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Headhunters’ hangouts: Afternoon tea, anyone? A client meeting to remember

Posted: May 2024
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Aren’t you tired of going to the same restaurants and coffee houses to entertain your clients and colleagues? Why not switch it up and opt for a sprinkling of decadence and an elegant cuppa in one of London's charming venues? What about entertaining your clients, especially those based out of London, with some British tradition. It’s not as stuffy as we envisaged… in fact, it’s rather fun and memorable.

We say ditch the lunches and bring on the cucumber sandwiches. We set out to discover what London has to offer and these ‘afternoon tea’ hotspots were our clear favourites. All within walking distance of underground stations, of course, although we highly recommend a cab when you roll out afterwards!

The Lanesborough - Knightsbridge, SW1X 7TA
9 min walk from Knightsbridge underground station, 13 min walk from Green Park underground

The Lanesborough says: “An occasion to be treasured”.

We say: “We agree! Afternoon tea in The Lanesborough Grill is quite an experience. The setting is a beautiful, grand room with a fabulous skylight, massive chandelier and a piano playing familiar classics in the background. From May 2024, afternoon tea is regally themed in celebration of the launch of Bridgerton Season 3 on Netflix. I ate rather delicious miniature edible crown and the sandwiches and scones were super tasty. Superb, attentive service; we felt well looked after here.”

Fortnum & Mason – Piccadilly, W1A 1ER
4 min walk from Piccadilly Circus, 5 min walk from Green Park underground station

Fortnum & Mason says: “Epitomising the sophistication of Afternoon and High Tea in all its splendour, our Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was named in honour of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2012, when she formally opened the room, in the company of their Royal Highnesses the then Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge. And today and every day, it is the perfect place for your Afternoon Tea party.”

We say: “This afternoon tea seemed to be bottomless sandwiches and cakes! We sat in one of the large team rooms upstairs with a lot of other tables - traditionally decorated and pretty enough although not grand. You can’t go wrong with Fortnums as everything is beautifully presented and on brand and then after you have eaten too much (as they offer additional sandwiches and ‘help yourself to the cake table’ even after you have finished), you can shop for more tea and beautifully packaged biscuits!”

The Ivy – multiple locations but for a City meeting we particularly like Liverpool Street, EC2M 1QS
2 min walk from Liverpool Street station

The Ivy says: “A fashionable and sociable affair, Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Collection is the perfect mid-afternoon treat.”

We say: “You can’t go wrong with a cream tea at The Ivy. The surroundings are relaxing and familiar with its tasteful art deco theme. For a City meeting, we like The Ivy City Garden on Old Broad Street which is a welcome lush green oasis amidst all the tall buildings. As I have coeliac disease and needed a gluten free option, I had to give the restaurant 48 hours’ notice that I was coming. There were slightly different items available on the menu due to my dietary requirements, but there was plenty to choose from and a lovely range of cakes, scones, and dainty cucumber sandwiches. Overall, it was an enjoyable, reasonably priced treat!”

Ting at The Shard – London Bridge, SE1 9QU
2 min walk from London Bridge station

Ting says: “Bees in Bloom Afternoon Tea in collaboration with luxury handmade jewellery brand Alex Monroe. Experience an afternoon tea like no other.”

We say: “With incredible views, a vast list of teas and beautiful edible creations, who wouldn’t love an afternoon tea at The Shard? The current ‘Bees in Bloom’ afternoon tea donates an additional £1 from each afternoon tea to Bees for Development, an international charity that works to reduce poverty and increase biodiversity through beekeeping in some of the poorest nations. You won’t ‘bee’ disappointed with this nature-inspired tea experience and of course the great view!

The Clermont – Victoria, SW1W 0SJ
1 min walk from Victoria station

The Clermont says: “Is there anything better than tea and cake? Find an armchair in our light and airy lounge, and while away the rest of the day with one of our delicious Afternoon Tea in Victoria, and soak up the grandeur that our elegant hotel has to offer.”

We say: “A contender for your international clients who might enjoy the excitement of drinking British tea near Buckingham Palace. This Grade II listed railway hotel is located right next to London Victoria station so it’s super convenient as well as pretty with pastel pink and green velvet chairs, sparkly chandeliers and cute vintage crockery. They cater for many dietary needs too.”

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