Immersing yourself in fine English traditions can be a whole lot of fun when you’re living in London. When you’re moving to London one of the first English traditions that you have to experience is ‘Tea and Scones’. If you want to show off that you know a bit, call it a Devonshire Tea instead of just Tea and Scones (Or Cornish Tea). Cream Tea is another common name for this popular practice. Tea and Scones is the kind of thing that’s become so ingrained in the British culture that you could go to any tea room across Britain and be offered a proper English Tea with Scones. It’s also popular outside of Great Britain and you could go as far as South Africa and be able to be served a Cream Tea.
Here then are the best places in London to get a proper Cream Tea:
The Ritz – First of all, we’re talking about one of the oldest and most recognized hotels in the world. The Ritz isn’t so much a hotel as it is an institution. And much the same could be said of their Tea’s, with five sittings a day, from 11:30 to 7:30.
The English Tea Room, Brown’s Hotel – None more English Tea Room than this. This place comes with specially wood-paneled rooms and a pianist offering some music, all for that classic, “olde worlde” feel (they’ve done the same at the Ritz. Pianists really do add to that high tea feel!).
The Mandeville Hotel – This place is as traditional as they come. How traditional? When they serve the tea, it’s brought in blue china cups for the men and pink floral cups for the women. That’s how traditional.
The Savoy – Much like the Ritz, the Savoy is another London hotel that’s pretty much an institution. Again like the Ritz, you’ll have someone tinkling the ivories just to give the setting some ambiance.
And lastly, because I have a major sweet-tooth, go to The Metropolitan. All the other places I’ve mentioned have a fine selection of cakes and sweet treats but when I saw a photograph of the offering at The Metropolitan, that was enough for me to call ahead and make a booking.
Moving to London and acclimatizing to your new home doesn’t have to be that hard, although you will pile on the pounds if you make afternoon tea a daily ritual!