*This article was updated on 22/08/2022*
Read time: 8 mins
The classic afternoon tea: a quintessentially British pastime made up of freshly baked scones and cakes, soft finger sandwiches and perfectly brewed tea.
But did you know that scones were not included in afternoon teas until the early 1900s?
Nowadays, you’ll find much more than plain scones on the menu.
From edible plant pots to chilli-spiced scones, there are a plethora of opportunities to experience afternoon tea with a twist.
With the increase in unusual and immersive experiences, it’s easy to see why afternoon tea has had such a resurgence in popularity in recent years.
Let’s take a look at some of the UK’s most enjoyable afternoon teas with a difference…
Afternoon Tea meets the traditional sweetshop in this unique experience at The Chesterfield Mayfair.
Featuring everything from Coca-Cola slices to Giant Jazzies, as well as a traditional sweet cart with pick and mix, you’ll be immersed in a world of sweetness.
Not forgetting the timeless finger sandwiches and freshly baked chocolate chip and fruit scones.
Don’t miss the fruit salad candy tea based on the penny chew sweets; truly unique!
Location: Chesterfield Mayfair, London.
Times: Mondays to Fridays 12.30pm – 4pm | Saturdays and Sundays 12.30pm – 5.30pm.
Dietary Requirements: Suitable for halal | Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available.
Price: Currently £60pp. | £62pp with a glass of champagne. | £31 per child.
Not for the faint-hearted, get ready for all things chilli with this chilli-inspired afternoon tea from Edible Ornaments.
Take your tastebuds on an adventure with chilli-infused scones, jams, and chutneys alongside homemade chilli cake with plenty of fresh milk on hand to put the fire out.
Who knew that afternoon tea could be so fiery?
Don’t miss the chilli tasting session. You can try fresh chillies and gourmet chilli sauces with an informative and knowledgeable chilli expert.
Location: Edible Ornaments, Bedfordshire.
Times: Enquire for availability.
Dietary Requirements: Enquire at the time of booking.
Price: Currently £50 for two people.
Feel like a child again as you’re transported into Roald Dahl’s timeless classic with this Chocolate Factory-themed afternoon tea.
With fizzy lifting drinks and caramel chocolate milkshakes mixed by waterfall, your tastebuds take a journey through Willie Wonka’s infamous factory.
You’ll also be in for a few surprises as some of the items are not quite what they appear to be!
Don’t miss the fabulously fluffy candy floss, ‘strictly not for dentists’!
Location: One Aldwych, London.
Times: Wednesdays to Fridays 12pm – 3pm, Sundays & Saturdays 12pm - 4pm.
Dietary Requirements: Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available when requested in advance of booking.
Price: Currently £52pp | £65pp with a glass of Champagne or a Cocktail | £35 per child.
Photo by Folsom Natural on Flickr under Creative Commons
Immerse yourself into the world of Peter Rabbit with The Official Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea at The Dilly.
Enjoy views over Piccadilly, whilst dining on charming garden-themed treats inspired by Beatrix Potter’s tale.
Follow the story with your taste buds and tuck into savoury vegetable sandwiches whilst Peter sneaks into Mr McGregor’s Garden before sipping on a cup of chamomile blossom tea once he’s safe back at home.
Don’t miss the edible flowerpot hideout. A chocolate pot filled with sponge cake, chocolate ‘mud’, chamomile mousse and blackberry!
Location: The Dilly, London.
Times: Mondays to Sundays 12.30pm – 5pm.
Dietary Requirements: Vegetarian afternoon tea is available. Vegan options can be provided when requested in advance.
Price: Currently £49pp. | £39 per child.
Photo by Riverdale Estate on Flickr under Creative Commons
Where is the best afternoon tea in Edinburgh? If you’re a fan of all things wizard this may just be it.
Featuring gastronomy delights from tea sand-witches to elven scones wrapped in banana leaves alongside wizard sweets, this is the ultimate afternoon tea experience for a magic fanatic.
Select your magic wand and cast spells to open your puzzle chest, control your tea stand and retrieve the ingredients for brewing magical potions.
Don’t miss the magic spell to dispense your cocktail from the mouth of a unicorn!
Location: The Cauldron, Edinburgh.
Times: Daily – Enquire for availability.
Dietary Requirements: Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan afternoon tea options available.
Price: Currently £40pp.
Inspired by some of London’s most infamous landmarks and paying homage to the Capital’s architectural masterpieces, this is an Afternoon Tea celebrating the best of London.
Presented on a London-eye themed tea stand, you’ll enjoy a skyline of scones alongside desert marvels shaped into London landmarks.
Perfect for tourists and London enthusiasts alike.
Don’t miss the white and dark chocolate ganache fashioned into The Gherkin – a feat of chocolate engineering.
Location: Town House at The Kensington Hotel, London.
Times: Daily 12pm – 4pm.
Dietary Requirements: Halal, Nut-free, Vegan and Gluten-Free afternoon tea options are available when requested in advance.
Price: Currently £45pp. | £60pp with a glass of champagne.
Take in the 360-degree views from London’s tallest building whilst enjoying this marvellous afternoon tea inspired by the tale of the boy who never grew up.
Winning the ‘highly commended’ award at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2018, this is certainly not one to miss for an afternoon tea enthusiast.
Featuring a custom tea stand in the shape of Captain Hook’s pirate ship with plates attached to the masts and Neverland-themed treats from a Tinker Bell cookie to a fairy dust cocktail.
Search for the freshly baked vanilla and raisin scones hiding within the special treasure chest.
Don’t miss Peter Pan’s Secret Hollow Tree Entrance treat – a chocolate cake in the shape of a trunk that leads to the underground home of the lost boys.
A donation from each afternoon tea goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s charity (GOSH) to help with the treatment of seriously ill children across the UK.
Location: Aqua at the Shard, London.
Times: Mondays to Sundays 12.15pm – 4.15pm
Dietary Requirements: Vegan and nut-free afternoon teas are available on request.
Price: Currently £52pp. | £68pp with a glass of champagne. | £52 per child.
Photo by bonheureux from flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons.
Inspired by their neighbours at the Science Museum, this interactive afternoon tea at The Ampersand Hotel celebrates all things science.
Named the best themed afternoon tea at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2018, this is not one to miss!
You’ll fancy yourself a scientist as you explore the planets and analyse the petri dish jam in this unique experience of chemistry, physics and gastronomy.
Don’t miss the chance to excavate your own dinosaur fossil biscuit within the chocolate soil.
Location: The Ampersand Hotel, London.
Times: Mondays to Fridays 12pm to 6.30pm | Saturdays and Sundays 12pm to 7.30pm
Dietary Requirements: Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free afternoon tea options are available.
Price: Currently £49.50pp. | £59.50pp with a glass of champagne. | £35 per child.
Photo by Chokniti Khongchum.
A charming experience for a Game of Thrones fan that’s just a stone’s throw away from many of the show’s filming locations.
The unique afternoon tea features Winterfell Jaffa Cake with Stark’s Chocolate, Lannister Egg Rolls and Jon Snow Cakes, as well as treats inspired by the lands of Winterfell, King’s Landing, and the Iron Islands.
Don’t miss the Dothraki trifle with mini dragon’s eggs!
Location: Ballgally Castle, Northern Ireland
Times: Mondays to Saturdays 2pm – 5pm. | Sundays 3pm – 5pm.
Dietary Requirements: Enquire at time of booking.
Price: Currently £32pp.
Inspired by the founder of Carriages Tea Room’s visit to a colonial rail station in India, this afternoon tea takes you back in time as you set up in the armchairs of a first-class Pullman-style carriage within the 1920s station.
The afternoon tea nibbles are made with ingredients grown locally in their Victorian garden as well as locally sourced produce.
You’ll enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with handmade sandwiches, freshly baked scones, Cornish clotted cream and their signature petit fours.
Location: Fen Drayton, Cambridge.
Times: Tuesdays to Saturdays at 12.20 pm and 3.30 pm.
Dietary Requirements: Gluten-free and vegetarian afternoon tea options are available.
Price: Currently £24.50pp.
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash.
Do you prefer afternoon tea quirky or the traditional way? Let us know on our social channels!
And if you would like to treat your friends, family or loved one to an afternoon tea at home, take a look at our afternoon tea hamper range.
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