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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Impossible you say? London is full of surprises and bargains if you know where to find them. On June 10th, 1865 the Prince of Wales officially opened The Langham in London, a luxurious hotel that defined afternoon tea time. To celebrate that historic opening, enjoy tea time for just 7 pence on June 10th, 2011.

The Langham is known for its luxurious tea time traditions, which would usually put you back at least £38. For one day only The Langham will be offering their Wonderland Tea for a mere couple of pennies. Why 7p? That was the original price of afternoon tea 146 years ago.  This signature tea time includes a spread of sandwiches (yes, those triangle ones with no crust), scones with rich Devonshire cream, light-flaky pastries and a variety of English cakes.

London especially holds high standards when it comes to Afternoon Tea. Some of the world’s best tea houses and tea lounges can be found here, not surprisingly in the city’s most luxurious hotels. Afternoon Tea is the best way to catch up with friends and family, celebrate a special occasion or spend time with your sweetheart. Where did this tradition get started?

Tea drinking didn’t become popular until the beginning of the nineteenth century when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford complained about feeling a mid-afternoon lull. The solution: a pot of tea and some light snacks, served in her private salon. The idea spread, and before we knew it “tea and a walking in the fields” (in London terms: Hyde Park) was trendier than the latest fashions.

Unfortunately this tea tradition only lives on in the richest British households and when celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or engagement. But for those visiting on flights to London, it’s a special treat that, if nothing else, gives a little insight into the tea traditions that have shaped British culture over the last two centuries.

Where to drink Afternoon Tea in London

  • The Ritz
  • The Savoy
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • The Berkeley
  • The Lanesborough
  • The Dorchester
  • The Waldorf Hilton
  • The Metropolitan
  • The Orangery at Kensington Palace

Advance reservations are recommended, tea is usually served at 2:30 in the afternoon and again at 5:00.

If you’d like to take part in the anniversary tea at The Langham, sign up in an online reservation lottery. Guests will be notified on June 3, 2011 if they’ve won a place in the Palm Court to celebrate the event which will take place at 11:30 on June 10th, 2011. Remember, if you won, dress the part. This isn’t just any tea room fit for sneakers and the usual tourist garb.

Img: Snowdrop Meringue & Berries / Flickr cc.


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2 responses to “High tea in London for 7 pence

  1. Precious info especially for the tea lovers and for all the curious tourists that have learned about the British tea and want to give it a taste. At that bargain price how can stop at just one cup?!

    1. I know! Would be fantastic to get high tea for that price! Thankfully you can still find pretty nice spreads for afternoon tea for cheap in certain parts of the city, £10-15. Cakes, scones, tea, sarnies…. what more could you want for a mid-afternoon snack! Thanks for you comment!

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