Food & Drink

Afternoon Tea @ the Number Sixteen

My cousin wanted to do afternoon tea because that’s a thing a lot of tourists want to do when they come to London, apparently. I can’t lie, though, I do love a good afternoon tea. The last one I went to before December was in August with a friend for my birthday and it was lovely.

There’s something so quaint about afternoon tea. I think it’s the ritual behind it, perhaps, but I enjoy every moment of it. Let’s look at a brief history of afternoon tea, for all you history buffs:

Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3.30 pm and 5 pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s. Her Grace Anna Maria, Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes. – Wikipedia

Whilst originally for the wealthy classes, we peasants can now enjoy afternoon tea at an excellent price. You can find some good deals on Groupon! I enjoyed afternoon tea at the British Museum and Guoman Hotels.

The one I went to in December was located at the Number Sixteen Hotel in South Kensington. Occupying a Victorian white stucco townhouse, the hotel is absolutely beautiful inside. The restaurant itself is located toward the back of the hotel and features floor-to-ceiling windows with a cute back garden, which I’m sure would be amazing to be seated in during the spring/summer.

I can’t not smile when it comes to photos. 📸: Doreen

We had the restaurant to ourselves when we first arrived, so it was really nice to sit and chat and enjoy the tea that was provided for us. The perfect atmosphere for a not-too-formal afternoon tea. Our server was very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed.

Their afternoon tea gives you the option to add a Garden Bellini, which we decided to go for. The menu has an extensive selection of teas to select from, so if you’re not a big tea drinker then it can seem a bit overwhelming. I personally went for the English breakfast tea because you can’t go wrong with a good old fashioned tea. The Darjeeling tea is exceptionally nice as well, though.

Tea settings • We got a whole pot of tea, each!

So, starting at the bottom of the amazing tier that our server brought out you have fruit and plain scones which come with clotted cream and preserves. I would go easy on these because scones can be quite filling, but it was so delicious.

You still want to make room for the sandwiches that are in the second tier: coronation chicken, cucumber and hummus, tomato and basil, egg mayo and cress, and lastly flaked smoked salmon bagel. I’m not typically a fan of sandwiches, but something about small segments with no crusts really gets me. I don’t know what it is, but nevertheless, they were very yummy!

This photo sums up my life right here: alcohol, delicious food and big hoop earrings. 📸: Doreen

Finally, on the top tier, you have your desserts! Ours contained passion fruit cheesecake pots, chocolate brownies, strawberry cupcakes and macaroons. I couldn’t have the macaroons due to my allergy to nuts, however, most of it was yummy. The brownie was really rich and a little cloying, so I couldn’t finish all of it despite it being small. I really enjoyed the cheesecake pot and was not expecting the tartness of the passion fruit combined with the cream cheese to be that delicious, but it was!

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Number Sixteen. If you’re looking for affordable afternoon tea without scrimping on style, then I would definitely recommend this place!

16 Sumner Place

T: +44 2036422038

Chynna has been creating blog posts since 2009. I hope you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all ?


  • Amy Gibson

    I love going for afternoon tea. I went with work for the first time about three years ago, and I loved how cute everything looked. I’ve been so many times since – it’s such a fun thing to do.

    The first time I went, I thought it wouldn’t be very filling because everything’s so small, but I’ve never been able to finish one. I always end up getting some of the cakes boxed up to take home. The last one we went to gave us three scones each as well, which is just so much. I always leave the scones until last now, because they’re way too filling!

    The afternoon tea you had looks amazing. I’d definitely want the cucumber and hummus and the tomato and basil sandwiches, and those brownies look so good. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Chynna

      4 times out of 5 I always end up with scones in my bag to take home, haha. Scones are so good, though, especially with the clotted cream and preserves. I could eat them all day if they weren’t so filling!

  • Joy

    Ahhh! I’m sorry but when I come to London, afternoon tea is at the top of my list, lol. Your tea looked so lovely and so do you! <3

    There is a place near us here in Philadelphia called A Taste of Britain that serves an Afternoon tea. It was such a sweet experience. We haven't gone again because it's a bit pricey but I really hope to get there again soon. That or hop on a plane to London!

    • Chynna

      I am eagerly awaiting your trip to London, because I will be welcoming you with open arms and so much tea it’ll eventually start coming out of your pores, lol. Thank you so much <3

  • eviebraithwaite

    I feel like I’m the only person who has never been for afternoon tea! The little sandwiches and cakes always look so cute. Like you say, I always see Groupon offers floating around, but I’m yet to go. It all looks delicious, glad you have a lovely time! x

    Evie x |

  • Miss Blogs-A-Bit

    I live for an afternoon tea ? I’m going for another in a few weeks for a friend’s birthday actually and I can’t wait! Scones with jam and clotted cream are life ?
    Your photos are beautiful and I especially like the one where you’re peeking through the tiers with your bellini – living your best life! Such a shame you had to skip the macaroons, I love those.
    Great post!

  • Nancy

    Girl, you know how to eat well! To this day, I still haven’t had afternoon tea even though I hear so much about it! Afternoon tea sounds so fancy though. The tea set looks really neat. OOoOh, the treats you got looks super delish. I like that everything is pretty much finger food and you get a taste of everything. Glad you enjoyed your experience out at Number Sixteen!!

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