BEA'S CAKE BOUTIQUE 27A Devonshire Street, W1 (020 7486 9669, From £24.50 per person

Best forTo-die-for cakes The home of the Duffin (a doughnut-muffin cross) also offers a more traditional array of red velvet, lemon meringue and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

THE BERKELEY Wilton Place, SW1 (020 7235 6000, From £52 per person

Best for On-trend bites Now in its 11th year, Prêt-à-Portea is every fashionista’s afternoon tea fave. Expect delectable couture cakes inspired by the world’s greatest designers.

BROWN'S HOTEL Albemarle Street, W1 (020 7493 6020, From £55 per person

Best forA tea-torial Try a lower-calorie Tea-Tox tea. Or join a Tea-Torial cookery demonstration (£115 per person), complete with recipes and sweet treats to take home.

(Image credit: Colette Smith)

Colette Smith

CUTTER & SQUIDGE 20 Brewer Street, W1 (020 7734 2540, From £29.50 per person

Best forFantasy fancies This very specialPotions Class afternoon tea (pictured above) isa treasure trove of loveliness, where delicious food and magical potions combine in a world of fantasy.

FORTNUM & MASON 181 Piccadilly, W1 (020 7734 8040, From £49 per person

Best for An elegant vibe Three centuries of history plus the sublime eau de nil and gold décor make this a traditional favourite (pictured above), as do its 82 varieties of tea.

GINZA ONODERA 15 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AL ( From £27.50 per person

Best for A Taste of the Orient This Japanese take on high tea features a Wagyu slider and the signature chicken karaage. Choose matcha tea and watch it be specially brewed at the table.

LANES OF LONDON 140 Park Lane, W1K 7AA (020 7647 5664, From £22.50 per person

Best for Botanical bounty With treats including Earl Grey infused scones, gin, elderflower and lime marshmallows and a rose, rhubarb and chocolate soil pot, this is quirky English perfection.


181 Tooley St, SE1 2JR ( From£47 per person

Best for An Indian twist

The LaLiT High Chai gives traditional English favourites a signature Indian twist, such chickpea cake served with tomato jam, and Punjabi samosas with tamarind Imli chutney.

THE NED 27 Poultry, EC2 (020 3828 2000, From £30 per person

Best for Wow architecture The chefs at the City’s hippest hangout have created an authentic Japanese afternoon tea (pictured above). Treats include steam buns with kumquat compote and sesame caramel choux.

ONE ALDWYCH 1 Aldwych, WC2 (020 7300 0400, From £42 per person

Best for Scrumdiddlyumptious treats Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes to life with all kinds of Willy Wonka-inspired goodies, including golden eggs, candyfloss and lemon and raspberry cake pops.

RABOT 1745 2-4 Bedale Street, SE1 (020 7378 8226, From £30 per person

Best for Cocoa devotees After restoring the 250- year-old Rabot Estate cacao plantation in Saint Lucia, Hotel Chocolat has brought a taste of the tropics to Borough Market, offering a cocoa-inspired take on afternoon tea.

THE RITZ 150 Piccadilly, W1 (020 7493 8181, From £54 per person

Best for Gourmet quality Since 1906, birdcage chandeliers, gilded ceilings and a tinkling fountain have made the Palm Court an elegant setting for the famous afternoon tea.

ST.PANCRAS RANAISSANCE HOTEL Euston Road, NW1 (020 7841 3540, From £38 per person

Best for Romance Sit back beneath the soaring Gothic girders of the Hansom Lounge and tuck into an exquisite coffee and almond opera cake with a cup of Indian muscatel tea imagining sunnier climes…

SANDERSON LONDON 50 Berners Street, W1 (020 7300 1400, From £48 per person

Best for A magical feast Tumble down the rabbit hole for the magnificent Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, with menus hidden inside vintage books, teapots adorned with kings and queens and chocolate-covered pocket watch macaroons.

SKETCH 9 Conduit Street, W1 (020 7659 4500, £59 per person

Best for Sublime sensations ‘Eat music, drink art’ is the motto here. Afternoon tea (pictured above) designed to be a treat for all the senses, including macaroons, live performances and a special art installation.

W LONDON 10 Wardour Street, W1 (020 7758 1000, £37 per person

Best for Rebellious souls The 'Tea Total' modern remix of afternoon tea (pictured above) includes experiential English garden-inspired sweet creations and signature cocktails.

THE WOLSELEY 160 Piccadilly, W1 (020 7499 6996, From £29.75 per person

Best forCeleb spotting The soaring ceiling, Byzantine light fittings and geometric marble floors make a rather magnificent scene for enjoying theBest of British Afternoon Tea, including individual Victoria Sponges and Sherry Trifles(pictured below).

Emma Ledger is not only an esteemed lifestyle journalist but is also an illustrator. Her words appear in publications such as Livingetc, The Independent, The Mirror, The Sun and Fabulous magazine, while her drawings have made it onto maps and cards. She is also a mentor at Centrepoint.