11 of the finest afternoon teas around Britain, from the Ritz to the Cornish hotel that inspired Wind in the Willows

Claire Jackson makes her choices, from the household-name London hotels to options further afield.

The Ritz, London W1

The Mayfair hotel offers 18 different types of loose-leaf tea, served alongside mouthwatering sandwiches, scones and pastries — replenished on request — beneath the twinkling chandeliers of the Palm Court.

From £58pp — www.theritzlondon.com

The Savoy, London WC2

The London hotel has served afternoon tea since it opened in 1889. Today, children are invited to sample The Tiger Who Came to Tea at The Savoy, a themed menu created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the late Judith Kerr’s imaginative story.

From £65pp — www.thesavoylondon.com

Fowey Hall, Cornwall

Fowey Hall may be familiar to fans of Kenneth Grahame: the setting was the inspiration behind Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows. The Cornish hotel offers family-friendly (dogs and children) afternoon teas — with plenty of clotted cream, naturally.

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From £22.50pp — www.foweyhallhotel.co.uk

Aqua Shard, London SE1

The Mary Poppins-themed afternoon tea takes its inspiration from the first instalment of P. L. Travers’s series, with ‘strike me pink’ sponge, to be enjoyed with panoramic views of the capital’s skyline.

From £49pp — www.aquashard.co.uk

The Pump Room, Bath

A visit to the Roman Baths is the original spa day and the on-site restaurant is the perfect place to take tea as the house band, the Pump House Trio, plays. In addition to the Pump Room’s afternoon Darjeeling, sample the hot spa water, purported to contain 43 minerals.

From £27pp — www.romanbaths.co.uk

The Dorchester, London W1

Afternoon tea at Park Lane’s premiere establishment is served in the Promenade, where diners are surrounded by towering flower arrangements and treated to a selection of classic cakes and sandwiches, washed down with The Dorchester’s own blend of tea.

From £65pp — www.dorchestercollection.com

Fortnum & Mason, London W1

The Piccadilly department store has specialised in fine and rare teas for three centuries, many of which can be sampled in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, together with a classic collection of cakes and scones, served on the company’s iconic St James tableware.

From £55pp — www.fortnumandmason.com

Bettys, various venues

A traditional afternoon tea is served all day, every day in Bettys’s six venues, with a special centenary edition on offer this year to mark the tearoom’s anniversary. Afternoon tea can be booked in both the Harrogate and York branches.

From £19.95pp — www.bettys.co.uk

The Langham, London W1

Palm Court at The Langham has hosted afternoon tea for more than 150 years and the experience is a feast for the senses. Seasonal sandwiches and cakes are served on Wedgwood tableware, with live piano music.

From £62pp — www.langhamhotels.com

Claridge’s, London W1

The Mayfair hotel’s Art Deco Foyer & Reading Room offers the perfect setting for a luxurious afternoon tea that remains faithful to the traditional combination of finger sandwiches, warm scones and sweet pastries, accompanied by loose-leaf tea — and a glass of Laurent-Perrier.

From £70pp — www.claridges.co.uk

Sketch, London W1

‘Enter this place with an open mind,’ asks Sketch, where afternoon tea in the plush gallery is not so much served as performed, surrounded by David Shrigley’s engaging artwork. The menu features caviar, egg and soldiers and extraordinary teas.

From £59pp — www.sketch.london