A countrywide obsession
hat a perfect way to spend the afternoon, and not a crust on a cucumber sandwich in sight. By the 1860s, the fashion for afternoon tea was widespread in England and still is to this very day.
For mid range prices but no shortcuts take tea with a view over London at The National Portrait Gallery , where you’ll be served with cakes, scones and sandwiches a-plenty. If setting is what you’re after, choose the Sharrow Bay Hotel in the Lake District where the stunning backdrop of Ullswater will compete with dainty finger sandwiches for your attention.
Many English country houses are a classic location for afternoon tea. Visit The Pump Room at the Roman Baths in Bath for afternoon tea with a difference – after your cuppa try the famous Bath Spa water.
For the ultimate Yorkshire brew experience book a table at Betty's in Harrogate and savour every crumb of a Grand Cru Chocolate Torte, or for something a little different, spoil yourself with highly fashionable Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkley.
Psst... Handy hints
All about tea
Visit the UK Tea Council website for facts on the health benefits, notes on how to make the perfect brew, and a mesmerising tally of how many cups have been drunk so far today.
On a budget
Instead of The Ritz for the full works, think The Goring for tea and Petits Fours (for around £5)
Check the dress code
At The Ritz , for example, it’s jacket and tie rather than jeans and trainers
Saying yes to that glass of champagne will usually mean at least £10 added to your bill.
Classic art and groundbreaking design...The V&A, London