Olive Magazine
The Modern Pantry, London EC1: Afternoon Tea Review

The Modern Pantry, London EC1: afternoon tea review

Published: January 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm
Our content is updated regularly but it’s advisable to check opening times and availability with the venue before you plan to visit. Please follow government guidelines regarding social distancing

Read our review of afternoon tea at The Modern Pantry, a light and airy location that prides itself on unusual flavour combinations - their darjeeling and pink peppercorn scones are a triumph

Want affordable afternoon teas in London? Looking for afternoon tea in East London? Read our expert afternoon tea review for afternoon tea at The Modern Pantry


With its light, airy interior and simple white furniture, The Modern Pantry has none of the stuffy old-fashioned atmosphere that you may associate with afternoon tea. Thanks to chef Anna Hansen’s imaginative, innovative menu, this relaxed, friendly venue has already become a firm favourite among the trendy Clerkenwell food scene.

This year, with help from patissier Jennifer Moseley, the afternoon tea menu has been revamped and improved. Although the interior is crisp and minimalist, dainty floral china adds a traditional note and a nice contrast to the modern flavours of the food. While the sandwiches (best sandwich recipes here) and scones may look like your normal afternoon tea staples, you can expect the same unusual flavours that you may find on the main menu, such as chia and mixed seed bread open sandwich with quail egg, miso, wasabi cream cheese and macadamia dukkah; and darjeeling and pink peppercorn scone with liquorice jam and green tea and toasted black sesame dacquoise.

The seasonal tea selection from Lalani & Co has a good balance of traditional and more unusual flavours, and the staff were very knowledgeable and on-hand to offer suggestions or refills, but were never intrusive. At £23.50pp or £29.50 with a choice of peach, passionfruit or lychee bellini or a glass of bubbles, this feels like great value, but it’s also different enough to suit a special occasion.

Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Star of the show:cheddar, caramelised onion and turmeric scone, curry leaf goat’s curd.

Scone rating: 8/10

Perfect for:birthdays, catching up with friends or just because.

Price: Afternoon tea £23.50, champagne afternoon tea from £29.50

Address: 47-48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 4JJ

Still in the mood for cakes? Check out our best ever afternoon tea recipes now, and create your own feast at home...

Cheshire cheese and walnut scones

Plus, check out our guide to the best afternoon teas that are not in the UK...

Castle Howard Afternoon Tea patisseries © Victoria Harley

olive magazine podcast ep65 – Who will win the great scone debate? Jam or cream first?!

On this week’s podcast the team explore the British tradition of afternoon tea, sharing their favourites in London, and get into a debate on which is the right way to serve scones. (Psst, cream is the right way.)

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