The long-awaited Platinum Jubilee bank holiday – a four-day weekend in honour of the Queen’s 70 years of service – is nearly upon us.
Community celebrations, regal-themed activities and street parties are happening across the UK from 2-5 June, with several large-scale official events taking place in the capital: the Trooping of the Colour, Party at the Palace and the Big Jubilee Lunch among them.
For those looking for a quintessentially British experience in London over the bank holiday, a number of Jubilee-themed afternoon teas are being served to celebrate her Majesty.
Here are some of the best afternoon tea experiences fit for a royal.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Searcys (various locations)
Searcys will be serving up a quintessentially British afternoon tea across its restaurants, from cakes in the sky at The Gherkin to the opulent surrounds of 116 Pall Mall in St James.
Guests start with a strawberry and Champagne sorbet, served with a specially created Jubilee wafer, before getting stuck into savoury treats including beetroot-cured salmon with pickled fennel and a Coronation chicken rillette with rye tuille (originally created in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation banquet), alongside a selection of sandwiches with decadent fillings such smoked salmon and caviar.
For afters, scones with cream and jam are served, along with a signature Victoria sponge, a right royal red, white and blue Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth’s favourite tea-time cake - Dundee cake - and a chocolate, cherry and pistachio delice (in homage to Her Majesty’s love of chocolate). Children can also get involved, with a special kids menu featuring Queen Elizabeth’s childhood favourite, Jam Pennies: miniature raspberry jam sandwiches cut into circles the size of an English penny.
An aftertoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a selection of teas, of course; for added dazzle, Searcys is also offering a selection of English sparkling wines.
Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea at The Shard
Enjoy tea with a view at Shangri-La The Shard, where a Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea will be on offer until September.
Guests will be greeted a four-metre-tall sculpture paying homage to the Queen’s stamp motif, plus an exhibition of pictures of the Queen and Royal Household by royal photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas, displayed in the foyer. The hotel’s TÄªNG Lounge will be transformed into a fragrant English garden complete with a ceiling of hanging wisteria, the setting for the Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea experience.
A miniature chocolate and raspberry Shard building for two to share will feature, plus a selection of finger sandwiches including beetroot salmon with dill crème fraiche, rye bread with pastrami and mustard and Burford Brown egg mayo and cress. Savouries such as Mary Rose and caviar, and almond tart with marinated courgette and basil, are followed by sweet and savoury scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, plus other Jubilee themed desserts: ‘The Pearl of the Queen’ (a tonka, vanilla and strawberry gateaux); and a crowned lime and blueberry ‘Jubilee tart’.
English wine from Nyetimber is offered, alongside a selection of Shangri-La and Camellia teas.
Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea at The Shard costs £7pp, including a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvée or Nyetimber Rosé, or £65pp without.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at The Langham
From 25 May to 26 June, guests can also enjoy a Jubilee-themed afternoon tea in Palm Court at The Langham.
The limited-edition afternoon tea will include a selection of treats inspired by the Queen’s favourites, with many ingredients used holding a Royal Warrant. Sandwiches such as Scottish smoked salmon, sour cream and dill and Coronation chicken feature alongside a Ploughman’s cheese scone.
To follow, a selection of pastries, each inspired by a different member of the Royal family: the Royal Mint with mint parfait, chocolate sable and cream; The Prince’s Favourite with griddled Welsh cake, peach and whipped ganache; and The Sovereign’s Cake, a sharing dessert comprising crunchy Breton, caraibe cremeaux and soft caramel.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at The Langham costs £70pp.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Great Scotland Yard Hotel
Created by the Great Scotland Yard’s head pastry chef, Verónica Garrido Martínez, the hotel’s “multi-sensory” afternoon tea experience is offered in partnership with perfumery Floris London - the only appointed perfumer to Her Majesty The Queen.
Inspired by the flora of Her Majesty’s gardens, which surround her UK residences, the historical British perfumiers created luxury fragrance “Platinum 22 Eau De Parfum”. Great Scotland Yard’s afternoon tea reflects this bespoke scent through an assortment of seasonal teacakes and delicate pastries include “Oat, Honey and Apricot Primrose Hat”, “Violet Battenberg” and “Imperial State Crown Lime Cookie”.
Scones come with cream and blackcurrant jam, while extravagant savouries include king prawn, courgette, rocket and Montgomery cheddar quiche; smoked salmon, asparagus, horseradish and Avruga caviar on pain de mie; and truffle duck egg mayo on briochette.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Great Scotland Yard Hotel from £49pp; £60pp including a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Sofitel London St James
Available 20 May to 19 June (Friday-Sunday), the Platinum Jubilee themed afternoon tea at Sofitel London St James “will celebrate 70 years of the reigning monarch, through inventive takes on the Queen”.
Curated by pastry chefs Jamie Warley and Andrea Vivien, each dish has a special symbolism relating to Her Majesty: the menu begins with potted shrimp and pain de campagne, followed by finger sandwiches of Coronation chicken, cucumber and cream cheese and cured salmon on rye.
Regal sweets include The Handbag (chocolate, praline and caramel Delice), The Hat (strawberries and cream, with Assam tea) and The Stamp (pistachio and raspberry opera).
The experience is rounded out by chocolate perfection pie and scones served with clotted cream and homemade jam. To accompany the menu, guests can choose from a selection of teas and Champagnes.
Jubilee Afternoon Tea at Sofitel London St James from £62pp; £72pp including glass of Champagne.