Langham Afternoon Tea Review with celebrity Chef Cherish Finden in London

An Afternoon Tea Etiquette Guide for Visiting London

Cream then jam? Jam on cream? You need this afternoon tea etiquette guide if you’re planning on visiting London and don’t want to embarrass yourself while enjoying one of England’s traditions.

In the video below you’ll learn the proper process for folding your napkin, using forks or not, stirring tea and more.

In several years of travel and food blogging I’ve had the opportunity to attend and review afternoon teas throughout London.

This is my current list of ‘bests’:
– Most creatively presented afternoon tea was the Halloween ARTea at Lancaster London.
– Best Food and Pastries is made by Cherish Finden, the former Pastry Chef at Langham London
– Best Food and Ambiance for the Price is Covent Garden Hotel and Charlotte Street Hotel (both are Firmdale Hotels)
– Best Concept is the Christmas Tea at Conrad St James, which is a creation of Pastry Chef Zoe

What I haven’t done (until now) is publish an afternoon tea etiquette guide, even though so many people ask questions about it when I go with or take them as guests to this carbalicious affair.

Take five minutes to watch this video to learn about what you should and shouldn’t do at an afternoon tea in London.

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afternoon tea etiquette guide for london

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  1. Dear Sunny
    Loved your video on tea in London
    One of my favorite places in the world is England and have been to there and London 8 times so far
    I do have question for you
    I was recently devastated to learn I am highly allergic to wheat and gluten
    Is there anywhere in London that serves a wheat and gluten free afternoon tea?
    I am worried on my next visit I will be unable to partake one of my favorite things to do while there due to my recently discovered severe allergies
    Hope can help me

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Tons of hotels offer gluten free teas, including the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tea. I’ve had many in London. Lancaster London (which is the Halloween Tea featured in the video) also works well with this request. The guilt free tea is at Intercontinental Park Lane I believe is guilt free. You need to let the hotel know in advance (usually a day or two) and they’ll accommodate you. The gluten feee versions aren’t quite as spectacular as the ‘originals’ but you will still have a great experience. Let me know if there’s a specific one of interest and I can tell you what I’ve heard about their gluten free offer. Thank you for watching!

  2. Sunny, You are TOO adorable. Love your videos. I’m an American writer (novelist) visiting London mid-November. Thanks for the tea tips, especially, how to pronounce scones. Lest I embarrass my very Southern self! Great posts. Dee Phelps

    1. Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I also published a video about the Christmas thugs to do in London that you can’t do in NYC over the weekend too. No any of the events will be happening when you’re here. I don’t mention Hogwarts in the Snow in the video, but I do have a separate blog post and video on that too. Best of luck and safe travels for your trip. Let me know if I can help further!

  3. As a Brit I am really surprised by this video! Do Americans not use a napkin for all meals? Also loves the scone pronunciation 🙂

    Great blog


  4. Sunny, as I’m from Cheshire I am lucky to be able to eat my scone any way I choose hehehe. And we do have an argument in my house of how to pronounce scone. I have always said scawn as you put it and my husband says that I’m posh for saying it that way. He says scone as in throne. Brits eh? Oh and your british accent was great. As we have England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as part of britain, we can say that your accent was a mixture of them all

    1. Hi! Scone rhymes with ‘gone’. It’s from the German ‘Schonne brot’ (brot is bread). Schonne (pronounced ‘shon-nuh’) has been anglicised in its spelling and become ‘scone’.

  5. most helpful Darling !! Going to London soon, 1st time of many I hope. – Terri (aka – Victorian throwback)

  6. Brit here who says scone as in gone, and I’m definitely not alone! Seriously if you want to see a room full of Brits become absolutely enraged, just start the scone pronunciation debate, it’s worse than the jam and cream thing! Most of your tips are totally correct though – if I saw someone using a fork for afternoon tea or making a ‘scone burger’ I’d shudder. Oh also, we usually just call Devonshire Devon. It’s a slightly weird one, it’s a Devonshire (DEV-n-sha) cream tea, but it’s from Devon 🙂

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