There are an incredible array of afternoon teas in London but this list is dedicated to the city's best budget-friendly options. From a posh palace in Kensington to an under-the-radar art gallery in Marylebone, these central London spots all offer excellent value for money.
The best value afternoon tea in town is served at the Fan Museum in Greenwich. For just £9, you can indulge in scones topped with cream and jam, a selection of cakes and tea or coffee, all served in the beautiful Orangery. The light-flooded building is decorated with detailed murals and overlooks a secret Japanese-style garden.
The Wallace Restaurant sits at the heart of The Wallace Collection, an unsung art gallery on Manchester Square that's home to works by Rembrandt and Velazquez. Tea is served in a covered courtyard so there's plenty of natural light. Dining here feels very indulgent because of the beautiful setting so it's hard to believe that the afternoon tea is available for less than £20.
For a traditional afternoon tea in regal surroundings, you'll be hard pushed to beat the Orangery at Kensington Palace. The English Afternoon Tea features classic dishes like scones with clotted cream and jam and sandwiches filled with Coronation chicken, egg mayonnaise and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Even if you add a glass of champagne to the mix, you'll still pay less than at London's more obvious afternoon tea spots.
The Tea Terrace is on the top floor of House of Fraser, an Oxford Street department store. With vintage-style crockery and powder blue and pink decor, it feels like a delightfully quirky English tea room. In a city that adores coffee these days, it's lovely to find an eclectic tea room that serves a great choice of the nation's favorite beverage.
The Crusting Pipe is best known as the wine bar in Covent Garden's piazza that has outdoor seating from which you can enjoy live opera singers. Yes, you read that right. This wine bar has opera singers and classical musicians performing in the courtyard. The venue serves a traditional afternoon tea and offers options that include a British cheese selection and vintage Port.
Nestled within the ladies designer clothes department on the second floor of Fenwicks on Bond Street, one of London's department stores, is Bond Street Kitchen, a glamorous restaurant, and bar. This fashionable spot serves afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes, or add a glass of champagne for an additional charge.
Bea's of Bloomsbury is loved by sweet-toothed Londoners. Exceptionally well-priced and beautifully presented if you're looking for an afternoon sugar rush.
The Strand Palace Hotel sits just opposite the Savoy Hotel but serves an afternoon tea for roughly half the price of its glitzy neighbor. The Covent Garden afternoon tea is a real bargain.