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19 Places You Must Drink Tea Before You Die

*sips tea*

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1. Candella

Instagram: @learninglondon

This charming tea room in Notting Hill is designed to look like someone's stately home sitting room, complete with fine china and a piano in the corner. Please try to resist putting the pretty cups in your bag – you can buy them afterwards instead, along with a bag of your favourite brew to have at home.

2. Opium Chinatown

Facebook: OpiumChinaTown

Done up like an exotic tea parlour, Opium is a hidden bar in Chinatown that serves both tea and tea cocktails. If you're on the wagon, go for a cup of Iron Goddess of Mercy tea, aka my alter ego (yes I have made that joke before). But if you're off the wagon, you must have a smoking Opium #6 cocktail, done with tequila, cactus, ginger, oolong tea, and MAGIC.

3. Tombo

Instagram: @tombo_london

My new fave. I love Tombo because it does excellent poke bowls that are even better than pokéballs (SEE WHAT I DID THERE I AM HILARIOUS), and all the matcha. If you don't know what matcha is, it is basically green tea but on acid. You can get hot matcha tea and matcha lattes but, friends, the matcha soft-serve ice cream is where it is at.

4. Yauatcha

Yauatcha

Yauatcha does the best dim sum in London, and I've just realised they have some of the best tea in the city too. They do a ton of beautifully fancy blends from the East, but the one you absolutely must try is the blue tea. It is sweet and light and floral and easily some of the best tea I've ever had, ever.

5. Yumchaa

Facebook: yumchaatea

I always get a bit overwhelmed when I go to Yumchaa because there's just so much tea choice, but that doesn't stop it from being my go-to tea spot. They have all their teas in little jugs by the side of the till, so you can do what I do: Hold up the queue for a good 15 minutes while you smell each tea, get increasingly panicked, then order the same tea you always do (caramel sweetheart).

You can have any tea you choose either hot or iced, and there is also now a new range of frozen tea slushies because ~summer~.

6. Orange Pekoe

Facebook: orangepekoeteas.co.uk

A really lovely little cafe out in Barnes, Orange Pekoe isn't terribly big, but its range of loose-leaf teas is extensive – over 50 different blends, I believe. It's bright yet cosy at the same time, and definitely worth a visit.

7. Drink, Shop & Do

Instagram: @backpackfullofadventures

My favourite kind of fun is organised fun, which is why I really like Drink, Shop & Do. They host regular dance workshops and crafting sessions in their King's Cross shop/cafe, and serve fantastical pots of loose leaf, which include an Alice in Wonderland blend and a Cacao Trash (chocolate tea!) blend.

8. Dishoom

Instagram: @hbinbishr

Dishoom is known more for its delicious Indian food than for its tea. But the drinks are not to be sniffed at: They have all kinds of exciting cocktails and a range of sweet, sweet chai. Properly brewed, unlimited chai. Chai that can come with a splash of bourbon or Baileys if you ask nicely.

9. Fortnum & Mason

Instagram: @claridgeshotel

Fortnum's is a British tea institution. They sell all manner of exquisite tea, teacups, and teaware alongside their delicious chocolates and patisserie. They also have a number of restaurants within their Piccadilly store in which you can sip on some very fine tea.

I'd recommend either The Parlour where you can pair your tea with an ice cream sundae (go for the rose and violet one), or the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon for an iconic afternoon tea.

10. Camellia's Tea House

This teahouse is just off Regent's Street, so it's close to all the action of central but still far enough away to maintain an air of calm. The tea itself is blended by the shop's founders, and many include homeopathic qualities. You'll find antiviral tea and beautiful skin tea among their wide range of exotic flavours.

11. Teanamu

Instagram: @sparrowkitchen

For highly ritualistic tea-drinking, head to Teanamu in Notting Hill. Both the food and drink are far beyond the norm here in the UK – you're encouraged to mix your own bespoke blend of tea, which is served alongside dim sum, patisserie, and sandwiches filled with things like garlic pickled-miso cream cheese and shichimi pepper.

If you're *really* into tea, you should definitely sign up for a tea masterclass too.

12. Good & Proper Tea

Facebook: goodandpropertea

These guys used to serve their tea out of a 1974 Citroën-H van at various food festivals. Understandably, they got terribly popular and now have their own permanent space in Old Street. Their blends are lovely and expertly chosen, but there are also a few wilder things on the menu, like their thoroughly exciting iced tea and the matcha coconut latte.

13. Twinings on the Strand

Instagram: @hostelworld

If you like tea, chances are you've heard of Twinings. They're somewhat well known. But did you know that they have a historic tea shop on the Strand? One filled with tea masterclasses, and tea ambassadors, and every tea blend under the sun. Oh, and they have a brand new tea bar out back where you can sit for a cup or two.

14. Amanzi Tea

Facebook: amanzitealondon

The name of the game here is variety. Not only do they have over 100 different blends of tea, you'll also find tea frappes, tea cocktails, and a variety of chais and bubble teas on the menu. There are also cakes, which always helps.

15. Betty Blythe Vintage Tea Rooms

Instagram: @cerikitchen

If you have a taste for the theatrical, you must go to Betty Blythe's. Not only are the tearooms a vintage dream, there are also vintage accessories provided to play dress up with.

16. Bubbleology

Facebook: bubbleology

If you're looking to get into bubble tea, Bubbleology should be your gateway drug. I don't know if it's as ~authentic~ as some of the bubble tea spots you'll find in Chinatown, but it's fun and the menu layout helps make choosing your tea a lot easier. (Forewarning you now, there is a LOT of bubble tea choice. My favourite is taro milk tea if it helps.)

17. Le Chandelier

Instagram: @marinmonroe

Beautifully laid out and unique enough to stand out from the myriad tea rooms you'll find in London, Le Chandelier is a solid spot for tea. Would recommend having one of their Portuguese tarts with your pot of tea.

18. Urban Tea Rooms

Instagram: @pinkjulep

Urban Tea Rooms do both tea and tea cocktails, but as I learnt the hard way, the former isn't available in the evenings. Apparently they have no hot water after 6pm – a very hungover me was suitably devastated by this news one evening, so please don't make the same mistake.

Unless you're hungover or teetotal though, you really should go for a cocktail. They're something special. The Asian Dream (jasmine gin, rose tea syrup, and prosecco) and the Earl of Champagne (champagne, Earl Grey gin, ginger reduction, and a bourbon-soaked cherry) are my top picks from the menu.

19. The Ritz

Instagram: @thecuriouscreature

There are so many fantastic hotel afternoon teas in London I could recommend to you: the Sanderson, Claridge's, and the Savoy to name but a few. But there's just something magical about afternoon tea at The Ritz. I went a while back, and it was an experience I can confidently say was worth every penny. The service is exquisite, as is the Palm Court you're served in, and the tea you're served.

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