First introduced in the 1840s, afternoon tea is a long-standing British tradition that has recently seen a sharp rise in popularity. No longer just quaint finger sandwiches and Earl Grey in high-end restaurants, there are now many options to be found. From the traditional to the quirky, many cafes, restaurants and hotels have expanded their menus, and a plethora of options such as champagne, vegan and gluten-free afternoon teas are now available.
Suffolk is not short of amazing places to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea, so whether you’re looking for an intimate setting for two or a group celebration, here are our top five recommendations of where to enjoy an afternoon tea in Suffolk.
1. The Swan at Lavenham
A luxury setting for a luxury afternoon tea in Suffolk. The Swan at Lavenham provides guests with sweet and savoury options, as well as special menus throughout the year for events such as Valentine’s Day. Expect delicate finger sandwiches and fluffy scones alongside unlimited refills of your chosen tea. And if you’re in the mood for some bubbles, you can upgrade to a prosecco or champagne tea. Guests even get an extra treat to take home with them to keep the enjoyment going!
- Price: Traditional Afternoon Tea - £27.50, Prosecco Afternoon Tea - £36.50, Champagne Afternoon Tea - £44.50
- When: 12-4pm Monday – Saturday. 2.30-4pm on Sundays (must be pre-booked at least one day in advance)
- Dietary Requirements: Gluten and dairy-free options are available
Stay Nearby: Stone Farm
This stunning property is the perfect setting for families, friends or special occasions. The former farmhouse has been breathtakingly converted, with beautiful interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows giving panoramic views of the Suffolk countryside.
What's better than a scrumptious scone? A scrumptious scone eaten during a spa day! If you’re looking for a delicious afternoon tea in Ipswich, we’d recommend a visit to Riverhills. Whilst you can visit and just enjoy their tasty treats, why not make it a day to remember and relax in the sauna or take a dip in the pool before tucking into your afternoon tea?
- Price: Afternoon Tea - £15, Half Day Spa and Afternoon Tea for Two - £59, Full Day Spa and Afternoon Tea for Two - £99
- When: Monday-Friday (upgrades available for weekend use)
- Dietary Requirements: Enquire upon booking
3. Orwell Lady
An afternoon tea with a difference! Enjoy a leisurely sightseeing trip along the River Orwell accompanied by a delicious buffet-style afternoon tea. Tuck into a homemade sausage roll whilst you try and spot a seal or a cream scone during the captain's commentary. Two different cruise lengths are available aboard the Orwell Lady on selected Thursdays throughout the year.
- Price: 2.5-hour River Trip - Ipswich to Pin Mill, Adults £44/Concessions £40/Children £28
- When: Selected Thursdays throughout the year
- Dietary Restrictions: Dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-allergy, vegetarian and vegan options are available when booking
Stay Nearby: 1 Lux Farm Cottages
Sleeps: 6 + 2 dogs
1 Lux Farm Cottages is a gorgeous rural retreat set within a working farm estate and has been beautifully renovated to tick all the boxes when it comes to luxury self-catering accommodation.
4. Old Hall Southwold
Enjoy one of the best afternoon tea's in Southwold with a side of activity at Old Hall Southwold! At this beautifully situated tearoom, freshly prepared sandwiches and homemade scones with clotted cream or chilly jam are on the menu. And if you want to work off all that jam and cream take a walk around the marsh or hire a bike and explore the area on two wheels.
- Price: £15 or £20 including a glass of prosecco, Kids afternoon tea - £8
- When: Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm. Must be booked 24 hours in advance
- Dietary Restrictions: Dairy and gluten-free options are available
Stay Nearby: The Old Hall Farm House
Sleeps: 10 + 1 dog
You won't have far to travel for your afternoon tea when staying at The Old Hall Farm House, this beautifully modernised property is just minutes away. With plenty of activities, both on site and in the local area, it's an ideal base for families wanting to explore Suffolk.
5. Harriets Tea Rooms
You’ll find quintessential English charm and tradition when you enjoy a Suffolk afternoon tea at Harriets in Bury St Edmunds. Operating from a historical building in the centre of town for over 20 years, they’ve been delighting locals and visitors with their freshly baked scones, delicious cakes and tasty sandwiches. Even the youngest members of the family are catered for at Harriets as they offer a Children’s Afternoon Tea full of sweet treats.
- Price: Various options available. Original Afternoon Tea - £18.95, Children's Afternoon Tea - £9.25
- When: Monday-Sunday (opening times vary)
- Dietary Restrictions: Vegan and gluten-free options are available
If all this talk of jam and cream scones has made you hungry for a visit to Suffolk, make sure you check out our selection of properties.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.