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There’s nothing more confusing than trying to figure out where to have the best afternoon tea in London, which is where this St. Ermin’s afternoon tea review comes in!
Do you go for something fancy, something casual, something in the city center, something on a boat?
Should you keep it traditional, or get a bit exotic?
What about seating, inside or outside?
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Anyway, after 7 years of living in London and trying afternoon teas across the city, I’m ready to start bringing you the best of the best, the crème of the crop, the “go here and I promise you’ll have a good time.”
And today, after much research and a lot of cakes, that spotlight is on afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel in this St. Ermin’s Hotel afternoon tea review.
Want to check out my other favorite afternoon teas in London? Here you go!
- Chesterfield Mayfair Afternoon Tea (best for families and teens)
- Whittard’s Covent Garden Afternoon Tea (best for couples and if you want something fast)
- Lanesborough Hotel Afternoon Tea (best if you want to be fancy)
Where is St. Ermin’s Hotel?
St. Ermin’s Hotel is perfectly placed near St. James Park, so it’s very much central for all of your before and after sightseeing needs, but it’s tucked away in it’s own little oasis so you don’t feel as if you’re in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
The grand entrance with the beautiful foliage adds to this secret garden type of atmosphere and helps set the mood for your afternoon tea as you walk inside.
Why St. Ermin’s Hotel for Afternoon Tea?
The afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s is just the right blend of traditional and new.
You’ve got the classic scones and clotted cream and jam, along with sandwiches and cakes, but each season they put a new spin on their menu.
For instance, we tried the honey afternoon tea, which is in celebration of the bees who live and produce honey at St. Ermin’s on the third floor!
Honey was infused into many of the sandwiches and desserts, and when combined with the excellent tea selection, you truly felt like you were experiencing a unique, while still classic afternoon tea.
If you’re coming to London, you’ll also appreciate some of our other London guides, including…
x The Ultimate London Packing List for All Seasons
x London’s Most Iconic Attractions to Add to Your Bucketlist
x A Dummy’s Guide to Getting Around London
The Afternoon Tea Experience at St. Ermin’s Hotel
When you arrive for your afternoon tea booking, you’ll notice that there is a gorgeous interior tea room as well as an outdoor terrace.
In the nicer months, say if you’re visiting London in August, the outdoor terrace offers a nice breeze and chic outdoor seating, while the interior tea room provides a year-round classic atmosphere.
First things first, you’ll be given the menu and asked to choose which type of tea you would like to drink, ranging from classic English breakfast teas to herbal teas.
As someone who doesn’t normally drink tea (I know, I know), I chose the herbal berry tea and it was the best tea I’ve ever had!
We were given a “tea timer” to help us know when the tea would be ready to drink, and from there it was the start of our afternoon tea with the sandwiches and cakes delivered first.
The sandwiches came in five different flavors, and because I was having the vegetarian menu, the staff ensured that I got my own sandwiches on a separate plate.
This is where the uniqueness of St. Ermin’s afternoon tea shone through, as the fillings in the sandwiches were more inspired than your normal afternoon tea selection.
From there, it was time to continue sipping tea and try the desserts.
Again, honey was the theme, but the flavors were so varied.
From an amazing apple dessert in the shape of an actual apple to a banana flavored cake, you got much more than your standard afternoon tea offerings.
To help us finish off our tea, warm scones and clotted cream and jam were brought over.
I preferred this to having it all delivered at once, as it takes a while to get through the tea and enjoy it, and scones are best warm!
How Much Does it Cost?
The sittings for afternoon tea are 1.5 hours and the adult afternoon tea costs £38 per person without prosecco and wine, and £43 per person with a glass of champagne.
If you’re got little ones with you, it only cost £22 per child for the adorable children’s afternoon tea which has more kid-friendly flavors and portions.
It’s my top pick for something fun to do with kids in London for this reason!
How to Book Afternoon Tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel
You can book afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel online here.
Make sure to do so in advance, as spaces can fill up and you’ll want to make sure you snag reservations!
What else should I not miss in London?
If you’re visiting London soon, here’s a very brief rundown of a few of my other favorites to make sure you don’t miss anything!
- Hidden London Walking Tour – this tour is the absolute best if you want to see London in a different light and uncover hidden nooks, crannies, and histories that you won’t get on your normal, run-of-the-mill London walking tour. Click here to check prices and book.
- Historical Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill War Rooms – if you’re a history buff or even mildly interested in all of the insane things that have happened in London, particular during the wars, you have to book this tour which is an absolute bargain for the tour + entry to the Churchill War Rooms (basically two must-dos in one). Click here to check prices and book.
UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs
🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?
Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here, a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.
🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?
Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one, which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.
🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?
The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.
🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?
📳 Will my phone work in the UK?
Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.
🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?
Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system.