Like keeping quiet when we are really annoyed, talking about the weather and dancing around with handkerchiefs and sticks, indulging in afternoon tea is one of Britain’s great traditions. Featuring many a Brit’s favourite beverage - the humble yet enduringly perfect pot of tea - alongside a selection of culinary delights such as hand-crafted sandwiches, fresh pastries and mouth-wateringly buttery scones, this exquisite meal is one of those perfect pick-me-ups, refreshing, satisfying and relaxing in equal measures.
The perfect afternoon tea, such as those served at distinctive, luxurious hotels like The Landmark Hotel London, should be savoured, shared and sumptuous, helping you to relax and unwind after a long week, or allowing you to gear yourself up for the perfect night out.
For those looking to enjoy the perfect high tea in London, here is our guide to making the most of your afternoon of luxury.
Surround yourself with friends
The best afternoon tea will feature not only the very best selection of teas and and treats, but it will also feature your nearest and dearest too. Whilst enjoying such extravagances on your own with a good book may be appealing, taking afternoon tea is a very social experience and one you will get far more from if you choose to share the adventure with those you love.
Choose the right venue
From the range of teas on offer to the standard of your sustenance and the opulence of the surroundings, choosing the right venue can have a huge impact on how enjoyable your trip for tea is. Whilst you may pay slightly more when booking afternoon tea at five star hotels in London, you are likely to find that everything from the standard of service to the setting you find yourself in will be dramatically improved as a result. By choosing a hotel over typical tea rooms, you may also be able to round your time off with an irresistibly indulgent trip to their spa too. After all, if you want to treat yourself, why do things by halves?
Whilst afternoon tea will be an appealing reward on any day, such pleasures will be even more welcome if they mark a special occasion or come at a time during which you truly need to unwind. Failing that, another option for ultimate satisfaction is to simply go for a luxurious afternoon out on the spur of the moment, giving yourself and your friends an impulsive treat simply because you feel like it.
Find a selection you love
Afternoon tea doesn’t have to be strictly limited to consumption of the leafy stuff. Not only will different sandwiches and cakes be available on different menus, but you may also be able to swap those caffeinated beverages for ones with a little more fizz. Whether you opt for glamorous Champagne menus or lean towards a full-on chocolate feast, moving away from the traditional may help you find a selection of afternoon treats that are just right for you.
Take your time
Taking afternoon tea is all about relaxation, so be sure not to rush. Take your time not only to enjoy the comestible delights in front of you but also to soak in the atmosphere and to simply forget about all the other stresses of life. Allowing yourself time to unwind and forget about worries is great for both body and mind, so letting yourself go and enjoying such simple luxuries fully may well be surprisingly good for you.
Be very British
If you want a truly traditional experience, why not be very British about the whole thing. Try adopting some customary etiquette, raising plates with your left hand and holding teacups with your right, whilst always using tongs to retrieve sugar cubes. If you want to go all out, keep that little finger firmly alongside his friends when you raise your cup and always remove slices of lemon before you start drinking.