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The Savoy Afternoon Tea review | What you really need to know!

The Savoy Afternoon Tea review | What you really need to know!

savoy london afternoon tea

Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Eve Dawes

Afternoon Tea at The Savoy London is World famous but is it worth it?

Afternoon Tea at The Savoy London is somewhat of an institution and very much part of English culture and history. If you’ve been searching for the best places for afternoon tea in London The Savoy London will have come up top every time. In this Savoy Afternoon Tea review I’m sharing how to book, what to wear, what to expect, how long it takes and everything you need to know.

The Savoy London afternoon tea what wear dress code

This post contains affiliate links which do not affect the price or my opinions in any way.

The Savoy’s afternoon tea is served inside in the Thames Foyer which is right in the centre of The Savoy hotel in London on The Strand. They used to serve it outside as well but the English weather being as unreliable as it is, made them keep it to inside only. My Grandfather used to work there, so it’s always had a place in my Mum’s heart and in mine.

The Savoy London Afternoon Tea

The Savoy Afternoon Tea Review | Ambience

Stepping through the doors is like stepping back in time. It’s such a beautifully maintained hotel full of rich mahogany tones, beautiful floral arrangements and marble floors.

Don’t miss a photo opportunity both in front of the hotel and inside the hotel by the entrance in front of the Thames Foyer. They often have a floral arch or some other display to take photos at.

The Savoy afternoon tea review

The Thames Foyer itself is flooded with light from the domed atrium spotlights and chandeliers. Ornate pillars and artwork fill the room and comfortable chairs and sofa’s make sitting here for hours eating afternoon tea a highlight of any afternoon in London.

The Savoy Thames Foyer afternoon tea

The tables, unlike in many other hotels, are well spread out. So it’s never too loud and you’re not eavesdropping on other conversations. Even the live piano music which takes place during afternoon tea is the perfect volume to create ambience without taking over.

best afternoon tea London Savoy hote

What do you get at The Savoy Afternoon Tea | The Menu

The menu for afternoon tea at The Savoy caters to pretty much all food preferences and dietary restrictions. Which includes a Vegan Afternoon Tea, a Vegetarian Afternoon Tea, Gluten Free (please provide them with at least 72 hours notice for gluten free) and a Children’s Afternoon Tea menu. They also asked if we had any allergies or intolerances once we were sat.

While some places are offering themed afternoon tea, The Savoy’s Afternoon Tea and High Tea is very much a traditional menu with a slight twist on the classics. Which includes:

  • Sandwiches (subject to change)
  • Savoury bites (subject to change)
  • Various pastries (subject to change)
  • Savoy cakes (subject to change)
  • Plain and raisin scones with clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd.
afternoon tea savoy london sandwiches

When we went the sandwiches were coronation chicken, tomato & cream cheese, Goat’s cheese & watercress and egg and tarragon mustard. Obviously with the crusts cut off. You are served 1 finger of each sandwich but can ask for as many more as you wish. It was the coronation chicken that was all of our tables favourite.

The savoury bites were a hot smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar tartlet which was divine and British salt beef and wasabi slaw bagel which wasn’t to my taste. There’s so much food it really doesn’t matter if you don’t like an item or 2.

The pastries and cakes were a strawberry tart, apricot and cream breton, a hazelnut, lime and coconut ganache Financier, and chocolate and caramel finger. For my chocolate lovers, save room for the chocolate and caramel fingers as they’re rich and divine.

No traditional afternoon tea is complete without scones and the Savoy’s are light, fresh and delicious. If you don’t eat dairy or are lactose intolerant they can substitute the clotted cream. My Mum was given their rhubarb jam instead which we all wanted instead of the lemon curd as it was so good!

savoy afternoon tea london traditional scones pastries

Tea and drinks

If you’re a tea lover, you’re in luck. The hardest decision of your afternoon will be deciding on which of over the 30 teas on offer you’re going to drink. The tea is bottomless, which is one of the aspects that makes it good value for money. If you don’t like tea, coffee is an option.

A glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne or Nyetimber sparkling wine can be added to make your experience extra special. To me no afternoon tea is complete without bubbles so it’s always an add on for me.

High Tea at the Savoy London

If you opt for High Tea at The Savoy you are served all of the above plus a hot course which at the time of writing this was a pan seared stone bass.

Guests have been coming to the Thames Foyer to enjoy our famous Savoy Afternoon Tea for over a century, a feature of the hotel since it opened in 1889. To this day, we honour the traditional service style of Afternoon Tea, a custom that dates back to 1840.

The Savoy London

What’s the difference between afternoon tea and high tea

It varies from place to place but at The Savoy London, it’s the addition of one hot course. What’s lovely is that you don’t have to decide at the beginning. You can see how full you are after the sandwiches and decide then whether you want to stick to just the traditional afternoon or change to the High Tea option.

savoy afternoon tea review

The Savoy Afternoon Tea Review | Service

The service was excellent from start to finish. From checking on intolerances to keeping our tea cups full all afternoon to making sure we’d had enough of everything. As well as even offering to go boxes for the cakes and scones we hadn’t managed to finish.

What to wear to Afternoon Tea at The Savoy | Dress code

If you’re wondering what should I wear to afternoon tea at The Savoy? The dress code is smart casual. I love the tradition of dressing up for afternoon tea. So for ladies I would suggest a dress that’s not too revealing or casual.

Stay away from denim, tank tops and sneakers which are frowned upon. Another big no no at the table is hats and gloves. Hats and gloves are fine to arrive in but are never to be worn inside at the table. It’s a big faux pas often overlooked.

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For men, jackets and ties aren’t required but a shirt and trousers are ideal. The same as for women, avoid denim, tank tops, most sneakers and wearing a hat inside.

Best places for Afternoon Tea in London

For me, there’s only 3 places that compete for the title of best place for Afternoon Tea in London: The Ritz, The Savoy London and Claridge’s Hotel. There are lots of other beautiful places to have afternoon tea in London but I love the atmosphere and history of these London hotels and how traditional their afternoon teas are.

The Savoy Afternoon Tea Review | FAQ’s

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to afternoon tea at the Savoy London.

What days and hours is afternoon tea served at the savoy?

Afternoon tea at The Savoy London is served everyday:

  • Monday-Tuesday 12:00pm-4:00pm (last seating at 2.45pm)
  • Wednesday-Sunday: 12-6:00pm (last seating 4.45pm)
savoy london afternoon tea review

How much is Afternoon Tea per guest?

Afternoon Tea is currently £75, High Tea £85, an extra £20 for a glass of champagne plus tip. The Children’s Afternoon Tea menu costs £37.50 and is available for children up to 12 years old.

Is The Savoy afternoon tea worth it?

I personally think it’s worth every penny as it’s all about the experience. I know some other Savoy afternoon tea reviews say it’s expensive but I really don’t think it’s overly expensive for a 5 star hotel in central London. Especially as I’m also always too full for dinner afterwards. So it’s basically 2 meals in 1. You’re also paying for the live music, ambience and service.

How long does afternoon tea at the Savoy take?

That depends on how fast you eat and whether you’re there to relax and enjoy the afternoon or in a rush to see as much as possible in London if you’re only on a short visit. I personally like to enjoy afternoon tea for about 2 hours but also because my Mum and I are both slow eaters.

savoy london lady afternoon tea

Is Champagne included in the price?

The Savoy’s Traditional Afternoon Tea and High Tea do not include Champagne. However, you can pay by the glass or bottle for their house Champagne Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée or Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rose.

How to book The Savoy for afternoon tea

You can quickly and easily book any of The Savoy London restaurants on Open Table and/or book to stay at the hotel. I’d suggest booking as far in advance as possible due to it’s popularity.

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