The Covent Garden Tea Bar. 17 The Marketplace, The Piazza. Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RB. The Whittard Tea for two. £30 pp.
I spent the weekend in London with my sister and we enjoyed an afternoon tea at the Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar in Covent Garden.
Nestled downstairs in the piazza, it’s a nod to going through the looking glass and Whittard’s connection with Alice in Wonderland. Launched in 2016, you enter through one of the many archways and find yourself in a charming shop with hundreds of teas, as well as tasters and gifts.
The Whittard Tea
The tea bar is located through another archway to the right of the shop, decorated with literary quotes and quirky mirrors.
Sitting on the far side wall by the instagrammable ‘Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar Covent Garden’ iconography, we picked the ‘The Whittard Tea’ – a spread of sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea – along with prosecco.
When ordering, you have a choice of choosing two large slices of cake, or five miniatures. Looking to sample more variety, we chose the miniature cakes for our top layer and as you can imagine, we weren’t disappointed when they arrived!
The selection included carrot cake, victoria sponge, various tarts and a chocolate brownie. Each cake was expertly put together and displayed, my favourite being one of the sweeter tarts that was made with passionfruit.
However, what is an afternoon tea with good quality scones – a slight hardness on the outside while being soft and crumbly on the inside? Whittard didn’t disappoint and they were delicious, especially when combined with the clotted cream and selection of jams.
For the savoury layer – which we ate first – a selection of sandwiches; coronation chicken, egg and cress, cucumber, and salmon with lemon cheese. Each was very fresh and flavourful, my favourite being the egg and cress.
For my choice of accompanying tea I kept it simple and decided to try the 1886 blend, which was perfect to enjoy with the scones and cakes. When you’re served the tea, it comes with a timer so you can brew it as intended.
A lovely way to spend a Saturday in London, it was a very relaxed experience with friendly staff. As the bar is located on the lower floor of Covent Garden, it feels very secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of the market.
What you need to know
- Book in advance as it can get busy
- Our afternoon tea was £30pp with prosecco £6 a glass (correct at time of writing)
- In addition to afternoon tea you can go for sandwiches, panini and cakes
- You can ask for a voucher to use the Covent Garden loos without being charged; they are in the courtyard and you exit left to find them
How to get to Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar, Covent Garden
I’d suggest getting the tube to either Covent Garden, or Leicester Square if you prefer not to choose between walking the 193 steps at Covent Garden or using their lifts.
From either it is a short walk – 10 mins from Leicester Square – but give yourself ample time to wander through Covent Garden, especially if you’ve never been before. On the weekends they have free shows in the square and a range of other attractions.
What to do after afternoon tea
Love or hate the sugar rush, it’s always a good idea to go for a walk after indulging. From Covent Garden you can easily get to both Green Park and St. James Park, the latter of which has fantastic views of the London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
En route, you can continue your traditionally British afternoon by visiting Hatchard’s bookshop, which has over 200 years of history at its Piccadilly location.
Disclaimer: I was invited to enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea at the Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar Covent Garden. All opinions are my own.