Over time England has held on to many traditions. The royal monarchy, pub culture, and high tea are just some examples. It is often referred to as afternoon tea and was created as a way to satiate the mid-day munchies. As the name implies, it is served in the afternoon typically between 2 pm and 5 pm. Many hotels offer afternoon tea so it’s guests can experience an iconic English tradition.
If you like finger sandwiches and clotted cream, then high tea is perfect for you. With a variety of jams, scones, and other light food, high tea is a great filler between lunch and dinner. Celebrate England the proper way, with a nice comforting cup of tea.
Betty’s is a chain of tea rooms around Yorkshire. It was founded in 1919, meaning this year marks 100 years of Betty’s! They have multiple locations and specialize in their own tea and coffee blends. Their afternoon teas are bookable, but they do offer it without reservation on specified days and locations, all listed on their website.
The menu is as traditional as it comes and features the most iconic cucumber and dill sandwich. They have a vegetarian alternative, as well as gluten-free options and will gladly accommodate your dietary needs!
9 Cliveden House
This 5-star hotel in Berkshire offers a classic afternoon tea with a twist. Their take on it includes red velvet, meaning all of their sweets are based around this theme and flavor profile. The tea served during their afternoon tea menu is a special house blend. They have 3 levels of tea at 3 different price ranges depending on how luxury you want to go which are available Monday through Sunday, although times may vary.
They serve special themed afternoon teas like their upcoming Remembrance Day one offered on November 10 and 11. Treat yourself to a higher-end high tea and indulge in the experience.
8 Assembly House
This event venue in Norfolk was built in 1754 and is considered one of the most important buildings in Norwich. Their restaurant is open every day for breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea while the rest of the beautiful establishment is open for weddings and other important events. They were finalists for the food and drink awards in 2017 for best afternoon tea.
They have 4 menu options: a classic, vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan and a festive menu. They’ve even done a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea! The Assembly house caters to all sorts of diets and restrictions, offering a whole set menu just for you!
Sketch restaurant in London has a very artistic and experimental take on food. They offer a classic afternoon tea or an option that comes with champagne for the bubbly lovers out there. While it is a pricier afternoon tea than most, you really are paying for an experience at Sketch.
Its monochromatic pink decor creates the ultimate afternoon tea aesthetic and while there is no official dress code, this is a great excuse to take out your most fashionable pieces. It’s a modern take on an old tradition and is definitely an Instagram worthy afternoon tea.
6 The Salt Room
This modern British seafood restaurant in Brighton offers English classics like afternoon tea and an elevated take on Sunday roast. They won the award for Best Seafood Restaurant of the Year 2017, making this a worthy stop on anyone’s foodie list.
Their afternoon tea comes at different prices depending on your drink selection (yes, they offer champagne), and has a set menu including both sweet and savory options. Their seafood twist on afternoon tea sets the menu apart, taking a more sophisticated and modern approach to it. The Salt Room is a must-try for classic English cuisine.
5 The Scarlet Hotel
The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall, England is sustainable and environmentally friendly, reflecting on the surrounding nature and stunning view from their hilltop location. The hotel does not sacrifice its luxury for it’s decreased ecological footprint and offers a range of high-end services and rooms.
Their restaurant offers an amazing, freshly served afternoon tea. The hotel asks for a 24-hour notice for all reservations given that everything on the menu is made to order. They pride themselves on locally sourced teas and artisan bread and are dedicated to bringing you a high-quality tea experience.
This London restaurant takes an alternative approach to food and loves to explore new flavor combinations. Lyaness is the newest bar from Mr. Lyan, an award-winning bartender. Their cocktails feature unusual flavor profiles and push the limits of what you’d expect from a cocktail. They take the traditional afternoon tea with classics like deviled eggs, sausage rolls, and scones and integrate cocktails into the menu. This is a more adult setting and a great place for a first date! Take a boozy approach to tea at Lyaness while enjoying a view of the Thames river.
Claridge’s is a London staple for afternoon tea. When you think of a traditional, classic and true English tea, Claridge’s should be your first stop. Their holiday menu for afternoon tea is exclusively offered from November 11 to January 1st. They have options to accommodate all types of guests, including children! For their younger diners, the menus double as a coloring book, making Claridge’s a family-friendly experience. Though, they do offer a champagne version of the menu for anyone of age to drink. Claridge’s is truly the most classic way to enjoy afternoon tea.
2 The Savoy
The Savoy not only offers a world-famous afternoon tea, but they do it with class, poise and elegance. Afternoon tea has been offered at The Savoy since it’s opening in 1889. They set the scene with a beautiful view of the Thames, classical piano and bone-china, channeling what you would expect from a fancy high tea. The Savoy has stayed true to what high tea was originally intended for which was ultimately a social experience.
With options for children, as well as vegan and vegetarian menus, The Savoy covers all grounds for their guests to enjoy their featured afternoon tea.
This plant-based restaurant in London redefines afternoon tea. Its farm-to-table concept focuses on health as well as locally sourced products and high-quality ingredients. They aim for nutrition and conscious eating, for example, they sprout their own nuts and seeds so it is easier on the digestive system. They believe in biodynamic farming which benefits the people eating their products as well as the environment.
The founder, Camilla Fayed, looks at food as a healing tool and takes organic to a whole new level. Their modern take on the classics follows a plant-based diet and also offers CBD infused chocolates! This innovative way of offering a traditional English experience is a Vegan’s dream.