Photo: The Athenaeum
The Tea Guild has been busy tasting and testing the afternoon teas on offer all over London, and today they announced that The Athenaeum in Piccadilly has taken the top spot for this year.
Judge Irene Gorman praised the hotel for its "demonstration of exactly how special afternoon tea has become. The elegant surroundings make afternoon tea a memorable occasion and an experience to cherish, aided by delightfully friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff, and with delicious food and teas faultlessly presented. It is easy to understand why this leading establishment attracts so many, both the young and the old, to take afternoon tea".
So what's on offer in the award-winning Garden Room? For a start, there are three different menus to choose from - The Honey Tea Menu, the Garden Room Menu and the Afternoon Tea Menu, which feature delights such as honeycomb pastries, the classics - freshly baked scones and toasted crumpets and fairy cakes with sugar flowers.
As for the tea selection - they've got everything from Chinese white tea to a peach infused green version and the Evergreen Tea can be washed down with a glass of rose petal champagne.
Sounds too good to be true? It's available for a relatively reasonable £28.50 per person or
£35.00 including a glass of Champagne. There are three daily sittings: 12:30pm, 3pm and 5:30pm. Find out more at The Athenaeum.
See 10 more places to try afternoon tea all over the UK.
The Perfect 10: Afternoon teas
The lowdown: Edinburgh's Tigerlily is the city's top boutique hotel. It's small and stylish but more importantly, its George Street location makes it the ideal place to stop for an afternoon tea break after a day of shopping. Choose from the Tigerlily Tea, complete with sandwiches, scones and cup cakes, or the less traditional but equally delicious Chocolate Tea. A Veuve Clicquot Tea is also available for a truly decadent Mother's Day treat.
What's the damage: From £9.95 a person.
Point me in the right direction: Tiger Lily
The lowdown: If you're after something a little more soothing, look no further than Attic Tea Bar. Attic has made a name for itself in Bristol as the place to go for Chinese tea. From Green Chinese Sencha to Jasmine Phoenix Pearls, this is afternoon tea with a difference. It's nice and healthy too, but it would be silly not to sample one of those delicious looking muffins on display!
What's the damage: All teas are £2.10 per cup.
Point me in the right direction: ATTIC Tea
The lowdown: 365 acres of Wiltshire parkland, an idyllic country mansion and award winning tea sounds too good to be true but this is what guests can expect at The Manor House Hotel. It was awarded the 'Top City and Country Hotel Award' by the Tea Guild last year so you'll be tasting some of the best afternoon tea around. Even better, it's great value for money too.
What's the damage: Cream tea from £13 per person.
Point me in the right direction: The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club
The lowdown: Cotswolds' hideaways don't get much better than Barnsley House. Giant fireplaces, wooden floors and stunning English gardens make this the perfect setting for a spot of tea. A good tip for fussy eaters; guests can choose their own sandwich fillings to accompany the homemade scones and baked cakes so there's no excuse not to indulge!
What's the damage: £18 per person.
Point me in the right direction: Barnsley House
The lowdown: Oxford's 17th century Old Parsonage Hotel is a short walk from the city centre and it's warm, luxurious interior makes it the ideal spot to take a break from sight-seeing. Choose between the Light Tea option or the for the full works, it doesn't get better than the Very High Tea.
What's the damage: From £7.95.
Point me in the right direction: The Old Parsonage Hotel
The lowdown: Spoil your mum with afternoon tea at The River Bar at Manchester's Lowry Hotel. The chic, contemporary setting is the perfect way to complete a city break.
What's the damage: From £19.95.
Point me in the right direction: http://www.thelowryhotel.com/
The lowdown: Mums will not be disappointed with afternoon tea at The Pump Room. Located in Bath's World Heritage Site, the Victorian interior is breathtaking. That's not to mention the delectable treats on offer at the Tea Time Bakery. Quickes cheddar crumpets? Yes please!
What's the damage: Tea for two is £34.00.
Point me in the right direction: http://www.searcys.co.uk/the-pump-room/pump-room/
The lowdown: For afternoon tea with a difference, look no further than London's Bob Bob Ricard. English classics such as custard tart, Victoria sandwich and homemade lemonade are not to be missed but this luxury restaurant is also famous for its rare collection of Russian vodka. Watch out for the dangerously raspeberry collins.
What's the raspberry collins; it's dangerously delicious.£23.50 for the full works
Point me in the right direction: Bob Bob Ricard
The lowdown: If you're going to go for tea in Harrogate, it has to be at Betty's. Since it opened in 1919, it has become famous for its selection of 50 different teas and coffees and mouth-watering window displays. Reservations aren't available in the café, but bookings can be made for Betty's traditional afternoon teas in the Imperial Room on Mother's Day.
What's the damage: From £8.25 for two people.
Point me in the right direction: http://www.bettys.co.uk/
The lowdown: The Langham's Palm Court is one of London's most famous destinations for afternoon tea. Set in an elegant dining room with a tea sommelier on hand, you and your mum will enjoy being spoilt rotten for an afternoon. It's no surprise that the hotel won the prize for 'Best Afternoon Tea in London' last year. Try the Wonderland Tea for something extra special, complete with chocolate mousse and handmade ice-lollies for a real fine dining experience.
What's the damage: Afternoon tea starts at £39.50.
Point me in the right direction: http://london.langhamhotels.co.uk/index.html