As the capital prepares for the Coronation of King Charles III, London’s top patisserie chefs have been busy in the kitchen creating a fitting royal culinary celebration for spectators that have travelled from far and wide. Having meticulously designed intricate pastries and sweet treats inspired by His Majesty’s favourite flavours, colours and places (Highgrove has become a popular theme), London’s five-star hotels are primed to welcome those who wish to mark the event in the most quintessentially British way: an afternoon tea. Fine china, freshly-baked scones and impressive patisserie at the ready, here are the best Coronation afternoon teas to book in the capital now.
Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, Tower Hill
To celebrate the Coronation, the Four Seasons’ culinary team has put together a package of gastronomic delights in the form of its Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea. Guests can indulge their sweet tooth in the time-honoured British tradition at the Rotunda Lounge by tucking into a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, scones and delicious pastries inspired by the treasures of the Tower of London and the upcoming Coronation.
These decadent desserts include The Crown, modelled off St Edward’s Crown which will be used at the Coronation; The Garden, which is inspired by King Charles III’s beloved gardens at Highgrove House; The Coin, from the Tower of London’s series of commemorative coins and, of course, Victoria Sponge Cake, a royal favourite infused with the flavours of His Royal Highness’ favourite tea: Darjeeling taken with milk and honey. The tea’s fluffy scones are also accompanied by homemade lemon curd in homage to one of the King’s favourite desserts. Quench thirst with a selection of teas, from English Breakfast to Masala Chai, or for something a little more celebratory, choose sparkling tea or Ruinart champagne. Chin chin!
10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ. From £75, visit fourseasons.com
Royal Lancaster London, Hyde Park
Prepare to indulge during coronation season with the Royal Lancaster London’s themed afternoon tea, available from 28 April to 9 May. Enjoy a delectable assortment of delicately-crafted sandwiches — from chicken, onion and mustard salad
to egg mayonnaise and watercress — with warm scones and delicious sweet treats. Created by chef Enrico Derflingher, patisserie includes Lemon Cream — a vanilla cheesecake with lemon cream on vanilla shortbread which was created for the then Prince of Wales, who liked the dessert so much that it became a favourite for formal events at Kensington Palace — and the Damson Plum Mousse, featuring spiced plum compote and almond macaroon, inspired by the King’s favourite fruit, especially when picked from his Highgrove Estate. Served in the hotel’s decadent Hyde Café, afternoon tea is accompanied by a selection of the finest Camellia’s Tea House teas or a crisp glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne (which we think is simply a must).
Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY. From £39, visit royallancaster.com
Babur, Forest Hill
Babur, south-east London’s popular Indian gourmet restaurant, is rolling out the red carpet to host a regally fun-filled weekend of celebratory festivities to honour the Coronation of King Charles III. Taking place in its majestic Rajasthani marquee, guests can expect delicious feasting menus, special botanical cocktails reflecting Charles’ love for gardening, and live streaming of the historic occasion.
On 6 May, Babur is hosting an afternoon tea fit for a king. Evoking the rich traditions of Indian dining culture with bold innovative twists on traditional high tea, guests will tuck into an array of sweet and savoury delights including bread pakora with banana and tamarind, tandoori chicken and vegetable finger sandwiches, barley halwa cake, garam masala sultana scones with clotted cream, Victorian sponge cake, and summer berry clotted cream tart. All are served alongside a selection of teas, including Chai and Darjeeling, or toast to the occasion with the King’s Cup: a tipple made with Empress Blue pea shoot gin, elderflower liqueur, lavender bitters and fresh lemon juice charged with tonic, served in a gin goblet.
119 Brockley Rise, London SE23 1JP. From £33, visit babur.info
Celebrate the royal event the Scandinavian way at Aquavit London and indulge in its Coronation Fike Afternoon Tea. From 2-6 May, enjoy a range of open rye bread sandwiches topped with creamy potato salad, Atlantic shrimp with fresh dill mayonnaise, chicken with Danish remoulade, or roast beef with spicy horseradish. However, no afternoon tea is complete without a selection of sweet treats, and Aquavit has you covered with Swedish delicacies such as Semla and Hallongrotta. There will also be screens outside showing the coronation activities across the bank holiday weekend.
1 Carlton Street, SW1Y 4QQ. From £45, visit aquavitrestaurants.com
Experience a quintessentially British afternoon tea in The Drawing Room at Flemings Mayfair, which has commissioned a special tea blend for the Coronation, available from 18 April to 13 May. Serving an exclusive tea harvested from bushes propagated from a bush planted by the King’s father, HRH Prince Philip, on his very first tour of Sri Lanka with Queen Elizabeth II following her coronation in 1953, Flemings has really pulled out all the stops for this regal event.
The rare tea is best enjoyed alongside a selection of royally good sandwiches including Scottish smoked salmon with cream cheese and roast Cotswold chicken, freshly baked scones and picture-perfect patisserie including chocolate tart, choux apple and pear and caramel.
7-12 Half Moon Street, W1J 7BH. From £65, visit flemings-mayfair.co.uk
InterContinental Park Lane, Hyde Park
Located at the address which was once the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth II, enjoy an exclusive afternoon tea experience inspired by our new sovereign at the InterContinental Park Lane from 3-14 May. Start off the celebrations with a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, including slow-roasted pheasant with forest truffle and balsamic pearls, Earl Grey tea-smoked duck with beetroot and cherry jam, and hen’s egg coronation with apricot and cress salad, followed by freshly baked scones.
Cakes and pastries pay homage to the King’s favourite tipples with the likes of Martini cheesecake, a Gordon’s dry gin and lime delice, and a Darjeeling tea and honey opera. Tea connoisseurs can choose from an extensive list of premium teas from the East India Company, with over 20 blends and infusions from across the globe, including the No. 1 Park Lane bespoke blend. For a more bubbly affair, opt for fizz from top champagne houses including Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon to raise a glass to the newly-crowned King.
One Hamilton Place, W1J 7QY. From £55, visit parklane.intercontinental.com
The Dorchester, Park Lane
The Dorchester is no stranger to royal celebrations, as it hosted the late Duke of Edinburgh’s stag do before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II in 1947. Understandably, then, the Coronation of the new king is a big celebration for the hotel, which has just unveiled its coronation decorations draped across the front of the five-star Grand Dame. Head inside and follow your nose to The Promenade, which will present a royal take on its world-famous afternoon tea from 5-8 May.
Savouries start with asparagus and walnut scone with pea and verbena, Severn & Wye smoked salmon, dill and horseradish cream on rye, and duck egg mayonnaise with watercress before delicate sweet treats executed by executive pastry chef Michael Kwan, including a honey choux with bee pollen caramel and meadowsweet pastry cream and rhubarb-strawberry Bakewell frangipane with vanilla cream.
53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA. From £125 per person, visit dorchestercollection.com
The Rubens at The Palace, Belgravia
Rubens at the Palace, located opposite the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace, and once part of the estate itself, is offering a culinary coronation celebration running from 1 May to 1 August. The menu takes its inspiration from His Majesty’s favourite flavours, such as wild mushroom quiche and orchard plum confit. For Coronation day itself on 6 May, a special tea service will feature six courses — including spiced Welsh lamb sausage roll and Darjeeling-soaked fruit cake — accompanied by a live performance from the hotel’s resident pianist, with each guest receiving a commemorative Coronation tea tin gift set to take home.
The Goring, Belgravia
Images: Ben Carpenter
Also a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace is The Goring: a firm Royal favourite for many years and the only hotel with a Royal Warrant for hospitality services. Its Coronation Afternoon Tea, from 24 April to 28 May, will be served in the five-star surroundings of the sun-kissed Veranda, overlooking The Goring Garden and The Royal Border (home to a selection of the Royal Family’s favourite plants and flowers, from the late Queen Elizabeth II’s adored Lily of the Valley to the Duke of Edinburgh Rose).
The exquisite menu features King Charles’ favourite cakes and sandwiches, from his much-loved Cream of Lemon to delicious sandwiches filled with produce from other Royal Warrant suppliers, such as Dukeshill ham. Sweet treats are adorned with the CRIII insignia, carriages and crowns made from the finest dark chocolate. Also, a limited-edition coronation strawberry and elderflower jam will be served alongside the freshly-baked scones, with jars available for diners to take home.
15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW. From £75, visit thegoring.com
Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly
Served every day in the timeless Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Fortnum and Mason’s Coronation afternoon tea menu is fit for a royal. Celebrating the new reigning monarch through inventive takes on quintessential British flavours, Fortnum’s executive chefs have considered every detail, from the precision of the sandwiches to the exquisite garnishes that top each individual pastry.
Start with finger sandwiches of Cotswold Legbar egg mayonnaise and, Kames bay trout with dill cream cheese before trying the woodland wild mushroom éclair. Freshly baked scones will follow, served with Fortnum’s strawberry preserve, lemon curd and Somerset clotted cream. Unique to Fortnum’s, the savoury menu will showcase afternoon tea artistry every bit as intricate as that on the sweet offering. Pastries are inspired by King Charles’ most loved dishes, such as Welsh lamb scotch egg with wild herb aioli nodding to Charles’ fondness for the famed Welsh export, while native coronation lobster is enhanced with a spice blend that has been created exclusively for His Majesty.
With over 500 pots of tea served every day, Fortnum and Mason prides itself on providing an unparalleled tea-drinking experience, with flavours sourced from across the world and available as part of an expert tea tasting. Pair afternoon tea with a pot of Fortnum's Coronation Darjeeling tea, an extra special blend to mark the occasion, or raise a toast with a glass of Blancs de Blancs Grand Cru Coronation champagne.
181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. From £78, visit fortnumandmason.com
The Trafalgar St James
For those looking for a more boozy offering, head to Rockwell — the cocktail bar and restaurant at the Trafalgar St James hotel — which is serving its Coronation Tipple Tea from 4-18 May. The menu will feature sweet and savoury dishes including a King’s Crown chocolate cake along with three expert cocktails. Foodies can enjoy artichoke, ham and truffle sourdough and fried quail egg, ogleshield and rosemary focaccia before tucking into the King’s crown chocolate cake, mini baked custard tartlet, and salted caramel canelé.
Wash down with three paired cocktails including the 1948, comprising Ketel One vodka, Rinomato Aperitivo, citrus and mulberry rose wine; Windsor, featuring berry tea-infused Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla and dry curacao; and The Crown, a stir of Flor de Cana 12, macadamia nut syrup and tobacco bitter. Non-alcoholic cocktails are also on offer, and we recommend The Coronation (of course) made with Everleaf Mountain, cherry syrup and alcohol-free jasmine wine.
2 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS. From £50 with alcoholic cocktails or £38 with non-alcoholic drinks, visit rockwellcocktailbar.co.uk
The Beaumont, Mayfair
The Beaumont hotel’s Coronation afternoon tea has been expertly crafted by head chef Ben Boeynaems and will take inspiration from the Crown Jewels, offering a selection of handmade pastries replicating the royal ceremonial jewel colours of emerald, ruby, diamond and golden topaz. Guests will begin their tea with a selection of traditional sandwiches including curried egg, Caesar salad and pastrami-cured salmon and cucumber, served on soft bread baked in-house, followed by warm buttermilk scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve. To conclude, you’ll be presented with the beautifully designed Crown Jewel pastries: Emerald, made of coconut cake, white chocolate and pandan; Ruby, featuring rose, jasmine and lemon choux; Diamond, a vanilla and natural yogurt tartlet; and, finally, Golden Topaz comprising saffron, bitter chocolate and almond.
Sip on the extensive selection of Jing teas, which includes a non-alcoholic jasmine sparkling tea and seasonal blends such as India’s Organic Darjeeling 1st Flush and China’s Baojing Gold. Alternatively opt for The Beaumont's Coronation cocktail, The Sceptre: Tanqueray 10 gin, St Germaine, Italicus, botanically-infused Vetiver and Cochi Americano, topped with Pommery Champagne and served in a champagne coupe. It would be rude not to…
8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF. From £62, visit thebeaumont.com
Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair
In partnership with fine jewellery house Boodles, Brown’s Hotel has launched its English Garden afternoon tea to celebrate the delights of Britain’s bountiful summer produce. The theme nods to our new monarch's passion for gardening, which has also inspired the official Coronation emblem, as well as Boodles’ Secret Garden and Woodland collections. Until 31 August, guests will be offered finger sandwiches and cakes decorated with fresh flowers on a delicate floral cake stand while enjoying a floral installation by Brown's in-house florist Ellie Hartley.
The tradition of beekeeping has long continued within the Royal Family so, topping the cake stand sits a delicate cake in the shape of a beehive drizzled in Highgrove honey. Guests will also receive intricately hand-painted postcards on which to write congratulatory messages to the King before posting them in a pink Boodles post box which can be found in the reception area. All letters will be hand-delivered directly to Buckingham Palace and, if they're lucky, guests may even receive a response from the new King…
33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP. From £75, visit roccofortehotels.com
Grosvenor House, Park Lane
Images: Zodee Media
Throughout history, JW Marriott Grosvenor House has long been favoured by royalty, hosting a celebratory Coronation Ball for King George VI in 1937, the Coronation Year Ladies' Night for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, grand occasions in the Great Room, including Queen Charlotte’s debutante balls, and to this day the Royal Caledonian Ball. Until 10 May, Grosvenor House continues its rich royal legacy and honours His Majesty King Charles III’s historic Coronation by introducing an afternoon tea inspired by both king and kingdom.
Seated in the elegant surroundings of the Park Room, guests begin with a palate-cleansing granita made using Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine, originally served at King Charles’s first state banquet. To follow, five limited-edition pastries have been meticulously created by head pastry chef Anthony Hurst to represent the countries that make up the United Kingdom and each region’s produce. Highlights include Journey to the Highlands — a delectable mousse with organic honey extracted from foraged heather in the Scottish Highlands — and Carriage to Cymru: an indulgent baked lemon cheesecake made using the much-loved Welsh Perl Wen soft cheese (to name just two). Savouries include finger sandwiches consisting of classic coronation chicken, Aberdeen Angus roast beef and Burford Brown egg open sandwiches before freshly baked scones are served with Devonshire clotted cream and an assortment of homemade preserves.
Finally, a hand-illustrated celebration menu will be offered to guests as a keepsake, created for Grosvenor House by designer and illustrator Wenna Privé — the perfect memento to commemorate this historical moment.
86-90 Park Lane, W1K 7TN. From £62.50, visit parkroom.co.uk
Dolly’s Café at Selfridges, Oxford Street
If you’re in need of a lavish spending spree and wish to coincide it with a Coronation celebration, head to Dolly’s Café at Selfridges. From 4-8 May, the decadent café on the lower-ground floor will serve traditional finger sandwiches, warm scones and delicious savoury bites alongside spectacular miniature desserts with a Coronation twist. Each table will also receive a commemorative HRH Coronation edible plate, with a crispy gingerbread base, passionfruit caramel and dark chocolate ganache.
400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB. From £70, visit selfridges.com
The Lane, Covent Garden
The Lane at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, in the heart of Covent Garden, has centuries of Royal credentials. Not only is it the only theatre in the world still operating under a genuine royal charter, it also has two Royal Boxes and the theatres on its site have been visited by every reigning monarch since the Restoration in 1663. Following a £60 million restoration by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Lane was reopened by His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort in June 2021 so, to honour the monarchs which once trod its halls, The Lane has partnered with London-based baker Lily Vanilli to create its Coronation Regency Afternoon Tea.
In the Grand Saloon, a marble-lined Regency room with twinkling chandeliers and a fine art collection, enjoy a generous array of savoury bites, warm scones with salted whipped butter, cream and homemade jams, as well as decadent cakes topped with gold crowns to pair with your favourite tea by the Rare Tea Company until 10 May.
Catherine Street, WC2B 5JF. From £59, visit thelane.co.uk
Read more: Where to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in London