Believe it or not, after 8 years in London, I can only count the times I’ve been to afternoon tea with one hand. Not a lot for a London based American expat, I have to say!
I love the British tradition of afternoon tea, how it was the way of the aristocrats to stave off hunger while they waited for a late supper. But I reserved this experience for only when relatives came into town, to watch them “ooh” and “ahh” when the 3 courses tower of scones, sandwiches and desserts are brought out in their full glory.
With the promising sunshine of early April, it was nice to be a tourist with Mr. New Yorker as we recently visited Perkin Reveller for a laid-back afternoon tea. This was possibly the best view of Tower Bridge served with afternoon tea on the north side of the river.
We spoke at length with Gabor, the well dressed manager of this establishment as he explained the history behind the name of the Perkin Reveller and how this restaurant was actually attached to the Tower Bridge due to its location. In fact, the part underneath the bridge has now been turned into a gin bar. On your way to the loos, you would actually be walking into the bridge!
If you would like the best view, make sure to ask for table 9. With a seat next to the window, the bright afternoon sunshine showered us as we people watched with sweeping views of the bridge. Vitamin D is essential in London and you try to take in as much as you can!
The daily homemade scones arrived at our table, warm and smelled lovely. With a generous dollop of clotted cream and jam, I savoured the freshly baked bites. I began to see the joy of this afternoon tradition as I relaxed into being present in the moment.
Are there other afternoon teas in London with similar price range and quality? Yes. But none with a sweeping view as unique as this.
Although the modest interior is not as traditional as the 11th-century old buildings next door, it is fabulously bright and worth a pilgrimage for the surprisingly good cooking in the touristy Tower Bridge location. On a nice summer day, the terrace even offers the outdoor option of having a few drinks in the early evening hours. I’ll definitely return as the weather gets warmer!
Thanks to Perkin Reveller for hosting us for this beautiful afternoon tea experience.
Tower of London
London EC3N 4AB