It’s hardly a secret that we Brits love a cup of tea. For those of you who strive for something slightly more original than your standard builder’s brew, we’ve put together a list of the best places to drink tea in London. These are places that have made tea-drinking an art, so whether you go mad for matcha or crazy for chai, these spots are worth seeking out. Prices are per pot, unless otherwise stated. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
The best places to drink tea in London
Anything and everything tea-related can be found in this small store in Marylebone. With over 150 different types of loose tea available, you’ll be hard-pushed not to find something to satisfiy, especially as staff are courteous and well-versed in tea types. Even the price should keep the pickiest of punters pleased.
Tea from £1.99
Deliberate over around 20 teas – including England’s first homegrown tea, from Truro in Cornwall – or if you can’t decide, get advice from the tearoom’s resident ‘tea sommelier’. Wood panelling, silverware and a smart casual dress code give that five-star vibe, but there’s still a certain cosiness that won’t be found in London’s larger tearooms.
Tea from £4.50.
Possibly the most famous afternoon tea destination in London, which is in part thanks to its exclusive list of teas (the rare Malawi Antler blend is not served anywhere else in the UK). Service is slick and staff are profoundly knowledgeable, but be warned – the prestige will cost you.
Tea from £7.50.
A teashop, creative space and bar that combines two hipster obsessions; caffeinated drinks and handmade crafts. Our choice would be the ‘James and the Giant’ peach tea, a fitting choice seeing as the British Library is just down the road. Take friends or family for a spot of organised fun.
Tea from £3.80.
Fortnum and Mason is perhaps more noted for selling than serving tea, but its tearoom – opened by the Queen – has maintained its reputation as a stylish but pricey London destination. Make a point of discussing your selection with the ‘tea-ristas’ who offer advice on your perfect blend. Fortnum’s most premium grade is a tea tongue twister: ‘finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe’.
Tea from £5.75.
Since building up a loyal following with their van, Good & Proper Tea have found themselves a permanent site in Old Street from which to serve their comprehensive tea selection. Staff are knowledgeable and all teas are high-quality and sustainably sourced.
Tea from £2.20.
Don’t be put off by the exterior of Haggerston Tearooms – its council estate setting is the reason for its existence. Bringing the community back to these neglected shop parades is Artisan Tea Rooms, the enterprise behind the café, whose aim is to use volunteers from the area to bring some love back to this overlooked part of London. Try their Gunpowder Green tea for a healthy caffeine kick.
Tea from £2.50.
Mismatched china, black and white tiling and a general air of twee-ness give this tiny café its vintage charm. The tea selection is large, showcasing the usual suspects as well as some more unusual offerings for the more adventurous. The laidback, cutesy ambience offers a less formal tea-drinking experience – great for whiling away weekend afternoons.
Tea from £2.95.
This French brand with brightly coloured tea tins is hugely iconic in its home country, however there is only one branch in London. Luckily, there’s a modest seating area in the back of the shop where teas can be sampled. Try the Imperial label green tea, one of their most popular blends.
Tea from £5.
Modern meets twee with this restaurant’s tea ‘library’ which, while small, is well curated. The reasonable prices and soothing, grey decor make it an ideal place to while away the hours.
Tea from £2.40.