Ah, tea. Drank in copious amounts by the English and not really understood anywhere else. For a proper cup of tea and a British experience, why not check out some of our favourite places to drink tea in England?
For a quintessentially British tea experience with a twist, a visit to Aunt Martha’s Victorian Tea Rooms is a must. Serving up the finest, fresh local ingredients to accompany its tea, this quirky tea room channels the elegance and spirit of the late Victorian era (c.1897) with its sophisticated decor. Aunt Martha even dresses up in Victorian wear to complete the experience. Be warned though, you may need to book in advance — such is the popularity!
Not to be mistaken with their Kensington restaurant, Scoff and Banter’s tea room is tucked away behind Oxford Street and is home to what is probably the best tearooms in the area — with a pretty good afternoon tea offering too. Boasting everything from a simple round of tea and cakes through to a lavish champagne afternoon tea, here you’re pretty well catered for.
Far more sophisticated than a standard cuppa at your local cafe is The Edgbaston‘s Afternoon Tea. Inspired by British and European influences — and served in rather lavish crockery — you’re in for a treat should you opt for one of Birmingham‘s best afternoon teas. This boutique hotel also specialises in some rather great cocktails. You don’t have to stay there to sample the delights, but you should probably book in advance.
The Fourteas is located in the heart of Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon. Housed within its picturesque, cottage-style building is a 1940s-themed tea haven. Passionate about loose leaf tea and freshly baked scones, all of their food is made on site from locally sourced ingredients. Their pun of a business name is worth a visit alone, surely…
One of the more unique tearooms in England is Mrs Knotts; housed within South Foreland Lighthouse in Dover, Kent. With an evident 1950s theme throughout – from the wallpaper to the china cups – Mrs Knotts Tearoom proudly offers homemade cakes and a range of loose leaf tea, complimented by your choice of teapot. Providing a gentle soundtrack to your tea is a vintage record player, spinning the most nostalgic songs from the 50s and beyond. Once finished, take a stroll around the white cliffs of Dover and breathe in the stunning scenery.
Housed within Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is a quaint, hidden gem. Recently refurbished, the Edwardian Tearooms offers afternoon tea, cakes, scones, homemade soup as well as a boulangerie and patisserie table. The perfect refreshment break after an afternoon in the museum, we think you’ll agree!
Cat cafés are all the trend of late, with Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium being one of our favourites! Not only do you get to enjoy one of the best afternoon teas in London, (it’s also refillable!) you get to enjoy it with cats which freely roam the café. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest feline arrivals!
Bath’s Regency Tea Room just so happens to be above the popular Jane Austen exhibition centre, making it the ideal stop off on your day of discovery! Not only does the tea room serve up a rather delicious and elegant afternoon tea, but the staff are dressed in full regent regalia, continuing the period experience throughout.
To bill yourselves as London’s traditional afternoon tea is a bold claim — one that Claridge‘s can claim with assurance, seeing as they’ve been serving it to the people of London and beyond for more than 150 years. Packed with elegance, sophistication and extravagance, Claridge’s afternoon tea surpasses all expectations. Sit back and marvel at the world-renowned hotel’s 1930s inspired art-deco foyer as you indulge in one of England’s finest traditions.
As far as regal settings go, you can’t get much better than The Orangery. Once the setting for Queen Anne’s court entertainment, The Orangery is the only royal premises in London where you can enjoy an afternoon tea like royalty of centuries passed. Surrounded by the luxurious gardens of Kensington Palace, The Orangery offers a number of teas, cakes and sandwiches within its marvellous 18th century interiors.
As you can probably guess, Mad Hatters tea room in Chester is synonymous with the quirks of the Alice in Wonderland tea party. Full of playful teapots, cutlery and cakes, you’ll want to visit here if you’re into the more fun side of afternoon tea.
Last but by no means least is The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. One of the finest English tea rooms, this former 16th century blacksmiths cottage is a multiple award-winning delight. All pastries and cakes are home made with local ingredients and are served up by friendly staff in Victorian costumes. Adding to the authentic Victorian experience at this world-renowned tea room is a delightful backdrop of classical music!