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Top 35 Places to Enjoy Afternoon Tea in the UK
We have compiled a comprehensive list of the top 35 places to enjoy afternoon tea in the UK. For each venue, we provide a location, a price range, the customers rating based on Google reviews and Opentable, as well as what sort of afternoon tea it was on the POSH-O-METER (we made that one up!!). We also include useful tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of your afternoon tea experience and how this exemplary British tradition began.
Quintessential British Afternoon Tea is a tradition that has been around since the 19th century, and it is a must-try experience for anyone visiting the UK or anyone living in the UK in fact. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about afternoon tea or as some people call them, cream teas in the UK. Each link is a clickable jump link to the list of the subjects we cover:
On This Page
- Top Afternoon Tea Experiences UK
- What to Wear
- Dress Code at Prestigious Afternoon Tea Spots
- Difference Between High And Low Tea
- What Time Is Afternoon Tea Served
- What's Included In An Afternoon Tea
- Different Types Of Scones
- Average Price Of Afternoon Tea For 2 In The UK
- Afternoon Tea With Champagne
- Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers
- Award Winning Afternoon Tea Venues Across The UK
- Afternoon Tea Deals Offers
- Latest Afternoon Tea Crazes :Tea Bus Tours – Italian – Gluten – Vegan
- Child Friendly Afternoon Tea locations
- What is A Bottomless Afternoon Tea
- Afternoon Tea Gift Hampers for Home
- What Are The Most Popular Occasions to Buy An Ffternoon Tea For
The UK's Top Afternoon Tea Experiences
|Venue||Location||Price Range||Customer Rating||POSH-O-METER|
The Ritz London
|London||£157 - £414||4.8||Posh|
The Savoy Hotel
|London||£75 - £94||4.7||Posh|
|London||£85 - £107||4.7||Posh|
|London||£75 - £103||4.6||Posh|
|London||£110 - £121||4.6||Posh|
|Manchester||£30 - £42||4.6||Posh|
|London||£71 - £162||4.5||Famous|
|London||£72 - £250||4.5||Posh|
|London||£45 - £184||4.5||Fancy|
|Manchester||£54 - £72||4.4||Fancy|
The Bridge Tea Rooms
|Bradford-on-Avon||£10 - £27||4.4||Classic|
Fortnum & Mason - The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
|London||£75 - £300||4.4||Classic|
|London||£75 - £152||4.4||Fancy|
|London||£82 - £112||4.4||Classic|
|London||£85 - £102||4.4||Posh|
Brigit's Bakery Bus Tour
|London Bus Tour||£55 - £65||4.3||Classic|
Brown's Hotel - The Drawing Room
|London||£75 - £83||4.3||Posh|
|London||£75 - £102||4.3||Posh|
The Landmark London
|London||£65 - £88||4.3||Posh|
The Wallace Restaurant
|London||£25 - £50||4.3||Classic|
The Angel Hotel
|Abergavenny||£46 - £116||4.3||Classic|
The Pump Room
|Bath||£35 - £120||4.3||Classic|
|Mayfair||£35 - £75||4.3||Fancy|
|Edinburgh||£55 - £330||4.3||Posh|
|London||£120 - £150||4.3||Classic|
The Assembly House
|Norwich||£25 - £27||4.3||Classic|
The Assembly Rooms
|Edinburgh||£17.50 - £75||4.3||Classic|
|Oxford||£35 - £45||4.2||Posh|
The Montague on the Gardens
|London||£130 - £130||4.2||Classic|
The Palm Court
|London||£55 - £75||4.2||Classic|
The Tea Terrace
|London||£61 - £98||4.2||Classic|
|London||£26 - £56||4.2||Classic|
|London||£75 - £75||4.2||Classic|
What To Wear For Your Scrumptious Scones & Sandwiches
The dress code for afternoon teas can vary depending on the location and occasion, so it's always a good idea to check with the venue beforehand to see if there is a specific dress code.
At WonderDays we always take the casual dress code approach. However, in general, afternoon tea is a somewhat formal affair, so it's best to dress appropriately.
- Dress or skirt: A dress or skirt is a classic choice for afternoon tea. It can be any length, but most people choose knee-length or longer. If you prefer trousers, choose a dressy pair with a material like silk or velvet.
- Dress shirt and pants: A dress shirt and pants are appropriate. Choose a suit if you want to fancy dressing up.
- Shoes: Dress shoes are best for both men and women. Avoid athletic shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
- Accessories: You can accessorise with a hat, gloves, or jewellery but keep it simple and elegant.
Overall, it's best to dress in a way that is respectful to the occasion and the venue, whilst also considering clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident & wonderful!
Dress Code At Prestigious Afternoon Tea Spots
Above is an idea for generic afternoon tea wear, whereas if you choose some of the most prestigious locations in the UK for tea, then there are certain dress codes you need to adhere to!
Take The Ritz in London for example. At this elegant setting, jeans and t-shirt just won't cut the mustard so it's vital you check out what they expect from you for the afternoon. Men must wear a jacket and tie which is fairly standard but it's less easy for the women!
Ladies cannot wear trainers, shorts, sportswear or jeans and due to the opulence around you such as the hotel’s former ballroom, where afternoon tea is served, this is the ultimate opportunity to dress up a little! A floral dress with matching accessories will make you feel appropriately Ritz-ready.
The Berkeley’s famous Prêt-à-Portea creates the season’s must have styles in the form of delectable cakes and biscuits. Biscuits shaped as coats, dancing girls coming from desserts and bags made from sweets, with such a fashionable menu, it's only natural to dress the part too.
Whilst the hotel doesn't have a dress code as such, as it's a regular haunt for the fashion-week crowd, it would be unforgivable to not go dressed as an extra off a catwalk so dress to impress on this one! Think sharp suits and statement accessories!
For the polar opposite of The Berkeley, at The Savoy calls for classic style. Seated in the Thames Foyer under a beautiful atrium, the tea follows the traditional service style that dates back to 1840.
The dress code is smart casual and while smart jeans are allowed, you would need to pair them with a stylish pair of shoes and the best bag you can find as there's no excuse for scruffiness in this legendary institution.
Some could say we're saving the best until last at Claridge's, despite being one of London’s most prestigious spots for afternoon tea, there is no dress code!
However, it is expected that guests dress in smart casual so think dresses, heels, jackets, open shirts and classic accessories and you'll be set to enjoy the ambient surroundings of one of the most famous hotels in the world!
What's The Difference Between High And Low tea?
People often talk about taking a 'high tea' but where does it come from? It originates from the 19th Century when afternoon tea was designed for ladies who wanted to show off and show how rich they were! It consisted of these ladies entertaining as many as 200 people on the understanding they could come and go as they pleased.
The time of day you partook in afternoon tea would depend on your class as the upper classes would typically serve a 'low' or 'afternoon' tea around four o'clock before they would take a stroll round the grounds.
However this couldn't suit the working classes so the middle and lower classes would return from work at approximately six o’clock hungry! Due to not being able to drink tea for any other purpose other than for necessity due to the cost of tea, they would have a high tea of a mug of tea, bread, vegetables, cheese and occasionally meat.
Why High or Low Afternoon Tea?
This derived from the height of the tables on which the meals were served, with high tea being served at the dinner table. As afternoon tea was a more relaxed affair for the upper classes, it meant it could happen on sofas and chairs hence the ‘low’ element of it.
Over time, the upper classes developed their own version of ‘high’ tea, which was taken when servants weren’t available and could be enjoyed as an easy meal. There was the traditional afternoon tea but also a mix of meats, fish and fruit.
What Time Is Afternoon Tea Served?
Traditionally, afternoon tea is served in the late afternoon, usually between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. This is a time when people often feel a bit peckish after lunch but still have a few hours to go before dinner.
The exact time that afternoon tea is served can vary depending on the establishment and the occasion. Some hotels and restaurants may offer afternoon tea at different times, such as early afternoon or in the evening.
It's always a good idea to check with the venue beforehand to confirm their serving times and to make a reservation, as afternoon tea can be a popular and busy activity.
What's Included In An Afternoon Tea
An afternoon tea typically includes a selection of savoury and sweet treats, as well as tea (selection of blends) or coffee. The exact contents of an afternoon tea can vary depending on the location and the occasion, but here are some of the traditional items that are typically included:
A typical afternoon tea can be freshly prepared sandwiches on white bread, warm scones with clotted cream and jam, homemade cakes and pastries and tea and coffee.
- Tea: A selection of loose-leaf tea or teabags is usually offered, although coffee or hot chocolate may also be available. Types of tea can be Earl Grey, Chamomile, Mint tea, Green tea and Darjeeling black tea.
- Sandwiches: Finger sandwiches are typically served, usually with a variety of fillings such as cucumber and cream cheese, egg salad, smoked salmon, or ham and mustard.
- Scones: Freshly baked scones, usually plain or fruit-flavoured, are typically served with clotted cream and jam.
- Cakes and pastries: A selection of cakes and pastries are typically served, such as petit fours, macarons, or fruit tarts.
- Desserts: Some venues may also offer desserts, such as fruit salads or trifle.
In addition to the food and drink, the setting and atmosphere of an afternoon tea are also an important part of the experience. Most afternoon teas are served in elegant surroundings, such as hotel lobby's, tea rooms or restaurants with fine china, silverware and linen napkins.
Different Types Of Scones
The UK as always been on the cutting edge of gastronomy and scones is no different. Gone are the days when you can only have a plain scones, there are now a plethora of flavours available that you can find in many teashops, hotels and bakeries.
Ginger orange scones are made using of ginger in the form of crystals and candied orange cover and are a beautiful accompaniment to any tea on a cold evening!
The raisin in a classic raisin scone has been a staple ingredient for a long time and can be mixed with buttermilk, plus some additions of nutmeg to make a classic tasting scone.
A sun dried tomato scone is a great savoury addition to afternoon tea as you can have a combination of tomato relish, goat’s cheese and a slight touch of chilli. Other savoury scone flavours can be cheese, mashed potatoes, onions and herbs amongst others.
If you haven't tried a chocolate scone then you haven't lived as these are great o have anytime of the day and are perfect if you have dairy intolerances!
Average Price Of Afternoon Tea For 2 Across The UK
The cost of afternoon tea for two in the UK can vary widely depending on the location, the quality of the venue, and the specific menu items included. However, as a general guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from £30 to £100 or more for an afternoon tea for two in the UK.
At the lower end of the price range, you can find simple afternoon teas at cafes and tea rooms for around £30-£40 for two people. At the higher end of the price range, you can expect to pay more for more luxurious experiences, such as those offered by high-end hotels or restaurants with prices ranging from £60 to £100 or more for two people.
It's worth noting that some venues may also offer a Champagne afternoon tea which includes a glass of Champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine with the tea, at an additional cost. This can add to the overall price of the experience.
It's paramount to check with the venue beforehand to confirm their prices and make a reservation, as afternoon tea can be a popular and busy activity.
Afternoon Tea With Champagne
Afternoon tea with champagne or sometimes free flowing prosecco is a popular option for those looking to add a touch of luxury to their experience. The addition of champagne can cost an extra £10 to £20 per person, depending on the venue. It's a really popular option for many a special occasion, including hen do's, birthday parties and engagement parties as it adds a real sense of celebration to an otherwise quite formal affair.
Prosecco Afternoon Tea
A Prosecco afternoon tea is a traditional British afternoon tea that is accompanied by a glass of Prosecco. It includes the usual elements such as a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, an assortment of cakes and pastries, and tea, with the addition of Prosecco to add a celebratory or indulgent touch.
Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers
An afternoon tea gift voucher can be a great gift for someone who enjoys this British tradition, especially if you're looking for a gift that offers a unique and memorable experience for quality time with loved ones. Here are some reasons why an afternoon tea gift voucher might be a good choice:
- An afternoon tea gift voucher is a thoughtful and unique gift that offers a memorable experience and is a great option for someone who already has everything or who is difficult to shop for. What better way is there to show the people you love how much they mean to you by spending quality time together whilst enjoying some beautiful traditional delicacies in the form of sandwiches and scones!
- An afternoon tea gift voucher can be a lovely sweet way to treat someone special, such as a parent, grandparent, or significant other, to an elegant and enjoyable experience. As people get older, they tend to have everything they want in life so buying something that they can use and enjoy instead of another 'thing' means that the experience is enjoyed and also remembered forever!
- Most afternoon tea gift vouchers are valid for a certain period of time, which means that the recipient can choose when to use it, making it a very flexible gift. This can be helpful if you're not sure when the recipient will be available to enjoy the experience as they can then choose a time and location that suits them.
- An afternoon tea gift voucher can be purchased online or in-person at many locations, making it a convenient and easy gift to buy. For such a memorable gift, the convenience of buying it online makes it a very easy gift to purchase.
Overall, an afternoon tea gift voucher can be a wonderful way to show someone that you care and to give them a unique and enjoyable experience.
Award Winning Afternoon Tea Venues Across The UK:
There are many award-winning afternoon tea venues across the UK. These venues are known for their exceptional food, service and ambiance. Here are a few incredible locations:
The Ritz London: The Ritz London is known for its elegant and traditional afternoon tea experience, which has been awarded the UK Tea Council's Award of Excellence multiple times.
Claridge's: Claridge's in London has been awarded the UK Tea Council's Award of Excellence for its luxurious afternoon tea experience, which includes a selection of sandwiches, scones, and pastries as well as a choice of teas or Champagne.
The Savoy: The Savoy in London has won numerous awards for its afternoon tea, including the Tea Guild's Top London Afternoon Tea Award and the UK Tea Council's Award of Excellence.
The Balmoral Hotel: The Palm Court at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is a popular destination for afternoon tea and has won multiple awards, including the UK Tea Council's Award of Excellence.
The Chesterfield Mayfair: The Chesterfield Mayfair in London has won awards for its afternoon tea, which includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries, as well as a choice of teas or Champagne.
These are just a few examples of the many award-winning afternoon tea venues in the UK. There are many other excellent options to choose from, depending on your location and preferences.
Afternoon Tea Deals Offers
Many venues offer afternoon tea deals and offers, especially during the off-peak season. These can include discounts, complimentary extras or special themed packages.
Here are a few options:
- Experience Gift Voucher websites: Websites such as WonderDays, Groupon and Wowcher often feature deals for afternoon tea at a discounted price. These deals may include a reduced price for two people or a package that includes additional items such as champagne or prosecco that you might not find if you go directly to the venue.
- Hotel and restaurant websites: Many hotels and restaurants offer promotions and special deals for their afternoon tea services. It's worth checking their websites to see if they have any current offers available.
- Loyalty programs: If you're a member of a hotel or restaurant loyalty program, you may be eligible for discounts on afternoon tea. It's worth checking if your favourite venues offer any loyalty program benefits.
- Social media: Following your favourite hotels, restaurants and afternoon tea venues on social media can be a good way to keep up-to-date with their latest offers and promotions
These days, there are so many options for finding deals on afternoon tea in the UK, so it's worth doing some research and shopping around to find the best value for your budget.
Latest Afternoon Tea Crazes – Afternoon Tea Bus Tours, Italian Teas or Gluten and Vegan Teas
Gone are the days where you are expected to sit in a stuffy, dark teashop to enjoy some scones. Cream teas have evolved massively in how and where you can take afternoon tea including the Afternoon Tea Bus London which is an afternoon tea served on a vintage bus in London, Italian-inspired afternoon teas featuring Italian pastries and savouries and gluten-free and vegan options. Afternoon tea is a traditional and beloved British pastime, but there are always new twists and trends emerging to keep things interesting. Here are a few of the latest afternoon tea crazes:
- Themed afternoon teas: Many venues are now offering themed afternoon tea London, which is always a fun and unique experience. Examples include Harry Potter-themed tea at Cutter & Squidge in London, Alice in Wonderland-themed tea at The Sanderson in London and superhero-themed tea at The Ampersand Hotel in London.
- Vegan and gluten-free options: With more people adopting vegan and gluten-free diets, many venues are now offering afternoon teas that cater to these dietary requirements. These can include dairy-free scones, plant-based cream and milk alternatives and gluten-free bread.
- Savoury afternoon teas: While sweet treats like scones and pastries are still a staple of afternoon tea, some venues are putting more emphasis on savoury dishes, such as sandwiches, quiches, and meat or cheese platters.
- Boozy afternoon teas: Some venues are now offering afternoon teas that include alcoholic drinks, such as cocktails, prosecco, gin or champagne. These can be a fun way to add a little extra sparkle to your tea experience.
- Outdoor afternoon teas: With the popularity of outdoor dining increasing, many venues are now offering afternoon teas in outdoor spaces such as gardens, terraces or rooftops. This can be a lovely way to enjoy the sunshine while indulging in a traditional tea service.
These are just a few examples of the latest afternoon tea crazes in the UK. There are always new and innovative ideas emerging, so it's worth keeping an eye out for what's new and exciting in the world of afternoon tea.
How Does Afternoon Tea Look Today?
Afternoon tea in the current day remains a quintessentially British tradition with a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, a variety of cakes and pastries, and of course, a range of teas. There is often an option for champagne or prosecco for a more luxurious experience, as mentioned above. Contemporary variations might include vegan or gluten-free options, and exotic teas alongside classic blends. Some places may put a modern twist on the presentation and ingredients, but the essence of the experience remains steeped in tradition.
Are There Any Child Friendly Afternoon Tea Locations In The UK
There are many venues that offer child-friendly afternoon tea options in the UK. Afternoon tea can be a lovely experience for children, providing a chance for them to dress up and indulge in some special treats.
When looking for child-friendly afternoon tea locations, it's important to consider venues that offer options tailored to children's tastes and preferences. Some venues may offer special children's menus, which can include items like finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and sweets that are appealing to younger palates.
Here are a few examples of child-friendly afternoon tea locations in the UK:
- The Langham, London: The Langham offers a special children's afternoon tea, which features sweet and savoury items, as well as hot chocolate and mocktails. Children can also enjoy a Teddy Bear's Picnic-themed tea at the hotel's Roux at The Landau restaurant.
- The Ampersand Hotel, London: The Ampersand Hotel offers a science-themed afternoon tea that is particularly popular with children. The menu includes items like rocket-shaped macarons and science-themed sweets, as well as sandwiches and scones.
- The Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea, Sanderson, London: The Sanderson offers an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea that is suitable for all ages. The menu features a range of whimsical treats, including "drink me" potions and "eat me" cakes.
- The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel, Birmingham: The Edgbaston offers a children's afternoon tea that includes sandwiches, scones and a selection of cakes and sweets, as well as hot chocolate and milkshakes.
- The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh: The Balmoral offers a Teddy Bear's Picnic-themed afternoon tea for children, which includes items like teddy bear-shaped sandwiches and cakes, as well as hot chocolate and milkshakes.
These are just a few examples of child-friendly afternoon tea locations in the UK. It's always a good idea to check with the venue beforehand to see if they offer a child-friendly menu, and to make a reservation to ensure that they can accommodate your party.
What Is A Bottomless Afternoon Tea:
A bottomless afternoon tea is a new twist on the traditional British afternoon tea experience. Essentially, it's an afternoon tea where the drinks are unlimited, and guests are free to enjoy as many cups of tea or glasses of Prosecco as they like within a set time limit.
Typically, the bottomless aspect of the tea is limited to a two-hour window, during which guests are able to indulge in as much tea or Prosecco as they like. The food served during a bottomless afternoon tea is usually the same as a traditional afternoon tea, with a selection of sweet and savoury items such as scones, finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
The concept of bottomless afternoon tea has become increasingly popular in recent years, and many venues now offer this option alongside their regular afternoon tea service. It can be a fun and indulgent way to enjoy a tea experience with friends, and is particularly popular for celebratory occasions such as birthdays, hen parties or baby showers.
It's worth noting that not all venues offer bottomless afternoon tea, and those that do may have specific rules or limitations on the amount of alcohol that can be consumed. It's always a good idea to check with the venue beforehand to avoid disappointment if you really wanted to take advantage.
Is An Afternoon Tea Gift Hamper For Home A Good Gift Idea?
Yes, an afternoon tea hamper for home can be a great present idea for anyone, if you're looking for afternoon tea gifts, that enjoys indulging in a traditional afternoon tea experience in the comfort of their own home.
An afternoon tea hamper typically includes everything needed to enjoy a complete tea experience, including tea blends, biscuits, cakes, and preserves. Some hampers may also include tea cups, saucers, and other accessories to enhance the experience.
The great thing about an afternoon tea hamper is that it offers the recipient the flexibility to enjoy a tea experience at a time that suits them, and they can also share the experience with family and friends. It can be a thoughtful and enjoyable gift idea for a range of occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or even as a thank you gift.
When choosing an afternoon tea hamper, it's worth considering the recipient's taste preferences, as there are many different types of hampers available, including ones that focus on particular tea blends or baked goods. It's also important to ensure that the hamper is well-packaged and contains high-quality products to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Overall, an afternoon tea hamper for home can be a lovely and thoughtful gift idea for anyone who enjoys a traditional tea experience, or for those who simply enjoy trying new and delicious treats.
There could be a number of reasons for having to buy this as a gift for someone special, but an afternoon tea home kit really does make special occasions with special people an enjoyable experience out and about, in the office or place of work or simply in the comfort of your home.
What Are The Most Popular Occasions To Buy A Traditional Afternoon Tea For?
A popular British tradition that is enjoyed by many around the world. While it can be enjoyed at any time, there are several popular occasions that people often purchase this perfect treat for. Here are some of the most common:
Afternoon tea is a popular choice for birthday celebrations, particularly for milestone birthdays such as 18th, 21st, or 50th. Start the party off with a refined cream tea then dependant on the age, progress onto a more raucous affair with friends, or if you're older, then it's likely the feeling of being stuffed with amazing treats will be more than enough!
Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Many people choose to treat their mothers to a Mother's Day afternoon tea as a special way to show their appreciation and love. When you have to buy a gift for someone that has everything but who only wants to spend time with her darling children, a tea treat is the perfect gift!
A great choice for baby showers as it provides a relaxed and elegant atmosphere to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new baby. The range of refreshments on offer from teas and coffee through to prosecco and gins mean that it can be as relaxed or as wild as the party wants meaning there are options for everyone!
Similarly, afternoon tea is also a popular choice for bridal showers, providing a lovely setting for friends and family to celebrate the upcoming wedding. The relaxed nature of an afternoon tea means that friends old and new can meet to celebrate and get to know each other before the wedding itself.
Afternoon tea is often enjoyed during the holiday season, with many hotels and restaurants offering festive-themed teas featuring Christmas treats and decorations. There are so many cute and unique designs around Christmas that an afternoon tea, especially in the big cities in the UK, is a really lovely festive affair.
For couples looking for a romantic and elegant way to celebrate Valentine's Day, afternoon tea can be a perfect gift choice. What better way to impress the love of your life than with quality time spent together whilst enjoying sweet and savoury delights!
Can also be a great way to impress clients or to hold business meetings in a relaxed and professional setting. If you're really looking to win over potential clients or impress current clients, then a cream tea is always going to be a winner!
These are just some of the most popular occasions to buy an afternoon tea, but it can be enjoyed any time for any reason the perfect gift!
There is no better way to enjoy and celebrate so many big and small occasions in life than with a traditional UK afternoon tea. It's a long established treat that has been around for many years and one that is here to stay!