The Connaught London afternoon tea has been in my top 3 for a few years. Let’s see if it’s still among the best afternoon teas in London as of 2022:
March 2022 update: Full update of the article
The Connaught is one of London’s most iconic hotels, with a history dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. The Saxe-Coburg hotel opened in 1815 and became the Coburg hotel in 1897 after the area was redeveloped by the Duke of Westminster. It was renamed the Connaught in 1917, in honour of the first Duke of Connaught Prince Arthur, as German names weren’t exactly popular during WWI.
It is part of the Maybourne hotel group (formerly the Savoy group), which also manages the Berkeley and the Claridge’s hotels. The building is located on Carlos Place in Mayfair, between Bond Street and Green Park tube stations.
The Connaught is especially renowned for its bar and it is the only hotel in the world to have been twice decorated with the “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” award. I stopped by for a sip of the Cloud Nine (Bourbon based) and Number 11 (Vodka based) cocktails ♥
The Jean-Georges at The Connaught ★★★★★
Afternoon tea is served in the Jean-Georges at the Connaught restaurant, named in honour of the eponymous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
If you book a table and/or can choose on the day of the afternoon tea, I recommend asking for a table by the window: the view of the “Silence, Tadao Ando” fountain is stunning, both by day and by night.
Architect John Heath renovated the dining room, giving it a modern twist as well as a laid-back feeling. Looking at the disk glass chandeliers from the Secante company, you may even feel like you are being flown over by UFOs!
I’m very keen on the stained glass windows by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel: each one represents a different stage of the day, from sunrise to sunset.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The Connaught London sources the teas from Mariage Frères, a very reputable French supplier. While the quality is excellent, the choice is rather limited with a total of 11 teas and infusions. two of my favourite teas (the Gyokuro and the Marco Polo) are no longer on offer and shall be very missed.
This lack of choice was easily forgiven, thanks to the good quality of the brew and the Connaught’s generous tea refills policy which will let you sample many different teas. I recommend starting with the Thé de la Longévité Suprême, an excellent white tea that will perfectly accompany the savouries.
11 Mariage Frères teas (6 black, 3 green, 1 white and 1 herbal)
Tea refills: Yes, allowing you to sample many different teas.
Brewing method: Brewed in a teapot brought to the table; infusion can be stopped by removing the strainer
Click here to see the 2018 tea selection:
The Food: The Connaught London Afternoon Tea
The Connaught London was my girlfriend’s favourite back in 2018, mainly because of the delicious sandwiches. I am pleased to say that the Connaught afternoon tea is every bit as good as it was, and at a relatively fair price too.
The Savouries ★★★★★♥
The afternoon tea starts with five delicious sandwiches:
- Cucumber & Feta Cheese – Sicilian Pistachio, Chiffonade Mint
- Organic Chopped Egg & Pickles – Greek Yoghurt, Dill & Capers
- Oak Smoked Salmon – Avocado & Wasabi, Seaweed Butter, Teriyaki Glaze ♥♥
- Tandoori Turkey – Pickled Apple & Red Cabbage, Tandoori Yoghurt ♥♥♥
- Home-Made Salt Beef – Pickled Daikon, Shiso Leaves, Miso Butter ♥
I’m a bit sad to see that the Connaught no longer served their delicious Black truffle savoury brioche, but that doesn’t change the fact that all 5 sandwiches are amazing, with a strong preference for Turkey’s sweet and salty flavour!
It’s obvious that a lot of work went into designing them and I decided to make a video detailing what makes each sandwich unique and why I loved each one of them:
Click here to see the 2018 savouries:
The Scones ★★★★★
The plain and wholemeal raisin scones are served warm, which is always highly appreciated. They are served with three toppings: marmalade, strawberry jam & clotted cream. I love having the opportunity to choose, as many afternoon teas serve the scones with only two toppings.
The scones are excellent and so are the toppings: the strawberry jam is textbook perfect, both in terms of taste and texture: it will go well with the plain scone. For the wholemeal raisin scone, I recommend the marmalade as it’s a better match for its stronger/heartier taste.
Click here to see the 2018 scones and toppings:
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
The desserts are the reason I initially chose to review the Connaught London afternoon tea, as I was looking forward to tasting Nicolas Rouzaud’s newest creations. He is still the Connauhgt’s pastry chef as of 2022 and he hasn’t lost his touch, from left to right:
- Rocher: Hazelnut Praliné, Milk Chocolate ♥ (light treat, perfect to finish!)
- Grapefruit & rosewater Tart (pleasantly sour!)
- Passion fruit & mango Pavlova
- Caramelised apple Choux ♥♥ (my favourite!!!)
- Pistachio & orange Financier ♥
Keep in mind that the cakes are renewed fairly often and that those do not match the ones currently displayed on the sample menu.
The afternoon tea concludes with biscuits boudoirs to be dipped in Valrhona bitter chocolate. Though I regret the 2018 era animal-shaped shortbreads, I must admit this is a very nice way to wrap things up.
Click here to see the 2018 cakes & sweets:
The Jean-Georges at the Connaught restaurant team is as professional as you’d expect, always making sure that guests have plenty of tea and food to enjoy. Special thanks to Charlène and Juan, whose stellar service (and advice!) made this afternoon tea at the Connaught even better than we expected it to be!
The seating time is quite short (2 hours ~) so I recommend booking a table at 4:30 as you’ll be less likely to feel the rush.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
My afternoon tea at The Connaught London was everything I expected it to be: the food is delicious, gorgeous and original.
My main qualm would be the slightly limited tea selection but I’ll always choose quality over quantity, which earns the Connaught London a perfect score.
It’s also a pity that the Connaught afternoon tea ditched a few of its 2018 habits, such as the black truffle brioche amuse-bouche and the madeleines finish… Let’s hope it’ll be brought back!
+: Iconic Hotel
+: The view from the Jean-Georges restaurant
+: Mariage Frères teas
+: Delicious food
+: Gorgeous sweets
+: Great service
-: Slightly limited tea selection (11 teas)
-: Short-ish seating time
Phone: +44 20 7107 8861