Family-friendly London Afternoon Tea with Kids at St Ermin's Hotel

A Truly Family-friendly Afternoon Tea in London

In Europe, Traveling with kids, UK by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Are you going for an afternoon tea in London with kids?! With all the kids, three boys? You must be kidding… We got the same reaction several times when people asked us about our plans for London with kids

I have to admit that I also always associated afternoon tea with luxury hotels and fancy dress… I thought it was too pricey, too gracious, and definitely not something to even consider for a family with three young boys…

Typical English afternoon tea

Can you find a truly family-friendly afternoon tea?


Can you find a truly family-friendly afternoon tea in London?

When we received an invitation for an afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s hotel in London, I was not sure how to react. I was really excited about spoiling ourselves with this delicious and stylish treat. At the same time I was wondering whether we would really enjoy afternoon tea with children…

I did some research on Google for the best London afternoon tea experience with kids and what I found was not really reassuring. Most articles would start by telling you how ‘there is no better meal suited for children than afternoon tea’, but then you would read further and they would say ‘children are offered the same menu as adults… it is required that one dresses for tea: jeans, sportswear and trainers are forbidden.. children should be mature and on low volume…’ Don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like a family-friendly experience to me at all!

Still, we were really eager to try this typically British experience and have an afternoon tea in London with kids, so we decided to give it a try. Find out!

Where to find the best afternoon tea experience in London for families with kids


The best afternoon tea in London for families with kids

After further research I realised that at St. Ermin’s Hotel they have a very different approach to a family-friendly afternoon tea. Not only do they offer a special Buzzy Bees afternoon tea menu for kids, they even invite children to see their 350,000+ bees going about their daily business – making honey! On top of that, the prices are really reasonable, so it’s a treat any family could afford, whether to celebrate a special occasion or to spend a truly memorable afternoon in London.

Buzzy Bees afternoon tea for kids at St Ermin's Hotel in London

Buzzy Bees afternoon tea menu

Afternoon tea snacks and savouries for kids

Afternoon tea snacks and savouries for kids

St Ermin's Bee and Bee Hotel

St Ermin’s Bee and Bee Hotel

St Ermin's combines kids' afternoon tea with a short visit to see the bees

Don’t forget to visit the bees of St. Ermin’s on the 3rd floor!


Of course, adults are not forgotten either. Depending on the season, there are different afternoon tea menus that you can choose from, including a gluten-free option. And what do you think about afternoon tea with unlimited Prosecco! Here you can find current St. Ermin’s afternoon tea selection. And did I mention that it’s really affordable?

English afternoon tea at a luxury hotel in London

No afternoon tea would be complete without the classic scones with cream and jam

English Afternoon tea snacks and mini sandwiches

Afternoon tea snacks and mini sandwiches for adults


Afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s London – what to expect

St. Ermin’s is a luxury hotel in the heart of London, located in a beautiful historical building dating back to the 19th century. It would be worth visiting even if just to see the magnificent interior! It’s very centrally located and is less than 10 minutes walking from Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace.

In fact, the location is perfect for sightseeing! On top of that, St. Ermin’s also offers big family rooms and is much more affordable than most other luxury hotels in the centre of London. So if your budget allows a little splurge, definitely check it out as it’s one of the best family-friendly luxury hotels price/quality/ location wise that you can find in London! Find the best prices for your stay here.

Afternoon tea at St Ermin's Hotel London with kids

St Ermin’s Hotel

St Ermin's Hotel London Afternoon Tea with Kids

St. Ermin’s Hotel reception area


Afternoon tea is served in the Tea Lounge and Library, or – weather permitting – on an outdoor terrace. We were there on a beautiful summer day and so we were seated on the terrace, which was perfect with kids as it felt completely relaxed and we didn’t have to worry about the boys not being able to keep ‘low volume’ at all times.

We were served a tea of our choice and a selection of sweet and savoury seasonal treats. Everything was absolutely delicious! My husband is not a tea drinker, but he couldn’t get enough of his tea and kept on asking for refills…

I have to admit that even with the special afternoon tea menu for kids I still wasn’t sure if the boys would eat much (they’re at the age where they are becoming really fussy eaters). But the delicious treats and sweets were so nicely presented that they didn’t want to miss any of it! On top of that, the kids could opt for fruit juice instead of the tea, which they gladly accepted.

A truly family - friendly afternoon tea in London with kids

St. Ermin’s offers a truly kid – friendly afternoon tea!


How to dress for an afternoon tea with kids?

Honestly, I don’t know if there is any special dress code for afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s Hotel, but you’ll definitely feel better if you are nicely dressed. Since it was really hot when we visited, we couldn’t imagine dressing kids in pants and long-sleeved shirts. They were all wearing shorts and white polo t-shirts, I was in a casual dress, and my husband wore long Dockers-style summer pants and a white shirt. We didn’t see any other kids (it was school day in the UK), but the adults we saw were all nicely dressed without being overly dressed.

We were the guests of St. Ermin’s, but all opinions are my own. Would I recommend the afternoon tea at St. Ermin’s hotel in London with kids (or without)? Absolutely! Afternoon tea is such an old English tradition and an experience you shouldn’t miss when visiting the U.K. And now that you know where to find a truly kid-friendly and affordable afternoon tea in London, you have no excuse not to try it… 😉 So check it out next time you’re in London and I am sure that you will enjoy it just as much as we did!

Afternoon tea in London

Afternoon tea is a typical English experience not to be missed when visiting London


Some interesting facts about afternoon tea:

  • Afternoon tea is said to have been started by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford around 1840s. She found the time between lunch and dinner too long and that’s how the tradition has been born.
  • In the 1920s afternoon tea reached its apogee and it became a huge social event among the English aristocracy: musicians were invited, the best tea was served in silver teapots and elegant teacups, and the park would sometimes even include lawn games like croquet or badminton.
  • High tea is not the same as afternoon tea. While afternoon tea was an upper class event, high tea was the main meal of the day for the working class.
***Read also our selection of 25 amazing hidden gems of London and don’t miss these essential tips for first-time visitors to London***

If you found this post useful, please share it. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Where to find a truly family-friendly afternoon tea in London


  1. Hi Jurga,
    We are leaving for London next week from Massachusetts with our three children, ages 11, 9 and 6. Do you have any restaurant recommendations? We definitely want to try some traditional English food. We are staying close to the London Eye, at the Marriott County Hall. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Taryn, I don’t really have many restaurant recommendations as we just eat where we get hungry and then use google maps to see what’s nearby and how the reviews are… We really enjoyed all the food stalls at the Greenwich market and also in Spitalfields, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. Here you can read more about Greenwich.
      We also have some suggestions for some special pubs and restaurants in our London hidden gems article.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip. The location of your hotel is excellent for sightseeing and there are some restaurants there nearby too.

  2. Have never been to London but love reading about such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing this post – your pictures are amazing. Cheers!!!

    1. Author

      Thank you Rishi, and glad to inspire. Maybe you’ll get to visit London one day as well!

  3. Hi Jurga, great article, thanks so much for all the information. Question: Do you have to be a hotel guest in order to have afternoon tea at the Tea Lounge?

    1. Author

      Hi Jennifer, no, you don’t have to stay at the hotel. Everyone can book afternoon tea experience.
      Enjoy your trip to London!

  4. I love this! We are heading to London in May. Would it be appropriate to bring a 16-month old to ta here?

    1. Author

      Hi Ellen, I think that a young child shouldn’t be a problem. And at that age they still sit in their chair and are happy with some bread, right? 🙂
      I wouldn’t know why you couldn’t do that, but if you want to be sure (and to ask if they have a high chair available), it’s probably best to just contact the hotel and ask.
      Enjoy your trip to London!

  5. Do we need a reservation for high tea on Saturday, we will be there in March.

    1. Author

      Hi Kris, no idea. You should check the website of the hotel for reservations or call them.

  6. Hello, What is there to sightsee/do around this hotel if we go with the kids for afternoon tea? Do you know if they book groups of 7?

    1. Author

      Hi Megan, I’m sure they book groups of any size – just follow the links in the article and you can reserve a table directly on their website.
      St. Ermin’s hotel is very centrally located (take a look at the map), just a few minutes walking from either Westminster Abbey/ Big Ben or, in the other direction, Buckingham Palace or St. James’s Park – so plenty to see and do nearby.

  7. This sounds like a great tip. looking forward to trying it in a couple of weeks’ time.

  8. We stayed at St Ermin’s for 7 nights and thought it a wonderful location to explore the whole of London. The hotel itself is gorgeous. We had two rooms, and both were very comfortable with in room coffee, tea and Nespresso. Breakfast each morning is served in the comfortable Caxton Grill and bar area and had something for everyone in the buffet. Very modern convenience in lovely, historic building.

  9. Thanks for posting this review! My daughter will soon be big enough to enjoy afternoon tea, and our family is long overdue for a trip to London. St. Ermin’s will definitely be on our must-see list.

  10. I’m intrigued – if your husband isn’t a big tea fan; what was the type of tea he had? Oolong? I love the bee theme to this place – how brilliant they have hives in the city centre, I keep hearing of more places doing this and I think it’s wonderful!

    1. Author

      We did our best to try to remember what tea he had, but to no avail. We just asked for recommendation from our waitress and he ordered what she suggested.
      I had Jasmin tea and it was really good, tasted just like the tea in China years ago. That’s an easy name to remember at least ;).

  11. I love afternoon teas! It’s awesome, that there’s an option to visit them with kids 🙂 Hope your enjoyed it a lot, Jurga!

    1. Author

      We loved it, Liza. I think I am hooked now. Already looking if I can find a nice afternoon tea experience here in Belgium.

  12. I am ashamed to say I am Brit who has never had a proper afternoon tea in the heart of London! But I have now booked a tea at this fab place and can’t wait!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Love your pics!!!!

    1. Author

      Wow! That’s good to know, Katie. Glad that this post inspired you to try it out for yourselves. I’m sure you will love it.
      If you think of it, please return to this page and tell us about your afternoon tea experience after you visited St. Ermin’s Hotel.

  13. It’s always nice to see a different take on afternoon tea. What a super looking kids version! I think even fussy eaters would partake as it’s just so full of children’s comfort foods! What more could they want?! And if they’re happy, parents are happy too!

    1. Author

      It’s so true, Tilly – when kids are happy, parents are happy too! And also the other customers, as happy kids tend to behave well. 😉 So it’s a win-win for all. It’s good that some hotels understand that, but to be honest places like this one are very scarce. Especially if you are looking for a bit more style and luxury and still want to take your kids along.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.