The UK has been in and out of lockdown for almost a year now meaning that practically every one of us had to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or milestone separated from friends and family. Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t make things special, however, and when it comes to fine dining deliveries, there’s nothing more indulgent than afternoon tea. From scones to finger sandwiches (and an always welcome glass of champagne), here are the best restaurants, bakeries and hotels offering afternoon tea deliveries in London.
Cutter & Squidge
Founded by two sisters in a kitchen in North West London, the Cutter & Squidge bakery has become a cult hit among the capital’s cake fans. When the pandemic forced its locations in Soho and the Royal Exchange to close their doors, the family-run business pivoted to home delivery – including, of course, its stellar afternoon tea. Portioned for two, each Afternoon Tea at Home box contains two brownies, two mini lemon drizzle cakes, four plain scones, two pots of Rodda’s clotted cream, one pot of jam and one pouch of fine loose leaf tea. All you need do is provide some suitably chintzy crockery.
Afternoon Tea at Home, £29.90, Cutter & Squidge
The Chesterfield Mayfair
Got a bit of a sweet tooth? The Sweet Shop afternoon tea from Mayfair’s Chesterfield hotel may just be your idea of heaven. Inspired by Hardy’s Original Sweetshop, every element of this lavish afternoon tea evokes a classic confection: there’s Coca-Cola slices, Drumstick macaroons, blue raspberry Battenberg and raspberry cheesecake Liquorice Allsorts. Accompanied by a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, jam and cream, plus your choice of six different tea blends, we recommend you add a bottle of Lanson champagne to make things really memorable.
Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea, £40 per person, The Chesterfield Mayfair
Grab your plushest millennial pink armchair and a wall of David Shrigley art and you will (almost) be able to recreate sketch’s award-winning Gallery restaurant. If the interiors aren’t quite up to standard, have sketch’s afternoon tea delivered to your door instead. Packaged in a suitably powder pink box, the MMmm… Afternoon Tea includes a selection of finger sandwiches, petits gateaux, a choice of sultana or plain scones with jam, and wedges of Victoria sponge cake and cranberry Battenberg. Vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian and gluten-free variations are available, along with the option to add a bottle of bubbles to your order.
MMmm… Afternoon Tea, £49, sketch
Oblix at The Shard
Sadly Oblix at The Shard can’t transport its view of the London skyline to your home, but it can bring its delicious afternoon tea direct to your door. A modern twist on a classic, this high tea includes sandwiches filled with wagyu beef and horseradish, egg with lobster mayonnaise and truffle, and smoked salmon and cream cheese. There are also a range of sweet treats and pastries — chocolate and passionfruit tarts, Mandarin and sherry cheesecakes, and lemon macarons — as well as freshly baked scones with toppings of jam, honeycomb and clotted cream. The afternoon tea is available for delivery Friday-Sunday for those who live within a six-mile radius of Oblix's sister restaurant, Zuma London in Knightsbridge.
The Oblix Afternoon Tea, £75 for two or £115 with a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne, Zuma London
You know Gail’s – purveyor of that excellent sourdough and those elegant sandwiches you treat yourself to when you’ve had a particularly good day at work. Well, with its usual contigent of city lunchers confined to their home desks, Gail's has made almost all of its extensive menu available for delivery and, if you’re feeling particularly fancy, its afternoon tea for four is the obvious choice. As well as the obligatory scones, jam and clotted cream, there’s also a pot of lemon curd, brownie fingers, honey cake, salmon and avocado yoghurt sandwiches, avocado and egg sandwiches and a pouch of Jing loose leaf tea. Feeling hands on? Gail’s also offers a bake-at-home cream tea for that fresh-from-the-oven taste.
Afternoon Tea for Four, £42, Gail’s
In non-pandemic times, French patisserie Ladurée reportedly sells no less than 15,000 macarons a day. The doyen of the double-decker treat, the baker and sweet maker even adds its pastel-coloured creations to its afternoon tea. Beautifully parcelled in a Ladurée box, the brand’s cream tea for two comes complete with two scones, a jar of strawberry jam and a miniature box of classic macarons. Click and collect from your local store or arrange for delivery to a London address — choose the express option to have your cream tea, and eat it, within two hours.
Cream Tea for Two, £20, Ladurée
Ham Yard Hotel
On every Saturday and Sunday in February, Ham Yard Hotel will be delivering its signature afternoon tea to homes across the capital. Alongside traditional finger sandwiches and fruit and plain scones, expect to find treats such as truffled mushroom arancini, sage and onion sausage rolls, zingy blackcurrant macarons with passionfruit curd, and pistachio praline profiteroles. For a winter warmer to enjoy alongside your afternoon tea, select the Sipsmith option and receive a Hot Mulled Sloe, an alcohol-free alternative to mulled wine.
Afternoon Tea, £40 per person, Ham Yard Hotel
The Gentlemen Baristas
One for the coffee lovers, this afternoon tea for two from The Gentlemen Baristas comes with a caffeine hit. As well as traditional English breakfast tea, this menu includes The Gentleman Baristas' single origin coffee, which is hand-roasted in the brand’s Shadwell-based roastery and ground to order. Enjoy your cup of joe alongside handmade sandwiches (fillings include red pepper and Emmental cheese, and smoked salmon and cucumber) and a trio of sweet treats: scones with jam and clotted cream, vegan coffee and walnut cake, and caramel slice bites.
Afternoon Tea, £30 for two, The Gentlemen Baristas
Mayfair institution Brown's has been a go-to for special events and celebratory occasions for generations – and now the party can continue at home. The hotel is offering its traditional afternoon tea for delivery or collection every Friday, making for the perfect end-of-week treat. The classic offering (vegan and vegetarian options are available) includes hand cut sandwiches with seasonal fillings, elegant pastries and plain or orange zest and cranberry scones with jam and clotted cream. There's also Jing loose leaf tea (choose from Brown's blend or Earl Grey) to wash everything down but we highly recommend you upgrade to a bottle of Ruinart NV champagne.
Afternoon tea at home, from £40 per person, Brown's