Enhance your experience of the area with an exquisite selection of sandwiches, pastries and some rather artfully decorated cakesWith its abundance of luxury boutiques and five-star hotels, Knightsbridge is perfectly geared up for a day indulging in retail therapy then making time for some much-needed self-care with a decadent afternoon tea. Whether you want to marvel at exquisite trompe l’oeil desserts from the world’s best pâtissier or savour your scones surrounded by Tiffany jewellery, there’s an afternoon tea for you. Words: Jenny Tregoning
The best afternoon teas in Knightsbridge
Cédric Grolet’s Goûtea at The Berkeley
Knightsbridge’s newest contender for the afternoon tea crown is Cédric Grolet (aka the world’s best pastry chef), who opened his first patisserie outside of Paris at The Berkeley to widespread acclaim earlier in 2022. The newly launched “Goûtea” is a fusion of the French “gouter” (sweet afternoon snack) and British afternoon tea – an edible Entente Cordiale, if you will. Guests can enjoy stunning sweet and savoury trompe l’oeil creations, including Grolet’s famous green apple and dill dessert, plus mini comté and bacon quiches and freshly baked madeleines whisked straight from the oven to the table.
From £85 per person, Monday to Sunday, at noon, 2pm and 4pm. Book online
Italian restaurant chain Caffè Concerto has not one but two locations in the heart of Knightsbridge, both of which offer diners a dizzying amount of choice (seriously, the menu is gigantic). Here, you can also enjoy a very reasonably priced afternoon tea, with a choice between a traditional serving and a luxury cream tea version. There’s also vegetarian options, so everyone is catered for. And make sure you don’t fill up on all the savoury sandwiches and mini brioche rolls, as Caffè Concerto is renowned for its patisserie. Showcased in both the afternoon tea and luxury cream tea menus, you will successfully satisfy your sweet tooth with a glorious assortment of freshly baked scones, cakes and macarons. Both menus also offer a wide selection of exotic world teas or, for a little extra, a “treat yourself” glass of prosecco.
From £32.95 per person, Monday to Sunday. Book online
The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
If champagne isn’t your thing, at The Rosebery – the Mandarin Oriental’s modern and elegant tearoom – you can choose to pair your cakes and sandwiches with Alsatian grand cru wine, sparkling tea, sake or even beer (plus 29 varieties of loose-leaf tea, of course). And there’s a dedicated children’s menu too, so this truly will keep everybody happy. Tuck into Taleggio and poached pear sandwiches and plum and tonka tart, before helping yourself to a scone from the ingenious hanging cake stand.
From £68 per person, Monday to Sunday, from 12pm to 6.30pm. Book online
The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe, Harrods
Forget breakfast, it’s all about afternoon tea at Tiffany’s. Tucked away on Harrods’ lower ground floor is the only Tiffany’s café outside of Fifth Avenue, New York, where you can embrace your inner Holly Golightly and sip your tea (or flat white) from Tiffany blue china. In fact, almost everything is decked out in Tiffany’s signature shade, so it’s almost like taking tea in an enormous jewellery box. Pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake nod to the brand’s US heritage, but never fear, cucumber sandwiches and scones and clotted cream are all present and correct. You’ll need to be on the ball for this one, as bookings are released every 2nd of the month for the following two months, although there is limited availability for walk-ins.
From £73, Monday to Sunday, 1pm to 7pm. Book online
After perusing the Fenty Beauty counter and eyeing up the Loewe handbags, make your way up to Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Cafe for the definition of a luxury pit-stop. Afternoon tea is a classic affair – dainty finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of delectable sweet treats (you had us at dulce de leche mousse). Or why not treat someone special with a gift experience voucher they can use at their leisure?
From £40, Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 5.30pm. Book online
The Park Tower Knightsbridge
The special-edition Regal Ritual Afternoon Tea was created by The Park Tower hotel to commemorate the historic coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, and there’s no sign of it being taken off the menu just yet. And it’s easy to see why, with its pretty-as-a-picture regal-inspired finger sandwiches, fine pastries and sweet treats made with local and sustainably sourced ingredients. The pièce de résistance is a lavender scented white chocolate panna cotta and shortbread crown centrepiece. Better still, afternoon tea takes place in the hotel’s beautiful Knightsbridge Lounge under a suitably grand 18-ft teardrop chandelier.
From £49 per person, served daily from 2pm – 6pm. Book here.
Afternoon tea is done right at this five-star establishment, and served under a glass-domed ceiling, with chandeliers and ornate frescoes that create a suitably refined backdrop. Plus, there’s a pianist on weekends. Introduced earlier this summer is the special-edition Queen Charlotte Afternoon Tea, inspired by the Netflix smash hit. Mini sandwiches and delightful pastries take inspiration from the beloved characters of the Regency-inspired TV show, and there are even vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and child-friendly versions of the menu so that every member of the ton can enjoy a serving.
From £75 per person. Served Monday to Thursday, 2.30 – 4pm, Friday & Saturday 12 – 4pm and Sunday 3:30 – 4:30pm. Book here.
Helmed by tour de force chef and businesswoman Zahra Khan, Feya is a café that does good – 10 per cent from every sale goes to the Young Women’s Trust, which encourages female empowerment through entrepreneurialism. At this stunning forest-themed café, where greenery is draped from the ceiling and “rivers” of marbled blue flow along the floor, you can enjoy wild mushroom quiche and smoked salmon blinis alongside a selection of macarons, squidgy mini brownies and scones, all served on an elegant circular tiered cake stand. Plus, there’s a vegetarian option too.
£37.50 per person. Book online
An Instagrammer’s fever dream (think floor-to-ceiling flower walls and neon signs aplenty), the pink interiors at EL&N on Lowndes Street are worth the visit alone. Billed as a floral afternoon tea, it’s a classic offering of freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches and cakes (including mixed berry cheesecake and mini banoffee pie) – all served on a three-tier stand with tea or coffee. Bathed in the café’s rosy glow and surrounded by flowers, it’s the perfect way to welcome in the new season (and take the perfect spring selfie).
From £44.99 for two; Monday to Sunday, until 4pm. Book online