The best Platinum Jubilee afternoon teas in London

Zoe Gunn

6 May 2022

Toast Her Majesty with the most traditionally British of meals

6 May 2022 | Zoe Gunn

I

ntroduced to high society by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840, and quickly adopted by Britain’s upper echelons (and its five-star hotels) thanks to the endorsement of Queen Victoria, there are few meals better suited to celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Britain’s longest-serving monarch than afternoon tea.

Queen Elizabeth II is also known to be a fan of the most decadent meal of the day, taking Assam or Earl Grey tea, cucumber, egg and smoked salmon finger sandwiches, chocolate biscuit cake and scones (jam then cream) between 3pm and 5pm when at home. When out and about, the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason is said to be a favourite of Her Majesty, having been opened by the Queen herself in 2012, while the royal family are known to frequent The Goring.

So where should you be booking to follow in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth during the Platinum Jubilee weekend? Alongside a whole host of events and celebrations, London’s finest hotels and dining institutions have crafted an array of opulent themed afternoon teas dedicated to all things regal.

 
 

Superbloom Afternoon Tea at the Orchid Lounge, Pan Pacific London

The City of London’s Pan Pacific hotel has looked to the neighbouring Tower of London, and its Superbloom wildflower installation, to inspire its Jubilee afternoon tea. Devised by executive pastry chef Cherish Finden and served in the chic surrounds of the Orchid Lounge, diners are invited to raise a glass of Gusbourne English Sparkling Wine or Rare Tea Company blend while supping on golden raisin scones with kaya jam, coronation chicken of harissa bread, corgi dog shortbread and street party-style candy floss. Guests will also be given a packet of wildflower seeds to plant at home, as well as the opportunity to win exclusive experiences at the Pan Pacific London.

Available from 11 May 2022, from £72 per person, panpacific.com

Platinum Jubilee Tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum & Mason

Book early to secure a table at the aforementioned Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon – it’s going to be one of London’s hotspots during the long weekend. Devised by executive head of pastry Roger Pizey, the Platinum Jubilee High Tea starts with the classics: coronation chicken, egg mayonnaise, ham and mustard, and cucumber sandwiches followed by scones with strawberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. Pastries, available as both sweet and savoury options, have been reimagined to reference symbols from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Think swan-shaped choux buns with violet crème, oeufs Drumkilbo in homage to the Queen Mother, and a crown jewel-inspired chocolate mousse orb. And to toast? Choose from a special Platinum Jubilee champagne or a Jubilee Beacon cocktail: gin, dubonnet, vermouth, tea and honey bitters.

Available now, from £70 per person, fortnumandmason.com

 
 

Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Searcys

Available at Searcys' three locations across London, including the Gherkin, St Pancras and Pall Mall, Searcys' Jubilee afternoon tea has done its homework, offering up a selection of historical treats favoured by Queen Elizabeth II. Alongside a variety of sandwiches, including the coronation chicken rillette with rye tuille served to HM in 1953 at her coronation banquet, there’s the Queen’s favourite Dundee cake, a chocolate, cherry and pistachio delice in a nod to her love of chocolate and both a Battenberg and Victoria sponge in homage to her long-reigning predecessor.

From 21 May - 25 June 2022, from £35 per person, searcys.co.uk

Royal Afternoon Tea at Covent Garden Hotel

Part of the Firmdale Group of hotels, each of which features Kit Kemp’s signature maximalist design aesthetic, expect a more kitsch, irreverent take on the Jubilee afternoon tea at the Covent Garden Hotel. Kick things off with a glass of Rathfinny Classic Cuvée or a Lilibet cocktail (dubonnet, gin, chambord, orange bitters and English sparkling wine) before tucking into delicacies including roast beef and horseradish sandwiches, Earl Grey and dark chocolate opera cake and Pimm’s cheesecake.

Available now, from £35 per person, firmdalehotels.com

Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Westminster’s Great Scotland Yard Hotel has teamed up with Royal Warrant-holding British perfumer Floris to create a multi-sensory Jubilee afternoon tea inspired by its Platinum 22 Eau de Parfum. Created by head pastry chef Verónica Garrido Martínez, the afternoon tea evokes the gardens surrounding the Queen’s residences, with highlights including smoked salmon and asparagus on pain de mie, an oat, honey and apricot primrose hat and an Imperial State Crown lime cookie.

Available from 19 May - 29 August 2022, from £49 per person, visit greatscotlandyard.com

 
 

Queen’s Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane

Just a stone’s throw from the gates of Buckingham Palace, it would be remiss of Park Lane’s lavish hotels not to roll out the red carpet for Her Majesty during the Jubilee weekend. The Four Seasons is stepping up to the plate with a new champagne afternoon tea designed by executive pastry chef Yam Lok Hin. Start with delicate finger sandwiches, including Pimm’s cured smoked salmon, and Scottish blue lobster with Portland crab, before moving on to a lavender and cassis Jubilee macaron, almond Battenberg and Victoria sponge made with Earl Grey mousse and blackberry cream.

16 May - 31 August 2022, from £58 per person, fourseasons.com

Corgi and Royal Afternoon Tea at The Biltmore

Book well in advance because The Biltmore’s Jubilee afternoon tea offering is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair. On 27 May the hotel will be hosting a Corgi afternoon tea in partnership with Barkers Bakery, offering dog owners the chance to enjoy afternoon tea with man’s best friend, as well as the opportunity to win an overnight stay for themselves and their pup. The Royal afternoon tea, meanwhile, will be served from 4-5 June and feature treats including heritage tomato, basil pesto and black olive sandwiches, hazelnut and clementine choux and spiced pear and cinnamon macaron.

Corgi Afternoon Tea, 27 May 2022, Royal Afternoon Tea, 4-5 June 2022, from £45 per person, hilton.com

 
 

Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Park Room, Grosvenor House

Created by executive chef Nigel Boschetti and head pastry chef Anthony Hurst, the award-winning Park Room at Mayfair’s Grosvenor House hotel, where a young Princess Elizabeth learned to ice skate in 1933, will be serving up a resplendent Jubilee afternoon tea inspired by all things majestic. There will be a Royal Class fruit cake, which takes its cues from the Queen’s nine-foot-tall wedding cake, a Valhrona chocolate biscuit cake and a raspberry syllabub celebration cake. Each guest will also leave with a menu hand-illustrated by US-based artist Michael MacVean as a keepsake.

Available from 20 May 2022, from £62.50, parkroom.co.uk

Skyline Afternoon Tea at Shangri-La The Shard

The Platinum Jubilee is an all-encompassing experience at Shangri-La The Shard, with London-based florist McQueen’s decking out the hotel with native blooms, friezes in homage to Commonwealth countries and stamp-inspired art installations from lobby to sky-high restaurant. There’s also a photography exhibition featuring portraits of the royal household and, of course, a stellar afternoon tea in the 35th floor Ting restaurant. Opt for a glass of Nyetimber Engish sparkling wine, a Platinum Fizz cocktail (strawberry gin, sake, fraises des boid, dubonnet, yuzu, bitters and champagne) or a cup of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee tea blended especially for the Shangri-La by Wimbledon-based Camellia’s Tea House.

And to eat? Start with a snack of hoisin duck pancake before tucking into Reuben and beetroot salmon sandwiches, yam potato choux with chicken liver parfait, almond tart with marinated courgette, tonka and strawberry patisserie and a sharing chocolate and raspberry mousse cake brilliantly designed to resemble The Shard.

Until 30 September 2022, from £65 per person, ting-shangri-la.com

 
 

Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate

Taking its cues from the pomp and ceremony of royal life, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, which has formerly played host to the Queen and royal family, has envisioned an afternoon tea complete with miniature carriages and edible crown jewels. Savouries, which take their names from the royal estates in Windsor, Buckingham, Sandringham and Balmoral, include venison tart and quail egg mayonnaise, while pastry highlights include peaches a la Reine Alexandra (frangipane, peach and apple tart) and rose and chocolate cake.

Available now, from £70 per person, taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk

Read more: Where to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in London