Tea in London

Old Apr 30th, 2002, 05:34 AM
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Tea in London

Looking for a few suggestions on where to have tea in London. Have seen the usual recommendations in travel books--anywhere else recommended?
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 05:46 AM
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If you do a search here on "tea" or "afternoon tea" you will find many many comments and recommendations.
I took Londoner Ben Haines's advice and had afternoon tea at the Charing Cross Thistle Hotel Feb 02. Their Terrace Lounge is comfortable and bright from its large windows. Tea there is not the ceremonial formal experience you will have at the Dorchester or the Ritz, but on the other hand you don't have to change clothes if you've been out doing some hard sightseeing (although I would not wear jeans or such, they do get a business crowd). For 13.75# plus service they offered a complete tea of good sandwiches, outstanding scones with clotted cream, and pastries. A la Carte sandwiches and snacks are also available.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 07:28 AM
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someone else today brought some threads on afternoon tea temporarily to the top of the list on the left. They've sunk down a bit, but if you scroll down in today's postings you'll find them
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 08:02 AM
Ben Haines
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At present there are two Tea in London correspondences, both at 10.46 am, one ith 16 replies andne with 8. The Find mec hanism of this page will loc\ate them for you.

Ben Haines
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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Be aware that tea in the afternoon is mostly a tourist function these days (and in some places, a tourist rip off). Typical workers don't have time to dash off for afternoon tea. You might catch a few elderly people doing tea, ladies .. in from the suburbs type of thing, but mostly it is an overpriced tourist attraction. Save your money and do something more interesting. Almost all places "do teas", some more fancy then others and some a lot more costly, i.e. The Ritz, Brown's, Fortnum and Mason's .. etc. Frankly, I'd go for a nice dinner instead or lunch at some nice out outdoor cafe along the Thames (Butler's Wharf area has many)
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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DJ, we had wonderful "high tea" at Harrod's "Georgian Room." They even had a four piece ensemble for soothing entertainment as you sipped your tea selections and nibbled at the sandwiches and fine pastries. Casual tourist dress is accepted. Just one word of advice, don't eat a big lunch beforehand, lol. We started our tea partaking about 2p.m. Have fun.
Old Apr 30th, 2002, 09:29 AM
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Try the Basil Hotel! They serve a really nice tea and it is actually pretty reasonable and the setting is beautiful and relaxing! I've been there several times when I've been to London and the other customers seemed to have British accents so I dont think that it really is a "tourist" thing as Lori suggests. If I have a big breakfast I then usually skip lunch so a tea is just great around 4:00. The Basil is right behind Harrods. I find a tea to be really relaxing and a great thing to do while in England.
Old May 1st, 2002, 04:13 AM
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I second Lori's suggestion of using the money for a nice dinner or lunch instead. I live in London and have never known anyone (either friends or work colleagues) who would go to a fancy hotel for afternoon tea, it really is mostly a tourist thing. The only locals I could imagine taking part in these teas are women married to wealthy businessmen who have nothing else to do all day. The rest of us are out working!
Old May 1st, 2002, 05:22 AM
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I don't disagree with what Karen said, but there are some "tourist things" that one has to try for oneself I think, whether it's going to the Tower of London, or Madame Tussauds, or having an afternoon tea. When I visit London now I don't usually plan on one of the formal hotel teas such as at the Ritz or the Dorchester, but that's because I've done it in the past. Now if I stop for an afternoon break I want something less formal and less time-consuming.
Some people will go to one of the formal teas and enjoy it as a highlight of their trip; others go and then say they don't know what all the fuss is about for a light, expensive meal in a hotel dining room full of tourists. Nobody's wrong.
Old May 1st, 2002, 05:38 AM
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Most folks who say afternoon tea (not "High" tea) is a tourist thing are right and wrong. They are right - regular working Blokes are not taking tea at the Ritz, Browns, etc.

But the VAST majority of people there will be either "Ladies who lunch" types from London and the Home Counties in London for the day, or businessmen treating visitors from overseas. In the mix will be some "tourists". But the average Rick Steves, budget-type traveler is not going to spend $50 for tea.

A lovely afternoon tea is a wonderful thing - but not everyone's "cup of tea".
Old May 1st, 2002, 05:44 AM
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On the other hand, I remember last year visiting the Wallace Collection near Marble Arch primarily I had read about the collection itself and the architecture of the new addition, which includes a restaurant. Happened to be there at tea time and many of the participants appeared to be business people, not tourists.
Old May 1st, 2002, 06:55 AM
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I find it hard to believe that most business people would have a Tea, perhaps one or two here and there, but overall they would not have time for that sort of thing, at least not the people I know who work in London. Tea sounds more like a suburban women thing who is in town for a matinee or shopping or something like that, not a business clincher type thing, or a couple of old guys holding on to "tradition". There is a new place to eat at the Wallace Collection, I have not gone there since it was renovated tho.
Old May 1st, 2002, 07:09 AM
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We had tea at Brown's Hotel last spring on the day we arrived in London. It was a lovely way to spend the later part of the afternoon, after walking around for hours and when we were heavily feeling the effects of jet lag. Good pick me up!
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