Image: Pxfuel

It doesn’t take a lot to get us psyched about an afternoon tea, which is why when we heard that Mad Hatter Day was in October, we just had to get involved. Thus, we present to you the top 9 tea experiences - fit for a Queen - around the world:

  1. Attend a tea ceremony in Japan

Drinking a cup of tea in Japan is not just an everyday pastime; it’s a work of art and a form of spiritual expression. As such, attending a tea ceremony here is one of those things to file under your travel must-dos. Of course, we’re not talking your regular cup of strong black tea; oh no - in Japan, you’ll be sipping on matcha, which may be the flavor-of-the-month (quite literally) all over the world, but has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries.

During the fascinating tea ceremony, you’ll also be encouraged to channel your inner Buddhist, watching as your tea master gracefully prepares and serves your drink. The tranquil pouring of the tea is meant to symbolize a pouring from the server’s heart, embodying purity, respect and harmony.

For a full-blown luxurious afternoon tea experience with a Japanese twist (yup, we’re talking the likes of green tea éclairs!), you can also head to The Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, served on the 45th-floor lobby with incredible views of Mount Fuji.

Japan is also a great spot for Boba tea/Bubble tea, for a more modern drinking experience!

Love the sound of all this but can’t make it to Japan just yet? Why not check out this online Japanese teatime experience?

2. Try some Turkish Tea

Tea culture is huge in Turkey - probably because some of the world’s best varieties can be found here, not least the Turkish Tea. Black and bursting with flavors, sugar - rather than milk - is added, depending on how you like it.

Take a trip to Turkey

3. Take your afternoon tea with a side of massage in Bali

Everyone knows that Bali is the place to be if you like a massage, but we’ll take this and raise you a full body massage with a side of high tea after. Need we say any more?

4. Enjoy the world’s highest tea in Dubai

There’s high tea and then there’s high tea. Oh yes, to indulge in a spot of high tea in the world’s tallest restaurant, head to the Burj Khalifa lounge, where breathtaking views are blended with a gourmet spread and a selection of the finest tea.

Another decadent tea experience is the luxurious offering at Atlantis The Palm, offering freshly baked-on-the-premises tarts, cakes and other bakes crowned with sculptured chocolate and gold leaf, accompanied by a cup of Yellow Gold Tea - one of the most expensive pots of tea on the market, containing 24-carat gold dust! The perfect follow-up to an afternoon swimming with dolphins, we’d say!

5. Take a tea plantation tour

There are plantations in Kenya that offer tours - perfect if you’re interested in seeing just where your English Breakfast comes from, Sri Lanka - if you’re a fan of the Ceylon black tea that makes up a range of blended varieties, such as Earl Grey, and Mauritius!  

6. Sip mint tea while shopping in Marrakech

Haggling over the price of a rug can be thirsty work, so what better way to relax after than by enjoying some sweetened mint tea - served thrice to increase the intensity and poured from a height to create a layer of foam?  The quintessential beverage that Moroccan hospitality is centered around, it’s a rite of passage when here.

Visit Marrakech

7. Try a tea leaf salad in Myanmar

A traditional dish made up of fermented tea leaves, tomatoes, sesame seeds, roasted peanuts and beans, this is definitely one to try if you love local cuisine!

Check out Myanmar

8. Hunt out a Masala chai in India

Yes, everyone knows and loves a good ol’ cup of chai - literally translated as ‘mixed-spice tea’ and the premium offering in India, but for a truly unique tea experience, try to find a Masala chai, usually only found in hole-in-the-wall tea stalls within ramshackle markets.

Visit India

9. Have a spot of afternoon tea in England

As if this list would be complete without this! And - as you might expect - there are countless ways to get your tea party fix in the Queen’s country. Our faves include:

  • Sketch. This eccentric-yet-elegant tearoom in London’s posh Mayfair offers five differently-themed rooms - one of which has a definite Alice in Wonderland vibe. You’d be a simply mad hatter to miss this. Check it out.
  • The Shard. Sandwiches, warm scones, panna cotta and cheesecakes - accompanied by the most spectacular views over London. Need we say any more? Get your tickets here.
  • Claridge’s. Another iconic place to indulge, this luxurious London hotel continues to celebrate - and win awards - for its own decadent spin on the regal English tradition. Offering a classic menu of finger sandwiches, sweet pastries and freshly baked scones, you can also drink one of the rarest teas in the world - Malawi Antler - that simply cannot be found anywhere else in the UK. Find out more.
  • The Ritz. Scones, sandwiches and 18 varieties of loose-leaf tea - it can only be The Ritz! The only UK hotel to have a certified Tea Sommelier, you can be sure that you are sampling the world’s finest flavors amid the live musical ensemble made up of the resident pianist and harpist. Read more
  • Fortnum and Mason. Queen Elizabeth’s official grocer has been serving an opulent afternoon tea experience since 2012 in honor of the Diamond Jubilee, and it’s a seriously regal affair for all you royalists! Find out more
  • Afternoon tea on a double-decker bus. It is, basically, what it says on the tin, and it’s epic! Combining the bucket list favorites of any London traveler, you’ll take in the capital’s most iconic sights while tucking into a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Book now!

God save our gracious tea!