Afternoon tea is a special thing to do at any time of the year, but there’s something about treating your mum to afternoon tea on Mother’s Day that’s especially nice. It’s funny how us Brits have turned a cuppa with sarnies and cakes into something posh, isn’t it? Here are our favourite places to go for afternoon tea…
Katie’s pick: The Wolseley, London
The Wolseley just exudes old fashioned glamour, but in an understated way. Originally a luxury car showroom in the 1920s, it’s been a restaurant since 2003 and it still has lots of original Twenties features. The afternoon tea is beautiful – dainty sandwiches and gorgeous cakes. It’s always buzzing and while booking is recommended, they do keep a small number of tables free at the front for walk-in diners. If afternoon tea isn’t your thing, go for breakfast and keep your eyes peeled for famous people.
Afternoon tea at The Wolseley is £23.75. thewolseley.com 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB. Nearest tube: Green Park
Helen’s pick: Ox Pasture, Scarborough
Beautiful country house hotel, Ox Pasture Hall, plays host to the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had. This is proper Yorkshire country tea, complete with sofas to sink into for that ‘aaaaah’ moment as everyone relaxes by the fire. The sandwiches were a perfect mix of simple, and more sophisticated, just suited to a family with children. The scones were massive, and the cakes very special indeed, and beautifully presented. Everything is freshly baked on the day, so bookings are vital, and must be made by 11am for that afternoon. For more on Ox Pasture see our review of the hotel.
Afternoon tea at Ox Pasture is £15 per person, or £24 with the added treat of a glass of champagne. Ox Pasture, Lady Edith’s Drive, Scarborough, YO12 5TD
Alison’s pick: Gleneagles, Auchterarder
Everything in this grand hotel is special, and their afternoon tea is no different. Served in the bar, you get endless little sandwiches, scones and cakes, all washed down with the finest tea. The bar is a great place to people watch – Scotland’s finest and lots of American golf-loving tourists. After you’ve eaten, take a wander around the grounds or a mooch in the uber posh hotel boutique. If you’re really in the mood to splash out, their Espa day spa is utterly dreamy and the restaurant Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles has two Michelin stars.
Afternoon tea at Gleneagles is £30 per person. Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire, PH3 1NF
Penny’s pick: Betty’s, York
I love a good tea shop. When I was little, my mum and gran took me and my brother to York for the weekend. We thought it was a magical place, my parents had a tiresome fascination with dragging us around churches, purely from an architectural perspective, but I do remember being in awe of York Minster. More importantly, I have such vivid memories of eating hot buttered teacakes in a tea room. It was dimly lit and old fashioned, mahogany tables and deep red velvet upholstery. I think that’s where my fascination with tea shops started. Betty’s is a Yorkshire classic and worth queuing for. It has huge curved windows, elegant wood panelling and ornate mirrors, and until it opened in 1936, the building was a dilapidated furniture store. But in York you really can take your pick of great tea shops.
Afternoon tea in the Imperial of Belmont Room, Betty’s, York is £26.95. Betty’s, 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, YO1 8QP
Where are your favourite places to have afternoon tea?
I used to have a mini tradition of having afternoon tea on New Year’s Day with friends – definitely a great way to start the year (and cure a hangover). We tried a few in London but I think Claridges was my favourite.
What a lovely idea! Much better than getting morose about the end of Christmas 🙂
Some lovely ideas here. I visited the Sofitel London St James recently, and although I didn’t sample their afternoon tea, it looked divine. All French madaroons and harp playing!
Ah now I’d go anywhere for a macaroon – gorgeous things! Will have to try next time we’re in London.