Traditional Afternoon High Tea in London

Quintessentially British ... Traditional Afternoon Tea

Quintessentially British ... Traditional Afternoon Tea

Afternoon High Tea: what could be more British!

Despite being the national drink, it is thanks to Queen Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II, that tea drinking was brought before the English royal court, starting a trend that would expand through the aristocracy of the 17th century and later into popular British culture.

If tradition is to be believed, afternoon tea as we know it today was ‘invented’ by Anna Maria, the wife of the seventh Duke of Bedford. It was back in 1841 when she first started drinking tea and having a bite to eat in the mid-afternoon, a means of bridging the gap that existed between lunch (eaten at about 1 o’clock) and dinner (eaten at around 7 o’clock). It wasn’t long before this become a social event, with the Duchess sending out invitations to guests to accompany her for afternoon tea at 5 o’clock.

By the 1860s the fashion for afternoon tea had become widespread. Such teas were elegant affairs: drunk from the best china and accompanied by deliciously prepared food pieces presented on beautiful china plates. On offer might be bread and butter, scones and cakes, as well as sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

London Magical Tours Tea Services

At London Magical Tours, we know the importance of this most British of institutions and are delighted to be able to offer our guests a range of tea drinking experiences to accompany our range of London Tours.

All our tea offerings include priority fast track service, an exclusivity only available to London Magical Tours clients, with a table being reserved and the food freshly prepared in time for your arrival – the perfect way to avoid lengthy lines and help get the most out of your day.

Afternoon Tea – Express Service

Traditional Afternoon Tea With Champagne Option

Express Afternoon Tea With Champagne Option

Guests on all our tours have the option to include afternoon tea with express service at our range of specially selected London hotels.

Treat yourself to freshly made scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches and a delicious selection of mini pastries, accompanied to drink with your choice of English tea, coffee or hot chocolate. An option with an accompanying glass of champagne is also available.

To view an example of an express afternoon tea menu please click here:

Express Afternoon Tea Menu

VIP Traditional Afternoon High Tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Room


This quintessential tea drinking experience is available exclusively as an option to guests on our VIP level tours.

Founded back in 1707, Fortnum & Mason are Royal grocers to Her Majesty the Queen and one of the most beautiful stores in London.

London Magical Tours VIP clients are offered a special by invitation only experience to enjoy a luxurious traditional afternoon high tea service at the Diamond Jubilee tearoom, opened to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years as monarch in 2012.

Her Majesty The Queen with their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge

Her Majesty The Queen with their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge

Offering a fine range of sandwiches, the tea service is accompanied by scones with clotted Somerset cream and a selection of delicious afternoon tea cakes, along with the choice of tea or coffee.

London Magical Tours VIP guests also receive a complimentary gift from the store for their visit – simply present your special invitation to guest services.

To view an example of a VIP traditional afternoon high tea menu please click here:

VIP Afternoon High Tea Menu

Read more about our range of Private London Tours

4 thoughts on “Traditional Afternoon High Tea in London

  1. We wanted to thank LMT for an amazing day in London last month. We have returned home after 4 weeks of travel and I promised I would write in to say that this was one of the true highlights of our trip. We upgraded to Platinum vip level and could not have been happier. I hope I am writing this in the correct section of the blog, we particularly loved the vip tea. The setting is perfect and we were treated like royalty, a wonderful time was had by all.

    Easily the best tour we took during the 4 weeks and will be most highly recommended to all our friends and family.

  2. I am sorry this has taken so long but I promised myself I would write in to express our sincere thanks for a spectacular tour. It was a special birthday celebration and our tour team couldn’t have done a better job. A big thumbs up to the VIP afternoon tea service, it was a delight. We will be back in London towards the end of the year and are already planning our next “Magical” tour!

  3. What a “lovely” addition this was to our London tour, we booked with vip service for my mother’s 80th birthday and were so impressed. A first rate tour of London followed by a formal tea in the very Jubilee room that was opened by the Queen herself. British afternoon tea is a full on meal, the sandwiches and desserts were divine! We were treated like royalty (loved the atmosphere with live pianist) and will recommend to everyone we know.

    Thank you for making great memories for people!

    P.S I don’t think we were the only ones to see the irony of going for afternoon tea and ordering coffee … in reality no one at the tea room seemed to mind, they are probably used to non tea drinking foreigners!

    Terri and Peter Wellington
    Newfoundland CA

  4. We did the Magical Windsor tour on Sunday and wanted to let you know what a great time we had, we can’t get over how amazing our guide was, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. But I have to say that the afternoon tea was just delicious, it was the perfect way to finish our trip. I love English scones and these were divine!

    Vivianne Rogers and Family,
    Michigan, USA

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