Hope I'm not asking a question that's been beaten to death and or that will cause a debate over the proper nomenclature (i.e.high tea, cream tea, etc.).
Essentially, I'm looking for current recommendations for great places to grab a traditional tea & a scone (and maybe something savory) in the afternoon in London. Doesn't have to be overtly fancy or formal; just delicious scones and perhaps some savory options. If they have any decaf tea options (for the kids), even better.
On our last trip in 2004, I learned that a brief self-imposed rest period with a good shot of something caffeinated and a delightful tray of carbohydrates around 3pm was a perfect antidote to the mid-day lull that comes with big city travel. I actually don't regularly drink coffee or even caffeinated tea, but got quickly addicted on that trip.
At the British Museum, I remember enjoying their afternoon tea options. Very good scones, and a stunning space. Are they any good any more?
We also had a very nice, if slightly more formal, tea service at the Basil Street Hotel, which at the time was a forum favorite I think. (Not sure if they're even around any more.) The interior was all dark upholstery and leather club chairs and floral chintz. But the service was all quiet and really welcoming and the savory options very delicious.
I'm generally *not* looking for an overly formal affair, or anything set amidst a crowd of tourists.
That said, we are spending our last night in London at the Intercontinental (thank you points). I noticed they have a very formal afternoon tea service... is it worth it?
The rest of the trip we'll be staying near Gloucester Road tube, but I'm open to recommendations anywhere.
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