IN LONDON ...
Claridge's: Brook St, Mayfair, W1 (0171 629 8860). Take "Lady Claridge's Tea" in the grand Reading Room where footmen in tail-coats and red knickerbockers bring you sandwiches, cakes and cream teas. Michael Winner's favourite tea haunt. Costs pounds 16; 3pm-5.30pm daily.
The Four Seasons Hotel: Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1 (0171 499 0888). Haute cuisine meets afternoon tea with wild duck sandwiches on olive bread and pepper sorbet. Served in the sumptuous lounge with piano accompaniment. Costs pounds 15; 3pm-6pm daily.
The Tea House: College Farm, 45 Fitzalan Road, Finchley, N3 (0171 240 9571). A 1920s tea room in a working farm serves home-made jams, clotted cream, scones, cucumber sandwiches and 121 teas from as far afield as Zanzibar and Russia. Costs pounds 3.50. Entrance to the farm is pounds 1.25. Open 2pm-5.15pm, Sundays only.
The Landmark London Hotel: Marylebone Road, NW1 (0171 631 8000). Tea is served in the Winter Garden, a huge glass roofed atrium surrounded by freeze-dried palm trees. Choose from the Champagne Tea (pounds 18.50), the Landmark Tea (pounds 14) or go A La Carte (from pounds 7). Open 3pm-6pm daily.
Brown's Hotel: 30 Albemarle St, W1 (0171 493 6020). A Victorian time- warp. Delicate sandwiches, fluffy rolls, and chocolate cake served on silver tea stands. Afternoon tea costs pounds 16 and is served between 3pm and 5.45pm.
Trinity House Tea Room & Garden: 47 High St, Manningtree, Essex (01206 391410). Offers a strangely naughty low-fat tea including fat-free sponges, swiss rolls and cakes, and tea with skimmed milk for pounds 2.85. Open 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 1pm-5pm Sun.
Greys Dining Room: 96 High St, Totnes, Devon (01803 866369). Voted Top Tea Place of 1996. Olde worlde surroundings and choice of 45 teas. Devonshire Cream Tea costs pounds 3.45, Totnes Tea (hot crumpets with grated cheese) pounds 2.90. Served 2.30pm-5pm, closed Wednesdays.
St Tudno Hotel: Promenade, Llandudno, N Wales (01492 874411). Grand hotel opposite the pier sells Welsh afternoon tea (Bara Brith, welsh cakes, Victoria sponge) from pounds 7.95. Tea Deluxe includes smoked salmon sandwiches, strawberries and cream, and champagne for pounds 15.95. Open from 2.30pm-5.15pm daily.
Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms: 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, N Yorks (01423 502746). Yorkshire afternoon tea - roast ham or corn-fed chicken sandwiches, sultana scones and Yorkshire curd tart - from pounds 8. Open 9am-9pm daily.
The Palm Court: The Balmoral Hotel, Princes St, Edinburgh (0131 556 2414). Generous helpings of scones with quails' eggs and smoked salmon, clotted cream and jam, decadent chocolate desserts and Earl Grey for pounds 10 a head.
Compiled by Cayte Williams
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