With so many enticing tea menus on offer in Victoria, you are sure to find the perfect way to spend a late summer afternoon
British to a tea
The Goring is London's 'last family-owned luxury hotel' and boasts an impressive history dating back over 100 years. The elegant bar and lounge is where you'll enjoy its award-winning afternoon spread – pastries, finger sandwiches, homemade scones and jams, the best quality tea, served with an ice-cold glass of Bollinger Rosé (if you so choose). Nothing says 'luxury' quite like it.
The Goring, 15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW; thegoring.com
Jazz up your tea
Want to jazz up your afternoon tea? Visit Emmeline's Lounge at the Conrad St James, where you'll be served a number of delicious delicacies crafted by the hotel's executive pastry chef. The Summer Afternoon Tea features strawberry and cream pearls, mini prawn and crab Bloody Mary cups. Oh, and if you visit on Saturday, you'll enjoy it all to the polyrhythms of sweet, sweet jazz.
Conrad London St James, 22-28 Broadway, SW1H 0BH; conradhotels3.hilton.com
Walking round St James's during the summer can be thirsty work. You may need to pop into the Palace for some light refreshments. A tour around the State Rooms leads you to the Garden Café which looks out onto the beautiful grounds of Buckingham Palace. Whilst there, take your pick from the colourful array of macarons, scones and pastries on display. For an afternoon treat in a one-of-a-kind location, it's off to the Palace you shall go.
The Garden Café, Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA; royalcollection.org.uk
If you haven’t made it inside the palace walls, why not whisk yourself off for afternoon tea around the corner? The aptly named Palace Lounge at Rubens Hotel looks out onto the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. Seated there, you will be presented with an impressive selection of fresh pastries, courtesy of the hotel's chef, Sarah. Including jam pennies, red velvet cupcakes and the chocolate biscuit cake, it's a tea fit for kings (and queens).
The Rubens at the Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS; rubenshotel.com
Think tea and it may lead to Alice, Mad Hatter and Wonderland. And then you may think: it's only a story; such a tea just doesn't exist. Wrong! Book yourself in for tea at Taj Hotel and you'll discover the Tea Party in Wonderland. With Queen of Hearts mango tarts, Drink Me strawberry potions, white chocolate mousse teacups and pocket watch macarons. You're already late. Late for this very important (tea) date.
Taj Hotel, St James’s Court, 54 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF; taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk
Australian hangout Timmy Green proudly presents their bottomless Pop Art Afternoon Tea. Served on limited edition fine bone china by Peter Blake, this splendid tea includes mini sandwiches, pop biscuits (designed using Blake's famous motifs) and pop art-themed cakes. Timmy Green's afternoon tea offers no less than nine Good and Proper Tea infusions to choose from, and – wait for it – unlimited prosecco too. We'd raise a glass to that.
Timmy Green, Nova Victoria, 11 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ; daisygreenfood.com
If you're an experimental tea lover, why not try one from foreign shores? French-Nordic restaurant Aster is offering a North Atlantic take on the much-loved British classic: a Nordic afternoon tea. The serving includes delights such as Brixham white crab and elderflower mayo served on rye bread and Coronation chicken on seeded sourdough. Experience too, the subtle floral notes of their lavender and peach roll, and the tart hit of their sea buckthorn macarons. Not to be missed.
Aster, 150 Victoria Street, SW1E 5LB; aster-restaurant.com
It's the stuff of childhood dreams, a chocolate tea. And it comes to life at R Chocolate. The Classic Afternoon Tea includes strawberry and champagne mousse on a pistachio biscuit, a mini chocolate loaf, cacao nib scones, and 80% Grand Cru mousse with sea salt caramel centre. Is your mouth watering yet? If so, you can rehydrate yourself with a Tregothan Tea of your choosing, like Earl Grey, Verbena, Red Berry or Nettle. Alternatively, a glass of Chocolate Sparkling Wine for you? (Shall we just go right ahead and book it?)
R Chocolate London, 198 Ebury Street, SW1W 8UN; rchocolatelondon.co.uk
She made Kate Moss's wedding cake. And Stella McCartney's. And designed the birthday cake for Sir Anthony Hopkins' 70th. And Elton John's White Tie & Tiara Ball cake. If you're looking to have your favourite cake (and eat it too), there's nowhere better to go to than the Peggy Porschen Parlour. At her eponymous pink Belgravia outlet, Porschen, serves cupcakes, layer cakes, every-type-of-cake (practically); all day long. For afternoon cake, we'd recommend the award-winning chocolate salted caramel cupcake. With a cup of artisan tea.
The Peggy Porschen Parlour, 116 Ebury Street, SW1W 9QQ; peggyporschen.com