Time for tea: 10 afternoon tea experiences in England
Melissa Brobby shares her favourite afternoon tea experiences in England, from a Mad Hatter's tea party in the heart of London to afternoon tea above the clouds in Portsmouth.
1. The Pump Room - Bath, Somerset
Visit Bath’s most elegant eatery where Pride & Prejudice author, Jane Austen, spent many an afternoon enjoying Regency gossip with her tea and cake. Be entertained by The Pump Room Trio as you feast on a delicate sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam, and be sure to sample the Bath buns, a local delicacy not to be missed.
2. Spinnaker Tower - Portsmouth, Hampshire
Enjoy afternoon tea 105 metres above ground at Café in the Clouds at the top of the Spinnaker Tower. Tuck into a selection of sandwiches, scones and petit fours washed down with a pot of tea and a glass of prosecco all whilst enjoying panoramic views of Portsmouth’s coastline and the Hampshire countryside.
3. Betty’s - Harrogate, Yorkshire
Serving afternoon treats since 1919, Betty’s will transport you to back to a time of high society and elegance as you enjoy a tiered cake stand filled with finger sandwiches, miniature cakes and scones whilst the café pianist provides a soundtrack to your tea quaffing.
4. OH ME OH MY, Liverpool
Near Liverpool’s iconic Albert Dock sits this grand tea house, the perfect spot for enjoying afternoon tea after a busy day exploring the city. Enjoy a cake tier of sandwiches, scones and delicate tea time treats so pretty you won’t want to eat them.
5. Sanderson Hotel, London
Enter your very own Wonderland at Sanderson Hotel with its Mad Hatters afternoon tea, where you’ll savour classic cucumber sandwiches, white crab eclairs and goat cheese croque-monsieur, along with homemade scones and wonderland inspired treats from magic marshmallow mushrooms to ‘Drink me’ potions.
6. Floating Afternoon Tea, Windsor
Climb on board a 100 year old river boat and tuck into an array of finger sandwiches, scones and little fancies as you float along the Thames down Cliveden reach.
7. The Flying Childers restaurant - Chatsworth, Derbyshire
Indulge in a delectable afternoon tea served on Wedgwood tea ware at the Chatsworth Estate. Nibble on powder-blue macarons, an ode to the signature Wedgwood design, and replenish with Wedgwood tea or a selection of Chatsworth coffees. If you’re feeling fancy, you can order a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé served with a biscuit rose de Reims.
8. Talbot Hotel - Malton, Yorkshire
Pull up a comfy chair in Talbot Hotel’s elegant dining area, where Yorkshire rhubarb panna cotta, blackcurrant bakewell tart and a white chocolate financier are just some of the delights on the menu, along with a selection of sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and a glass of Taittinger Champagne to wash it down.
9. Secret Cottage - Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
Head to the Cotswolds for a mini bus tour of its beautiful countryside and picture-perfect villages, before being invited back to the privately--owned Secret Cottage for a traditional cream tea, where you’ll enjoy a selection of hand-made sandwiches and scones fresh out of the Aga.
10. Ponden Hall - Bradford, West Yorkshire
Visit the historic Ponden Hall which inspired Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches (you can choose your own fillings), your choice of a traditional English teatime cake and a pot of Yorkshire tea. Afterwards, enjoy a tour of the house uncovering its fascinating history.