Holidays are for treating yourself and there is no better city to give your credit card a workout than London. In the spirit of my London trip being a true holiday, not a working trip, and it being my mom’s first time overseas, we pulled out all the stops and treated ourselves on more than one occasion.
High teas and bakeries were high on my mom’s list of things to see in London and we made it to quite a few.
I have picked our top 3 indulgent spots for tea and a treat in London and while they are pricey, they are worth every penny!
When I think of the Ritz high tea, I think of a truly timeless and classic affair. The afternoon tea experience was exactly that, classic, elegant, and exactly what I imagined and hoped for. The service was formal, but not overly stuffy. The food was excellent, traditional tea fair. The teas were aromatic and rich. Silverware and lovely china topped it all off.
And of course, who doesn’t love a strictly imposed dress code. Basic B heaven.
The savoury course of the tea was traditional tea sandwiches including chicken salad, cucumber, roast beef with horseradish, ham and cheese, and more.
The sweet course featured macarons with a citrus twist, raspberry and lemon tarts, blackberry mousse creations, and chocolate cake from a cake trolley. Then came the scones. Traditional English scones paired with jams and clotted cream.
Did I mention that these courses are bottomless? The more you eat, the more they bring you. We were absolutely stuffed and happy by the end of our sitting.
We opted for the Traditional Afternoon Tea at £57 per person. We also took an 11:30 am sitting which lowered the price a little. While the price was high for this afternoon tea, I can honestly say it was worth every single cent.
The experience, the service, the ambiance, the food, were all absolutely perfect. It was a really magical experience that I'll treasure for a long time to come. Honestly, I would do it again next time I'm in London. Without a doubt.
To see the Ritz’s full menu or book your high tea click here. I promise you won’t regret it.
This next indulgent tea experience is a more modern, less traditional take on the afternoon tea held at The Ritz. This high fashion, mod tea experience is truly that, an experience.
From a personal caviar butler, to whimsical dishes, modern art, and bathroom stalls shaped like giant eggs, Sketch is a unique and enchanting place.
To be honest, I felt a little like I was inside a Wes Anderson movie for 2 hours.
The service was attentive and extremely formal, even more so than the Ritz. There was something about the energy of the place. The food was edible art and drew upon traditional ingredients with high end elements. Dishes included a caviar course, foie gras tartlets, smoked salmon, and more.
The sweet course was a modern take on high tea treats, including homemade marshmallows, battenberg cake, tarts, and mousse. The scone course was very traditional, and featured scones, jams, and cream.
The cake trolley included a Victoria Sponge which we took to go as we were completely stuffed.
We opted for the Afternoon Tea in the Gallery for just over £60 per person. The price was again, indulgent compared to regular, everyday life, but this truly was an experience and a once in a lifetime event.
While I see myself returning to The Ritz for tea on my next visit, I can’t say the same about Sketch. I feel like once was enough for me to see what the fuss was about, enjoy the meal, the art, and the space. I would absolutely recommend to others visiting London.
To find out more about Sketch or book your table click here.
While not a high tea like my first two spots, a visit to Peggy Porschen bakery in Belgravia is most definitely an indulgent and special experience. It really is an occasion.
Unlike The Ritz and Sketch, you can’t make a reservation at Peggy Porschen. This means waiting in line. A small outdoors table for 3 outside was worth the 15 minute wait in the queue. The line looked long when we arrived, but it moved really fast and we were seated quickly.
PP has a long list of teas, cupcakes, cakes, cookies and more to choose from. We ordered coffee, teas, and a selection of baked goods to try.
The service was energetic, attentive, and prompt. It’s a very well oiled machine that moves people through at a good pace so precious tables out front can be turned over for anxiously awaiting guests.
Since this is a classic bakery and cafe, we had all sweet things to eat. The Victoria Sponge, vanilla raspberry cake, and an autumn spice cupcake were all incredible.
At £8+ for a slice of cake, PP is definitely another indulgent spot to have a sweet treat while visiting London. The sticker shock was temporary, but the amazing memories of our cafe experience are forever. This place was a top spot on my mom’s list and I am so glad we got to spend some time there, eating, sipping tea, and truly indulging and enjoying the moment.
Worth it. Absolutely will be stopping in again on our next visit.
To plan your visit to Peggy Porschen or see more about the bakery click here.
Take The Tea Party Home With You
We bought boat loads of tea on our trip so we could take the English tea experience home with us.
Here are some of the places from which we purchased tea:
We only wish we had bought more as we are already running low!
You Only Live Once
There are times to be frugal and times to let loose and enjoy. While we hesitated over the cost of each of these experiences in London, it was all so worth it. We truly had unique and memorable visits to the Ritz, Sketch, and Peggy Porschen.
By no means was every meal on our trip a 4 course, $100 affair. We cooked at the Airbnb, made eggs in the morning, snacked on cheap street food, and shared entrees countless times during the two week holiday. When it came time to treat ourselves, we did, and enjoyed it all the more as it was truly a treat.
You only live once. Indulge in a truly decadent experience once in a while. You deserve it.