Corona Virus important information
Fancy a cuppa? Our favourite places to have afternoon tea | Insight Guides Blog

Fancy a cuppa? Our favourite places to have afternoon tea

Taking afternoon tea, (photo by Corrie Wingate)
Taking afternoon tea


Drinking tea is one of the things the English do best. There aren't many situations that a good old cup of tea won't help to solve and the English love to spend time perfecting their brews. Team a great cuppa with some delicious scones (there is some debate over whether the cream or the jam goes on first), sumptuous cakes and tasty finger sandwiches and you have a national pastime – afternoon or cream tea – an experience that is genuinely enjoyed both by tourists and the English alike.

 

Read more on making the perfect cup of tea...

 

Next week is National Afternoon Tea Week (12–18th August) and to mark the occasion, the team at Insight HQ (who are all partial to a good brew and some cake) have suggested their favourite places across England to indulge in this national obsession. You don't have to splurge at the Ritz or Claridge's...

Scones and tea

 

Team Insight's recommendations for afternoon tea

 

Colleen: One of the best afternoon teas I've had was at the Richmond Tea Rooms in Manchester. It's amazing, everything has an Alice in Wonderland theme. There's even a greenhouse inside!

 

Zoe: The Orchard in Grantchester, Cambridge, is a lovely spot to have afternoon tea. It's over 100 years old and Rupert Brooke once lived here. It's a lovely place to punt to from the centre of Cambridge.

I also really enjoyed Orange Pekoe, in Barnes, London – very relaxed with delicate touches.

 

Take a look at our must-see highlights of London...

 

Waitress at Betty's serving afternoon teaAfternoon tea

 

 

Mark: The Mock Turtle Tea Room in Brighton offers delicious lemon drizzle cake, hot teatime treats and homemade jams and cakes to take home afterwards.

You can step back in time at The Original Maids of Honour in London, and enjoy a genteel tea close to Kew Gardens...beware the cake stand delivered to your table will be hard to resist!

Littlington Tea Gardens in Littlington, Sussex, has lovely gardens and small summer houses, making this a perfect spot in the summer. It's close to the pretty village of Alfriston and walks along the South Downs or to the coast. 

 

Alex: Bea's of Bloomsbury in Clerkenwell, London, is a really nice place to have afternoon tea. Their cakes are fantastic! 

 

Macaroons in Betty's Cream tea

 

 

 

Carine: I was once treated to a wonderful afternoon tea at Le Chandelier on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich, London. It's quite often voted one of the best tea rooms in London. Wish I was there now...

 

Rebeka: I had an afternoon tea for my hen do in Hereford. It was at Castle House Hotel and it was lovely – a real treat!

 

Sarah: The Atheneum Hotel in London has won awards for their afternoon tea – I went there for a hen do and it was probably the most elegant, high-quality afternoon tea that I've had.

The Covent Garden Hotel is very cool, I enjoyed it there, and there's a high-fashion-themed one at the Berkeley Hotel for a girly afternoon. I love afternoon tea!

 

Betty's tea room, Harrogate

 

Becky: I went to The Modern Pantry in Islington, London, for afternoon tea with a friend and we opted for a cheeky bellini cocktail upgrade – it was lovely! I was particularly impressed by the multi-coloured scones. Very chic.

The Intercontinental Hotel, Westminster offers a gorgeous champagne tea. I went for a friend's birthday and it was very indulgent! The cakes were very intricate and tea was unlike anything I'd tasted before. Perfect for a real treat.

Betty's in Harrogate, Yorkshire, is a legendary tea room. It's absolutely ideal for a classic afternoon tea. They sure know how to serve tea in Yorkshire!

 

Scones with jam

 

See our top ten things to see in England...


From cricket to queueing to talking about the weather, read our A–Z of British culture...

 

Plan a summer holiday in the UK

 

Insight Great Breaks Cotswolds

Insight Great Breaks


Plan your perfect UK holiday with Insight Great Breaks. Discover fantastic holiday ideas, including best beaches, family fun, historic pubs, local festivals, literary connections, unique shops, and what to do on a rainy day. 

 

Discover Jersey, Bath, Cotswolds, Edinburgh, York, Glasgow and other Insight Great Breaks...

 

See all of our guides to England, Scotland and Wales...