To celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week from August 9th to 15th we’ve pulled together the best afternoon tea experiences to ensure a memorable occasion. Whether that’s ordering a proper Cornish cream tea box from Rick Stein to enjoy at home, treating yourself to an afternoon tea at The Langham for an extra dose of decadence, or sipping on Mirabeau rosé at The Fish in the Cotswolds, there’s something to suit all – regardless of whether you add cream or jam to your scone first!
An historic afternoon tea at The Langham
Afternoon tea was first thought up by Lady Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting and it soon became fashionable amongst high society. But back in the day, it was The Langham who popularised this tradition by being the first hotel to feature this new meal on its menu when it opened in 1865. So, this year, for Afternoon Tea Week, treat yourself to a historical afternoon tea in Palm Court, located within one of the world’s most luxury hotels, The Langham and enjoy their modern spin on the British tradition.
Tapping into the archives of Britain’s favourite biscuits and baked tarts, the famed expert pastry chefs have reimagined the classics, designed to pair with our selection of JING teas, one may be tempted to give them a ‘dunk’. Created by chef Michel Roux Jr and executive pastry chef Andrew Gravett, the new menu is inspired by the nation’s favourite biscuits, reimagined with a modern yet luxurious spin paired with a selection of JING teas and English sparkling wine from Gusbourne.
Afternoon tea at The Langham starts from £62 per person and you can book here.
Afternoon tea at The Stafford
The decadent afternoon tea at The Stafford London, takes you on a journey around historic St James’s and its secluded streets. Offering the traditional finger sandwiches and delicious homemade sweet and savoury scones, it is also accompanied by dainty cakes and pastries inspired by some of St James’s oldest boutiques: Lock and Co, Floris, James J. Fox, Henry Poole and Co and Foster and Son.
Highlights on the menu include honey-roast Wiltshire ham and mustard, H Forman and Son smoked salmon, plain and raisin, whipped clotted cream, strawberry jam, Henry Poole and Co shortbread ‘Tuxedo’ and James. J. Fox chocolate cigar chocolate and hazelnut mousse. To accompany the sweets and savouries, choose from a fine choice from Camellia’s Tea House, or for those wishing to celebrate in style, enjoy a chilled glass of Champagnes from the extensive wine list.
Prices range from £15 to £58 and you can book a table here.
Rick Stein’s Cornish cream tea box – delivered from Cornwall with love
For those after a proper Cornish cream tea this Afternoon Tea Week, look no further than Rick Stein’s signature box – made in Padstow and delivered nationwide with love. The £35 Rick Stein Afternoon Tea Box is brimming with favourite teatime treats – ideal for sharing with both savoury and sweet-toothed friends and family. The bountiful cakes and bakes are neatly and carefully boxed, and served alongside Royal Warrant holding tea by Twinings.
Crafted by dessert maker extraordinaire and head pastry chef at Rick Stein’s 1975 The Seafood Restaurant, Stuart Pate, each delicacy is made with quality ingredients from producers who have served the Rick Stein restaurants for years. There are, of course, fruit-filled scones to be topped with Cornish clotted cream and jam, as well as cakes including classic lemon drizzle, double chocolate cake and – Stuart’s favourite – Dundee fruit cake. For savoury there’s flaky cheese Palmiers, individual quiche Lorraine, and four chunky sausage rolls: classic or spiked with tangy tomato chutney. To make your spread look even more celebratory, add on a half-bottle or Rick Stein’s house Champagne for only £15.
The box is priced at £35 (excl. delivery), and is available for delivery every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Order here.
South Lodge, Sussex
Situated in the heart of the West Sussex countryside, South Lodge offers a traditional and comforting afternoon tea experience overlooking the South Downs. This delightful treat is available year-round in one of the many restaurants of the property or throughout the grounds. In the spring, guests can sit in one of the lounges to enjoy the spring sunshine while in summer, afternoon tea is served al fresco under the shaded outdoor terrace so as to make the most out of the warm weather.
In the autumn and winter, guests can snuggle up in The Drawing Room in one of the many inviting sofas to enjoy the changing colours of the surrounding foliage. Tea is served with an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches and savoury treats as well as the typical scones with clotted cream, strawberry jam, orange marmalade and lemon curd.
There is a variety of teas on offer to suit all guests taste from herbal and fruity to green teas and premium black tea. The hotel also has two signature blends; Lady Godman Grey and South Lodge Blend. Lady Godman Grey is a black tea blend handmade exclusively for South Lodge with oil of bergamot, lavender and rose petals. South Lodge Blend is the perfect alternative to an English Breakfast and has a secret blend of unique tea leaves with rich flavours and floral undertones.
Rooms at South Lodge start from £285 a night bed and breakfast and afternoon tea starts from £35 per person. exclusive.co.uk/south-lodge.
Afternoon tea at one of London’s ultimate address – The Biltmore Hotel
Step inside The Biltmore Mayfair on Grosvenor Square and prepare for a truly exceptional afternoon tea experience overseen by Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton.
Highlighting fresh and heritage produce from across the UK, this luxurious experience is served in the dedicated Tea Lounge and can be enjoyed alongside a cup of freshly brewed tea from the tea trolley or a celebratory glass of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Champagne. Created with head chef Paul Walsh, the Biltmore Afternoon Tea experience commemorates the best of British with savouries, scones and sweet delicacies, all detailed for guests on a beautifully illustrated map which highlights the region each component is sourced from.
The Biltmore Mayfair combines exquisite contemporary accommodation, stunning views across the gardens of Grosvenor Square and innovative culinary concept, creating a unique and unrivalled destination for everyone. Quite simply, it is London’s ultimate address. Book your afternoon tea here.
Maison Mirabeau ‘tipsy tea’ at The Fish Hotel, The Cotswolds
Award-winning rosé specialist Maison Mirabeau has partnered with luxury Cotswold hotel, The Fish to launch the Mirabeau Tipsy Tea set in The Lodge restaurant.
Bringing a taste of the French Riviera to the back-to-nature bolt-hole, this limited-edition afternoon tea features four delicious cocktails paired with a series of sweet and savoury treats that are naughty, but very nice. Just the thing to celebrate summer, the re-opening of the hotel and the return to hotel staycations in the UK.
The Mirabeau Tipsy Tea is available to enjoy for £32.50 per person and can be booked now through The Fish website.
Afternoon tea at Grantley Hall
Grantley Hall – the family-owned, 17th century manor house nestled in the Yorkshire Dales – takes the tradition of afternoon tea seriously indeed. It’s the finest in North Yorkshire, showcasing the highest quality produce that the region has to offer. Guests can enjoy the decadent delights in the sophisticated ambience and rich surroundings of the Main Hall.
An elevated take on the classic afternoon tea, diners can enjoy a selection of savoury delights including Wensleydale egg and shallot mayonnaise, watercress, served on wholegrain bread and oak smoked salmon and chive cream cheese, caperberry, served in a brioche roll. Sweet treats come in the form of peach melba ‘Rocher’- yellow peach compote, vanilla crémeux, crunchy raspberry coating and Valrhona blonde chocolate and pistachio – pistachio sponge, apricot confit, caramel mousse. Freshly baked scones are served with Devon clotted cream and homemade Yorkshire strawberry and raspberry jam. An extensive tea selection includes the classics as well as special tea’s such as Gopaldhara 1st Flush Darjeeling White, Kenilworth Ceylon and Pinhead Gunpowder.
Grantley Hall’s Signature Afternoon Tea is £45 per person and their Sparkling Afternoon Tea is £59.50 per person. You can book to enjoy the experience here.