It’s not just a stereotype but also a fact – Brits drink a lot of tea. When in doubt, brew up; that’s the national motto that millions of people have adopted across the UK.
With such an extensive love of tea, you’d be forgiven for thinking that National Tea Month applies to every month of the year. However, the UK has managed to narrow it down to just one, and that’s January.
Bleak, grey January – the month where we have to contend with the post-Christmas blues, motivate ourselves to shift a few pounds and layer up to ward off the cold. It’s not everyone’s favourite month, but what better way to melt the winter blues than a steaming hot cup of tea?
Five Best Places To Go For Afternoon Tea In London
With this in mind, here are the best – and most affordable – places to get your fix of a truly British tradition and make the most of National Tea Month.
1. Orange Pekoe – Barnes
With almost 80 loose-leaf teas on the menu, Orange Pekoe provides the perfect opportunity to try something new. Opt for a traditional breakfast blend or a healthy herbal tea and combine with mouth-watering baked goods for a sumptuous afternoon tea experience, all served up on a three-tier cake stand and elegant white bone china. This is a great place to kick-start your healthy new year, as herbal teas are renowned for a number of benefits such as stress relief, antioxidant boosts and even weight loss.
2. The Modern Pantry – Farringdon
If you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, The Modern Pantry is brimming with quirks, from wonderfully unusual teapots to spin-offs on the traditional culinary constituents of afternoon tea. Enjoy a lovely cup of tea and delicious snacks in an airy, contemporary setting garnished with funky alfresco tables and hip, modern staff.
3. Le Chandelier – East Dulwich
With 30 varieties of loose leaf tea and moist cake in plentiful supply, Le Chandelier is a safe bet for those who are avid believers in the tea and cake combination. It’s hard to say whether the tea stacked in jars by the windows, the delectable baked goods from local suppliers or the fascinating fusion of French, British and Middle Eastern vibes are responsible for its steadfast popularity.
4. Bake-a-boo – Mill Lane
If you’re on a New Year’s diet but don’t want to miss out on social eats, suggesting Bake-a-boo will save your waistline and your social life. This unique tea shop boasts a delicious range of speciality cakes and treats free from wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and sugar, so whatever your dietary requirements Bake-a-boo can accommodate them. With its pink décor, doilies and net curtains, this is perfect for a hen do, baby showers or a children’s birthday party.
5. Gallery Mess – Saatchi Gallery
Choose from Assam, Earl Grey, green and a selection of herbal and fruit infusions to complement a delightful afternoon tea including tartlets, layer cake and shot glasses of Pimm’s jelly topped with chopped strawberries, cucumber and mint. On a cold winter’s day take your tea inside as you admire the impressive brickwork and lofty ceilings; and if you go back in the summer choose one of the courtyard tables overlooking the Duke of York square.