Last Updated on 05/03/2021 by secretmoona
Are you looking for the best afternoon tea in London? Want to experience a luxury afternoon tea for the first time?
After decades in London, my sister decided that it was time to try a proper afternoon tea in London. We chose to have our first luxury afternoon tea experience at The Hansom in the Renaissance Hotel, near Kings Cross St Pancras station. Our second option for high tea was Sketch London which we are hoping to visit soon.
We had initially planned on having the afternoon tea months prior, but due to conflicting diaries, it never happened. So this was overdue.
What’s afternoon tea?
The tradition of afternoon tea goes back to the early 19th century when it was common to eat only two meals a day. It is said that Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, finding the time between breakfast and dinner too long, started having light snacks consisting of tea and pastries. Shortly after, she started inviting her friends to her snacking ritual. It slowly became a fashionable social event, especially amongst the upper class. And thus, the afternoon tea was born.
Nowadays, afternoon tea (or high tea) is practised throughout the UK, especially in tea rooms and luxury hotels.
The Hansom is located on the ground floor of the iconic and Grade II building of the Renaissance Hotel. It takes up all of the mezzanine floors, which used to be the St Pancras station’s tickets office. The decor of the hotel is stunning and helps to give a modern yet luxurious afternoon tea experience.
As soon as we sat down, our lovely hostess came to introduce herself and thoroughly explained the set menu to us. Everything sounded delicious. Although we mentioned that one person was gluten-free when booking, we failed (well I forgot) to inform their full dietary requirements. However, Mihela and the onsite chef were very accommodating.
What are you served for a traditional afternoon tea?
We chose our teas in the first instance. The tea list has about 20 teas from different countries, including India, Japan, China etc…I decided on the Japanese Genmaicha green tea. At the same time, my sister chose the signature Green Tea & Mint Blend, and my brother-in-law went for a hot chocolate surprisingly.
The extra nice little touch is that the waiter will change the teapots with fresh tea after some time. So you can try different variety.
As we sat enjoying our teas and the beautiful decor, we were kept entertained by a toddler was having the best time of her life.
The first thing that came through was the plates of sandwiches. I had assumed that everything would come at once. However, at the Hansom, dishes (if I can call them that) were served in sets. The sandwiches consisted of Haggis scotch egg, smoked brown trout, horseradish cream and dill on poppy seed bread, cucumber on white bread.
Everything was delicious, especially the Scotch egg with haggis. I tried haggis for the first time during my weekend in Glasgow. I have to say that I quite like it, although it doesn’t sound appetising when you look at the list of ingredients.
After the sandwiches came freshly baked scones (plain and with raisin) accompanied by strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream. All three ingredients were excellent. We finished them as soon as they came.
Not long after, we were served the sweet desserts. They were beautifully presented and exceptionally tasty. We had: chocolate, hazelnut & honeycomb sweet, strawberries, vanilla cream & basil mousse, caramel-glazed profiterole, salted caramel cream, Battenberg cake and rhubarb, raspberry & almond tart.
My favourites were the raspberry & almond tart and the caramel-glazed profiterole. I wish I had more of them!
I have to admit, we didn’t finish everything. One sandwich and two cakes were left behind. I wanted to eat more but was too full to even lift my fork.
Cost and booking
The experience takes about one-and-a-half hours to 2 hours. As mentioned above they will try to accommodate all dietary requirements with prior notice.
- Classic Afternoon – Tea £38
- Champagne Afternoon Tea – £50 (including 1 glass of Perrier–Jouët Champagne)
- You can make the booking here.
- The Hansom – St. Pancras Renaissance, Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
The experience was excellent. I couldn’t have chosen a better place for my first afternoon tea experience. Not only the food was delicious, but the atmosphere, along with the high-quality service of our dedicated waitress, all added to the great experience of the traditional afternoon tea at the Hansom. This experience was by no means cheap, but we thought it was worth every penny! After all, it’s way less expensive than The Ritz or Claridge’s.
I would highly recommend going there for tea and more. If you are visiting London, do not miss experiencing Afternoon Tea.
20 thoughts on “Luxury Afternoon Tea Experience in London”
That looks so nice! It’s pretty much a must do when going to the UK. I have found it’s pretty hard to find vegan options for it though.
Thank you. There seem to be a few vegan places now doing afternoon tea. It’s with a check!
Everything looks delicious!! I wish I knew about this when I was in London, guess I’ll just have to go back 😛
Thank you. Everything was delicious, they tasted as good as they looked!
I love afternoon teas in London, I have been to two so far. The food looks delicious and the decor so pretty! The price is very fair as well, especially for such an elegant hotel.
You are right actually. The price is reasonable considering the location. For sure it was more than worth it!
Always looking for my next delicious afternoon tea experience and this one seems like a winner. The food looks amazing
It definitely was!
Having afternoon tea was one of the highlights of my first trip to London! My hubby and I enjoyed the one at Kensington Palace very much! This place looks great too and it looks like they serve such interesting food! I’m really curious to try the one with haggis actually haha… all your pictures are so drool worthy!!
I’m sure the tea at Kensington Palace was high class! Haggis is probably something that not everyone will like but I find it delicious! You should try next time!
Wow! When I was in the UK a few weeks ago we had afternoon tea in Bath but it was nowhere near as fancy as this! I would’ve loved this kinda afternoon tea too!
Thanks. I’m sure the atmosphere in Bath must have been both cosy and charming 🙂
Ooooooh, I love afternoon tea. All of the dishes look so delicious!
Wow! That is a long tea session! Are most sessions so lengthy? You can keep the haggis…I’d go straight to the sugary desserts 😉
I believe the average is 1.5 hours. Since this one was served like a 3-course meal, it took a big longer or it might be because we were enjoying ourselves!
Afternoon tea in London is great! Done it here a few times as I live here 😉
Years ago I went to a very authentic and slightly posh afternoon tea with British friends (one of them had it for her hen do) and I still vividly remember it! It’s such a British experience. My favourite is the scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Thanks for sharing this nice experience!
I’m always looking for stuff to do in London and although I have visited so many times, I’ve never actually had afternoon tea. The food looks delicious! So on my next visit to the capital, I think I’ll make this a priority.
A lovely read! I shall add this to my afternoon tea list 😊