Let them eat cake
Pass the scones and cream, loosen your belts, it's time to scoff Here's 5 top tea spots.
The Fancy one: Cliveden ’66 Traditional, Cliveden House, Taplow
If you love a sweeping driveway and an a venue with the wow factor, then afternoon tea at Cliveden House is going to be tough to beat (from £37 pp). You’ll be seated in this neo-classical pile’s Great Hall and served delicate finger sandwiches, scones with homemade jam and clotted cream with delicate pastries and cakes. Why not be truly decadent plump for the alternative T – a glass of Tattinger. It would be rude not to.
Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire SL6 0JF. clivedenhouse.co.uk
The modern one: Malmaison, Reading
If you’re looking for a tea with a twist, then pull up a chair Malmaison. It gets full marks for the city slicker vibes, serving hot smoked salmon & creme fraiche and chipotle chicken wraps, fruit smoothies in diddy glass bottles with retro stripy straws and your choice of our specialty teas. They also do a ‘tipsy’ version with cocktails. Now you’re talking! The Hendricks G&Tea (gin, elderflower liqueur, blackberry & elderflower tea syrup, lemon juice, tonic) has my name on it.
Malmaison, 8-20 Station Rd, Reading RG1 1JX malmaison.com
The vintage one: Vintage Cream Tea Whittington’s Tea Barge Reading
Now this is a truly unique experience – eating scones al fresco on a narrow boat on the north bank of the river Thames alongside Christchurch Meadows in Reading. Afternoon teas don’t come quirkier. Be warned though – it’s only open Friday to Sunday. But, don’t just rock up unannounced, as it can be booked up for private parties. Expect mismatched vintage china, homemade cakes, sarnies and scones. Prices starts at £13.
Whittington’s Tea Barge, North bank of the River Thames, alongside Christchurch Meadows, Reading, RG4 8BY whittingtons-teabarge.co.uk
The chic one: Discovery Afternoon Tea, The Vineyard, Stock Cross
Take your tea to the next level at The Vineyard. The restaurant’s well known for its enviable wine list and brilliant matchings. But buckle up, people, because you can check in and enjoy a flight of tea to compliment your selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries. The Discovery tea costs £36 per person. A traditional tea is £29 pp and you can add a glass of fizz from ££9.50 or really add some sparkle to your day and drink the whole bottle (£50).
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury RG20 8JU the-vineyard.co.uk
The Quirky one: Meadow Afternoon Tea Picnic Hamper, Coworth Park, Ascot
Fancy a change of scenery. Take your tea outside. Coworth Park will pack your tea into a picnic hamper so you can make the most of our beautiful wildflower meadow. Head pastry chef, Lucy Jones incorporates hand picked ingredients on its meadow-inspired menu, including lemon verbena eclair, a meadow blend tea and a raspberry and meadow sweet frangipane tart. Amazing selection of teas to choose from. £35 per person for the traditional.
Coworth Park, Blacknest Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7SE. www.dorchestercollection.com.