Yesterday I had the opportunity to feel extra British and have a classic afternoon tea with my friend Carol. England is known for its tea culture, so I have been itching to expose myself to it since I’ve arrived. I have had afternoon tea before in Paris when I was much younger on a family trip with my sister and grandmother. I also, more recently, tried afternoon tea in a beautiful library in Scotland with my best friend over this past year’s spring break. However, I was still eager to see how tea in London would compare. I was not disappointed.
If you are thinking of going to afternoon tea, I would recommend doing some research ahead of time and booking in advance in most cases. I also, being a broke college student, was determined to not break the bank for my tea experience. Famous tea houses in London that grace people’s instagrams can cost 60 quid or more and I was not willing to pay that much for a few finger sandwiches and some scones (however good they may be). Luckily, with some googling, I found a great list of cheap afternoon tea options that I will link here: https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/food-and-drink/restaurant/cheap-afternoon-tea. These options all come in at less than 20 quid per person. Carol and I ended up selecting The Wallace Collection for our afternoon tea experience. I was able to make a reservation for us two at 2:45 on a Sunday just one day in advance!!
The Wallace Collection is an absolutely beautiful art museum, so you can drink in some culture before having your tea. The afternoon tea cost 18.50 quid per person and came with two pots of tea of your choice with two scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, a variety of finger sandwiches (4 each), and desserts (carrot cake, chocolate mousse tart and a baby key lime pie). We devoured the meal, enjoying the scones especially and were left full and satisfied. I chose a delicious fruity green tea and Carol had earl grey.
I would say The Wallace Collection tea is 100% worth the money. Their restaurant area is beautiful, decorated with plants, white tables, pastel pink walls and a glass roof so the sky peeks through. Below are some photos from the afternoon!