Long popular with royalty – it has been referred to as an “annexe to Buckingham Palace” – Claridge’s has been serving afternoon tea for more than 150 years. Stepping into the hotel is like walking into an oasis: the clamour of London’s traffic is replaced with the hum of chatter, clink of teacups and music drifting from a grand piano in the Art Deco foyer. Claridge’s tea (pictured left, top) includes a variety of finger sandwiches, handmade patisserie (think chestnut and vanilla éclair) and scones, accompanied by Marco Polo gelée and clotted cream, washed down by one of 24 varieties of tea. Afternoon tea is £60 ($116); Champagne tea from £70 ($136). Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London. Visit claridges.co.uk.