As a great lover of afternoon tea, I wanted to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week by sharing my top three picks for indulging in this delightfully British custom. The settings of the venues are all very different and the food varies in style, but having been lucky enough to try out many an afternoon tea, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed with any of these fantastic offerings.
The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe
Now maybe I’m a bit biased towards this hotel as it was the venue for my wedding reception, but I would challenge anyone not to be overwhelmed by this beautiful hotel amidst perfectly manicured grounds. The village of Castle Combe itself is also unbelievably picturesque and worthy of a visit.
Afternoon tea itself is very grand, served in warm and welcoming surroundings, or if it’s a sunny day, out on the relaxed terrace overlooking the lawn. It’s a very traditional afternoon tea with freshly baked scones and clotted cream, a delightful range of yummy cakes and pastries and a lovely selection of finger sandwiches all cut perfectly to size with no crusts (why do they taste better like this?!). The tea selection is really varied.
It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon feeling like the lady or lord of the manor. Afternoon tea at the Manor House Hotel is £26.00 per person.
Rooftop Restaurant, RSC, Stratford Upon Avon
This is a more casual setting in the fashionable restaurant set atop the RSC theatre in the heart of Stratford. The view is fantastic from up here, overlooking the River Avon, which is a lovely addition to the occasion of afternoon tea.
I ventured here with my best friend for her birthday treat and I was delighted that it exceeded my expectations, which is always the top of the priority list when taking someone for a gift. As well as really tasty food, the team were very accommodating and arranged for only vegetarian sandwiches (as my bf is a veggie) and fulfilled my rather fussy request for only particular cakes with good grace. The fresh strawberry tartlets were a particularly lovely feature of the afternoon tea.
The relaxed atmopshere and fabulous view makes it the perfect place to while away a few hours.
Afternoon tea at RSC costs £14.95 for one or £28 for two (in my opinion this a real bargain for the high quality of the food and great setting of the restaurant).
Hotel La Tour, Birmingham City Centre
Afternoon tea at Hotel La Tour is a stylish affair; the hotel itself is modern and bright, with luxurious sofas for a relaxing afternoon, and the food is delicious.
One of the highlights is the Welsh Rarebit dip with Brioche Croutons – warm gooey cheese combined with the tang of mustard and the crunch of the croutons. It’s a modern twist, and it works.
The sandwiches are tasty and fresh, and the choice of cakes are both excellent and plentiful. My personal favourite from my visit was the raspberry and custard tart which was a really light option. The tang of the raspberries was perfectly balanced against the sweet sticky custard. Yum. What makes the occasion even more enjoyable at Hotel La Tour is the musical accompaniment of the highly talented Elegant Entertainment team.
Afternoon tea at Hotel La Tour is served between 2pm and 5pm and is £19.95 per person.
Where’s your favourite spot for afternoon tea?
Thank you to the Manor House Hotel and Royal Shakespeare Theatre for providing me with some lovely photos for this post. I visited the venues before I set up this blog, so I didn’t have any photos of the fab food 🙂