Best afternoon tea UK - the perfect Mother's Day treat or birthday gift

We've rounded up the best afternoon tea in the UK from London to Cornwall. Scones anyone?

A collection of the best afternoon tea experiences in the UK

From Fortnum & Mason to Bettys, from Cornwall to Edinburgh, here are the best afternoon tea experiences in the UK which are just perfect for Mother's Day 2023.

"Scones topped with clotted cream and fruity jam, freshly made cakes and pastries alongside a selection of delicately made sandwiches - what more could you want?" says Deputy Food Editor, Rose Fooks. "Indulging in an afternoon tea experience is a great treat. Whether it’s for a birthday, Mother’s Day, or just a weekend celebration, afternoon tea is perfect for sharing with friends and family."

An afternoon tea experience usually lasts around two hours. Some restaurants, cafes, and hotels that serve afternoon tea offer tea refills, Prosecco top-ups, and food replenishing services too, which make them great value for money. Ask whether this is optional before booking or visiting the afternoon tea location. A variety of dietary requirements are also catered for within this roundup of afternoon tea ideas including vegetarian and vegan options as well as allergy-free alternatives.

This roundup of afternoon tea experiences is the best of the best chosen for high-quality food, value for money, location and not forgetting the ambiance. 

Where to find the best afternoon tea UK deals

Best afternoon tea UK 

Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea

Credit: Fortnum & Mason

1. Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea

Where: London | Price: From £70 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Food Editor Jessica Dady says; "One of the most sophisticated afternoon teas available in London, this is the perfect Mother's Day or special birthday gift. With a generous amount of finger sandwiches including Fortnum’s smoked salmon with orange caper butter and mouthwatering Coronation chicken.

Not to mention vegetarian options; cucumber and mint cream cheese and chargrilled artichoke and semi-dried tomato. The scones are soft, moist, and melt-in-the-mouth. The patisseries are inspired by seasonal ingredients and handmade by Fortnum & Mason chefs. One of my favorite afternoon tea experiences."


Bettys afternoon tea

Credit: Bettys

2. Bettys afternoon tea

Where: Harrogate and York | Price: From £28.95 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Food Editor Jessica Dady says: "A heavenly selection of miniature cakes to enjoy including caramel and chocolate pillow, passion fruit and lemon macaroon, and apple and vanilla custard tart. Bettys truly goes above and beyond when it comes to the perfect afternoon tea spread with a choice of plain or lemon and poppyseed scones.

The Kit Calvert Wensleydale with onion chutney was a personal favourite when it came to Bettys’ array of sandwiches. The cafes are family-friendly with a wholesome, yet classy feel. You can only pre-book afternoon tea at Harrogate and York cafes, afternoon tea at all other cafes is on a first-come, first-serve basis with a queuing system."


Sopwell House afteroon tea

Credit: Sopwell House

3. Sopwell House

Where: St Albans | Price: From £29.95 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Food Editor Jessica Dady says: "Sopwell House is on the outskirts of St Albans and is not only a great place for afternoon tea but a spa hotel too. Served at a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant, afternoon tea at Sopwell is a lovely indulgent experience with a choice of Newby loose-leaf tea or coffee, as well as upgrading to a glass or two of champagne.

Served all year round, Sopwell is known for its themed afternoon tea including specials for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. A delicious selection of sandwiches, classic scones, and not to mention delicate mini cakes and patisseries."


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4. Metrodeco

Where: Brighton | Price: From £29.50 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

If you’re looking for that vintage vibe when enjoying your afternoon tea experience, Metrodeco is the perfect choice based in bohemian Kemp Town. Voted an average of 4.5 stars by over 500 TripAdvisor users, this afternoon tea has got quirky written all over it.

Choose from seasonal savoury sandwiches, freshly made scones with locally sourced cream and jam, and a selection of cakes and sweets of the day. This afternoon tea spread also includes unlimited tea. Upgrade your afternoon tea spread with a glass of gin & tonic or bubbles for just £35 per person.


Credit: Cinnamon Bazaar

5. Cinnamon Bazaar

Where: Soho, London | Price: £25 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

We just love the look and feel of this Indian restaurant which serves afternoon tea with East India flavors such as savoury sandwiches like mustard fish finger sandwiches or sweet cakes such as coriander pistachio cake or saffron macaroon. Choose from a selection of Indian spiced teas including; Earl Grey, Organic Jade Sword Green, or White Peony.

The vibrant crockery including vintage Indian teapots and rustic cups and saucers makes this afternoon tea even more excitable - an Instagramers heaven with plenty of photo opportunities.


Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa afternoon tea

Credit: Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa

6. Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa

Where: Newquay, Cornwall | Price: £21 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

If you need an afternoon of child-free indulgence, take a trip to the Cornish coast where you’ll find the adults-only Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa in picture-perfect Newquay. The afternoon tea is served in a room with stunning views overlooking the bay.

Aside from their delicious selection of sandwiches and scones with Tiptree jam, you’ll also find a medley of naughty-but-nice treats such as the Prosecco and raspberry jelly, mini Cosmo pipette, and raspberry Mojito slice. This popular afternoon tea has been rated an average of 4.5 stars by nearly 3,000 TripAdvisor users.


Credit: The Rosewood

7. The Rosewood Hotel

Where: Holborn, London | Price: From £65 per person | Available: Thurs-Sun

At the Rosewood Hotel in London, the hosts of the Afternoon Tea Awards, you can find an unusual and artistic flair to the traditional offering. They have a Van Gogh Art Afternoon Tea on offer, which features Dutch-inspired pastries such as apple boterkoek and chocolate stroopwafel choux, as well as pastries designed like the artist’s Sunflowers and The Starry Night.

Served in the stunning Mirror Room, this is an experience not to be missed. The Rosewood also offers a children’s art afternoon tea for a reduced price. You can also upgrade to a champagne afternoon tea too. Pastries are currently being made by Pastry Chef Mark Perkins.


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8. Storrs Hall

Where: Windermere, Lake District | Price: From £26.95 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of Lake Windermere whilst indulging in a full afternoon tea spread. Choose from homemade cakes, pastries, and freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and jams. This afternoon tea is great if you're looking for something for all the family.

This has to be one of the best afternoon tea experiences in the UK as the classic afternoon tea menu has been adapted for kids too. The 'Tiny Tots afternoon tea' is just £10 per child and includes ham and cheese sandwiches as well as sausage rolls. Treats for the little ones vary from mini cupcakes to chocolate-dipped strawberries. Pair with a homemade fruit milkshake or a hot chocolate all served on Beatrix Potter-themed crockery.


The Savoy afternoon tea

Credit: The Savoy

9. The Savoy

Where: The Strand, London| Price: £65 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Make the most of your London visit by booking afternoon tea at The Savoy, just on the outskirts of Covent Garden. This world-famous afternoon tea has been a feature at the famous Savoy ever since it opened its doors back in 1889. The hotel was the winner of this year’s Traditional Afternoon Tea award. The pastry chef has created an exquisite selection of pastries, handcrafted every single morning. There is also a wide selection of JING teas, a vegan and vegetarian offering, and a separate afternoon tea menu for the children.

Rated an average of 4.5 stars by TripAdvisor users. One happy customer said; “This was our first visit to the Savoy for afternoon tea and this is one of the easiest reviews I have left. Staff: Friendly and attentive. Surroundings: Comfortable and great ambiance with the piano player. Afternoon tea: Absolutely amazing. Would highly recommend it.”


Credit: The Thornton

10. Thornton Hall

Where: The Wirral, near Liverpool | Price: From £29 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

The Great Wirral Afternoon Tea at the Thornton Hall is award-winning with its extensive range of teas including the exotic mandarin rose petal – but also your typical English Breakfast. Their sandwiches are a little different from your average cucumber filling, with truffled egg mayonnaise and brown crab brioche toastie. Nestled in the heart of the Wirral countryside, this place is definitely worth a visit.

With over 300 reviews on TripAdvisor, Thornton Hall afternoon tea has been recommended by many including one happy customer who commented; “We had a lovely afternoon tea at Thornton Hall Hotel today. The food was perfect, lots of variety and the staff were very attentive and helpful. Thank you for making birthday celebrations so special.”


The Ritz afternoon tea

Credit: The Ritz

11. The Ritz

Where: Mayfair, London | Price: From £62 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

For one of the best afternoon tea experiences, visit The Ritz. Dine on freshly made, finely cut sandwiches as well as homemade scones with Cornish clotted cream. Choose from a variety of 18 different loose-leaf tea. You can easily upgrade and add a glass of champagne to your experience too.

The Ritz afternoon tea is one of the most charming traditional afternoon teas in London hosted in the hotels former ballroom with musical ensembles from resident pianist and harpist. Vegetarian and vegan options are available but please request on booking.


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12. Moonfleet Manor

Where: Weymouth | Price: From £27 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

Whether you opt for tea, gin & tonic or a glass of fizz, Moonfleet Manor afternoon tea is sure to satisfy. Indulge in clementine and white chocolate choux buns, ginger and passionfruit cake, and chocolate, pear, and hazelnut domes. The afternoon tea menu does vary depending on seasonal ingredients and themed afternoon teas so do keep in mind when booking. We love that this venue also caters to children with a special kids afternoon tea for just £15.

Rated an average of 4 stars by TripAdvisor users. One happy customer Tim commented; “We had an afternoon tea here and it was delicious! Fresh sandwiches, warm quiche, the most delicious lemon posset followed by cakes and warm scones with cream and jam. More than enough for two. The staff was very nice and the setting beautiful. A hidden gem!”


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13. Brigit’s Bakery London bus afternoon tea

Where: Victoria Coach Station or Trafalgar Sq. | Price: From £45 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

If you're looking for afternoon tea with a difference, Brigit's Bakery offers an amazing experience in an iconic red double-decker London bus. The route starts at either Victoria Coach Station or Trafalgar Sq. Enjoy the scenic views of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey to name a few.

This has to be one of the best afternoon tea experiences in the UK. It's a great way to see London, whilst indulging in classic afternoon tea; sandwiches, cakes, scones, and more. The tour lasts around 90 minutes depending on traffic. The perfect choice for a birthday, sophisticated hen do, or Mother's Day or Father's Day treat. Brigit's Bakery also serves afternoon tea in its cafe too.


Credit: The Balmoral

14. The Balmoral

Where: Edinburgh | Price: £45 per person | Available: Mon-Sun

This award-winning afternoon tea in Edinburgh offers a sumptuous selection of loose-leaf teas, fresh pastries, dainty sandwiches, and a mind-blowing variety of Champagnes. Take a seat under the green leaves of palm trees under the sparkling glass dome and Venetian chandelier. There’s often a harpist to add to the ambiance.

One very happy customer said; "As expected from The Balmoral, the experience was luxury from start to finish. From the harpist playing overhead to the extravagant tea pouring, it all feels very 5*. The staff is very friendly and attentive without being overbearing. The food is delicious, the best afternoon tea selection I've ever tasted, and a lot of it too. We had some boxed up to take away as we were so full! The unlimited tea & coffee gives the opportunity to try their wide-ranging selection. The tea and chocolate souvenir to take away is a lovely extra touch. I would highly recommend it for a special occasion or experience - one you don't want to miss!"


Credit: Lyaness

15. Lyaness

Where: London | Price: From £38 per person | Available: Sat-Sun

This new bar at the Sea Containers hotel along the River Thames is offering a twist on the traditional offering with treats including devilled eggs, a veggie take on the famed coronation chicken, and a pineapple upside-down scone. Enjoy a selection of their cocktails including the Jasmine Gimlet, which blends jasmine, citrus cordial, and Bombay Sapphire gin. The final on our list of the best afternoon tea experiences.

"We had the pleasure of having afternoon tea here because the savoury offerings were scrumptious and the sweets were simply divine. It was not the usual fare for afternoon tea, and well worth the money. The view out of the restaurant was also fabulous, and we very much enjoyed just sitting and watching the river and the passers-by streaming by," said one satisfied customer who rather this one of the best afternoon tea experiences with 5 stars on TripAdvisor.


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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies