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10 Posh Spots for an Unforgettable Afternoon Tea Experience

The tradition of afternoon tea is credited to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who began the habit of ordering tea and cakes to her room to keep full until dinner. She decided to invite friends over for the activity, and soon the tradition took hold. By the late 1800s, it was common for the British elite to enjoy afternoon refreshments at elegant tea parties. For the working class people who couldn't take a break until later in the afternoon, the tradition became known as "high tea," named after the tall stools the workers would sit on. Afternoon tea is one of the most quintessential English customs and can today be enjoyed all around the world. Here we have highlighted some of the coolest tea experiences uploaded to Pao that each add a new touch to the 19th century tradition. With so many different options, at least one of these spots is sure to be your cup of tea!

For an Instagrammable Experience…

Dalloway Terrace

London, United Kingdom

Named after Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Dalloway Terrace is located in Bloomsbury, the bustling literary hub of London. The restaurant’s beautiful decoration might make it one of the most Instagrammable spots in all of London. The terrace’s decor, Autumn-themed in the pictures above, is changed to match each season. The afternoon tea includes an assortment of mini cakes, scones, sandwiches, and unlimited tea and coffee!

For an Elegant Experience…

L’Orangerie Alvear Palace Hotel

Buenos Aires, Argentina

This spot offers the most luxurious afternoon tea. With its regal interior and stellar service, you can enjoy your tea in a room filled with marble-covered walls and glistening chandeliers. The three-tiered platters are filled with both sweet and savory delights, and you can choose from nearly twenty different kinds of tea!

For an Affordable Option…


London, United Kingdom

Afternoon tea can be expensive, but Balthazar is the perfect option for a more affordable place that still provides the full afternoon tea experience. Balthazar offers a modern take on the tradition, allowing you to enjoy champagne or a whiskey cocktail along with your tea and delicious cakes!

For a Fashionable Experience…

Prêt-à-Portea: The Berkeley

London, United Kingdom

The chefs at Prêt-à-Portea partner with the biggest names in fashion and design their sweets after specific dresses, shoes, and accessories from their collections. The food is accompanied by a booklet that explains the inspiration behind each item, such as the mini Jimmy Choo bag seen above. This couture cakewalk is a fashion lover’s dream!

For a Quirky Artistic Experience…


London, United Kingdom

This uber-cool spot has a number of different rooms, each with its own unique theme. The walls, the decoration, the food, and even the bathrooms are all works of art. The blush-colored Gallery offers an afternoon tea consisting of a four course meal and endless amounts of tea!

For the Classic Afternoon Tea…

Number Sixteen

London, United Kingdom

Located inside a beautiful boutique hotel in Kensington, Number Sixteen offers afternoon tea at any time of day. The tea arrives with the classic three-tiered collection of sandwiches, scones, and cakes. You can choose to take your tea inside The Orangery or in a private outdoor garden that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of London!

For a Modern Experience…

Hy Tea Lounge

Vancouver, Canada

Enjoy afternoon tea in a modern yet comfy environment. Aside from the classic tea set, this spot offers all kinds of fusion food dishes, including sushi. It’s located in the beautiful Waterfall Building, with large windows making the space bright and airy!

For a Royal Experience…

The Kensington Palace Pavilion

London, United Kingdom

At the Kensington Palace Pavilion, you can enjoy afternoon tea on the grounds of a royal palace. Enjoy beautiful views of the famous Sunken Gardens, the very spot where Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle. This tea is truly fit for royalty!

For a Festive Experience…

Scoff & Banter Kensington

London, United Kingdom

Throughout the year, Scoff & Banter changes their tea menu to fit the season. Pictured above is the Summer Blossom Afternoon Tea, complete with flower-topped macarons and rose-iced cupcakes. In the winter, they have a holiday-inspired menu, and they even offer a skate & dine experience for those looking to go ice skating!

For a Movie-Inspired Experience…

The Restaurant at Sanderson London

London, United Kingdom

This spot offers a trip to Wonderland with a whimsical Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea. Every detail of this tea party will leave you curiouser and curiouser, as the food is decorated with intricate details, all in the theme of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland!

Want to find more lovely afternoon tea experiences? Download Pao to find hidden gems around the world!

Curated by Pao team member Emily Davidson!

Pao username: @emilyd

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Anna Zervos


Anna graduated from UCLA in 2017 where she studied psychology and cognitive science. Her passion for travel, design, and psychology fuel her passion for Pao. On the Pao team she is in charge of feature development, business strategy, UI/UX, and big picture marketing strategies. Anna has been to over 40 countries and plans to keep that number growing. She hopes to inspire people to get outside their comfort zones and eventually give back to people who aren’t able to.

Favorite food

Tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas

Favorite band

The 1975

Favorite movie genre

Psychological horror/thriller

Favorite hobby

Singing and playing guitar

Favorite place in the world

Antipaxos, Greece

Sara Zervos


Sara is has a PhD in Economics and spent 22 years in the finance industry managing teams and over $20bn in assets. She is Pao’s CFO and CTO, and also spearheads business development and AI initiatives. She has traveled to over 57 countries, adores animals and the outdoors. Sara loves to connect with people and help them learn and strive to be their best selves.

Favorite food

Peanut Butter

Favorite band


Favorite movie genre

Sci Fi

Favorite hobby

Salsa Dancing

Favorite place in the world

Kauai & New Zealand are tied