Even a child-friendly afternoon tea in London is more duitable for some ages than others.
Afternoon tea is integral to the culture in London, but it requires some skills that not all young children have mastered. For starters, formal afternoon tea experiences in upscale restaurants require participants of all ages to sit still for at least half an hour. Most classic tea times will last an hour and may stretch out longer in good company.
Teatime in London also requires proper manners, which some young children are still prone to forgetting when they get bored, tired, or upset. London afternoon tea is the perfect time to practice those skills, so don’t shy away from those experiences while on vacation in London.
What Is the Ideal Age for Afternoon Tea?
The question is “when is it appropriate to start taking children to afternoon tea?” From age 5 should be fine in most cases. However, there is no definite age that applies to all children and all families, but we have some general guidelines for you to consider.
The ideal age for a child to start attending tea comes down to the following factors:
- Maturity – Some children mature faster than others. Parents are the best judge as to the readiness of a child for any tea experience.
- Skill Development – Social skills, table manners, and the simple ability to sit still and enjoy the experience all come into play here.
- The Experience – Some London afternoon tea experiences are designed for children. Others are classic teatimes with all the associated mannerisms. Some may even have a dress code, so always check online or ask when setting reservations. The experience chosen will determine the suitability to children at different levels of maturity and skill development.
When you feel that your child is ready to practice their big boy or girl manners and sit through a classic teatime even if it is abbreviated, that’s the right time to introduce them to teatime. It can happen at different ages.
Afternoon Tea in London with Young Kids
Many families believe in introducing kids to afternoon tea around the age of five. That’s the minimum for most families because kids that are younger than that rarely have the ability to sit still and remain quiet for any length of time. The exception would be family-friendly teatimes that are designed for younger kids.
At this age, short teatimes work best. You may need to explain what is expected of your child and help them understand what teatime is all about before you enter the restaurant or café. The more your child understands about the experience, the more likely they are to live up to expectations. Allowing them to practice grownup social skills may feel like a fun challenge, especially if they get to dress up for the event.
Afternoon Tea in London with Older Kids
Kids seven and up are probably the best prepared to successfully experience afternoon tea in London. By that age, many kids have started to develop strong social skills and can understand why they need to talk quietly and mind their manners when out to tea with the family. They may even enjoy practicing manners of a higher level than they utilize at home.
You should still talk to your kids about expected behavior and explain to them what afternoon tea is all about in London. You can talk about the history behind teatime so that they learn something new while preparing for the experience. Since the concept of afternoon tea started as a luxury for the wealthier members of society and royalty, kids may get excited to have the experience themselves today.
Reasons to Experience Afternoon Tea in London with Kids
Why should you consider having afternoon tea with your children in London? There are many reasons other parents do it daily, including:
- It’s an integral part of the British culture. Part of exploring the world is opening your mind to how other people live, and tea is a delicious way to do it.
- It gives families an opportunity to talk about their experiences in London. Why wait until you get home to talk about your favorite attractions and moments? Afternoon tea is the perfect time to have conversations with your kids to see how much fun they’re having in London.
- It allows you to escape the heat, cold, or rain as well as the crowded London streets. Relaxing with a cup of tea and an assortment of finger foods is the perfect mid-day retreat.
- It’s an affordable way to experience some of London’s finer restaurants. Tea menus are often more affordable than dinner menus, so why not set reservations at the more upscale hotel restaurants for tea? Your kids may feel like real princes and princesses getting dressed up and going for tea in sophisticated surroundings.
Kids of all ages can enjoy afternoon tea when you select themed tea experiences designed for families. Just don’t assume that your kids can’t enjoy a classic London afternoon tea until you give it a try.
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