Guide to the Best Afternoon Tea in South Bank | South Bank London
Review South Bank
South Bank London
Review South Bank

Guide to the Best Afternoon Tea in South Bank

We’d like to apologise now for all the mouth-watering the following guide is going to induce. As one of our favourite weeks is approaching – National Afternoon Tea Week, we have with great pleasure rounded up the best in South Bank, dare we say it, London. Whether you’re looking for the epitome of tradition or a very new interpretation the only dilemma you’ll face is choosing between them.

Here are our clotted cream of the crop for the South Bank area...



Set within the brutalist beauty that is the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon’s floor to ceiling windows, feature bar and show-stopping cocktails make it a destination restaurant for any gastronome – and they’ve just added another string to their foodie bow…

Skylon have taken everything you know about afternoon tea and given it a sleek, modernist makeover- out are the chintzy cups and saucers and in are the transparent tea pots. Take in the sweeping riverside views while sipping on peach tea cocktail, better still take things up a notch with the Royal upgrade and quaff Moet & Chandon Rose NV Champagne.

For more information, click here.


Tinkle your china at the National Theatre for a theatre-themed afternoon tea with a twist!

All the elements of this rather quirky take on the classic afternoon tea are inspired by previous National Theatre productions. Starting with a Curtain Up Bellini, going through into Act 1 with a selection of finger sandwiches and crumbly pork pie. Next up, enjoy an Interval ice cream, before finishing in Act 2 with a grand finale.

Get into the spirit of things with the playful menu, which features mouth-watering delicacies inspired by productions such as One Man, Two Guvnors, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus and A Taste of Honey.

Try the delicious “Lady Bracknell Triangles” -cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches- not to be eaten until Aunt Augusta arrives! (The Importance of Being Earnest), and “Thing 1 and Thing 2” – green eggs and ham (The Cat in the Hat). 

For more information, click here.




Not content with one offering, the culinary experts at the world-famous OXO Tower Restaurant have a range of afternoon teas to choose from.

First up and just in time for the school summer holidays is the adorable Children’s Afternoon Tea – the envy-inducing menu comprises of banana milkshake, finger sandwiches, caramel salted popcorn and a whole host of sweet treats.

Next up is their traditional fayre – a foodie ode to quintessentially British ingredients. Mini Yorkshire Puddings filled with venison and Dorset crab buns replace soggy sandwiches while rhubarb and lemon posset and pear almond tarts deliver a very chic sugar hit.

Finally OXO’s signature afternoon tea is well their Not Afternoon Tea. This very grown-up and very delicious interpretation of the British past-time is turned on its head by scrapping the tea and replacing it with cocktails to compliment the exquisite dessert plates.



The Library Lounge at Marriott County Hall offers one of the most traditional and luxurious afternoon teas in the South Bank.

The building itself is steeped in history and has a colourful past, having been opened in 1922 by King George V and Queen Mary. Take tea by a crackling fire in the ancient Library Lounge amongst the leather bound volumes and beautiful carved oak bookshelves which stretch from floor to ceiling. The views across the river to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament aren’t bad either.

Enjoy delicious finger sandwiches - London dry gin cured salmon with caper butter and Sipsmith botanical crusted beef and watercress, followed by a selection of cakes and desserts including vanilla panacotta, apple and blackcurrant macaroons, pistachio and rosewater financiers with orange cream and sugar crusted cherry scones with the most delicious clotted cream. Increase the luxury-factor by adding a glass of Champagne. This is one experience you won’t forget too soon!

For more information, click here.



Indulge in the most traditional of afternoon teas in modern, sleek surroundings at the Spectrum Bar and Café, located at Park Plaza County Hall London.

Spectrum's menu includes warm buttermilk scones with strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream as well as finger sandwiches including Shetland smoked salmon with cream cheese on lemon bread and a selection of delicious crumbly pastries from the Spectrum patisserie. The premise of this menu is based on the saying – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and we couldn’t agree more.

For more information, click here.



Afternoon Tea while cruising along the Thames- what a civilised way to pass the afternoon!

Enjoy a full afternoon tea experience with City Cruises – which means scones, jam and a generous dollop of cream, finger sandwiches and cakes – all whilst you cruise peacefully along the Thames. Enjoy all the sights of London whilst you sip on an endless supply of tea – and when you've finished off your tea, you can always brave the cold and stroll upstairs to take in the 360 degree views of London's riverside landmarks.

For more information, click here.



The Chino Latino Afternoon Tea at the Park Plaza Riverbank London offers a Pan-Asian twist on a British institution. 

Known for its modern Pan-Asian cuisine, this afternoon tea draws upon the delicate flavours of China, South East Asia and Japan for a fusion of sweet and savoury bite size treats. Choose from their extensive tea menu, where you are encouraged to smell your tea before you choose. Teas are sourced from artisan tea maker Camellia’s and include the Chino Latino bespoke blend of green tea, with exotic and subtle fruit and the gentle kick of spice, or the Assam Bargang, sourced in Northern India. If you prefer, substitute tea for a glass of Perrier-Jouet Champagne!

For more information, click here.

For afternoon tea with an infusion of Eastern promise, head to ICHI at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London.

Here, finger sandwiches are swapped for sushi bites including prawn, okru and salmon nigiri, with signature Japanese deserts such as the delicately flavoured green tea and chocolate Japanese savin, coconut tapioca, red bean and sesame matcha roulade and coconut, passion fruit and strawberry temptation... Choose white apricot, mango, chocolate or cherry blossom tea to accompany your eastern experience.

For more information, click here.


Sometimes dainty sandwiches and cakes just aren’t quite substantial enough are they? Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar (clue is in the name) have devised an altogether more carnivorous approach.

Are you ready for this? The Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea (though will be favoured by men and women alike) features no less than BBQ pull pork, cheese burger, salted beef, ox cheeks nuggets and horseradish cream, smoked salmon nicoise wrap, stilton & leek quiche and triple cooked vinegar chips.

And if all that isn’t enough, this foodie fiesta takes place in the grand, wood-panelled setting of Gillray’s which boast jaw-dropping views of Big Ben.

For more information, click here.


You can now experience cream tea on the speedy and sleek river fleet, MBNA Thames Clippers.

Sit back and relax in the elegant surroundings whilst the Clipper glides pasts your favourite South Bank spots and London landmarks, and what could be a more suitable addition to this serene scene than a spot of unlimited tea and warm scones? An on-board guide will be provide a running commentary to help you take in the historical greats. 

For more information, click here.

Afternoon Tea addict? Discover weird and wonderful facts about the very British tradition in South Bank and beyond.

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