Four of the best... afternoon tea experiences outside London

With the UK celebrating Afternoon Tea Week (10-16 August), C&IT takes a look at four great venues for groups to indulge in this British tradition.

Coworth Park, Ascot
Coworth Park, Ascot

Welsh afternoon tea at Hilton Cardiff

Located adjacent to Cardiff Castle, the focal point for the Welsh capital’s city centre, is the Hilton Cardiff, which offers a Deluxe Afternoon Tea package. Groups can dine in either the Razzi Conservatory, which overlooks the castle, or in the contemporary Metropole Bar.

Unsurprisingly, Welsh Cakes are on the menu, alongside triple-layered finger sandwiches, a dark chocolate and orange mousse and, the afternoon tea headliner, warm buttermilk sultana scones with clotted cream and jam.

Meadow afternoon tea at Coworth Park, Ascot

The Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park hotel in Ascot is located within roaming parkland, quintessential to the English countryside and a perfect location for afternoon tea. The hotel’s package can accommodate groups at two separate times in the day between June and September in the Drawing Room. The event space can also be used for private gatherings, including small meetings and dinners, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Coworth Park estate.

Top bites on the menu, which according to the hotel is inspired by the flowers that grow in its gardens, include apricot and ‘Coworth Estate lavender’ macaroons, Queen Victoria sponge with sweet cicely and a raspberry and rose choux.

Champagne afternoon tea at 47 King Street West, Manchester

Located in more urban surroundings is Manchester’s 47 King Street West, a fine dining restaurant specialising in British and French cuisine. The restaurant, which has established itself as a sought after dining venue since opening in 2011, can welcome delegates for a round of afternoon tea, with all the traditional quirks. The menu includes a selection of freshly bakes scones, miniature cakes and sandwiches, accompanied by a varied wine list.

Groups of up to 150 can be hosted for larger events, including champagne and canapé receptions, conferences and smaller meetings. Gala dinners can also take place for up to 75 seated guests.

Afternoon tea at Berwick Lodge, Bristol

Berwick Lodge, a privately owned manor house situated deep inside the southwest countryside near Bristol, has been open since the 1890s and was restored not too long ago. The 14-room lodge, with its award-winning fine dining restaurant, can host groups for afternoon tea either in its wood-panelled lounge or in its peaceful gardens. Delegates can choose from three menus, including Full Afternoon Tea and Champagne Afternoon Tea. The latter, and the most luxurious on offer, includes a selection or sandwiches and scones, black forest gateaux, raspberry macaroons, strawberry and cream Battenberg and a glass of house champagne.

Berwick Lodge also offers an overnight wine lovers package, which includes a seven-course tasting menu, with wine pairings chosen by the hotel’s expert Sommelier.


Five of the best... London afternoon teas for groups

Three of the best... countryside retreat packages for groups

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