Once seen as a tad old-fashioned, going out for tea is now enjoying something of a revival. Mums and daughters see it as an ideal opportunity to spend quality time together, sons can treat their mums to tea and cakes in a posh hotel, and good friends are deciding to take tea instead of frequenting a coffee bar or cafe. You might think however, that tea for two is an expensive indulgence but you’d be surprised. Whilst you may not get the same quality and service as you would if you dined at the Dorchester or the Ritz, there are still some fabulous places where you can take tea at a reasonable price. Check out our best tea experiences to cater for every budget:
The Tea Cosy – Brighton
If your idea of fun is to be surrounded by royal memorabilia and take tea with a regal bent, then head off down to Sussex and the Tea Cosy. You can take high tea which is especially for two people and include Princess Diana’s Memorial High Tea, featuring a selection of cakes and finger sandwiches, comprising of smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Cheese and homemade Chutney. Served with Biscuits, a Cream Tea (with Scone, double Cream, and Jam) and unlimited refills of the Tea of your choice. House rules include the prohibition of dunking biscuits and resting elbows on the table and recent patrons have included a drag Camilla Parker Bowles. Kitsch, camp and with its tongue firmly in its cheek. Prices start from around £4.95. Visit The “Tea Cosy” Brighton for more information.
Leaf Tea Bar – Liverpool
More of a ‘punk’ tea bar that pairs tea with late-night DJ sets, Wi-Fi and wine in a cool, modern space on Bold Street. It sells 24 loose-leaf teas and there are also tea tastings, live music and exhibitions. They host art, vintage markets, music and club nights, plus serve up delicious, wholesome food and hundreds of varieties of tea while delivering a great atmosphere. Leaf is a place for people to relax and enjoy culture and soak up the best in new music. Leaf serve afternoon tea with a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, and a fine array of mini cakes and fancies all presented on a decorative three- tier stand. All washed down with an unlimited supply of sumptuous teas. For more information please visit “This is Leaf” liverpool.
The Rose – Oxford
The Rose is a small restaurant and tea room on High Street in Oxford which serves first class, freshly prepared food. Their afternoon teas start from £6.95 and include The Rose’s Cream Tea Special at £12.50 which features a fine selection of finger sandwiches, including the classic cucumber & cream cheese, the finest organic salmon, and egg & cress mayonnaise. To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in a freshly baked scone served with clotted cream and a rich, fruity strawberry jam. Finish off with a slice of home-made cake from their display. For more information visit “The Rose” Oxford.
Bettys – York
Make a reservation for afternoon tea at the Belmont Room and you can relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and fabulous service. You’ll get the resident cafe pianist playing, whilst you have the arduous task of choosing from a selection of rare and speciality teas, then being delighted by a gleaming silver cake stand laden with dainty sandwiches, freshly baked miniature scones and exquisite handmade cakes. Afternoon tea at Bettys starts at £25.95 or add a glass of champagne to your afternoon for £32.95. For more information visit “Bettys” York.
The Ritz – London
Enjoy a slice of the high life with the traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz. A minute away from Green Park station, surrounded by the boutique shops and Royal Parks of London, the grand setting of The Ritz is famous the world over. In this enchanting landmark, residents and tourists alike are invited to indulge in a most exquisite afternoon tea. Delicate sandwiches, freshly baked jam and clotted cream scones, and a choice of dainty pastries accompany an eclectic selection of teas. You can also celebrate a special occasion by enhancing your tea further with cake and a glass of champagne. Traditional tea starts at £42 per person. For more information visit “The Ritz” – London