Afternoon tea: The Savoy, London

The Savoy, Thames Foyer

Strand, LondonWC2R 0EU


Thames Foyer at the Savoy


I love to go to the Savoy, even just to have a peek at the gorgeous Thames Foyer. The room is straight back from the revolving door at the iconic Art Deco entrance on the Strand, past the almost hypnotically beautiful flower arrangement in the Upper Thames Foyer. It’s flooded with light from the stained glass dome overhead. The hotel is the kind of place that holds dinner dances and burlesque evenings in addition to knowing how to make a really good cocktail. It whispers elegance and taste. (I love its Beaufort Bar, on my list of 10 bars every American should visit in London.)



Sitting in Thames Foyer at Savoy Hotel


When my mother and sister-in-law came into town, this was a place that I knew would embody the London afternoon tea experience for them. The Savoy was purportedly the first luxury hotel in London, with electric lights and sumptuous rooms. Illustrious guests have included Claude Monet, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn and Noel Coward. Oscar Wilde took adjoining rooms at the hotel for himself and Lord Alfred Douglas. Tea here is as much about reveling in the atmosphere as eating tiny sandwiches and gorgeous pastries. During certain hours a pianist fills the room with music.

My American guests went around lunchtime when the room was populated but not overly crowded. After the chill and drizzle outside, the atmosphere and warmth of the room was so relaxing, “I could have fallen asleep,” my mother said. The tables look refined, with floral china, silver and ornamented with a single pink rose.


An elegant teatime table at the Savoy - jenography



My mother had the Traditional High Tea, which includes green asparagus with poached egg, crayfish and lemon hollandaise, which looks as good as it tastes. The multi-tier tray of goodies included sandwiches of sirloin with wholegrain mustard, coronation chicken on olive bread, and classic egg and cress, among others. The pastries look like little gems.


asparagus at Savoy Hotel - Jenography


sweets at the Savoy



taking tea at the Savoy Hotel - Jenography

cake at Savoy Hotel tea - Jenography


My mother and sister-in-law enjoyed the meal but it was everything from the room to the presentation to the attentive service from the waiters that left them feeling that they had been pampered in style all afternoon.

The look: London from Art Deco decadence to Edwardian glamour

Tasty highlight: The perfectly cooked egg on asparagus and the delicious little pastries

Perfect for: Girlie groups of all ages and anyone who enjoys teatime with illustrious history and panache

Child-friendly? Yes. The formality of the room means it’s better suited to older children who can sit still amid the glassware and china

Dress code: Smart casual, no sportswear (including trainers)

Price: Traditional Afternoon Tea, £52 per person, Traditional High Tea, £58 per person, with a glass of Champagne Afternoon Tea, £71. Reservations highly recommended.

+ 44 (0)20 7836 4343



Untold Morsels

I’m a journalist and blogger. Previously I was The Times’s online lifestyle editor and Alpha Mummy blogger. Now I’m co-founder of BritMums and BritMums Live! – our annual blogging conference that draws hundreds. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Google Profile+



    • May 4, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      I agree completely! I could eat one every day of the week.

  1. May 4, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    I love afternoon tea but have never tried the savoy #farawayfiles

    • May 4, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      The setting at the Savoy is so spectacular. It’s a nice atmosphere with all the groups of ladies and at time the tinkling piano. Lovely!

  2. May 4, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I love afternoon tea and art deco! Looks like I should plan a visit! #farawayfiles

    • May 4, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Two great things that go great together…. #farawayfiles

  3. May 4, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I totally love afternoon tea it’s my favourite meal! I love the fact that you can get cooked dishes as well as the traditional sandwiches, the asparagus and poached egg looks fabulous. What a wonderful afternoon you all had! #FarawayFiles

    • May 5, 2017 / 10:53 am

      I agree, Jo! If you add in something hot suddenly you have a sumptuous meal that’s the highlight of the day. Plus, I can never turn down poached egg and asparagus.

  4. May 4, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    I love the Savoy – so stylish and the Art Deco surroundings are fabulous. I’ve not had afternoon tea here though. It sounds delicious. Funnily enough, my boys really fancy a visit to the Savoy – there’s a great Michael Morpurgo book set here – so I really should treat them. Thanks for making us jealous and hungry on #FarawayFiles

  5. May 5, 2017 / 5:52 am

    The Savoy is lovely! I’ve been a few times for Christmas dinners and it’s so beautifully decorated over the festive season. Everything at the afternoon tea looks delicious and I’m glad your mother and sister-in-law enjoyed it there #FarawayFiles

    • May 5, 2017 / 10:50 am

      The prospect of going at Christmas is so appealing. I’ll put that on my list for Xmas!

  6. May 5, 2017 / 6:51 am

    Oooh what a pretty place to have afternoon tea and the food looks delish! I’ve only done one afternoon tea, but it was enough to hook me! #FarawayFiles

    • May 5, 2017 / 10:54 am

      Lolo, where did you do tea? I didn’t mention it in the post but after having tea you can pop into the Savoy’s little boutique and pick up some chocolates to take away.

  7. May 5, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    I adore the Savoy. It’s got that traditional glamorous style that you expect but sadly dont always get it in London. I’ve been there for lunch and drinks (on your recommendation!) but not for tea. I’ll fix that soon. They do a wonderful Christmas too – traditional and grand decorations. #FarawayFiles

    • May 7, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      So great to hear about Christmas. I’m sold — I must go there for Xmas. Also – delighted I recommended something you enjoyed. You are totally right — that traditional glamorous style is hard to get these days. But you do find it when you book for tea here.

  8. May 7, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Oh it looks delicious, there is something so indulgent about a great afternoon tea. Its something everybody should do at least a couple of times a year x

    • May 7, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      I agree. You don’t have to be all about tea or a just a “certain” type of experience — it’s a lovely experience and not necessarily about having a drink. Just to relax, a few nibble, a refined environment and good company. Delicious!

  9. May 8, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I really do think I should partake of afternoon tea more regularly as on the few times I have tried it, it’s always been such a fabulous occasion.

    I know there are many hotels in London that provide this service but I’m rather taken with The Savoy just for the history and decadent setting.

    • May 8, 2017 / 4:51 pm

      Decadent is the word for it. Methinks it would be nice to linger at afternoon tea then pop into one of the hotel bars for a drink, then perhaps moving onto dinner at the Savoy Grill. And at that point, why not just book a room upstairs? 🙂 x

  10. May 8, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I’ve only ever been to the American Bar (and press conferences) at the Savoy, time for afternoon tea I think! #FarawayFiles

    • May 9, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Definitely! The American Bar is great but the Savoy is so much more….

  11. May 10, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Awwwwww! This reminds me I have to go back there. Went with my friend to celebrate she beat the breast cancer a few years ago, was a great treat xxxx

    • May 10, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      What a wonderful occasion to celebrate. How nice!

  12. May 11, 2017 / 12:30 am

    Love the new website look! And I could completely get on board with the asparagus and egg number! Yum! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • May 11, 2017 / 10:11 am

      Thanks, Erin! I’m pleased with it as well. As for asparagus and egg, always, all the time!

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