BBC Good Food

“With a brief to incorporate a classic British afternoon tea into the Italian vibe of the restaurant, there’s a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients throughout”

We’ve tested a lot of afternoon teas (as you can see from this list), but this one truly stood out. Sitting in the middle of Covent Garden, The Petersham is the central London outpost of Petersham Nurseries, which originated in Richmond. Tea takes place in the smart, light restaurant with impressive, giant works of art and good people-watching.

With a brief to incorporate a classic British afternoon tea into the Italian vibe of the restaurant, there’s a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients throughout. When visiting in March, the extremely generous tea kicked off with six sandwiches, including crab (our favourite), mushroom & parmesan, courgette & mint or aubergine. Each one was freshly made to order and well-seasoned. Fruit and plain scones were served warm with homemade blackcurrant jam. The classic patisserie continued the focus on seasonal ingredients that weren’t overly fussed with – our highlights included a rhubarb financier and clever pistachio brûlée. The tea is delivered on a striking glass cake stand by its friendly and attentive staff and considering the quantities of food, felt like good value for money. As a truly memorable bonus, you get to keep the stunning bouquet that crowns your tea at the end, too.