Afternoon Tea is a very British pursuit, but why not try an alternative to the traditional scones with cream and jam!?
London is filled with alternative afternoon tea spots, and I’ve picked out a few favourites…
Located in the heart of Soho, just a 4-minute walk from Oxford Circus, Silk restaurant still features the original judge’s bench, dock and witness stand from its days as the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court. A pan-Asian restaurant, Silk takes diners down a culinary journey along the ‘Silk Road’ with seasonally inspired menus of locally and internationally sourced ingredients.
Served from 1pm to 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, the Japanese afternoon tea here is a must-book affair, with dishes including sweet Japanese omelette or Tamago, sushi rolls such as California Maki, vegetarian dishes with steamed vegetable gyoza and vegetable futomaki roll, and even a glass of Japanese plum wine!
This is an afternoon tea like no other, modelled on the 19th Century slang for tea – “Scandal Water” – where the high society would entertain themselves with a cuppa and an afternoon of salacious gossip!
This afternoon tea pairs five teas or five tea-based cocktails from the Rare Tea Co. with five fusion dishes, including miso cured Salmon with Caviar served with Japanese Sencha tea, salted chocolate tart enhanced by the citrusy house punch and an “iced Gem” Shortbread biscuit served with Mezcal!
Scandal Water is served in the reservations-only Punch Room, Friday to Sunday from 3-4pm.
This tea is light, fresh and will not weigh you down with heavy bread and butter of its counterparts!
Rather than cakes and sandwiches, here you’ll fill up on seafood, small desserts and delicate teas such as white apricot, cherry blossom or even chocolate tea. Start with a range of prawn, okra and salmon nigiris, chicken and californian sushi rolls and finish with rich but light desserts such as green tea opera or passion delice.
Wash these down with a sparkling Sawa Sawa sake and you’ll head out feeling content and ready for the afternoon!
Booking is essential, and afternoon tea is served from 12-5pm every day.
Teanamu Chaya Teahouse is listed as one of Five of the Best Teahouses in the UK, and afternoon teas are served using the Chinese Gongfu Cha tea ceremony. There are two sets of fresh, vegetarian teas to choose from – “ichi-go ichi-e” and “wabi sabi“ – with dishes including dim sum, wake seaweed open sandwiches and patisserie, served with tea or tisane. Favourites of ours are the garlic miso-pickled cream cheese with cucumber and shichimi pepper sandwich, vegetarian dumplings with sze chuan chilli oil and of course the the olive oil lemon cake with mango curd.
You needn’t book, payments are made in cash, and its a relaxed but truly authentic and delicious affair!