What's better than a traditional afternoon tea, with warm scones, homemade jam and fresh cake? Afternoon tea delivered to your door, that's what. These London restaurants and bakeries now offer afternoon tea delivery service, so you don't even need to get dressed to get hold of the goods.
Cutter & Squidge afternoon tea delivery
When London went into lockdown, independent bakery Cutter & Squidge was one of the first places to pivot towards home delivery, first with luxury Easter eggs, and then with its afternoon tea.
We confess to having indulged twice during lockdown, and were left stuffed and very happy both times. Tea for two includes four scones (warm them in the microwave before tucking in), two pots of clotted cream, a pot of top-notch homemade jam, four pieces of cake, and a packet of tea. Understandably, it's not got the theatricality to it that Cutter & Squidge's in-house afternoon tea offers, but for an at-home alternative, it's a solid, good value option — though note that if you're doing things properly, you'll have to provide your own sarnies.
Cutter & Squidge afternoon tea at home, £29.90 for two people.
The Gentlemen Baristas afternoon tea delivery
Borough-based coffee shop and roastery The Gentlemen Baristas offers its afternoon tea for two for delivery, with a menu that focuses on fine, locally-sourced ingredients.
Prosciutto, rocket & shaved parmesan, or smoked salmon, sliced cucumber & fresh dill are just some of the sandwich options, followed up with the traditional scones, and cakes including caramel slice bites. As you'd expect from a business based on beans, freshly ground coffee is included, along with English breakfast tea for the traditionalists.
The Gentlemen Baristas afternoon tea box. £30 for two people.
Delivery area: UK-wide. Delivery is Thursday-Sunday, delivery charge is £7.
Ham Yard Hotel afternoon tea delivery
Firmdale Hotels — the owners of London's Ham Yard Hotel — aren't just offering afternoon tea delivery. They're offering a whole menu of afternoon tea options, including the rarely seen 'afternoon tea for one', ideal for anyone living alone. Tea for two, and vegetarian, gluten-free, and champagne versions are also available, and all include a selection of finger sandwiches and cakes, fruit and homemade scones, clotted cream and jam, with loose leaf tea to wash it all down.
But the pièce de résistance is the Sailors Farewell afternoon tea. It'll set you back £350 (!) for two people, but that includes Kit Kemp for Wedgwood's Sailors Farewell China for your table, so you can recreate the full hotel dining experience at home.
Firmdale Food at Home afternoon tea, from £25 for one person/£50 for two. Delivery is Friday-Sunday, place your order by Thursday for that weekend.
Delivery area: Most London postcodes, and they're looking to extend the radius in the coming weeks.
Brigit's Bakery afternoon tea delivery
Better known for its afternoon tea bus tours, Brigit's Bakery takes the idea of meals on wheels further by delivering afternoon tea to your home or office.
It's more of a professional catering service than something to satisfy your cake-based whims — though you can order with a minimum of four people. It's traditional afternoon tea with a French twist — think finger sandwiches, delicate cakes and pastries, and freshly baked scones. Vegan, veggie, halal and gluten-free options are available,
Afternoon tea, delivered by Brigit's Bakery. From £19 per person.
Delivery area: Delivery to WC2 is £10, Central London £20, and Greater London upon request.
Betty Blythe afternoon tea delivery
One of London's best kept secrets, Betty Blythe tea rooms in Hammersmith offers its traditional afternoon tea menu, delivered to your home (or office) in the form of its excellently-named Cakeaway menu.
You'll need a minimum of four people (max 200) to order, and Betty Blythe will also hire you the crockery and linen if you need it, making it ideal for a birthday party or baby shower situation.
Sandwich choices include cheddar cheese and chutney, and cucumber and cream cheese, with French macarons and Victoria sponge among the cake choices. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options are available
Betty Blythe afternoon tea delivery. Prices vary.
Delivery area: Within London. Price quote on application.
Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea hamper delivery
As with all things Fortnum, this is an absolute top-of-the-range, splash-the-cash, have-the-butler-call-the-chauffeur option. £500 is what the Fortnum's afternoon tea hamper will set you back. For that, you receive one of Fortnum's iconic wicker hampers, filled with a selection of goodies from the Queen's grocer, including preserves, cakes, and an "arsenal of biscuits" — oh, and the suggestion that you "could even hire a resident pianist, if you are truly committed".
Teas come in keepsake wooden caddies, and you even get a tea timer and art deco strainer to ensure your brew is top-notch. Not flash enough? Upgrade to the Monarch Hamper, priced at £750, or the Windsor Hamper (a cool grand — though it does include caviar).
Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea hamper. From £500.
Delivery area: Worldwide, except Australia and New Zealand (sorry, Antipodeans).