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Best tea where you don't have to dress up

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Best tea where you don't have to dress up

I remember being an exchange student in London and having the best "all you can eat" tea at Harrods...and we were able to go in our jeans.

Do they still do that kind of tea at Harrods?

If not (or even if so), where would you all recommend for a very good tea but where we won't be turned away because we aren't dressed properly? (When in London with my son two years ago, they almost wouldn't let us have tea at Fortnum and Mason because he was wearing shorts. After I told them he was only 14, they did allow us in.)

I want to give my daughter the true "high tea" experience but am trying to pack light!

Thanks!!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

I had high tea at the Savoy about a year ago, and we were all dressed in typical tourist attire (jeans, sweaters). Some of the other clientele did turn their heads towards our group but that might have bec. we were excessively chatty and excited.

London, United...
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2. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

Would your daughter like to have tea near a Palace? If so, take her to the Orangery, in Kensington Gardens. Tea is traditional but low key - bookings are not accepted - and you may dress as you wish.

There is a swell new-ish place on Westbourne Grove, The Tea Palace, which may appeal. Haven't been, but it looks quite swell from the outside. The Cafe in the Crypt, at St Martin in the Fields, does tea and cakes at a v reasonable price in v nice surroundings.

A wonderful place for a cup of tea and a pastry (sweet or savoury) is midgey little Maison Bertaux in Soho. It's been around for a squillion years but serves the real deal for tea - leaf tea with an extra pot of hot water so you can adjust the strength - and lovely French pastries. Worth a visit.

One last place that's a bit more formal is the Wolseley, near the Ritz. It's a former car dealership that has been fancied up into a v swish resto, but one where you can have tea and scones with jam and cream if that's what you wish, rather than the full meal deal.

Bon appetit.

Nice, France
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3. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

I'd recommend The Orangery as well. It won't be an 'all you can eat' tea (free refills are only available at the more formal/pricier afternoon teas), but it's in a lovely venue in Kensington Gardens and is very informal. The pricier places all have or prefer a 'smart casual' dress code.

Harrods serves both a cream tea (scones & cream) and an afternoon tea (sandwiches, scones & cream) in their Café Punch. And they house a branch of Ladurée Tea Room, which does lovely pastries with tea.

simpsonville,sc
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4. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

FYI what you are seeking I think is "afternoon" tea or a "cream" tea. We Americans think because it's fancy it's "high" but actually "high tea" is a middle class supper type meal w/ tea. "High" because it was served at the high-dining room -table as opposed to the low tea table (what we call a coffee table.

If you go to York try Betty's

London
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5. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

I agree with the above about the Orangery. It's fancy without being formal.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

Thank you all.

I have been to the Orangery recently, which was really nice, although for some reason I thought they only did tea and scones, and no sandwiches.

Sorry about the confusion...I thought high tea was like a light lunch with sandwiches and "dessert" (the cakes/scones) and cream tea was just with scones. I am looking for the little sandwiches too!

Is Harrods still dress down?

Sharon

Nice, France
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7. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

Harrods' Georgian Room is 'smart casual,' not informal.

Ladurée has no dress code. I haven't been to the other café in Harrods, but I'd be surprised if there were a dress code.

High Tea is supper with a meat course. What you are looking for is called afternoon tea.

You'll be expected to dress 'smart casual' at many venues. Even jeans can be smart casual if you dress them up with a nice top or jacket and nice shoes (not trainers/tennis shoes).

If you don't fancy The Orangery, you could check out Richoux (branches across London) or The Wolseley. Tea at the latter is about £19.50pp. They too request smart casual dress, but jeans are fine. TP mentioned the Tea Palace, which will probably be the venue for the next TALF tea meet. It's a modern venue rather than atmospheric, and is also informal.

Gouda, The...
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8. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

I have had afternoon tea in the National Dining Rooms in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. No dress code, nice view of Trafalgar Square and a huge afternoon tea for only 14,50.

Nice, France
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9. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

That reminds me, you could also try the Portrait Restaurant in the National Portrait Gallery (round the corner from the National Gallery). Great views over Trafalgar Square as well:

www.npg.org.uk/live/portafternoontea.asp

http://www.npg.org.uk/live/portrest.asp

The Portrait tea is £12.95pp or you can order items à la carte.

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10. Re: Best tea where you don't have to dress up

The Orangery no longer does a cream tea. You can,of course, order tea and select from their array of scones & cakes and even order sandwichs although they probably won't be 'tea' sandwiches. This may end up being more expensive than a cream tea at Richouxs or similar place. In spite of this I like the Orangery and always visit when in London.

You might have a look at the cafe/restaurant in The Wallace Collection on Manchester Sq. For a true Cream Tea, you'll need to go to the Ritz or someplace similar, and I wouldn't do that in jeans.