Elegant Recommendations for That Most Regal of Midday Refreshments; Afternoon Tea
God bless afternoon tea. It is perhaps the most quintessential of British mealtime traditions; a midday indulgence that has been bringing families together for generations, and the perfect centrepiece for another of our favourite activities – the good old-fashioned conversation. A spread that is jam-packed with an array of scrumptious treats, from delicate finger sandwiches to elegant cakes and lip-smacking scones, each bite is consistently delightful.
An age-old convention that is centred around the beverage that is held most dear by us Brits, the afternoon tea is said to have originated among the wealthy classes as early as the 1840’s, with the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russel, being widely credited with its creation. In a time that held only a morning and evening repast, she would often get hungry at around three or four o’clock, until one day she decided to add bread, butter and cake to her daily tea ritual – a notion that has only been expanded since, with many a restaurant choosing to develop their own style.
Here at Gourmet Society, we have many enchanting eateries in our roster that promise to provide members with a truly lip-smacking afternoon tea at fantastic value and it would simply seem dreadfully impolite not to share our favourites with you:
Number Twelve Restaurant and Bar, St. Pancras: Sat in between the bustling areas of Oxford Street, Soho and Covent Gardens, this contemporary hotel restaurant is ideally located for those looking for a bit of respite while jaunting around England’s capital.
Proud East, Shoreditch: A wondrous canalside eatery that combines stunning views with exquisite fare in the creation of a dining experience to be remembered.
Hendon Hall Hotel, Hendon: Sat within a beautiful 18th century Georgian building on the outskirts of the city, the venue makes for the perfect setting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in the enjoyment of some good, hearty food.
Prego, Broadway: A Mediterranean inspired café, deli and tea room that offers all manners of delectable nibbles.
Fire Lake at the Radisson Blu, Leeds: Stylish surroundings and impeccable service work together to produce a simply delightful place to eat.
Ravenstone Lodge, Bassenthwaite: Merging a stylish interior with an exterior that offers up a multitude of remarkable views across the Lake District, this magnificent country house hotel is impeccably located.
Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate: The historic city of Harrogate plays host to the extraordinary Rudding Park Hotel, an illustrious four star accommodation nestled among acres of gorgeous scenery which also features a superb 18 hole golf course.
Broadoaks Country House, Windermere: Idyllic, historic and stunning are just three words that have been used to describe this establishment, which has been standing firm since 1836.
Tea on the Green, Wombourne: A charming little café found in a scenic village, an excellent spot to relax and enjoy some good food.
Hogarths Stone Manor, Kidderminster: Choose from one of many afternoon tea experiences at this impressive stone manor.
Britannia Birmingham Bromsgrove, Bromsgrove: A wonderfully stylish hotel sat just a stone’s throw away from the A38, making for a marvellous pit-stop in the middle of a long journey.
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham: An elegant venue surrounded by acres of ripe greenery, as well as hosting its own fabulous golf course, Eastwood Hall makes for a serene spot to while an afternoon away.
The Water Garden Café, Romsey: Sat within the Romsey World of Water, an afternoon tea at The Water Garden Café provides the perfect excuse for a bit of respite amidst a day of activity.
The Carpenter’s Arms, Eastling: As historic as it is exquisite, this traditional British pub is full of period charm.
Bumbles Coffee Lounge, Taunton: Found at the very heart of the city, this friendly little coffee shop offers a warm welcome to all.
The Waterfront Restaurant at the Best Western Dover Marina, Dover: An enchanting restaurant sat within a stylish hotel, offering up a host of impressive views across the Marina.
Hetland Hall Hotel, Dumfries: A sophisticated country house hotel found just 15 minutes away from the iconic Gretna Green, it is the perfect base from which to explore the natural wonder that is the Lake District.
Abington Hotel, Abington: Found amidst a plethora of resplendent views across the splendid Scottish countryside, the Abington Hotel is a wonderful setting from which to escape those everyday trials and tribulations.
Burnhouse Manor Hotel, Beith: Situated just a short drive away from the airports of both Glasgow and Prestwick, and just a stone’s from away from a number of top golf courses, the hotel is superbly located for a pre-flight, or post-round, meal.
Tulloch Castle, Dingwall: A significant landmark and a commanding venue, Tulloch Castle makes for a memorable place to dine.
K9 Plus 1, Barry: A dog-themed and dog-friendly café, where you’ll be able to indulge in all manner of tasty staples, and man’s best friend can too!
Ridgeway Golf Club, Cardiff: Partake in a delectable repast, before or after hitting the greens.
Vista Hotel, Llanelli: A relaxed continental vibe and a mouth-watering feast awaits all at this once ancient fort.
Scooby Brew, Bangor: The second dog-friendly café on the list, bring your pup along to this quaint Northern Irish hideaway.
Solo, Belfast: An outstanding contemporary bar and restaurant offers a twist on the quintessentially British favourite, with a host of international style delights to be found upon the three tiered stands.
So, we’ve detailed some of our favourite afternoon tea venues, but there are many more available that offer the superb Gourmet Society discount – why not let us know if you have visited any of those mentioned above, or any other Gourmet Society establishment, on our Facebook or Twitter page?
By Calum Dewsbury