In search of cheap afternoon tea in London? You’ve come to the right place. A British tradition since it was first created in 1840, afternoon tea is a great way to enjoy fine food, refreshing tea and maybe even a glass of fizz. But, as with many things in the capital, it can often come with a staggering price tag. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are plenty of places to go if you’re looking for budget-friendly experiences. Here, we reveal some of the best and most affordable options for afternoon tea in London.

What is afternoon tea? 

Afternoon tea, also called “high tea”, consists of tea served with sandwiches, scones, and petit fours. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford created the concept by inviting friends over for tea and cake to pass the time between lunch and dinner. Since the duchess, afternoon tea has evolved, and you can now sometimes find champagne, gin and cocktails on the menu!

The food served at an afternoon tea depends on where you go and if you’re having a themed experience. It usually includes a variety of teas, scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches, and a range of cakes and pastries, and is usually eaten between 3pm and 5pm.

The 12 best cheap afternoon teas in London

Wondering how much afternoon tea costs? Again, this depends on where you go and whether you’re indulging in champagne. Some establishments in London charge as much as £100 per person. But there are plenty of excellent experiences for around £20-25 per person. Of course, this article is all about affordable options, so keep scrolling to find out the best afternoon tea in London that’s cheap. 

1. Tea and Tittle Tattle

Location: Camden
Price per person: £19
Food options: Vegetarian 

Nestled in the basement of a bookshop selling titles from all over the world is Tea and Tittle Tattle. This quaint tea parlour is the perfect place to retreat to after a morning at the British Museum. In fact, it’s directly opposite! There’s a choice between a shared afternoon tea at £38, or you can pay £19 each and enjoy tea, sandwiches, scones and cakes. You even get a glass of homemade lemonade and a selection of jams. Plus, if you’re staying with us as Clink78 Backpackers Youth Hostel in King’s Cross, you’ll be pleased to know that Tea and Tittle Tattle is just a 20-minute walk away.

Book Tea and Tittle Tattle now
41 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3PE
07722192703
Monday to Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm & Saturday 12.00pm – 4.00pm

Cheap Afternoon Tea at Tea and Tittle Tattle in London

Image courtesy: teaandtittletattle.co.uk

Looking for a more substantial meal? Check the cheap places to eat in Kings Cross!

 

2. The Tea Terrace

Location: Oxford Street
Price per person: £25
Food options: Vegan, gluten-free

The Tea Terrace allows you to enjoy afternoon tea exactly how you like. Choose from standard, gluten-free, vegan or even an indulgent afternoon tea and take your pick from a range of sandwiches, cakes and more. That’s not all, as there are 17 teas for you to choose from and around six flavours of scones. The place itself is also vibrant and offers a great atmosphere, whatever time of day you visit. 

Book The Tea Terrace now
Ground Floor, House of Fraser, 318 Oxford St, W1C 1HF
08448003752
Daily from 11:00 am

The Tea Terrace - Cheap Afternoon Tea London

Image courtesy: theteaterrace.com

 

3. To A Tea

Location: Farringdon
Price per person: £25
Food options: Vegetarian

To A Tea might be popular for its cakes, scones and sandwiches, but here, the star of the show is the tea. Inside, there are three boilers, each at different temperatures. This means that you can be sure it is made with the perfect water, whatever type of tea you choose. If you’re looking for something stronger, there’s prosecco, and you can even pay extra for unlimited glasses. You’re also just half an hour from the Clink261 Budget Hostel in London

Book To A Tea Now
14 Farringdon Street, EC4 4AB
02072483498
Monday to Friday 7.30am – 5pm

 

4. The Wallace 

Location: Marylebone
Price per person: £19.50
Food options: Vegetarian

The Wallace Restaurant is housed in the beautifully pink Wallace Collection Gallery, which is believed to be one of the best fine arts collections in the UK. Surrounded by natural light and exquisite decor, it’s the perfect place to sit back and indulge in afternoon tea, and there’s even the option to add on sparkling wine or champagne. One of the standout features of this experience has to be the Peyton and Byrne preserves served with scones. 

Book The Wallace now
Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN
02075639505
Daily 10.00am – 17.00pm

The Wallace Cheap Afternoon Tea in London

Image courtesy: wallacecollection.org

 

5. Roast

Location: Borough Market
Price per person: £35
Food options: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free

Located in one of the capital’s best-loved food markets and close to London Bridge, this British butchery provides a traditional afternoon tea and a bottomless prosecco option. The menu at Roast includes truffle egg and mayo sandwiches, sultana scones, rhubarb custard tart and lemon drizzle cake. The food itself, location and history of the building make this a picture-perfect choice for all ages and tastes.

Book Roast now
The Floral Hall, Stoney St, Borough Market, SE1 1TL
02033713120
Monday to Saturday 11:45am – 5:30pm

 

6. Browns

Location: Various including Covent Garden and Victoria. See full list of locations.
Price per person: £22
Food options: Vegetarian, vegan

With a few locations around London, Browns is a firm favourite for affordable afternoon tea. Expect classic sandwich fillings with a little sophistication and various bread types on the menu. Warm scones, cakes and puddings then follow, and you have the option of tea, fizz or even a G&T. 

Book Browns now
82-84 St. Martins Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AG
02074975050
Daily 3pm – 5pm

Browns Cheap Afternoon Tea in London

Image courtesy: coventgarden.com

High tea is not your thing? Try a pancake breakfast in London!

 

7. The Wolseley

Location: Piccadilly
Price per person: £33
Food options: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, pescatarian, dairy-free, nut-free

Once a car showroom and today a sophisticated London institution, The Wolseley serves up cream tea and afternoon tea every day of the week. The restaurant itself is in the heart of Piccadilly, meaning it’s close to the action. Served on a classic three-tier stand, the afternoon tea includes all the favourites and homemade cakes. 

Book The Wolseley now
160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB
02074996996
Monday to Friday 3.00pm – 6.30pm & Saturday to Sunday 3.30pm – 6.30pm

The Wolseley Cheap High Tea in London

Image courtesy: thewolseley.com

 

8. Bbar

Location: Victoria
Price per person: £30
Food options: Vegetarian, vegan

Bbar might be one of the more unusual afternoon teas, but it’s certainly worth a visit. From 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm every day, they serve afternoon tea with a South African twist. Expect cakes, scones, mini bunny chows, and an extra serving of fantastic atmosphere. If you’ve got time for one more, you’re sure to be tempted by one of their signature cocktails too. 

Book Bbar now
43 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0PP
02079587000
Daily 2.30pm – 5.30pm

 

9. The English Rose Tea Shop

Location: Westminster
Price per person: £18
Food options: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free

Located just around the corner from the iconic Buckingham Palace, The English Rose Tea Shop is THE spot for traditional afternoon tea. You’ll find a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones on the menu and they cater to all dietary needs. There’s also the option to add on a bottle of fizz, and you can even get your afternoon tea boxed up and take it away. Being so close to some of London’s green spaces means there are plenty of places for a picnic. 

Book The English Rose Tea Shop now
4 Lower Grosvenor Place, SW1W 0EJ
02079766280
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm & Saturday to Sunday 9am-6pm

The English Rose Tea Shop Cheap High Tea London

Image courtesy: theenglishrosecafe.co.uk

 

10. MAP Maison 

Location: Hackney
Price per person: £25
Food options: Vegetarian

MAP Maison serves up afternoon tea with a Spanish twist! And before you even think about food, there’s an eclectic tea selection to take your pick from. Carefully designed by one of the UK’s top tea specialists, it even includes the champagne of Oolong tea, Mi Lan Dan Cong, whose leaves are only found in one area of the world. On their menu, you’ll find a tapas-style selection including sourdough with Mediterranean toppings, an Iberico burger and vegetarian options.

Book MAP Maison now
321 Kingsland Road, E8 4DL
02072411441
Tuesday & Wednesday 5 pm-7 pm, Thursday 3 pm-7 pm, Friday 2 pm-7 pm, Saturday 12 pm – 5 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 7 pm

MAP Maison Cheap Afternoon Tea in London

Image courtesy: mapmaison.com

 

11. The Park Grand Lancaster Gate

Location: Paddington
Price per person: £14.50
Food options: Vegetarian 

Close to Hyde Park, The Park Grand Lancaster Gate is part of a 4-star boutique hotel and is open from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. It offers different options, including traditional afternoon tea, chocolate afternoon tea and even an Indian-inspired afternoon tea. Bring a friend as all experiences are for two. Vegetarian options available.

Book The Park Grand now
14-16 Craven Hill, Lancaster Gate, W2 3DU
02072620111
Daily 2.30pm-5.30pm

The Park Grand Lancaster Gate Cheap High Tea London

Image courtesy: parkgrandlancastergate.co.uk

 

12. Paul 

Location: Covent Garden
Price per person: £14.95
Food options: Vegetarian

For afternoon tea with a French twist, it’s got to be Paul. This establishment was actually the first Paul branch in the world and is just behind St Paul’s Church. It’s £14.95 per person for a traditional afternoon tea. Add £5 for prosecco and £7 for champagne if you’re feeling fancy! At the weekend you can even opt for bottomless bubbles for £24.95. It’s not just about the drinks, though, as the menu of French pastries and artisan breads will get your taste buds going.

Book Paul now
29 Bedford Street, WC2E 9ED
02039785507
Daily 8 am – 7 pm

So, there you have it – our selection of the most delicious afternoon tea and the best high tea in London that’s cheap. Want to try it out for yourself? Why not plan a trip to London and stay at one of Clink’s hostels, like the Clink78 Backpackers Youth Hostel in King’s Cross. It’s newly renovated, affordable, and a home away from home – whatever time of year you visit.