12 of the best afternoon teas

August 13th to August 19th is Afternoon Tea Week! And to celebrate we list the best afternoon teas in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk 

From the quirky to the traditional, we’ve hunted down the very best to enjoy this summer.

Grand Afternoon Teas

Afternoon Tea at Down Hall

If you like your afternoon tea as it should be served, in true Downton Abbey style, then these are the places which should be on your list to visit. With cucumber sandwiches and a huge array of cakes, these teas will have you feeling like you are in a bygone era in no time.

The Tamburlaine Hotel, Cambridge. Traditional Afternoon Tea (£21.50 pp)

The beautiful Garden Room at the Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge whisks guests off to a visual paradise with its beautiful Colonial-style wall mural, lush green foliage and gorgeous velvet sofas.

Afternoon Tea at the Tamburlaine
Afternoon Tea at the Tamburlaine

Guests can while away a carefree afternoon as they indulge in a choice of Traditional Afternoon Tea or Digby Sparkling Wine Afternoon Tea. The Tamburlaine’s renowned pastry chef bakes cake and pastry masterpieces – each day a new creation adorns the stand, each as beautiful and delicious as the day before. Seasonality and creativity at its best.

  • Digby sparkling afternoon tea – £29.50
  • Traditional afternoon tea – £21.50
  • Cream tea – £9.50

To book please call 01223 792 888 or visit www.thetamburlaine.co.uk.

Hallmark Hotel Flitwick Manor’s Classic Afternoon High Tea, Bedfordshire (£28.50 pp)

Enjoy a quintessentially English classic afternoon high tea experience at this 18th Century Manor House in Bedfordshire. The tea, complete with freshly baked homemade scones, delicate finger sandwiches and an assortment of cakes is served alongside the classic pot of tea or for those who prefer, coffee and accompanied by the all-important glass of bubbles. During the warmer days, tea is served on the terrace in the sunshine overlooking the surrounding gardens. Book your tea at www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk/hotels/flitwick/eat-and-drink/Afternoon-tea

Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire (£17.50 pp)

The social custom of taking Afternoon Tea was popularised in the 1840s by Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, who entertained her friends at Woburn Abbey. Replicate her experience today in the grand surroundings of the Abbey. Price includes access to the gardens, so you can enjoy a saunter after tucking into cakes, sandwiches and scones.

Down Hall, Hertfordshire (£25.00 pp)

Enjoy a quintessentially British Afternoon Tea at Down Hall, the gorgeous country house hotel on the Hertfordshire/Essex border surrounded by 110 acres of gardens and woodlands. Served in the historic splendour of Ibbetson’s Tea Lounge, unwind by the fire whilst sipping a cup of tea and indulge in delicate finger sandwiches, warm, homemade scones with plenty of Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree preserves, seasonal homemade cakes and white and chocolate brownies to top it all off. 

Hintlesham Hall, Suffolk (£18.00 pp)

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea experience in this 16th Century, Grade 1 listed manor house, set amongst 175 acres of countryside. Enjoy fruit scones, finger sandwiches and homemade cakes all served in a stately and traditional lounge or Al fresco overlooking the beautiful secluded grounds.

Quirky afternoon tea 

Champney’s High Tea

If you love afternoon tea, but are looking for a bit of a different experience, then why not check out these venues which have a unique take on afternoon tea.

Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, Golf and Spa, Yarmouth Rd, Woodbridge IP12 1QW (£16.95 pp for Traditional and £9.95 pp for a Children’s Tea)

Ufford Park could actually be listed under any of these headings as they offer a variety of different teas!

As well as offering a traditional tea that includes finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other delicious treats, there is now a savoury afternoon tea available as an alternative. 

It includes a range of pies, a sausage roll, a samosa and a cheese scone and will appeal to anyone with a savoury rather than sweet tooth.  Guests can enjoy it in The Aldous Lounge or in the Park Bar overlooking the large terrace and beautifully landscaped golf course between 2pm and 5pm, 7 days a week.

Afternoon tea is fun at any age and Ufford Park, being the family-friendly hotel that it is, is also Introducing an afternoon tea menu especially created for children. 

It includes: a choice of drink (squash, juice, coke, lemonade or ginger beer), a choice of sandwiches, sausage roll, bananas and custard, a ‘Dino’ biscuit, a chocolate chip cookie, ready salted crisps and carrot and cucumber crudités and all for just £9.95. 

It will be available every day between 2pm and 5pm with the menu likely to be reviewed and new treats added regularly.  It is perfect for little ones who would like to enjoy a ‘grown up’ treat.

Chilford Hall Vineyard Vineyard Tour and Afternoon Tea, Cambridgeshire (£49.00 pp)

Discover the elegance of British wine at Chilford Hall Vineyard, just 20 minutes south of Cambridge in the heart of rural Cambridgeshire, alongside your afternoon tea. You’ll begin by having a tour of the wine making process through the vineyards and the winery process…with a few tastings on the way. You’ll then move onto your indulgent afternoon tea experience with sandwiches and cakes galore.

Afternoon Tea with Tigers at Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire (£59.00 pp)

Enjoy an informative tour of the Big Cats at Paradise Wildlife Park followed by a delicious          afternoon tea overlooking the magnificent Tigers. Tuck into your delicious afternoon tea featuring sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and more, while watching the big cats such as the White Lion, White Tiger, Jaguar and Cheetah.

A Healthy Afternoon Tea at Champneys Spa in Tring (£19.95 pp)

Add an afternoon tea package to your day spa or overnight stay to try a new healthy take on the traditional afternoon tea. They’ve applied their Champneys philosophy of ‘Moderation, Balance and Variety’ to the creation of a healthier treat which uses natural fruit sugars and plant-based sweeteners. The tea features tasty wholemeal scones served with fromage frais and pure fruit spread, crab and avocado lettuce wraps with fresh mango salsa among many other delightful treats including their famous bliss balls. The final show stopping addition to the occasion is a giant chocolate showpiece featuring a light Genoese sponge with a layer of smooth vanilla mousse, fresh raspberries and raspberry mint jam, encased by a giant chocolate square, created by Nadiya Hussain from the Great British Bake Off.

Afternoon tea with a view at Brasserie SIX at the Varsity Hotel & Spa, Cambridge (£24.50 pp)

With 360 degree views from the sixth floor of The Varsity Hotel of the river and colleges including St John’s, Trinity, Jesus and Magdalene, you’ll be hard pushed to find an afternoon tea with a better view. The floor to ceiling windows ensure spectacular views of the Cambridge skyline and the afternoon tea is also an elegant affair with warn scones, finger sandwiches and of course, cake.

Traditional afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at SIX, Cambridge

If you enjoy quaint little cosy charm filled locations for your afternoon tea, then nothing beats a tea house. Enjoy a comfortable and charming treat in one of the locations below.

Bridge Farm Barns, Suffolk (From £9.90pp)

Pop along to Bridge Farm Barns, set in one of Suffolk’s prettiest villages, Monks Eleigh, for an afternoon of mooching through independent shops before relaxing in their beautiful tea room for afternoon tea. Homemade scones and cakes await your visit.

Essex Rose Tea House, Dedham Essex (From £8.95 pp)

Owned by the Tiptree Jam firm, this is housed in a beautiful 16th century building. Enjoy a great value afternoon tea with scones, clotted cream and of course, Tiptree Jam.

The Folly Tearoom in Holt, Norfolk (From £5.75 pp)

Escape from the stresses of life and enjoy an afternoon tea in the Folly Tearoom. Choose from their different offerings including The Folly Traditional with all the extras, The Pink Folly (with a glass of pink bubbles) the ‘Gentlemen’s folly’ with sausage rolls and quiche, or the simple, fruit or cheese folly for a scone and tea. You can even book in for your own private tea tasting party with friends.

The Lavender Tearoom, Hexton Hertfordshire (£17.50 pp)

Book in advance to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at this quaint tea room just outside of Hitchin. Afternoon tea includes homemade scones, cakes and pastries with finger sandwiches or opt for their High Tea which includes Welsh Rarebit with bacon, Garlic mushrooms on toast or scrambled egg with smoked salmon followed by a toasted tea cake and homemade cakes.

Let us know if you have a favourite afternoon tea in the area which you feel should have been included in our list by tweeting us @eastmagazines

Written by Amanda French – anoseforfood.com

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