As Santa prepares his sleigh for his big round-the-world trip on Christmas Eve, we’ve rounded up the world’s best Christmas-themed afternoon teas - just in case the jolly man in red needs a nice pot of something warm or a little morsel of something sweet to get him through his deliveries this year.
This season, before you select from one of the hotel’s 18 loose leaf teas, The Chesterfield afternoon tea begins with a warming shot of mulled wine. Our tea suggestion is the special Chesterfield Christmas blend which is full of aromatic spices and oozes Christmas cheer.
Asides from the teas, you’ll enjoy a selection of delicious finger sandwiches and sweet treats including mulled wine macaroons, Christmas tree chocolate pots, cranberry and vanilla cheesecakes, snowman cupcakes, yule logs and festive fruit tarts. The Chesterfield is a stalwart of Afternoon Tea in London and, as a member of The Tea Guild (a prestigious and unique organisation that represents outlets dedicated to brewing and serving tea to the exacting standards set by the United Kingdom Tea Council) it should be top of Santa’s stop-off list.
Price: £34.50 per person
Prepare for a culinary journey through an entire traditional British Christmas in just one afternoon tea. Christmas lunch is reinterpreted for the savoury component with a warm stilton, chestnut and walnut vol-au-vent served alongside a honey roast root vegetable pie complete with gravy for drizzling. Turkey and sage stuffing bound in black pepper and clove mayonnaise is next along with pork stuffing rillettes wrapped in smoked bacon (“pigs in blankets”) with cranberry sauce.
Delightful warm Christmas spice and orange peel scones are served with strawberry jam, Devonshire clotted cream and a home-made orange liquor curd and, to top everything off, the deserts are served in a red bow gift box under mini-Christmas trees. Inside you’ll discover bite-size plum pudding mousse, Christmas cake, Yule log, and spiced apple pie. All this is accompanied by a loose leaf tea menu with a number of blends developed exclusively for the Wellington Lounge. The Royal Parks and London’s iconic landmarks are a stunning backdrop, and a quick stroll over the road will see Santa hit Hyde Park’s famed Winter Wonderland celebrations.
Price: £45 per person
For over 100 years, Palm Court has been the go-to destination in NYC for an iconic afternoon tea. The tea list is very extensive and features a range of Grand Cru connoisseur teas that are rarely found on hotel tea menus. This Christmas, you can enjoy three different festive afternoon teas including The New Yorker Holiday Tea, Eloise’s Sugar and Spice Tea or the Christmas Weekend Afternoon Tea.
Here is just a little of what’s on offer to tempt Santa’s taste buds; roasted goose rillettes with prune and chestnut chutney and buckwheat crêpe, gingerbread macarons, chestnut and apple tarts, spiced eggnog and chocolate cups, gingerbread cakes with cream cheese frosting and apple cider cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream.
Price: $60 – 125 USD per person
This afternoon tea has a distinctly Australian twist. Festive flavours combined with quintessential Australian summer tastes put a fresh take on the traditional high tea. On the sandwiches front you can expect roast turkey and coleslaw salad rolls, honey roast ham and brie sandwiches, cocktail prawns, avocado and mango, and goat’s cheese and caramelised onion tarts.
Next comes the mixed fruit mince scones with berry jam with mascarpone cream, followed by the Australian log - toasted meringue, mango crème and tropical fruit compote, Christmas in a Jar - Christmas cake, chocolate mousse and cherries , blueberry verrine - blueberry, yoghurt, sable and finally, the candy cane - candy cane ganache and raspberry gel.
Price: $55 AUD per person
Famous the world over for its one-of-a-kind experiences, this Christmas, Santa and afternoon tea lovers are in for a treat resplendent with all the trimmings. Michelin stared chefs have been busy creating gourmet menus and as you enjoy afternoon tea keep an eye, ear or tastebud out for traditional festive mulled wine, on-site roasted chestnuts and ballet and chamber choir performances. Just outside the door are some of Hong Kong’s best cultural attractions, Christmas lights and shopping (in case Santa has to do any last minute-pick-ups as he flies the skies).
Price: $338 HKD per person or $528 HKD per couple
Served in the elegant ambiance of the Lobby Lounge you can expect all the tradition of a Ritz Carlton afternoon tea, think festive infused artisan pastries, savouries, scones and cakes paired with the soothing tones from a live of the harpist. Candy cane macaroons, milk chocolate chestnut crunch, white chocolate raspberry yule log, smoked turkey and cranberry jam mini croissants and camembert mousse with vanilla poached pears and spiced walnuts. Afternoon tea is served on the terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf, the Palm Jumeirah and surrounding gardens.
Price: From $190 AED per person to $330 AED (depending on your drink selection)
Before you even see what’s on the festive tea menu, this gorgeous hotel ticks a lot of boxes. Located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre, Le Meurice is perfectly situated should Santa want to stop off at gallery or two. With views of the Tuileries Garden, Le Meurice has been ranked among the most elegant hotels in the world. You can expect exceptional 18th century opulence combined with contemporary French chic.
Salvador Dalí was a regular visitor and that’s where this beautiful Le Dali tea lounge draws its inspiration from chairs with feet in the form of ladies shoes, a lamp with drawers or the lobster on a telephone. Highly-acclaimed multiple Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse oversees all hotel dining and the festive high tea is no exception. The menu includes highlights like obelisk, speculoos, milk and black diamond shortbreads, sour marshmallows and candied chestnuts, mango, kumquat and caramel financiers and a special yule log.
Price: €58 per person
In 1910 this dinning area was a busy newsroom where the Shanghai Club members read their papers, caught up over the latest news and smoked a pipe. Salon de Ville is now opulent, soothing and a perfect stop-off for Santa this festive season.
Price: $358 CNY per person or $588 CNY for two persons
Located in the heart of this luxury resort on Cape Town’s waterfront, is Vista Lounge where Santa can take a break to enjoy panoramic views of Table Mountain through a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass. Afternoon Tea features delectable sweet pleasures including chocolate delice, baked vanilla bean cheese cake, caramel and gold leaf éclairs, tea loaf and macaroons.
Price: R215 per person
Expect warm hospitality and a delicious variety of afternoon tea favourites this festive season in Auckland. On the savoury side you’ll enjoy honey glazed ham and mustard baguette, smoked chicken and leek with truffle mayonnaise and a roast beef and horseradish wrap. Cranberry and cinnamon scones come next along with a rich chocolate Christmas log, steamed ginger bread loaf and Christmas cookies. You can also add a signature festive cocktail.
Price: $39 NZD per person or $45 with a Festive Cocktail
We know there are some incredible festive afternoon teas to be found in all corners of the globe. If you’ve got a favourite, or one that should definitely be on Santa’s stopover list, let us know in the comments below and we’ll update this post with the details.
*Photos with thanks to each establishment
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Oolong Tea Eggnog - the perfect festive tea-infused treat for the holiday season. It's quick, easy and screams Christmas!