a bit of a wait to get in, but the wait is well worth it. First you pick the type of tea you want then you can look on the menu to decide on what fancies to go with(fancies are little decadent cookies and sandwiches that are traditionally served with tea).The waiter told us that the English way of preparing tea was to first pour in the tea then the milk, then finally, a cube of sugar. After your experience at the tea room, you must not forget to go down to the level of Harrods with all the fancy and extraordinarily colorful desserts. If there ever was a real-life candy land, that would be it!
My family and I used TripAdvisor to find one of the best places in town for afternoon tea and fancies, and it just so happened to be at this historic hotel called The Capital. It gives you the perfect English feel when you go inside and see the rich colors of the old Victorian-styled hotel. The tea room was off to the side and nicely closed off for a quiet and peaceful experience. They have an array of different teas to choose from. When the tea kettles are brought out they are beautifully displayed in clear glass kettles with fancy spices and herbs inside to enhance the flavors. The Fancies are just as beautiful as the teas. Everything is pristine and set for the perfect afternoon tea in London.
Our stop at the Ritz was not intentional. We didn’t plan on making a reservation at their tea room or anything, it just happened to be one evening we were walking around the streets of London and I begged my mom to let me see the legendary hotel in person. She finally gave in and the hunt was on. We walked a few miles and there it was in awe with its bright lights and classic look. All I wanted to do was go inside, however because we didn’t exactly plan on finding it, we ran into a few problems on how we could get inside….
Problem One: we didn’t have a reservation for the tea room, and they were completely booked.
Problem Two: we were weren’t exactly dressed to inside of the Ritz, they have a very strict dress code.
Luckily for us, there were two extremely nice doormen outside and I was able to go talk to them. I asked if we could go in for tea and fancies but he told me that without a reservation he could not get us in(figures). However I was able to bat my long eyelashes and say thank you and walk back to the girls. But as I started walking away, he told me to wait for a second. I turned back to him and he said that although there may not be room in the tea room, we could go into to bar to get tea and desserts. I knew my face lit up instantly and we graciously agreed to do that. As we started to walk in the door man had to stop my friend Peg. “Ma’m, your trainers!” Sneakers are not allowed to be worn in the Ritz what so ever. She told us to go in without her but we couldn’t just leave our group member out. So we decided that this just wasn’t going to work out. The Door man apologized and then asked us where we are from. We told him Montana, and he said he’s never met anyone from there before (us Montanans are one in a million ;)) He told us to wait again as he went inside to ask for permission for Peg to enter the building. He came back out with good news that we were allowed to go to the bar area. Batting my long eyelashes worked its charm! Inside was absolutely beautiful with a grand piano and beautiful colors surrounding the main lobby area. At the bar we felt very under-dressed compared to the other guest there, but that didn’t stop us from having an amazing time. Our tea was delightful, but my favorite part was the dessert I ordered. I will never ever forget it because it was out of this world amazing. I forget the name of it, but it was a little bowl made out of sugar holding a light lemon ice cream inside. The ice cream fizzled and dissipated in my mouth, and perhaps that’s why I remember it so well. The Ritz made my day and it notably one of my most favorite experiences in London that summer. I couldn’t resist giving a hug to my new little doorman friend after the fun I had at the Ritz.
Don’t miss out on a memorable afternoon tea experience while in London!