18 of the best festive afternoon teas
The only thing that can make an afternoon tea better? Mince pies and lashings of mulled wine. Here are 18 of our favourite festive options in Herts and Beds.
Down Hall Hotel & Spa, Bishop’s Stortford
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with an afternoon tea in the elegant Down Hall Hotel, near Bishop’s Stortford? We’re expecting extra delicious sweet treats this year – after all, it’s where the latest season of Bake Off was filmed! Available throughout December (excluding 25 and 31 Dec), pre-booking required. £30 for adults, £15 for children.
Knebworth House, Stevenage
Sit in the beautifully-decorated barns and enjoy a glass of Kir Royale and delicious treats including homemade sausage rolls, Christmas spiced scones served and mini mince pies. Select dates only, pre-booking required. £33.60 for adults, £16.80 for children.
Centurion Club, St Albans
Treat yourself to a festive version of the Centurion Club’s classic afternoon tea, available Wednesday to Saturday between 2.30 and 4.30pm. The menu includes excellent open sandwiches, cranberry and orange scones with brandy butter and mini Christmas cakes, with drinks ranging from traditional tea to free-flowing prosecco (three guesses as to which one we’re booking!). Prices start at £30 for adults, £12.95 for children under 12.
Black Goo, Tring
This super-cool coffee shop is offering a festive update on their afternoon tea, including a selection of homemade Christmas-themed sandwiches, pork and apple sausage rolls, Stilton and pear tarts, chocolate orange brownies and cupcakes. All washed down with complimentary mulled wine, of course.
The Enchanted Tearooms, St Albans
Where better to get an excellent selection of sandwiches and cake than a place called The Enchanted Tearooms? The freshly-made festive afternoon tea is available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and includes sandwiches (including veggie options for those non-turkey eaters), scones and sweets like red velvet Christmas cupcakes, mince pies and chocolate orange mousse cake. Gluten free and dairy free afternoon teas available on request.
Hotel Cromwell, Stevenage
Hotel Cromwell’s seasonal afternoon tea is available every day in December (excluding Christmas Day), and includes classic sandwiches (as well as a turkey and cranberry option, obviously!), scones and sweet treats like mince pies, macaroons and and dark chocolate tart with orange crème fraiche. Gluten-free options available. £19.95 per adult, £22.95 with a glass of mulled wine, £24.95 with a glass of prosecco. Children under 12 cost just £8.
You know you’re in safe hands when it comes to this afternoon tea, as Tewin Bury Farm won an Award of Excellence at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2019 (yes, it’s a thing!). The festive version of the classic tea will be available throughout December, and booking online is recommended. Prices start at £25 per adult.
Shendish Manor, Hemel Hempstead
Visit this elegant Victorian manor hotel for a fun Christmas day out (top tip: it’s only 5 miles from The Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, if you’re visiting Hogwarts in the snow) with a seasonal afternoon tea to finish. Pre-booking recommended, £21 for adults and £10.50 for children.
The Lavender Tea Room Hexton, Hitchin
Not a scone fan? The traditional Christmas afternoon tea subs out cheese straws instead! The menu also includes finger sandwiches with flavours like pear and stilton and brie and cranberry, and sweet treats like brandy tiffin and apple, cinnamon and toffee millefeuille. There’s even a takeaway option too! Pre-booking required, £30 per adult.
Pendley Manor, Tring
Head to the light and airy Peacock Lounge for their festive afternoon tea, served daily from 1pm until 5.30pm. Expect seasonal sandwiches (my mouth is watering over the brie and fig filling), orange scones and miniature cakes and mince pies. Booking recommended, £29.95 per person during the week, £34.95 per person at the weekend.
Sopwell House, St Albans
The gorgeous Sopwell House is once again offering its festive afternoon tea in their 2 AA Rosette restaurant until 30 Dec, with treats including a dark chocolate and ginger reindeer, cranberry bakewell tart and white chocolate and coconut Christmas bauble. Prices start at £29.95 per person, £34.95 per person with mulled wine and £39.95 per person with Champagne.
Luton Hoo, Luton
We don’t need any excuse to visit five-star Luton Hoo for an afternoon tea, and their festive offering is the ideal way to kick off the Christmas season. Served daily between 12 and 5 up to Wed 23 Dec, Luton Hoo’s afternoon tea menu is suitably luxe and comes with an option to add a glass of Champagne for £11. Pre-booking recommended. £32 per person Mon to Fri, £40 per person Sat to Sun.
Bedford Swan, Bedford
This afternoon tea is available every day in December (excluding Christmas Day), and is a great price point for those who want to treat their taste buds. The menu includes turkey breast and cranberry sandwiches, mixed spice scones, and white chocolate and cranberry cheesecake with a pistachio crumb for £17.50 per person. Gluten-free options available. Add a glass of mulled wine for £4 or a glass of prosecco for £6.
Where better to enjoy Christmas nibbles, champagne and carols on the piano than a decked-out English country house? There are three sittings a day, so book your table of up to 6 ASAP. Available on 13 and 20 Dec only. £38 for adults, £15 for children (15 and younger).
The Barns Hotel, Bedford
Festive afternoon tea with bottomless prosecco, anyone? Wash down savoury treats such as sage, orange and chestnut sausage rolls and sweet bites like yule log, gingerbread men and Santa macarons with unlimited fizz for just an extra £9 per person. There are also vegan and vegetarian options available. Served daily from 12.30pm to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and Sunday from 1pm. £20 per adult, £15 per child under 12.
Woburn Coffee House, Woburn
For a delightfully decadent tea, head to Woburn Coffee House. Expect mouth-watering savouries like sage, apple and turkey croquette, chestnut and buttered brussel sprout tartlet with crispy bacon and Scotch whisky cured salmon with black pepper mascarpone. Sweets include stollen scones with mulled wine jam, orange and cinnamon Christmas cheesecake and Woburn Coffee House’s famous opera cake, all washed down with a pot of tea per person. Available on Thursdays to Sundays until 20 Dec, £39.95 per person.
Jordans Mill, Broom
As well as a variety of festive family events, Jordans Mill are running their Christmas dining (including an afternoon tea menu) on select dates up to the 31 Dec. You’ll need to book 24 hours in advance, and there are delicious gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available, all served with unlimited tea and coffee. £15.95 per person.
Frosts Garden Centre, Woburn Sands
Both classic and vegan festive afternoon teas are available at this popular garden centre, but you’ll need to be quick with your booking as spaces are limited! The canapes in particular look scrumptious (hello, mulled wine poached pear and walnut crumb) and we’re intrigued by the toffee mince pie! £18.95 per person, served from 2.30pm.