Afternoon tea in the Cotswolds
There are lots of wonderful places throughout the Cotswolds where you can indulge in that most English of pastimes – afternoon tea. Most counties throughout the country claim to have ‘the best afternoon tea’ or the ‘best cream tea’ and, although we might be a little biased, the Cotswolds is no exception. The ideas below are not in any particular order or in any way exhaustive, and if you’ve a favourite spot that you think delivers something extra special, then let us know and, we’ll add it to our list.
For special occasions
Sometimes you need somewhere with a little class and style to celebrate an occasion and, we think the suggestions below fit the bill perfectly.
A Right Royal Afternoon Tea
For something extra special, the champagne tea tour at Highgrove House is unmissable. Your experience starts with a guided tour of the magnificent gardens led by one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s guides and ends in the elegant Orchard Tea Room. Here you’ll enjoy finger sandwiches, sweet treats, freshly baked scones, and clotted cream accompanied by Prince of Wales tea and Highgrove champagne.
To the Manor Born
Afternoon tea at Whatley Manor is a truly sumptuous affair and can be enjoyed in the glorious surrounds of the Drawing Room, the Garden Room or, if the weather is bestowing kindness, on the terrace. Think traditional fayre with savouries, elegant cakes and sweet morsels accompanied by the finest teas and champagne if you are in the mood. It’s the perfect afternoon tea for two and floaty tea dresses are optional.
A Churchillian Afternoon Tea
Quintessentially English, there is something timeless about the parklands that surround Blenheim Palace and it’s the perfect backdrop for a very special afternoon tea. Inspired by Mrs Landemare, Sir Winston Churchill’s cook for many years, this is an extravagant affair including smoked salmon and caviar muffins, rarebit and pies, fruit cake, passion fruit eclairs and chocolate tarts. A delightful array of unusual teas is the perfect accompaniment, as is a glass of Pol Roger champagne, Sir Winston’s favourite tipple.
The Picture-Perfect Afternoon Tea
Holder of numerous accolades including a coveted Michelin star, the tranquil parklands of Lucknam Park are the perfect place for a beautiful afternoon tea experience. The scene is set as you turn down the magnificent mile-long drive, lined with beech and lime trees forming a natural guard for an afternoon tea experience, in the Michelin starred Restaurant Hywel Jones.
Afternoon tea in Broadway
The pretty village of Broadway is high on most lists for those exploring the Cotswolds and its offerings for afternoon tea are no less impressive.
A 650-Year-Old Tea Party
Enjoy a superb afternoon tea surrounded by 650 years of history. Set against the backdrop of time, past guests of the iconic Lygon Arms include Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, King Edward VII, plus Hollywood legends such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Indulge in a traditional concoction of delicate finger sandwiches, seasonal savouries and exquisite pastries all rounded off with fresh coffee and English tea or, treat yourself to a Champagne Bellini.
G and Tea
Head to the lovely Broadway Hotel for a cream tea with a twist. Rather than the time-honoured pot of tea, this cream tea is paired with a rather fabulous gin and tonic. For those who like to remain more faithful to their afternoon ritual, the Broadway also offers a classic afternoon tea. This includes sandwiches, fluffy homemade scones, tiny lemon meringue pies and heavenly raspberry and dark chocolate macarons. If desired, you also have the option to upgrade this to a Prosecco Afternoon Tea or, during the warmer months, that most wonderful of summertime tipples, a Pimm’s Cocktail Afternoon Tea.
This unique take on the traditional afternoon tea at the fabulous Fish Hotel commences with a tea-inspired cocktail. Teetotallers shouldn’t worry though, as there’s a tipsy-free cocktail option too. The eating elements are a step away from the traditional with treats such as truffle cheese toasties and haddock tartlets paired with sweet goodies that include rum and pineapple cake and Bailey choux pastries or an unami-licious savoury cheese and chive scone. And, if things couldn’t get any better, you can bring your four-legged friend along too for their Doggy Afternoon Tea complete with Earl Greyhound Tea!
Tea at Tisanes
Occupying a beautiful 17th century Cotswold building in the heart of Broadway, Tisanes Tearoom is full of olde-worlde charm and something of a village institution. Settle yourself in the cosy tea room, or during the summer months the enclosed rear garden, and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. Expect freshly prepared sandwiches, homemade scones, and cake along with a steaming pot of loose-leaf tea. Tisanes is also dog friendly if your pooch is partial to afternoon tea!
Afternoon tea in the North Cotswolds
Afternoon and tea go hand in hand in the North Cotswolds. Vibrant market towns and charming villages play host to cosy cafes, tea rooms and unique outposts where some of the best cream teas and fully-fledged afternoon teas in the region can be found.
The Chipping Norton Tea Set
Located in the buzzy market town of Chipping Norton, the Tea Set Café is an utterly charming spot for a beautiful afternoon tea. Expect pretty china, silver teaspoons and vintage cutlery, soft linen napkins and elegant, tiered cake stands. Depending on your level of indulgence, you can choose from a Cotswold Cream Tea, a more substantial Cotswold Afternoon Tea, or the delightfully extravagant Luxury Afternoon Tea.
Back in Time for Tea at Badgers Hall
Take a gentle step back in time for afternoon tea at Badgers Hall. Full of rich, local history, Badgers Hall is a 15th century Cotswold stone building with mullioned windows, charm and oodles of character which sits on the equally charming high street in Chipping Campden. In the beautiful lounge, enjoy a bounty of treats from a delicate tiered cake stand laden with homemade sandwiches, delectable cakes, and fluffy scones fresh from the AGA.
Take Tea with Lucy
Forming an important part of the market square in beautiful Stow-on-the-Wold, you’ll find Lucy, or rather Lucy’s Tearoom. This charming family-run tearoom resides in a 300-year old building and, as you step inside, you’ll find original flagstone floors and exposed wooden beams. To our mind, it’s the perfect backdrop for Lucy’s Cream Tea or the more indulgent Stow Afternoon Tea.
The Lords for Tea
Lying in the pretty village of Upper Slaughter, just outside Bourton-the-Water, Lords of the Manor is a popular choice for afternoon tea. During the summer months, you are invited to partake in this genteel experience on the lawn, and as the weather grows cooler, head inside for a cosy tea for two by the gently crackling log fire. Expect a traditional spread of finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and scones and a choice of tea or coffee. The Lords Cream Tea is equally delicious.
Afternoon tea in the South Cotswolds
Champagne and Cream Tea
Beautiful Calcot Manor and Spa is the setting for an opulent afternoon tea, or an indulgent cream tea paired with a glass of Taittinger champagne. The pretty light-filled space of The Conservatory is the perfect spot whatever the weather and, if you’ve got little ones in tow, there’s a children’s afternoon tea menu too.
Pretty in Pink
Let’s not be shy here, when we say pink, we mean pink! Luxe is a delightful independent coffee shop in Cirencester that is ultra-Instagram friendly, and their Luxe Cream Tea is pretty special too. Fresh fruit scones, jam and clotted cream are paired with macaroons, treat-sized cakes, and a refreshing cup of tea. Why not up the ante and add a glass of pink champagne into the mix too.
Troublingly Good Afternoon Tea
Located on the edge of Tetbury, afternoon tea at the Trouble House is anything but! It’s family-friendly and dog friendly and, their afternoon teas are delightful. Finger sandwiches and homemade cakes and scones are served up with your choice of tea or coffee. Booking is essential.
Sweet or Savoury Afternoon Tea
Clementines in Nailsworth very cleverly caters for those with a savoury leaning, as well as the sweet-toothed brigade. Partake of their afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, pastel de nata and chocolate truffles, a cream tea or for a change try their savoury tea, which includes a fabulous cheese scone, butter, tangy chutneys or pickles and a slab of mature cheddar cheese.
Tea in a box
Whilst there are plenty of superb options for afternoon tea throughout the Cotswolds, there is also something quite decadent about having one delivered to your door. Perfect for sunny afternoons in the garden or by a cosy fire with the rain falling outside.
Once Upon a Tea Room
The extremely fabulous Once Upon a Tea Room sits in the beautiful medieval town of Winchcombe and, whilst you are more than welcome to partake in afternoon tea in their tea room, they also offer a wonderful range of teas for delivery. It really is tea-tastic with cream teas, afternoon teas, champagne afternoon teas and teas for two. They also offer ‘free from’ teas for those with specific dietary needs.
This lovely family business specialises in afternoon tea and savoury teas and, they’re on our list for their fabulous Afternoon Tea in a Box range. Choose between their cream tea box or the full afternoon box which includes sandwiches, savouries, scones, clotted cream and preserves. For something a little different, we loved their rustic savoury box. Packed with mouth-watering treats this box includes sausage rolls, cheese, mini quiches, red onion marmalade and gooey chocolate brownies to finish.
Founded c1890 in the beautiful Cotswold town of Burford, the first baked treats from Huffkins were delivered fresh from a wood-fired oven by donkey and trap. Things have moved on since then, but they still pride themselves on their fabulous baking. Whether you want a classically simple cream tea, prosecco afternoon tea, a cheese scone afternoon tea, or an extravagant celebratory afternoon tea delivered, Huffkins have the answer.