Most of us don’t really need a reason to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea, but Afternoon Tea Week (9-15 August) offers the perfect excuse to indulge in one of the nation’s favourite traditions. So, here’s a taster of just some of the best teatime treats to savour during the week – or indeed at any time!
Ooh La La! A taste of France… in a medieval minster town
T C Patisserie
Tres bon… for a taste of French patisserie in one of England’s prettiest market towns head to T C Patisserie, an independent French patisserie/cafe run by an actual French patissier, Thierry Condette, who trained as a patisserie chef in one of the classic French cooking academies and worked in restaurants across France before moving to the medieval minster town of Beverley, bringing a little bit of France to East Yorkshire. Try one of the sweet and savoury patisseries and finger sandwiches, choices will vary from day to day.
Tea and antiques
The Georgian Tea Rooms
Along one of the UK’s most complete Georgian Streets, High Street, you will find this quaint little café with The Georgian Antique Centre above – along with a large garden and antique fountain for al fresco dining. While swerving traditional afternoon tea in the traditional part of Bridlington, for those who prefer savoury over sweet, try their cheese or Wold’s ploughman’s, including a selection of cheeses, Yorkshire ham and homemade chutney.
Would you like chocolate with that?
White Rabbit Chocolatiers
Hull (and Beverley)
If chocolate is your favourite sweet treat then White Rabbit is the place for you and with shops in Beverley and Hull, there’s twice the chance to get your chocolate fix. Alongside a range of sandwiches and scone, with jam, chantilly cream and chocolate sauce, is a sample of delicious desserts all showcasing a chocolate element… and of course some of White Rabbit’s luxurious homemade chocolate truffles. Bring the White Rabbit experience home with you by choosing some of their expertly made chocolate treats to try.
Tempting treats for pampered pooches
The Blue Whippet Cafe
Named after the owner’s blue brindle whippet, Meg, this is a cafe that serves afternoon tea for both people and their furry friends, with bookings available for afternoon tea and parties for you or your pooch! For four legged friends, afternoon tea offers a tempting mixture of dog treats served on a cake stand or in a box, while for humans, a traditional tea is served on vintage china.
A drop of ‘thirst aid’…
Bunty’s Tea Room
Steep Hill, Lincoln
Conveniently located half way up Lincoln’s Steep Hill (and trust us, it earns the name) is a family run vintage venue with fancy teapots, mis-matched china cups and saucers, big band music and interesting objects hung from the medieval walls of the Grade 2 listed building. Promising essential ‘thirst aid’ on Lincoln’s famous Hill, once voted ‘Britain’s Best Street’, this traditional tea room serves homemade cakes, scones and light lunches but specialises in Afternoon Tea, which is served throughout the day and freshly prepared.
Take tea on a medieval bridge…
High Bridge Cafe
High Street, Lincoln
In the heart of Lincoln, The High Bridge – built over the River Witham circa 1160 – is the oldest bridge in England with houses still on it… so almost certainly the only one where you can tuck into an afternoon tea. This medieval building has been standing tall since 1540 and is now home to the beautiful black and white timbered Tudor High Bridge Café, run by Lincoln’s Stokes Tea & Coffee, a family run business since 1902. Its range of tea and coffee is sourced, blended, roasted and packed in the city. Take time to enjoy this historic building in its full glory with a jolly good brew, and an afternoon tea.
Tea served with Elizabethan splendour…
For the true taste of a classic afternoon tea, how about tucking in to traditional summer favourites amidst the stately splendour of England’s greatest Elizabethan house? Boasting huge windows flooding the area with natural light, the Orangery – housed in a building that provided space for the family’s love of horticulture and designed by ‘Capability’ Brown – is certainly a magnificent location for a spot of tea, and overlooks Burghley’s Rose Garden, offering alfresco dining with views across the South Gardens.
Themed Afternoon Tea?
The Wonky Table
Here’s one for large groups. Book Themed Afternoon Tea Packages – from Alice in Wonderland to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – at The Wonky Table in Derby’s vibrant Cathedral Quarter. Whether a hen party, baby shower or just a get together, there’s an afternoon tea to suit at the charming and quirky restaurant, which offers rustic dining with a contemporary twist, promising food with heart and soul using locally sourced produce. Derby’s Cathedral Quarter is popular for its independent shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, as well as arts and cultural venues and historical landmarks.
Makeney Hall Hotel
Fresh from a £300,000 refurbishment, Makeney Hall Hotel – a Victorian country mansion set in six acres of landscaped gardens with views across the Amber Valley – lies 8 miles from Derby city centre and offers cream and afternoon teas daily. Afternoon tea includes the familiar favourites of finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, along with a selection of chef’s baked homemade cakes.
Tea with a twist
Kedleston Country House Hotel
A family home set in the historic Kedleston estate in Derbyshire, this stunning Georgian house is quintessentially English with rolling countryside views… and it promises a re-invention of a quintessential British tradition. Tweaking, modernising and twisting traditional recipes from the Kedleston Kitchen, diners can look forward to three courses from sandwiches, savouries and sweet treats.
A world class experience…
World of Wedgwood
Wedgwood has become a British cultural icon and is loved and admired around the world, so afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room is a memorable experience. A contemporary interpretation of afternoon tea, including a delicious selection of sweet and savoury dishes, is served on Wedgwood china in the Wedgwood Tea Room, part of The World of Wedgwood, a unique, interactive visitor centre experience celebrating the very best of British craftsmanship. The Tea Room is open weekly Wednesday to Sunday, and the trademark afternoon tea menu includes imaginative children’s and vegan options.
Potty for tea…
Emma Bridgewater Factory Cafe
A quintessential British brand. Emma Bridgewater’s iconic handmade pottery is manufactured in Stoke-on-Trent, and its Victorian factory alongside the Caldon Canal, in the heart of The Potteries, is home to factory tours, shop and a popular café… as well as a ‘secret’ garden. Experience traditional English high tea at its very best, served, of course, on a selection of Bridgewater crockery with its colourful designs.
Go guilt free at a stately home
Grand country house Weston Park, with its classical architecture and set in stunning ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, offers a cosy afternoon tea served in its Cellar restaurant – including a ‘guilt-free’ offering. Available Monday – Saturday afternoons, there is a tempting array of assorted finger sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones, all served on a traditional three-tiered stand. As a savoury alternative there are homemade pickings including mature cheddar cheese & herb scone, beef & onion cob, pork pies and pork scratchings. Or how about the guilt-free version of afternoon tea, filled with nutritious & delicious, wholefood recipes, made entirely without gluten, grains & refined sugar?
Step back in time…
Whitmore Tea Rooms
Near Newcastle under Lyme
Take a step back in time and enjoy a vintage dining experience in a charming rustic setting in this traditional English tearoom, housed in a beautifully restored 18th century cottage. A wide selection of home-made cakes and fresh scones are made on the premises daily and served warm with clotted cream and preserve.
‘Tea off’ on Southsea seafront
The Tenth Hole Tea Rooms
A stone’s throw from Southsea sea front The Tenth Hole Tearooms has a garden overlooking the 9-hole pitch & putt course – which is said to be the oldest pitch and putt course in the world. Famous for its cakes, hearty breakfasts and tasty lunches, the tearoom boasts a passion for all things cake-shaped! High tea includes miniature scones, a selection of sweet treats and savoury bites, served with a choice of Teapigs Tea. The 9-hole pitch and putt links course attached to the tearoom was founded back in 1914, which they claim makes it the oldest pitch and putt course in the world.
Enjoy a high tea… literally
Enjoy a delicious treat with stunning views, from the sanctuary of The Clouds – 105 metres above the ground! Experience breath taking panoramic views of Portsmouth, Solent and Isle of Wight whilst tucking into afternoon tea high in the sky. The Spinnaker Tower’s traditional High Tea Experience includes a traditional selection of sandwiches, an assortment of sweet treats and fruit scones with clotted cream and jam plus a selection of teas or coffee and a General Admission Ticket to explore the tower at your leisure.
Not just for the grown-ups…
Escape to the country and drive through the gates of Lainston House, up the winding drive, to enter a world where historic charm and contemporary elegance blend seamlessly. And this charming 17th-century country house, a luxurious five-star hotel in 63 acres of Hampshire countryside, offers a truly indulgent afternoon tea. Served on a tiered cake stand with a glamorous sense of tradition and occasion, you can also add an extra treat with a glass of Ridgeview English sparkling wine. But it’s not just a treat for the adults. There is a children’s afternoon tea, with raspberry jam sandwiches and double chocolate brownie with hot chocolate or fruit juice.
Howzat for a tea break!
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl
Overlooking a tranquil lake, Hilton at the Ageas Bowl is adjacent to the Ageas Bowl with sweeping views of the cricket ground – which is currently one of the venues for brand new hit summer cricket competition, The Hundred. The hotel is also home to BEEFY’S bar and restaurant, inspired by the legendary cricketer Sir Ian Botham. Enjoy a spot of tea and savour freshly prepared delicacies with a wide selection of menus available, including gluten free and vegan offerings.
World of Wedgwood Tea Room, Stoke-on-Trent
Afternoon Tea At Lainston House, Hampshire
Spinnaker Tower High Tea, Hampshire
Emma Bridgewater Factory Cafe, Stoke-on-Trent
The Orangery, Burghley House, Lincolnshire
T C Patisserie,. East Yorkshire
Stokes High Bridge Cafe, Lincoln