Looking for afternoon tea in Manchester or the best teatime deal in Edinburgh? Check out our favourite regional afternoon teas below or find out who serves the best in London.


Betty's afternoon tea, York, Harrogate and other Yorkshire locations

Coffee and cake at Betty’s in Harrogate is always a treat; but the Lady Betty afternoon tea is even more so. Taken in the elegant Imperial Room upstairs, it begins with a glass of Hébrart Premier Cru champagne, Moutard Rosé champagne or a kir royale cocktail and, unusually for an afternoon tea, a savoury appetiser – prawn cocktail, served in a little shot glass and sprinkled with paprika.

Next, more miniature savouries including a Yorkshire pork and Bramely apple pie with golden pastry and an accomplished smoked salmon and dill roulade. Sandwiches are soft and pretty, with succulent roast Yorkshire ham and tomato pâté being the best, and are refreshed if needs be; try them with a pot of Betty’s own afternoon tea blend (Assam and Darjeeling with a delicate floral finish), served in bone china cups.

Everything is presented on a traditional silver cake stand, including aromatic Yorkshire lavender scones (a highlight of the afternoon) and a selection of beautiful pastries. Grand Cru chocolate mousse cloaked in cocoa butter and finished with sharp raspberry is utterly decadent; a sweet 'n' sticky toffee-apple macaron comes hand-decorated; the miniature Battenberg is covered in good, homemade marzipan; and a coffee religieuse is all light choux pastry, billowy whipped coffee cream and crisp sable biscuit.

Stay over: Treat yourself to a stay Rudding Park, where rooms are decked with roll-top baths and your own private terrace, or opt for one of the luxurious spa rooms, fitted with a private sauna, steam room or spa bath plus your own private garden.

More like this

Doubles from £249 per night, check availability at booking.com


Another afternoon tea option in York


Florencia Clifford’s hybrid bakery, café, vintage furniture store and art gallery is delicious in every detail. Afternoon tea (available for tables of six or more) includes Scandi-style open and finger sandwiches, brownie bites and a choice of sweet or savoury scones and two items from that day’s selection of awesome cakes, tarts, pastries, cookies and buns. These are produced in Partisan’s bakery, three doors away, and feature many vegan and gluten-free options. The price includes Canton Tea Company teas and a glass of house champagne or a bellini, made with Briottet liqueurs.


An afternoon tea spread at Bettys in Yorkshire with silver tiered cake stands full of battenberg, scones and delicate cakes

Another afternoon tea option in Harrogate

Horto afternoon tea, Rudding Park

Take afternoon tea in Rudding Park’s kitchen garden-led restaurant, housed in the country hotel’s swish spa. The restaurant has a relaxed, funky vibe with neon canvasses, mustard and teal velvet booths, and flashes of florals that creep in to complement the garden view.

Chefs incorporate homegrown produce into the cakes and pastries – try macarons laced with blackberry syrup, mini choux buns with rose-infused cream, and delicate carrot cakes. Pickled onions for the ham sandwiches are homemade, and the scone course is spruced up with Horto jams (gooseberry, raspberry and elderberry).

Horto makes the most of its proximity to Taylors of Harrogate tea merchant and offers classic Yorkshire Gold as well as afternoon darjeeling, earl grey, peppermint and super-fresh and delicate green tea.


Cloud 23 afternoon tea, Manchester

The 23rd-storey view out to the Cheshire Plain is only one attraction of this plush cocktail lounge. Guests can take a glass of fizz with afternoon tea or, indeed, a four seasons tasting flight of Pommery champagnes.

Alternatively, pair your candied pineapple scones with one of Cloud 23’s signature cocktails. The Japanese-influenced Mission To Manchester sees Hendrick’s gin combined with sake, genmaicha tea syrup, yuzu and rose water. Cream tea from £12.

Stay over: Converted textile warehouse, The Cow Hollow Hotel, has a reception that doubles as a cocktail bar, where guests can enjoy complimentary early evening prosecco and snacks. Rooms come kitted out with impressive marble fireplaces, super comfy beds and a round of milk and cookies delivered to your room each night.

Doubles from £89 per night, check availability at booking.com


Another afternoon tea option in Manchester

The Midland Hotel

Its elegant tea room is a modern addition but the Grade II Midland has been acing the scone game since 1903. Said scones arrive with clotted cream and award-winning jams from Cheshire’s Mrs Darlington’s, amid a regal parade of sandwiches and enticing work from pastry chef, Austin Appleton. Think Valrhona dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel or raspberry opera cake with lemon grass panna cotta. The Midland’s loose leaf teas include three unique blends created with supplier Quinteassential.


Llanerch Vineyard afternoon tea, Cardiff

Served in a restaurant overlooking a Welsh vineyard, afternoon tea at Llanerch is not your average tea, cake and sarnies affair – chef Ryan Davies and his team make everything from scratch each morning on site, guaranteeing freshness.

The menus are seasonal and the top two tiers of the cake stand might include lavender sugared Welsh cakes, rhubarb crumble and custard tart and blood orange posset with rosemary tuile. The savoury lower tier features classic sandwiches like egg and cress but also a more contemporary chicken and sun-dried tomato mayonnaise.

The restaurant has a stunning view of the vineyard, and in the summer the bi-folding doors can be opened to enhance the experience, particularly with a glass of sparkling Welsh wine.

Stay over: Nestled in the quiet Welsh countryside yet 20 minutes from Cardiff city centre, Wale's only vineyard hotel Llanerch Vineyard Hotel offers guests rolling countryside views, leafy vineyard tours and local wine tasting.

Doubles from £70 per night, check availability at booking.com


Llanerch Vineyard, Cardiff

More afternoon tea options in Cardiff

Hendricks G&Tea/Gentleman’s afternoon tea Laguna Kitchen

Laguna Kitchen is tucked away on the ground floor of the Park Plaza Hotel; a little quiet oasis of luxury just off the main shopping street in central Cardiff. Choose between the main dining room or a plush sofa in front of a fire in the equally swish lobby area.

In a cute, boozy twist on a traditional afternoon tea, the G&Tea includes a Hendrick’s Elderflower Collins served in a china teapot and cup along with dainty finger sandwiches, light-as-air scones and sweet patisserie such as lime jellies with mint and cucumber, macaroons and chocolate opera gateau. (Try our gin and tonic cake recipe here)

The Gentleman’s Tea (also enthusiastically offered to ladies) offers more savoury than sweet with offerings such as chorizo scotch eggs, mini Brecon venison burgers, roast Welsh sirloin in mini yorkies and Severn and Wye smoked salmon blinis, as well as mini chocolate mousse and rum baba.


Waterloo Gardens Teahouse afternoon tea

Love tea? You will be in heaven at Waterloo. It carries over 50, some from farms so tiny they only produce 100kg of that tea each year. The menu moves fluidly with the seasons, but its staff are as enthusiastic about the classics, such as jasmine pearl, as they are the freshest, most refined white teas (created from young leaves dried before they oxidise).

Waterloo even purifies its water and brews at four different temperatures in its quest for perfection. Its food is similarly fastidious. Afternoon tea (which needs to be pre-ordered) is served with homemade truffles and seasonal fruits, and includes scones and interesting sandwiches (green harissa chicken, Welsh cheddar and plum chutney), which are all made to order. Excellent cakes, too.


Cliveden House afternoon tea, Taplow, Berkshire

An Italianate mansion located on a 376-acre National Trust-owned estate in Berkshire, Cliveden has been one of the UK’s most important houses for three centuries. This is where Christine Keeler first met John Profumo, a meeting and affair that led to one of the biggest political scandals of all time. It’s also where Meghan Markle stayed before her Royal Wedding in 2018.

Afternoon teas served in the Great Hall are so popular that you may need to book at least three weeks in advance but they are well worth the wait. Expect faultless finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, crème fraiche on granary, perhaps, or beef and horseradish on caraway bread) alongside freshly baked scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, miniature bite-size cakes, pastries and aromatic Cliveden blend teas. Seasonal treats might include almond financier with rhubarb and white chocolate or beetroot cake with bergamot buttercream.

Stay over: Historic Italianate mansion Cliveden House combines Edwardian elegance with modern luxury, with rooms offering handmade kingsize beds, antique furniture and period bathrooms. There's also the option to spend the weekend in your own private riverside bolthole. Set in long National Trust gardens, Cliveden is 45 minutes west of London by car.

Doubles from £535 per night, check availability at booking.com


Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire

Running Fox Bakery afternoon tea, Felton, Northumberland

Beside the River Coquet in rural Northumberland, Felton lost most of its shops and meeting places when the nearby A1 was diverted away from the village. That didn’t deter ambitious local resident Kris Blackburn from taking over the village coffee shop eight years ago. Having spent years in catering, she thought a village bakery would work and Running Fox launched in 2011, opening seven days a week and selling a range of bakery goods and local produce as well doubling up as the local newsagents.

As well as becoming the community hub – the local WI and history club are regulars – the Running Fox has made the most of its position and become a destination afternoon tea venue in the middle of an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty close to beaches, ancient castles and historic Alnwick. Think rustic and filling rather than dainty (Kris’s words). For £17.50 per person, they include a sandwich, slice of pie or quiche, fresh cheese or fruit scone and a wedge of homemade cake served with ‘endless’ tea or coffee. It’s clearly a winning formula as Kris has since opened a second café in nearby Longframlington and a third in Shilbottle.

Stay over: A 12 minutes walk from the beach, The Joiners Arms offers boutique, coaching inn-inspired rooms with exposed stone walls and original beamed ceilings. Rooms look onto the leafy garden and include panoramic views, Juliet balconies and statement centrepiece bathtubs - coupled with king-sized beds, fluffy robes and locally sourced in-room treats.

Doubles from £210 per night, check availability at booking.com


Running Fox Bakery, Felton, Northumberland

Titanic afternoon tea, Belfast

On the exact spot where the British passenger liner RMS Titanic was built and launched in 1912, Titanic Belfast’s Sunday afternoon tea allows guests to step back in time to a period of luxury, elegance and five-star service. Set in the opulent surroundings of the Titanic Suite, featuring the replica staircase recreated for a few scenes in the 1997 film, afternoon tea here features a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with Cornish clotted cream, cakes, éclairs and savoury bites inspired by those served on board the original boat. Wash it all down with a selection of loose-leaf teas served in replica White Star Line crockery.

The teas are supplied by Belfast’s Thompson’s Tea, a family-run business that pre-dates the Titanic itself. Its luxury Titanic house tea is a blend of second flush Assam and high-grade Kenyan teas, but the Irish breakfast tea and six champagnes are also worth a look in.

Stay over: Located in the up and coming Linen Quarter, Hotel Grand Central Hotel Belfast offers private bathrooms with rain showers, kingsize beds and sweeping city views with a full Irish breakfast included. It's also a hub for exploring Titanic Quarter’s history or Cathedral Quarter’s cobbled streets.

Doubles from £130 per night, check availability at booking.com


Titanic, Belfast

More afternoon tea options in Belfast

The Merchant Hotel afternoon tea

A dazzling display of gilding, plasterwork and chandeliers, dominated by its soaring Victorian glass cupola, the Merchant Hotel’s Great Room restaurant serves an afternoon tea that is similarly hi-spec. Warm scones arrive wrapped in linen and you get a box designed by local artist, Mark Reihill, to take home any yuzu crèmeux choux or honey pain d’épices macarons you cannot finish.

At weekends, classical musicians serenade diners. For the ultimate blow-out, the hotel serves an afternoon tea that includes beluga caviar and a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, a champagne in which multiple grapes, harvests and vintages are blended to create what the Krug family has dubbed its ‘symphony’. From £29.50.


A Peculiar Tea

Every 10 weeks, chef Gemma Austin’s restaurant unveils a new afternoon tea created around a theme (currently, Broadway shows). Gemma and pastry chef, Rachel Anderson, produce a feast of espresso soups, sandwiches, gougères, mini tacos, chocolates, macarons and tarts, inspired by favourite games, books, films and music. Teas are served on stands carved from tree stumps, a continuation of A Peculiar Tea’s fairy tale interior.


Budock Vean afternoon tea, Helford Passage, Cornwall

Close to the beautiful Helford River in South Cornwall, the Budock Vean hotel occupies an idyllic rural location and makes for a tranquil spot to enjoy a ‘proper job’ Cornish afternoon tea. Whether it’s a meal in the restaurant or afternoon tea, the kitchen uses as much local produce as possible, including clotted cream from Trewithen Dairy, jam from Boddington’s of Mevagissey and tea grown on the Tregothnan estate 17 miles away. A full afternoon tea at Budock Vean includes Cornish smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches with crisps and salad, two freshly baked scones with clotted cream and Cornish strawberry jam and a slice of cake, with a pot of tea or coffee from Cornwall’s Origin roastery.

Stay over: A six-minute walk from the beach, Merchants Manor Spa includes private sub-tropical gardens, and an indoor heating swimming pool and spa, with cosy bedrooms inside the period building decked with local art, duck-down duvets and walk-in showers.

Doubles from £145 per night, check availability at booking.com


Budock Vean, Helford Passage, Cornwall

Assembly House afternoon tea, Norfolk

In the heart of Norwich, the Assembly House is a Georgian gem which has been delighting diners for decades with dainty Norfolk ham sandwiches, fruit scones with strawberry jam and savoury scones with cheese, chive and local Colman’s mustard. Served in an elegant period building by uniformed staff, every single element of afternoon tea has been carefully considered, from the cake selection to scones and three-cheese toasties served warm from the oven.

Swiss-trained pastry chef Mark Mitson (formerly of The Connaught and Claridge’s), designs an ever-changing selection of cakes and desserts and the kitchen works closely with local schools and colleges to help train the pastry chefs of tomorrow, ensuring afternoon tea isn’t a tradition that will be lost in Norfolk. And then there’s the Assembly House’s tea and tisanes list – it’s all loose leaf, including a bespoke afternoon tea blend, green tea and fruit teas. And, for those with dietary requirements – don’t worry, you’ll be well looked after here. “Whether customers are gluten-free, nut-free, soya-free, coeliac, vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant or just extremely discerning diners who like to design their own individual sandwich fillings, we cater for everybody,” assures chef director Richard Hughes. Look out for the popular themed afternoon teas, too.

Stay over: Ornate furniture and historic antiques merge with modern artwork and retro prints at Grade I-listed Georgian The Assembly House. Each room is equipped with a desk, flat-screen TV, private bathroom, coffee machine and seating area, with some featuring a balcony.

Doubles from £187 per night, check availability at booking.com


Assembly House, Norfolk

The Angel Hotel afternoon tea, Abergavenny

This former coaching inn, now a characterful hotel, stands in the historic Monmouthshire market town of Abergavenny, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, and its afternoon tea is a must-order. It’s served in the Wedgewood Room, a smart, contemporary, low-lit dining room brightened by tall plants, large mirrors, big windows and parquet flooring.

Tea, on floral bone china, is laid out on starched white tablecloths. Kick off with a glass of Bollinger before indulging in warm savoury pastries (crisp sausage rolls and flaky duck-filled filo), homemade sandwiches (thick-cut ham and mustard, and sweet coronation chicken) and moreish sweet treats (raspberry meringues, soft coffee profiteroles and mini lemon and poppy seed fairy cakes).

Read our full review of The Angel Hotel.

Stay over: Set in a late 16th century coaching inn, the Kings Arms Hotel is a stone's throw from this afternoon tea spot, offering cosy rooms fitted with four-poster beds, oak paneling and exposed original stone and beams.

Doubles from £249 per night, check availability at booking.com


The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

The Bath Priory afternoon tea, Bath

Everything in this honey-stoned country house hotel on the fringes of Bath is preserved as it has been for decades, from the ticking clocks and carefully plumped sofas in the library to the starched white tablecloths and synchronised cloche flourishes in the dining room. You’d be more likely to bring your partner or parents here, than perhaps a first date – the dining room is formal rather than funky and there’s a distinct lack of music. The bonus at lunchtime, though, is the dreamy views over four acres of gardens.

Traditional afternoon tea is served from 3pm-5pm every day in The Pantry, lounges or on the terrace with dreamy views of over four acres of gardens. Opt for the full afternoon tea at £34 pp, or £46 pp with champagne. Expect classic finger sandwiches such as ham and mustard, creamy smoked salmon and classic egg mayonnaise; homemade British cakes including zesty lemon drizzle, moist carrot cake and fresh raspberry tart. Finish off with fluffy, warm plain or fruit scones with thick clotted cream and local jam.

Stay over: Surrounded by rolling Avon countryside, The Bath Priory Hotel rooms feature period furniture and spacious en-suite bathrooms, set with fluffy bathrobes and designer toiletries, while the majority of rooms come with calming views overlooking the gardens.

Doubles from £194 per night, check availability at booking.com


The Priory, Bath

More afternoon tea options in and near Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa afternoon tea

The Royal Crescent Hotel has carved out a niche as one of the best afternoon tea stops in Bath thanks to its range of five imaginative and decadent tea menus. From the classic Royal Crescent (largely sweet) to the Duke of York (largely savoury) and a vegetarian selection, most tastes are catered for.

It's the nod to local flavours that takes the Royal Crescent’s afternoon tea up a level. Bath Chaps is a local delicacy – brine-pickled pork cheek that’s boiled and coated in breadcrumbs (think cooked ham) – and their bite-sized reworking of it is a triumph. Look out for the Royal Crescent’s perfectly sticky take on a Bath Bun (complete with ready-to-smear whipped cinnamon butter) and kaffir lime panna cotta topped with Bath Gin gel and a tiny crescent-shaped juniper biscuit.

olive editor Laura’s favourite is the Duke of York menu which eases back on the sweet treats and goes big on awesome savoury bites, including Bath chaps beignet; mushroom croquette with mushroom ketchup and aged parmesan; and hay-smoked salmon, horseradish yogurt and caviar. The smoked Chinese tea is a good earthy partner for such rich and meaty morsels. £42pp.

Available from:
Royal Crescent (from £42pp, £70.50pp with flight of champagne)
Champagne afternoon tea for two,Virgin Experience Days (£141)

Lucknam Park Hotel

Smoked salmon sandwiches and billowing scones nestled in starched linen. Vintage china and gorgeous garden views. This Palladian mansion in 500 acres of parkland is a quintessentially English setting for afternoon tea. In summer, indulge your inner Jane Austen over egg and cress finger sandwiches and fine loose leaf teas, enjoyed alfresco on the drawing room’s lawn.


Oh Me Oh My afternoon tea, Liverpool

Liverpudlians will know LEAF, the hip Bold Street café and arts venue. Less well known is that it also runs a weekday grand café in a Grade-II former bank opposite the Liver Building. A bright, airy space of high-ceilings and enormous windows, nattily decked-out in vintage and modern furniture, Oh Me Oh My is a relaxing setting in which to enjoy head baker Matthew Rhodes’ afternoon tea.

It includes sandwiches (the mini brioche croque monsieur is a favourite), scones and mini-desserts, which usually include his classy crème brûlée. Teas are presented at the table so guests can touch and smell them first. Try Tea Desire’s champagne cassis, a white tea flavoured with lemongrass and redcurrants. From £18.95pp.

Stay over: 62 Castle Street Hotel is one of the city’s many Grade II Listed building, offering super king-size beds in its split level suites alongside art-deco style wall coverings, hand-picked artwork and a complimentary box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates.

Doubles from £80 per night, check availability at booking.com


Another afternoon tea option in Liverpool

The Art School Cellars

Tucked beneath legendary chef Paul Askew’s fine dining restaurant, the Cellars lounge serves pre-dinner drinks, small plates and afternoon teas. Paul’s love of high-quality regional ingredients shines through in sandwiches of corn-fed Shropshire chicken with curried eggs from Wirral producer, Raby. These are followed by pastry chef Jahnitra Ritchie’s exquisite scones, macarons, brownies or, perhaps, a spiced orange feuilletine gateaux.


A floral china plate at Oh Me Oh My in Liverpool with a scone filled with jam and cream on it

Fitzbillies afternoon tea, Cambridge

Famous for its sticky chelsea buns (first created in 1920), this Cambridge bakery-café blends contemporary style with years of experience. Head baker, Gill Abbs, has been with Fitzbillies since 1971 and the recipe for its scones – centrepiece of afternoon tea at its Trumpington Street HQ – dates back decades. Yet the accompanying mini desserts, such as a mixed berry fruit tart filled with vanilla crème patissiere or its macarons, have a modern flair. Want to enjoy afternoon tea punting on the River Cam? Fitzbillies also does takeaway.

Stay over: Historic Cambridge hotel University Arms is located in the heart of the city centre, offering cosy double bedrooms with private bathrooms along with views of Parker’s Piece, Regent Street and the hotel’s inner courtyard.

Doubles from £178 per night, check availability at booking.com


Sopwell House Hotel afternoon tea, St Albans

Sopwell House Hotel is a grand affair, with over 100 rooms, two restaurants, a spa and 12 acres of grounds to its name. But of it all, our favourite place to relax is where they serve afternoon tea – in the cocktail lounge.

It’s a long, breezy room that begins with a marble-topped bar and stretches all the way to an end fireplace and library, with little coves and floor-to-ceiling sash windows dotted along the way. Striped monochrome wallpaper, convex mirrors, fabric armchairs and lustre cushions make for a modern feel; but there’s also parquet flooring, a huge central marble fireplace and white linen tablecloths to create the kind of traditional afternoon tea ambience that most guests would want.

It’s a comfortable place to sit (there’s a soft, chunky armchair per guest), so you’ll likely be here for at least a couple of hours. Begin with a choice of Twinings loose-leaf tea or coffee – not a particularly long or fancy menu, but something for most tastes nonetheless – and plates of elegant finger sandwiches filled with the usual suspects...

Read our full review of afternoon tea at Sopwell House Hotel

Stay over: Sopwell House is a grand, whitewashed Georgian country house set in 12 acres of gardens boasting a spa, restaurant, informal brasserie, cocktail lounge and terrace. Room include great big pillowy beds, original windows, countryside views and shiny en-suite bathrooms.

Doubles from £199 per night, check availability at booking.com


Afternoon tea at Sopwell House, St Albans

Ellenborough Park afternoon tea, Cheltenham

As you follow the curve around Ellenborough Park's long sweeping drive it's easy to forget that you're in the busy Cotswolds' spa town. The golden stone of the Manor House and its modern extensions (including a spa and some 61 rooms and suites) sprawls across its 90 treasured acres of land, in a prime spot, overlooking the equally historic Cheltenham racecourse. A stone statue of a filly breaks the view from the drop off, outside reception.

Afternoon tea is to be taken in the tudor-inspired Great Hall. A double-height ceiling makes room for grand chandeliers, oil portraits and a deep-set fireplace that was still being lit even in late April when we visited.

Try and nab a seat in the nook if there are only two of you – this part of the building dates back to the 15th century – otherwise make yourself comfortable on one of the pristine sofas...

Read our full review of afternoon tea at Ellenborough Park.

Stay over: No131, a boutique hotel spread over three Georgian properties on the Promenade, boasts swoon-making period features from high ceilings to stately proportions and sash windows, combined with eclectic, modern décor. Add in a superlative foodie offering and a buzzy gin bar in the basement and it makes the perfect bolthole from which to explore Cheltenham.

Doubles from £104 per night, check availability at booking.com


More afternoon tea days out to try

Belmond British Pullman afternoon tea on a train, London and Kent

Setting off from London Victoria, the British Pullman train carriages are super-glamorous, offering afternoon tea, lunch or murder mystery trips from various destinations across the country. We were invited aboard to indulge in the new themed Mary Poppins afternoon tea.

The train itself is spectacular with every carriage restored to its original 20s-30s style – we were welcomed onto the oldest carriage, built in Italy in 1925. The carriage was made up of tables for two, each with pristine white tablecloths, elegant nouveau lamps and Belmond’s own duck egg blue and white bone china. Comfy vintage seats with art deco upholstery surrounded the tables.

Afternoon tea is taken throughout the three-hour journey: start with a generous, crumbly, warm goat’s cheese tart with caramelised onion; followed by a selection of finger sandwiches (classic coronation chicken was sweet and came in a fluffy brioche bun; salmon could have done with a bit more cream cheese; classic egg mayonnaise hits with a strong taste of truffle; and traditional cucumber with minted crème fraîche on fluffy white bread). This was followed with crumbly scones served with jam and clotted cream for two. Our feast finished with a number of carefully crafted pastries: a baby pink jellied mousse square with sugared flowers; dainty macaroons; a squidgy miniature salted caramel brownie; and a not-quite-crunchy-enough vanilla biscuit topped with blackcurrant mousse.

Available from:

Belmond British Pullman, London and Kent

Kilo Ziro, Birmingham

With their zero-waste refillables store, Clean Kilo, now in Moseley, owners Jeanette Wong and Tom Pell have turned the original Digbeth site into a hip bar, where biodynamic wines are served on tap from reusable stainless steel kegs, alongside carbon-negative gin and seasonal ‘waste-not’ cocktails that use rescued, surplus fruits. Each weekend, Kilo’s meat-free afternoon tea showcases the work of local producers, including Artisan Epicurean and Sunshine Bakehouse. The menu aims to strike a neat sweet-savoury balance. Before your brownie bites, chocolate and sultana tiffin or victoria sponge cake, expect goodies such as filled piadina, vegan sausage rolls and goat’s cheese, shallot marmalade and pistachio tarts.


Colonnades, Signet Library, Edinburgh

The ornate creations served within the Colonnades are as dazzling as the interiors of this stunning Georgian library. Bespoke silver tea stands arrive laden with modish savouries, such as a beetroot and goat’s cheese choux or roasted courgette pesto focaccia. Scones follow, but also an array of jewel-like sweet items as varied as spiced apple frangipane tarts and blackberry and matcha bubble tea.


Terre à Terre, Brighton

A meat-free pioneer since 1993, Amanda Powley’s restaurant also serves creative vegan and vegetarian afternoon teas. Expect clever deployment of tea as an ingredient (lapsang souchong pickled watermelon; tea-soaked sultana scones), and original savoury items, such as steamed rice buns filled with Szechuan marinated halloumi or Korean-style fried cauliflower with kimchi, umeboshi chestnut purée, pickled daikon and crispy kale. Sweet treats might include chocolate hazelnut truffle cake or orange and almond polenta cake with clementine sorbet, pomegranate molasses and a pink pepper meringue with coconut cream.


Ahh Toots, Bristol

Tables are much sought after at this cool and cosy bakery-café, where, behind that historic Tudor façade, owners, Tam Galliford and Amy Symonds, create ace celebration cakes and lush afternoon teas. Sandwiches and unusually interesting scones (sour cherry and toasted pumpkin seed, for example) are followed by a variety of modish bakes, such as thyme and sea salt chocolate cookies or lemon mascarpone choux buns. Tam and Amy like to use products from fellow Bristol indies, such as Circumstance Distillery’s whiskey in their white chocolate truffles. Their house coffee blend was created with Radical Roasters.


The Pudding Pantry, Nottingham

Rounds of, for example, buttermilk fried chicken sliders, chicken and chorizo crostini with sriracha aïoli or, for the meat-free, barbecued jackfruit rolls, imbue the Pantry’s afternoon tea with a fashionable sense of fun. Its Sherwood and Beeston venues boast private rooms, popular for baby showers, where happy throngs savour red velvet macarons, roasted hazelnut florentines and passion fruit bellini cupcakes.


For more afternoon tea inspiration, check out our guide to the best afternoon teas in London

The Rosewood Hotel, London: Afternoon Tea Review

Novel locations and memorable menus: eight afternoon teas with a twist

  • Love Cheese, York Where ‘afternoon cheese’ comprises five cheeses, meats, accompaniments and brilliant Haxby Bakehouse breads. £25pp; lovecheese.co.uk
  • Fingal, Leith Docks, Edinburgh Tea in a remarkable setting – a former ship, now handsome floating hotel. £50pp; fingal.co.uk
  • Savoury Afternoon Tea, Fortnum & Mason, London Sugar-swerving right down to the closing wild mushroom éclairs. £78pp; fortnumandmason.com
  • Bobby’s, Leicester Legendary spot whose Indian afternoon tea includes dhokla, pani puri and rose faluda milkshakes. £19.50pp; bobbys-restaurant.co.uk
  • The Orchid Lounge, London Where pastry ace Cherish Finden creates Singaporean-inspired menus of, for example, kaya toast or lychee mousse with longan fruit compote and red date sponge. £78pp; panpacific.com
  • Carriages, Huntingdon Revisit steam’s golden age by taking tea in these vintage Pullman-style trains. £24.50pp; carriagesofcambridge.co.uk
  • Ibérica, Leeds From chorizo lollipops to churros, afternoon tea Spanish-style. £25pp; ibericarestaurants.com

Photographs by Victoria Harley, Mai Davidson, Ian Boys, David Chalmers, Simon Dewhurst, Sopwell House Hotel


Words by Mark Taylor, Laura Rowe, Charlotte Morgan, Amanda James, Alex Crossley and Ellie Edwards

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