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Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason
Among the most popular activities in London is the taking of afternoon tea in one of the city's revered tea parlors, so with this in mind, the travelers and editors of VirtualTourist.com have compiled their list of the "Top 10 Places for Afternoon Tea in London."
1. St. James' Restaurant; Fortnum & Mason
For the ultimate in English gentility, few tea experiences beat that of the Afternoon Tea Salon at Fortnum and Mason. Decorated in the company's subtle signature green, the subdued eatery offers more than 70 different blends of tea as well as live piano music. Diners take note: the restaurant website clearly states that in matters of dress "both sexes lean toward elegance."
2. The English Tea Room; Brown's Hotel
Differentiating itself from the rest of the London's teahouses, Brown's offers tea-takers "Tea-Torials". Lead by a master pastry chef, attendees learn how to make the basics of a true English tea like scones and homemade jam. For those who want lighter fare, their exclusive "Tea-Tox" is just the thing to keep from feeling heavy.
3. The Georgian Restaurant; Harrods
While the Harrod's famous food halls may get all the attention, tea at the Georgian is an equally exciting experience. The tea served here is from the store's own tea garden and the surroundings make for fantastic people-watching as there is always a full house.
4. Palm Court; The Ritz London
The booking requirements here speak volumes -- reservations are required about 12 weeks in advance. Not unexpectedly, diners here are encouraged to dress appropriately as the dining room looks like it was plucked right out of the Palace of Versailles.
5. The Foyer; Claridge's HoteL
For what is perhaps the ultimate "Girls' Tea" experience, nothing can beat the uber-feminine surrounds of Claridge's. Picture-perfect pastries, whimsical China, and monogrammed silver make the aesthetic experience here as great as the culinary experience. No wonder Audrey Hepburn liked to stay here.
6. The Promenade; The Dorchester
While they may have had the same scone recipe for more than half a century, the Dorchester is determined to move its tea experience into the modern age. Among its many distinctive tea experiences is its "Spatisserie," a package that allows its spa-goers to indulge just the right amount.
7. The Orangery; Kensington Palace
If the weather is pleasant, the Orangery is the perfect spot in London to sit on the terrace for afternoon tea and enjoy the view of the palace and its elegant gardens while sipping an afternoon "cuppa." It's also the perfect place to have kids experience the tradition of afternoon tea as the restaurant offers children their own special menu.
8. Prism Brasserie; Harvey Nichols
There's no reason boys can't join in the afternoon tea fun at Harvey Nichols. A special "Gentleman's Tea" offers alternatives to "no-crust" sandwiches in a sleek and minimalist atmosphere. Housed in the former Bank of New York building, the venue is the perfect place for architecture buffs to stop for a bite.
9. The Wolseley
In its former incarnations this chic but old school London location was both a high-end car showroom as well as a Barclays Bank. These days it's not only one of the hottest spots in town to take tea but also a great place to see and be seen.
10. The Cafe; Sotheby's
While it may be one of the world's great auction houses there's no need to bid here. Unsurprisingly situated in an exceptionally elegant setting, the restaurant changes its very selective menu every week. Phone addicts beware -- the use of mobile's while dining is strictly prohibited.
The Top Places for Afternoon Tea in London - London Vacation
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