Afternoon tea with kids can be a fun and eventful experience. We checked out some of the the best places to take children in London but first here’s a little bit of history…
One of the most quintessential and classic of English traditions, afternoon tea is a huge part of our culture. Although tea has been around since the third millennium BC, and became a popular beverage in the UK during the 1660s, it wasn’t until 1840 that the concept of afternoon tea was born.
It was Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who introduced afternoon tea. She wanted something light to eat to satiate her appetite between lunch and supper. This consisted of tea served in silver pots and fine bone China cups, with bread and butter (often filled with cucumber) and later on, cakes and pastries became popular. Afternoon tea involved getting dressed up and inviting society ladies over to partake in the light refreshments.
Although afternoon tea was originally considered an upper class tradition, it has filtered down to all levels in society, and is something that everyone enjoys today.
Children don’t have to miss out either as there are a growing number of establishments serving kids afternoon tea. If you’re visiting London with little ones, afternoon tea with kids is one tradition not to be missed ! Here’s where to go…
St Ermin’s Hotel, Buzzy Bees Afternoon Tea
2 Caxton Street,
Tel: 020 72227888
A luxury hotel close to St James’s Park, St Ermin’s is a special place for a truly unique experience for afternoon tea with kids. Their bee inspired theme reflects the hotel’s passion for beekeeping. Little ones will buzz with excitement at the feast full of ‘Beelicious’ sweet and savoury treats. Afterwards children and grown-ups are invited to the 3rd floor where you may view safely from behind glass, the hotel’s own beehives and the ‘Bee and Bee Hotel’ with over 350,000 friendly bees going about their daily business of making truly delicious honey!
The Buzzy Bees Afternoon Tea is served during the weekends and school holidays 12pm -6pm- £15pp, must be ordered in conjunction with an adult’s afternoon tea. Bookings are advised.
The Milestone Hotel, Little Prince and Princess Tea
1 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
Tel: 020 7917 1000
If you’re in London with little ones, they’ll feel like royalty here. The Milestone Hotel is a luxury 5 star boutique hotel overlooking Kensington Palace, former home to Princess Diana, and Kensington Gardens.
Youngsters can enjoy a specially prepared menu of finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream, preserves, pastries, and hot chocolate.
The milestone hotel really does like to go the extra mile and afternoon tea with kids can turn into a fun filled afternoon as children may even join in the preparation fun by decorating their own cupcakes – a really nice touch at no extra charge!
Afterwards why not take a short walk to visit the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, great for the kids to run off some of those sweet treats. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the playground has a huge pirate ship, a sensory trail, teepees, various toys and sculptures plus there’s lots of seating for grown-ups too!
Afternoon Tea with kids – Children under 12 years, £24pp. Pre-booking is advised. 24 hour notice is required if you’d like to include cupcake decorating as an option.
B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Tel: 020 3026 1188
What better way to combine kids’ afternoon tea and a glimpse at London’s finest sights, than on this afternoon tea bus tour? Tempting edible delights are served on another British classic – a stunningly restored London Routemaster bus! These fabulous vintage buses capture the essence of London whilst you sit back, relax, sip tea and nibble on a glorious array of tasty sandwiches and delicious cakes and pastries. Enjoy visiting The London Eye, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and more. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 30 mins. £51pp (discounts available for children on request).
A few things to note: no children under 5 years permitted. There is no toilet on board. There is no live or recorded guide on board but friendly afternoon tea servers are happy to answer your questions!
Departures are 12.30 and 15.00 from 8 Northumberland Avenue, off Trafalgar Square WC2N or 12.00, 14.30 and 17.00 from Victoria Coach Station. Bookings in advance.
Chesterfield Hotel, Charlie and the Chesterfield Afternoon Tea
35 Charles Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5EB
Tel: 020 7491 2622
The Chesterfield hotel is renowned as one of London’s top afternoon tea experiences. This luxury hotel in the heart of Mayfair is well worth a visit for a very special Charlie and the Chesterfield Tea, with lots of Willy Wonka inspired treats to behold. Kids will be in chocolate heaven with the Oompa Looma menu with dainty sandwiches and various Wonktastic pastries and chocolate treats. Mr Wonka himself may make even make an appearance!
Afternoon Tea with Kids from £38.50 per person
Oompa Loompa Tea from £19.50 per child under 12 years
Grosvenor House Hotel, Grovers Afternoon Tea for Children
Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7TN
Tel: 020 7399 8452
The five star Grosvenor House Hotel hosts a delicious afternoon tea menu in the Park room with stunning views overlooking the Royal Hyde Park.
Alongside traditional and champagne teas for grown-ups the Park Room offers a scrumptious menu for little ones in the form of a children’s afternoon tea served on a miniature tea stand.
Children will feast on Victoria cupcakes, double chocolate brownies, fresh fruit skewers and miniature knickerbocker glories and to top it all they will presented with their own cuddly Grover soft toy to take home with them.
Grovers Afternoon Tea £15 per child. Anna’s afternoon tea (for adults) £42.50.
Betty Blythe Vintage Tea Room, Childrens’ Tea Parties
73 Blythe Road,
Tel: 020 7602 1177
This is a charming children’s tea party experience that oozes style and elegance. Catering for children’s parties of 8 or more the Betty Blythe Vintage Tea Room offers children the chance to enjoy a proper grown up tea! With vintage costumes from the 20’s and 30’s little girls, in particular, will delight in dressing up and practicing their cutest poses as the take part in their very own Hollywood starlet movie photo shoot.
There’s also the chance to learn a little about the tradition and etiquette of taking tea, all shared in a child friendly and fun style.
The tea itself is a very posh affair; served in dainty cups, with hot chocolate, mini sandwiches and biscuits, popcorn and cupcakes filling a tiered stand.
There are a variety of additional party activities that can also be booked. Children can hone their jewellery and chocolate making skills or even decorate their own child’s tea set to take home with them.
This is a gorgeously decadent little girls tea party, which will be sure to be loved by children and grown ups alike!
Party of 8 guests £145, up to 2 additional guests £15 each.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about availability.
Saatchi Gallery, Origamitea
Gallery Mess Café, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY
Tel: 020 7730 8135
After taking in this stunning modern art gallery a visit to the Gallery Mess, with it’s bare brickwork, vaulted ceilings and wonderful alfresco terrace is the perfect place to enjoy tea with your budding artists. Youngsters can unleash their creative side as they decorate a cupcake and you’ll enjoy an afternoon tea with kids that includes sandwiches, a frothy babyccino and a fun origami kit.
One Aldwych, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Scrumdiddlyumptious Afternoon Tea
Tel: 020 7300 0400
Taking inspiration from this Roald Dahl classic, the Scrumdiddlyumptious afternoon tea at One Aldwych is a magical experience for the whole family.
There’s a delicious array of sandwiches and savouries to fill up your tummy before the heavenly feast of chocolate delectables that look almost too good to eat. From golden chocolate eggs filled with cheesecake and mango mousse, chocolate caramel milk as well as home-made candy floss and blueberry brioche.
Every item is a mouth watering delight and has been inspired by the hotel’s official partnering with the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is certainly a menu that could have been created by Mr Wonka himself! Price £39pp.
City Cruises, Afternoon Tea Cruise
Tower Millennium Pier, Lower Thames Street, EC3N 4DT
Tel: 020 77 400 400
Can you think of a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than sailing away whilst indulging in a tasty afternoon tea? Catch sight of famous landmarks, including Tower Bridge, Westminster, the London Eye, the Golden Hinde, The Shard and St Paul’s. Children will love being able to step on deck to take in the 360 degree views and waving at passing boats and land lubbers!
This 90 minute Thames cruise gives plenty of time to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with kids comprised of a selection of sandwiches, traditional cakes, pastries and scones with clotted cream and jam.
Adults, £32pp; children aged 5 to 12, £22pp; Children under 5, £0pp. Weekend supplement from £3 pp. Departs daily at 3.30pm.
Every effort has been made to ensure that information, prices and times are correct at the time of publishing. Please check directly with the venue for bookings, latest prices and offers.
All images are copyright protected and the property of the respective company mentioned here. The main image at the top of the page is property of Betty Blythe.