1. Rolling Scones at London Hilton on Park Lane
Celebrating its own 50th anniversary this year as well as that of the Rolling Stones (who played host to two sell-out Rolling Stones concerts in Hyde Park this month), the London Hilton on Park Lane has created the Rolling Scones afternoon tea. Inspired by best-selling albums, songs and other iconic symbols associated with the band, the music-themed treats come served on an edible chocolate plate and include cherry flavoured biscuit lips; a 1978-inspired rainbow lolly; chocolate button cake; cheese cake with a tattoo twist; and tumbling dice based on the band’s top 10 hit.
2. Tea and politics at the Houses of Parliament, London
As an optional add-on to the popular ‘Blue Badge’ guided tours of the Houses of Parliament, afternoon tea is now being served in the elegant surroundings of the historic Pugin Room in the House of Commons. The tea, available on Saturdays until 24 August and on the first four Thursdays and Fridays in August, serves up treats such as citrus-marinated Scottish salmon with cream cheese, lemon curd and chive on a mini bagel and Valronha chocolate delice.
3. Fashion tea at The Berkeley, Knightsbridge, London
Strawberry compotes, chocolate biscuits and fancy panna cotta are all set for the annual couture makeover inspired by the world’s top fashion designers, as The Berkeley in Knightsbridge launches its new Spring/Summer 2013 Prêt-à-Portea collection. Designed to add a creative twist to the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs for the style conscious. In addition, the Berkeley has forged links with Wedgewood who have produced a bespoke collection of fine-bone china for Pret-a-Portea this season.
4. Wonka’s delight at The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
Inspired by Roald Dahl’s much loved book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opened as a new stage musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June, The Chesterfield Mayfair has launched its Charlie and the Chesterfield afternoon tea, available until September. Creative treats include a Fizzy Lifting drink, a special Willy Wonka tea, the Oompa Loompa Cupcake, the famous Wonka Bar as well as a selection of scrumdiddlyumtious finger sandwiches and fruit scones, plus an everlasting gobstopper, candy cane and lollipop.
The new afternoon tea is available this summer from May to September, and is available daily at the hotel's Butlers Restaurant.
5. Downton Abbey style at The Cadogan, London
Fans of Downton Abbey can gain an exclusive insight into the show, its cast and characters at special afternoon teas on Mondays throughout the summer at The Cadogan hotel, hosted by Jessica Fellowes, the niece of the show’s creator. Jessica, who has written two worldwide best-selling books on the series, The World of Downton Abbey, and The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, will give a talk providing insight into the real-life inspirations for the characters as well as behind-the-scenes secrets, and take questions from guests.
6. Very high tea at the Paramount, Centre Point, London
High tea really is high tea at Paramount, the restaurant and bar at the tip of Centre Point. For the tea at the tallest point in London head up 32 floors and enjoy 360° views over the capital, while sipping on the restaurant’s extensive range of teas and coffees, including Jasmine Pearls – hand-rolled and scented with fresh jasmine flowers for a rich, round taste – and Organic Bohea Lapsang.
7. Thai Tea at Nipa, London
Created by the award-winning all-lady kitchen brigade at Nipa, London’s first Thai afternoon tea includes Thai style sandwiches, savouries, scones and pastries. The Thai Afternoon Tea will be served from 2pm until 4pm from Friday to Sunday. It is priced at £22 per person, £31 with a glass of Champagne – or for those in a celebratory mood, £32 with a glass of pink Champagne.
8. Endorsed by the Tea Guild at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny, Wales
Enjoy freshly prepared sandwiches, savouries, cakes and scones at Abergavenny’s Angel Hotel, members of the prestigious UK Tea Guild and recipients of The Tea Guild’s top national award in 2011. Build up your appetite for the delicious tea in the Brecon Beacons National Park; the hotel lies on its edge in the historic market town of Abergavenny, just 45 minutes’ drive from the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
9. Tea on a steam train on the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway near Edinburgh, Scotland
With seats available on the newly restored buffet car dating back to the 1960s, visitors on board a lovingly-restored steam locomotive can indulge in afternoon tea. The journey lasts just over an hour and ten minutes and there is much more to see at the site including Scotland’s largest railway museum, less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and Glasgow.
10. Gin in a teacup at The Carlton Hotel Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland
It’s not just tea that’s served at afternoon tea at the Carlton Hotel Prestwick, a 45-minute drive from Glasgow. The hotel has introduced some afternoon style with Afternoon Teas with Cocktails. Making it a truly local affair is the gin used in the cocktails is supplied by Hendriks, a small-batch gin hand-crafted in Scotland.