If you're planning a short break in London, you're likely to be eagerly researching all the best things to do, see and experience in the capital. While there will be plenty of amazing things competing for your attention, one quintessentially British tradition you should not miss out on is afternoon tea.
The city serves some outstanding afternoon teas, with many restaurants receiving accolades for the quality of their fare. The majority of London's top afternoon tea-serving restaurants can be found in the most prestigious holiday accommodation, such as Mayfair hotels.
Indeed, these well-known establishments are famous for the calibre of their cuisine and the ritual of afternoon tea is often a strong tourist attraction in itself, making booking in advance an essential consideration if you want to be sure of avoiding disappointment.
So, once you have booked your short break and based yourself in luxurious accommodation such as the Sheraton Park Lane, why not select a venue for an afternoon tea treat?
Perhaps the most famous of all the afternoon tea destinations, the Ritz is certainly one of the top purveyors of the classic light meal. Dressing in formal attire and dining in lavish, Louis XVI-style surroundings, you'll certainly find that tucking into the sandwiches and scones here is a real experience.
You can also opt to include a glass of chilled champagne with your meal, which can be a wonderful addition for special occasions. And if it's your birthday, why not indulge in a celebration tea, which features delicious birthday cake?
While the Ritz may be widely considered synonymous with the perfect afternoon tea experience, it's certainly not the only London venue which offers exceptionally good fare.
Nestled in the Chesterfield hotel in Mayfair, The Conservatory restaurant is a highly-acclaimed eatery when it comes to afternoon tea. As well as boasting wonderful snacks, it also offers a fun range of options when it comes to the theme of your tea.
While you can simply indulge in the undoubtedly delicious traditional tea, you can also choose to add champagne to your selection of sandwiches, scones, pastries and cupcakes. Alternatively, if your sweet tooth imbues you with endless chocolate cravings, why not go for the chocolate lovers tea?
Chocolate scones, chocolate pastries and - of course - hot chocolate make up the base for this rich afternoon meal, which is guaranteed to delight all those addicted to the creamy confectionary.
Over at the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, you have the chance of another afternoon tea experience in the Montagu lounge. The emphasis here is on traditional teas, so you can expect thinly-sliced sandwiches and classic plain scones dolloped with clotted cream and jam.
Fruit tarts, mini desserts and champagne are among the delicious extras you may find gracing the elegant tiered stands. As you dine, you can enjoy charming views over the scenic Portman Square gardens.
In Bloomsbury you will find the Conservatory at The Montague on the Gardens serving another fine example of afternoon tea. In addition to traditional sandwiches and scones, you can tuck into macaroons, meringues and mousses from midday to 18:00 local time.
The ideal way to relax and refresh yourself during days out exploring all the capital has to offer, afternoon tea is as much of an experience as it is a delicious light meal.
To make sure your break carries the same sense of luxury as a high-calibre afternoon tea, book yourself into lavish accommodation such as the Hilton Park Lane and really treat yourself.