Back in the early 1800s, it was common to eat only two meals a day - an early breakfast and late evening meal. For Anna, the 7 Duchess of Bedford, the hunger pangs that set in mid-afternoon were too much and she decided to schedule time to take tea and a snack each afternoon. Over time, well-heeled acquaintances joined her and pretty soon, afternoon tea had evolved as a mini-meal in its own right.
These days, afternoon tea tends to be enjoyed as an occasional indulgence or to celebrate a social event such as a birthday, baby shower, pre-wedding, or a gift. Usually made up of delicate finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes, they are served by most hotels and tea rooms.
Not sure how to find an afternoon tea that really stands out? It’s true that many are indistinguishable. But some offer something really special or unique and it is these afternoon teas that feature in our round-up below.
14 best afternoon teas
14 best afternoon teas
1/3 The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny, Wales
This has a reputation for serving the best Afternoon Tea in Wales and it has awards to prove it. It’s served by the roaring fire in the cosy but elegant Wedgewood Room, where you can enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea with a choice of 40 different teas and a choice of three sparkling wines and champagne, available by the glass or bottle. From £21.80 per person www.angelabergavenny.com/dining
2/3 Hotel du Vin, Birmingham
At one time, this ornate Victorian red brick building was the Birmingham Eye Hospital, making it a distinctive location for the Hotel du Vin chain's largest hotel. Located in the newly revitalised Jewellery Quarter, the award winning bar is a relaxing haven from the hustle and bustle of the city and the Afternoon Tea is utterly divine. Opt for the G&T tea if you can. It’s quirky and delicious. From £15.50 per person https://www.hotelduvin.com/locations/birmingham/bistro/
3/3 Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire
Cliveden House is being refurbished bit by bit and the great hall is next on the list, providing a truly magnificent setting for this Cliveden’s highly popular Afternoon Tea. The three tiered selection includes fine finger sandwiches, warm scones, miniature cakes and pastries and the famous Cliveden fruit cake and Cliveden-blend tea. Add a nice kick with the Cliveden ’66 cocktail or opt for their chocolate-themed tea. You can also enjoy valet parking and a stroll around the National Trust gardens afterwards. From £35.00 per person http://www.clivedenhouse.co.uk/restaurant/afternoon-tea/afternoon_tea_menu_taittinger.aspx