Looking for things to do in London with little ones? When you’ve explored the city’s child-friendly museums and run around all of London’s playgrounds, why not treat the kids to a traditional afternoon tea. It might have a fancy rep, but afternoon tea doesn’t have to be a snooty, kid-free zone. From cake on a London bus to creative spreads inspired by their favourite stories, here are some the best high teas for families.
RECOMMENDED: The best afternoon teas in London
The best family-friendly afternoon teas
Up for something hearty? Monmouth Kitchen does a kids’ version of its afternoon tea, and there’s not a crustless cucumber sandwich in sight. The Italian-meets-Peruvian menu includes a margherita pizza, cherry tomato bruschetta and chunky churros with Peruvian chocolate sauce, so it’s perfect for growing gourmands. Plus, they can wash it all down with more cocoa-filled goodness courtesy of a hot rococo chocolate – right before they start bouncing off the walls.
£30 adults, £16 children.
Budding wand-wavers will love the fantastical feast at Cutter & Squidge, which has an enchanting teatime riff on the school of sorcery theme. This classy Soho cake shop has an underground potion room: descend the stairs to a magical schoolroom space complete with wooden desks and a cloaked Potion Professor. With their help you’ll create drinkable and edible concoctions – from mix-your-own ‘galaxy juice’ to a crackling, lemony cauldron. Expect loads of magical surprises along the way.
Session lasts two hours. £49.50, £39.50 child (ages eight-12).
Tea and cake on a bus, you say? Yes, wheely. The talented team at Brigit’s Bakery serve a French-inspired afternoon tea on board a vintage Routemaster bus, so children can cruise past London landmarks as they nibble on delicate finger sandwiches and teeny cakes and tarts. Daily tours set off near Trafalgar Square and Victoria Coach Station, and last about one hour and 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Take them for a wee first, though: there’s no loo on the bus.
From £45, from £35 child (ages five-11).
Taking them to the Science Museum in the hols? A boffin-themed afternoon tea at the nearby Ampersand Hotel is a popular pre- or post-museum stop-off, so you’ll need to book ahead. Children will be wide-eyed at the petite planet-shaped cakes, petri-dish jellies and edible fossils, all served on a rocket-shaped cake stand. Dry ice seeps from the base for maximum jaw-to-the-floor effect, and there’s a more refined – though equally fun – version for grown-ups.
£39.50, £29.50 child.
For a dose of old-school childhood charm, book a table at The Savoy for a slap-up feed inspired by ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. Celebrating 50 years of the late, great Judith Kerr’s beloved book about a pretty big (and famished) cat, the menu draws on elements from the time-served story – from Sophie’s Sandwiches and Mummy’s Cookie Crumbs to tiger-striped scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. It’s all dished up on bespoke china that you can buy from Savoy Tea to take home with you – just in case you get a surprise feline guest of your own.
From £65, £40 child (ages five-12).