London's Finest Afternoon Tea Spots

Once upon a time it was de rigueur to spend the afternoon around a tea table, nibbling on a scone, cutting into a rich fruit cake or adding a third sugar to a cup of Earl Grey. Rarely do we wish that we could swap places with the residents of Downton Abbey – we couldn't take the Dowager Countess's side eye – but they sure knew a thing or two about decadence in the good old days.

If your afternoons could do with an injection of Assam or, like us, you believe that life is better with scones, then we know where to go. We've skimmed the cream of London's afternoon tea spots, whether you're looking for classical elegance, tea to get you tipsy, or something a little bit different...