Celebrate Bastille Day London-style with a French afternoon tea
There’s nothing more British than an afternoon tea, but with France’s Bastille Day coming up on 14 July, why not pick an afternoon tea with a French accent? We ask Susan Cohen, author of London’s Afternoon Teas, for her top, good-value choices.
11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea
‘Begin with a glass of Taittinger Champagne and choose your leaf tea from the menu or the additional list. There is a selection of beautifully crafted, dainty French pastries – it’s altogether a super place to have a really good, well-priced afternoon tea.’
£25 per person; £35 with a glass of Champagne
11 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ www.11cadogangardens.com
Brigit’s Bakery, Covent Garden
‘Also known as B Bakery, this is essentially a French salon de thé. It’s pretty as a picture, very comfortable, and oh so chic. The tiered cake stands come laden with delicious savouries and sandwiches, all with a French twist, and the dainty cakes and pastries are a delight.’
£25 per person Mon-Fri; £34 Sat-Sun; £38 Mon-Fri or £42 Sat-Sun with a glass of Champagne
6-7 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HU www.london.b-bakery.com
The Rose Lounge at Sofitel London St James, St James’s
‘Situated right on the corner of Waterloo Place and St James, teas are supplied by Dammann Frères, whose history can be traced back to Louis XIV, who granted Monsieur Damame the exclusive privilege to sell tea in France in 1692. The list, which includes some rare and seasonal teas, also has two related to roses.’
£32 per person; £39 with a glass of Champagne; £52 with free-flowing Champagne
6 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN www.thebalconlondon.com
Thank you Susan! Read on for a couple of our own recommendations:
Aubaine, multiple locations
This French mini-chain only serves afternoon tea at selected branches (read below for details), offering a good-value spread which includes brie and truffle sandwiches, dulce de leche éclairs and raspberry tarts.
£19.50 per person; £27.50 with a glass of Champagne
Covent Garden (every day), Selfridges (Fri-Sun), High St Kensington, Heddon St, Notting Hill and Mayfair (Sat-Sun) www.aubaine.co.uk
Town House at The Kensington
A tribute to the French novel (and subsequent films) Beauty and the Beast, this west London hotel has a ‘Tale as Old as Time Tea’ menu. The whole look is a tribute to Disney’s 1991 animation, including the cheeky cup Chip and a chocolate ganache clock tart.
£42 per person; £54.50 with a glass of Champagne
109-113 Queen's Gate, SW7 5LP www.townhousekensington.com
The 2018 edition of London’s Afternoon Teas: A Guide to the Most Exquisite Tea Venues in London by Susan Cohen is out now: www.amazon.co.uk/Londons-Afternoon-Teas