The top ten places for afternoon tea

Castle-Howard-afternoon-tea-2Whatever the weather, we think there’s always time for afternoon tea. And where better to enjoy the quintessentially English custom and celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week (11-17 Aug) than the Treasure Houses of England’s palaces, houses and castles. Here’s the lowdown on the top ten:

Woburn Abbey

Set in a 3,000-acre deer park, Woburn is home to the 15th Duke of Bedford and his family. Enjoy a selection of sandwiches, homemade cakes and a pot of Suki tea or coffee plus entry to the Abbey’s stunning gardens. See


Enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea with a wide selection of cakes and pastries all baked in-house in the Brabazon Coffee Shop and Restaurant. Some produce comes from Lord Montagu’s own Victorian Kitchen garden; beetroot is transformed into a delicious moist cake and plums made into jam, to eat on scones with lashings of Dorset clotted cream. See

Blenheim Palace

This is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the elegant surroundings only a palace could provide. Tea is served in the palace’s Indian room, or champagne bar, overlooking the beautiful fountains on the water terraces. See

Burghley House

Choose from a range of afternoon teas in the Orangery Restaurant at Burghley, designed by ‘Capability’ Brown in the eighteenth century. The ornate gothic windows provide a bright and elegant space to indulge in home-made scones, cakes and a range of teas while overlooking the peaceful and romantic Rose Garden. See

Castle Howard

Enjoy an afternoon treat at Castle Howard in either the bistro-style Courtyard Cafe or the more traditional Fitzroy Room. Try seasonal menus prepared by the castles incredible chefs that include a generous selection of freshly made sandwiches, salads and heavenly home-made cakes. See


Enjoy the ultimate British dining experience at Chatsworth. Enjoy the very best dainty finger sandwiches, a selection of just-baked cakes and pastries and a wide choice of carefully selected leaf teas. See

Harewood House

Experience the high life – wheresophisticated Georgian architecture meets contemporary style, quality and super high standards. Sample succulent finger sandwiches, an assortment of delicate pastries, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, as well as a choice of freshly baked cakes. See

Hatfield House

Take tea to new and dizzy heights with Hatfield’s Helicopter Discovery Tour. Escape on an eight-mile helicopter pleasure flight over the estate to snatch spectacular aerial views of the stunning architecture of the house, rounded off by a delicious home-made cream tea at the house. See

The Holkham Estate

This has two dining spots choose from – the Stables Café in the adjacent sunny courtyard, perfect on a summer’s afternoon or there’s the Beach Café just a stone’s throw from the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea. Whichever you opt for you can be sure to find plenty of mouth-watering home-made treats to indulge in. See

Leeds Castle

Enjoy cream tea in the 17th century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall or outside in the sunshine on the Terrace overlooking the castle. There is an excellent choice of freshly prepared hot and cold dishes on offer, along with cakes and other sweet treats, all of which can be enjoyed in the Castle’s rustic farmhouse style setting. See


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