We have been going to the Lake District for our holidays over the last few years. We always visit Baldreys Tea Room in Grasmere. Friendly staff, great for kids and proper pots of tea with loose-leaf, a strainer and spare hot water - enough for a few cups, which, of course, are dainty fine bone china. Great selection of cakes, buns and desserts. Last time my wife had carrot cake and I had the bread and butter pudding. Good portions that make you feel slightly stuffed as you leave.
Red Lion Square, Grasmere, LA22 9SP
Google map: bit.ly/LDIlDu
Situated high up in the trees of the visitor's centre. Great views, lovely tea in proper china cups and a gorgeous selection of home made cakes. During my last visit I had the first slice of an amazing Victoria Sponge with lashings of cream and sticky strawberry jam. Great stuff!
For those of you with good memories, you may recall that, nearly three years ago, I posted the winning tip for cream teas, at Falling Foss Tea Garden near Whitby. Well, I have to say that since then, it has gone from strength to strength and the quality of the scones has not diminished. A tea garden, located in a forest by a waterfall, Falling Foss is one of the most enchanting settings you could experience. Ginger cake, carrot cake and old fashioned fairy cakes line the counter, all freshly baked by co-owner Steph and served by “tea boy” Jack (Steph’s husband). The baking is so consistently good that the only problem I have when I go now is whether to have a scone or a slice of luscious ginger cake!
After a good walk or cycle we feel we deserve some cake and coffee. In Scotland this can be more difficult than you'd think - sometimes the cake or scone is good and the coffee awful, othertimes the coffee is good and the scone or cake is stale, or worse, heated up in the microwave. But this tearoom is excellent for both - cakes to die for and coffee to revive you, all made and served with TLC by Philip Borrowman. Try it, you wont be disappointed.
Only three weeks ago I sat by a roaring fire on a miserable day, enjoying the biggest, moistest slab of carrot cake I’ve ever rejoiced at. I was at Barter Books in Alnwick, one of Britain’s largest second hand book shops, situated in a restored Victorian railway station. After a prolonged browsing session, the old buffet and waiting rooms are the cosiest place imaginable for a light lunch or comprehensive tea. I was torn between scones, cupcakes, traybake, and various fresh home-made cakes including fruit cake made to a secret family recipe. My companion suggested we share the carrot cake but I scoffed mine to a background of rain hammering on the glass roof, then polished off his remaining flapjack. Cake and books – a sublime duo. Kindles to be parked at the door. (I wish!)
Fabulous food, light lunches and enormous cakes! Right on the edge of the beautiful Ashdown Forest (Winnie the Pooh country.)
The "Hut" on the riverside at Rowhedge, near Colchester, is open for tea and cake, weekends and Bank Holidays throughout spring and summer. It is run by a charitable trust who are trying to raise funds for a permanent building. There is often a small exhibition going on in the hut but the tea, coffee and cake are to be recommended. Tea (builders or fancy), Coffee (instant or posh) are available along with delicious homemade cakes at very reasonable prices. Outside tables and chairs are laid out in a beautiful riverside setting - well worth a visit.
Rowhedge on the river Colne, just south of Colchester in Essex. Frequent buses from Colchester and if tide permits then a ferry runs from Wivenhoe across the river. Wivenhoe is on the main Clacton to London rail line.
Google map: bit.ly/LBeA74
The most delicious cake and welcome cup of tea on a cool and wet day at Annie's kitchen table will bring a smile to anyone's face. Set-up as cycle cafe (you can park in the village if you really need too), there is also a wonderful tea garden for those non-rainy Cumbrian days and Annie hosts a great range of 'Quirky Workshops' - we loved the spoon carving course, but it's the lunch that sticks in my mind. Whether you're doing the Coast-to-Coast cycle route or travelling up the M6 - you must drop in.
After a summer's morning walking the streets of Paris this cafe is a real find. Part of the Mosquee de Paris, it is tucked away in a tranquil, shaded courtyard. Waiters bring trays of perfect mint tea and sweet pastries and you can while away the time admiring the ripening figs overhead. Once refreshed you can take a stroll around the nearby Jardin de Plantes, Paris's beautitful old botanical gardens.
Step back in time at the picturesque tea rooms of Grantchester, a place now entrenched in Cambridge folklore. There are few finer ways to spend an afternoon than punting up the River Cam to enjoy afternoon tea and scones underneath the fruit trees here. The list of former visitors here reads like a historical who's who of English high society, and there may even have been a poem written about it ...
Wonderful easy 10-12 mile walk across the cliff tops, loads of little deserted coves to wander and sun bath in while enjoying a leisurely walk, you can fantastic little beach cafes serving syrupy strong coffee and the most delicious pastel de nata (custard tarts)
Stay at the Vila Gale de Praia, adults only with a great spa.
Juri's tea room is, in every sense of the word, a charmingly quintessential English tea room in the lovely Cotswold village of Winchcombe - almost. The beautiful scones, indulgent cakes and pots of loose leaf tea served up inside the wooden-beamed tea room, or in the conservatory with patio overlooking the Cotswold hills are in fact proudly provided by the Cordon Bleu-trained Japanese owner Juri Miyawaki. Go for a cream tea with a pot of Earl Grey for a truly mouthwatering experience.
Opened in 1914 the Tenth Hole Tearooms in Southsea is a wonderful place. All day breakfasts and a stunning and mouthwatering range of cakes large and small. High chairs for kids, biscuits and drinks for dogs, plenty of outdoor seating - they even provide blankets and hot water bottles for those sunny but chilly days - and great staff make the 10th Hole a unique Southsea institution.
Jumping Jenny's doesn't just claim to be the best but it is. As every cake mouthful melts you instantly HAVE to have more. Be it a cool or warm day, a cup of tea in proper china hones the taste buds for more delicious cake - oh if you insist. All supped and enjoyed while watching the vapor trails from National Trust's steam yacht Gondola which has just deposited you at the jetty below, dissipate to reveal the most fantastic view of Coniston and the Lake District mountains.
Where better to take tea in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year than this establishment that is decked out in Union Jack flags and bunting? The 1940s is brought to life by the waitresses dressed in delightful dresses and headscarves in the style of the times and in the beautiful kitchen dresser on which cakes and silver tea canisters are displayed. Lovely details include the 1940s green crockery and silver sugar tongs, newspapers and artefacts of the time. The menu is designed as a wartime ration book and any leftovers are packed into cardboard boxes that were originally designed to carry gasmasks.
Fortunately the food on offer reflects modern tastes - thick sliced ham has replaced the spam and carrot cake and iced cupcakes are the order of the day. The Ivor Novello Tea consists of sandwiches, scones and cakes, reasonably priced and prettily displayed. Tea lovers are spoiled for choice with 14 blends of loose leaf tea. We chose the Fourteas house blend which arrived in huge white Betty teapot along with a five minute timer so that it could steep perfectly.
The Fourteas is a little jewel that adds a theatrical touch to the pleasure of taking tea. Long may it reign.
Yummy sandwiches, cakes and scones up in a treehouse - what more do I need to say? Fanny's Farm Shop has several quirky teasheds and a delightful treehouse (which has to be booked) for birthday treats or a lazy Sunday afternoon. The surrounding pretty gardens are rather cluttered with signs but the huge slices of Victoria sponge and thrill of high dining between the branches make it worth the trip. At the shop, you can buy farmhouse treats, including marmalade sausages! Cream teas, packed in organic popcorn for the birds, can be ordered by post.
My partner and I first found this deliciously quaint tea room a couple of years back and we’ve made regular trips there ever since. The tea room is nestled in a delightful little cottage garden, which is a wonderful place to pause on a summers day. Should the weather be less clement then the inside of the tea room is every bit as lovely, often with a roaring fire or two, and plenty of art nouveau oddities and old games to examine. The decor is also matched with unobtrusive 1920s and 30s period music.
Rocke Cottage stands on the outskirts of the tiny hamlet of Clungunford, about 20 minutes away from well known foodie heaven in Ludlow. It advertises itself as part of the Shropshire vintage trail, which includes local sights, towns and villages, bookshops and craft emporiums that are all well worth a visit – and with Rocke Cottage right in the centre you have a fantastic place to pause as you make your way around.
The setting and decoration of Rocke Cottage make it worth a visit, but the things that bring us back regularly are the myriad gorgeous varieties of cakes, scones, teas and other local delicacies. They’ve won regular awards from the British Tea Guild for the selection and quality of their teas, but my personal favourites are the scones, with ‘healthy’ portions of jam and rich clotted cream. Their other treats, including one particularly mouth-watering rhubarb cake, are equally scrumptious. For those without a sweet tooth they also serve many different varieties of ploughman style lunches and specials, all with local ingredients and if you really want to indulge then you can have a classic afternoon tea with all the trimmings, though they do ask for you call ahead to book. The service is always prompt and friendly and its location means that, although popular, it is rare for them not to have a table available. As a note remember to take cash with you because they don’t accept cards.
If you want a fantastic, traditional place to stop in the UK for tea and cakes then Rocke Cottage ticks all of the boxes, and with its beautiful surroundings it really is well worth seeking out.
Restored to it's former Art Deco glory, The Midland Hotel is a stunning place to have a really special afternoon tea. Served in the original sun room which looks out over Morecambe Bay, there is a choice from scones with jam and cream right up to the extraordinary Champagne Afternoon Tea. This gives you a selection of freshly made finger sandwiches, such as cucumber, ham, and smoked salmon; a scone with jam and clotted cream, mini profiteroles, strawberries, cake and of course a glass of champagne along with the pot of high quality tea. All beautifully presented, and to be savoured along with the magnificent view. A real treat. £22.50 for the champagne tea, down to £8.50 for the Midland Cream Tea. Booking is advisable at the weekend.
Marine Road West Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4BU
+44(0)845 850 1240
Google map: bit.ly/L7aC6M
Discovered this very good restaurant and winebar on the way back to Gare Du Nord. Its only 10 minutes on foot from checking in for the return Eurostar journey to London.
A godsend! Calm, pleasant environment with extremely tasty meals and wine. The serving staff were pleasant and helpful.
We will be back!
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