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Top 5: Afternoon Tea with a Twist in London

Image © Sketch

London Calling's guide to London's more unusual Afternoon Tea choices.

Here's a date for your diaries: 14 - 20 August is National Afternoon Tea week. We thought we’d celebrate by sharing our favourite afternoon tea spots in London – with a difference. We can all doff our caps to Anna – the seventh Duchess of Bedford – for the tradition. In the early nineteenth century it was standard practice to eat only twice a day: breakfast and a late dinner at 8pm. Anna felt the need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and we as a country never looked back.

B Bakery
We like to multi-task these days – time is precious – and any visitors to London who want to see the sights and sample a traditional afternoon tea can kill two birds with the proverbial by taking B Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. Tea is served on both decks – complete with scones, sandwiches and mini pastries – as the Routemaster travels around Central London taking in the sights.
B Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tours leave from 8 Northumberland Avenue and Victoria Coach Station daily, with prices starting at £45pp.

Image courtesy of Brigit's Bakery
For an international twist on afternoon tea, try East London’s Sosharu. Modelled on a traditional Japanese izakaya-style restaurant (a casual, post-work hang-out) this high-quality eatery offers their take on afternoon tea via various temaki (sushi hand-rolls) and, of course, a fine selection of teas. Considering the regular menu, the price is a snip for the calibre of food here.
Sosharu can be found at 64 Turnmill Street, EC1M 5RR. Afternoon Tea costs £28pp, or £35 with a choice of sparkling cocktail.

Image courtesy of Sosharu

Georgian House Hotel           
Pimlico’s 166-year-old Georgian House Hotel has added a special cheesy twist to the standard afternoon tea fare. Ashdown Forresters Smoked Cheddar Welsh rarebit, a Sussex Cheddar and thyme scone and a sheep’s curd parfait with bilberry and basil are among the delights on offer. Hurry though – the menu only lasts for August, and just at the weekends.
Georgian House Hotel can be found at 35-39 St George’s Drive, SW1V 4DG. Cheese Afternoon Tea costs £35pp.

Image courtesy of Georgian House Hotel

One Aldwych
On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re a sweet over savoury type of tea-fancier, then head over to One Aldwych for their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired, scrumdiddlyumptious, afternoon tea. Eton mess, chocolate caramel milk, homemade candyfloss and golden chocolate eggs filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango await you.
One Aldwych can be found at 1 Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ. Afternoon Tea costs £39pp, or more with champagne/cocktail.

Courtesy of One Aldwych

It’s all about the décor at Sketch. David Shrigley’s artwork adorns the bubblegum pink walls, whilst the menu – featuring caviar and quail’s eggs sitting alongside scones served with organic fig and strawberry jam – leave no doubt as to the quality of the food on offer. It’s like stepping into a Wes Anderson film, and easily one of the most eccentric restaurants in London. 
Sketch can be found at 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG. Afternoon Tea costs £58pp, or £72pp with champagne.

Image courtesy of Sketch