Afternoon tea is a British tradition adored by both tourists and locals alike. There is nothing more quintessentially British than taking a loved one for a warm cup of tea, selection of sandwiches and a few sweet treats. It is such a popular British pastime, in fact, that many people are willing to travel around the country to enjoy some of the best afternoon teas the United Kingdom has to offer.
Ahead of spring, Age Co, part of the charity Age UK, has put together an interactive guide to the must-try afternoon teas around the country. From their guide, we have selected a top five that afternoon tea lovers simply have to indulge in.
Kilcamb Lodge Hotel, Argyll, Highlands Of Scotland
If you are visiting Scotland to take in the powerful vistas of the Highlands your trip would not be complete without a visit to Kilcamb Lodge for their celebrated afternoon tea. The hotel, which won an award for Best Loved Small Hotel last year, has all the classics you would expect from an afternoon tea. However, they also add a uniquely Scottish twist with local shortbread, cheddar and salmon. Kilcamb Lodge’s afternoon tea is bolstered by gorgeous views of Loch Sunart too.
The Chester Grosvenor Hotel, Chester
The afternoon tea at Chester’s Grosvenor Hotel is not only one of Britain’s best; it is also one of Britain’s oldest. The hotel based in the heart of Chester’s quaint city centre has been serving its afternoon tea since 1882. Visitors who consider themselves afternoon tea connoisseurs should opt to upgrade to the Indulgent Champagne or Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea options. The former comes with a chilled glass of bubbly while the latter offers Cheshire cheese in the selection, as well as haddock, pastrami, roast beef, and much more.
Fowey Hall, Cornwall
Set on the five acres of land overlooking the Fowey Estuary, the five-star Fowey Hall provides an impeccable afternoon tea setting for visitors in Cornwall, one of the United Kingdom’s top tourist destinations. The tea is available between 2pm and 4:30pm, perfectly timed so that it can be enjoyed after a stroll into the nearby town centre of Fowey or a spa in the hotel. Customers should make sure they try one of Fowey Hall’s loose leaf teas.
Ty Hyll, Betws Y Coed, Snowdonia National Park
It is not just five-star hotels that serve some of the country’s best afternoon tea. You only have to look as far as Ty Hyll in Betws Y Coed, Wales, to find evidence of that. The name literally translates to “the ugly house”; it is a small, old brick building located just off the A5 which legend has it was built by thieves who would rob travellers on the main road. It may lack the glamour of many other afternoon tea spots but you would be hard-pressed to find food tastier than their homemade scones and Welsh cakes. The nearby waterfalls also make it a tranquil setting.
Amberley Castle, Amberley
There are over 900 years of history attached to Amberley Castle, which is located in the picturesque village of Amberley in the West Sussex countryside. It makes for a fantastic landscape to take in a selection of finger sandwiches, sweets and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Amberley Castle’s afternoon tea also allows you to upgrade to a Laurent-Perrier Champagne version to make your afternoon there even more memorable. This is the perfect option for tourists in London as it’s only an 80-minute trip from Victoria station.