The David Mellor Design Cafe is a quintessentially British place for a cup of tea and cake, just don't expect it to be served in a floral cup and saucer. As one of the key British designers of the 20th century, the cafe epitomises David Mellor, simple, modern and stylish. The food, soups, sandwiches and cakes, come in delicious combinations of flavours. The white chocolate and cranberry scones are a particular favourite. On your way out don't forget to spot the set of working (David Mellor designed) traffic lights in the gardens!
This delightful ex-fisherman's cottage overlooks the pier with sweeping views beyond up Loch Broom.
Gill and Bob serve delicious Scottish cream tea and homemade cakes but it was the sound of Gill's laughter that initially attracted us. Take advantage of the cosy interior on a windy day and watch the fishing boats and Calmac ferries on their way to and from Stornoway. Brill!
17 Shore St, Ullapool, IV26 2UJ
+44(0)1854 613 346
Google map: bit.ly/KbQrIX
It could be the hearty soups. It could be the generous cakes. It could be the stacks of magazines, the authentic ethnic home wares or the kitsch and colourful decor. Combine these with ivy sprouting through the wall and you have a real countryside discovery. They sell plants too.
Held in community halls throughout the summer, Sunday Teas raise funds for good causes. Pay a small entrance fee and help yourself to delicious home bakes and savoury bannocks (a Shetland speciality). It’s not unusual to see several tables covered in all sorts of cakes and attentive tea and coffee bearers ensure your cup is never empty. A welcome treat after a morning exploring wild beaches, Sunday Teas are also a great way to experience the vibrancy of community life in Shetland.
Tea venues are advertised in the back pages of the weekly Shetland Times.
A beautiful Victorian tea room set in a building dating back to 1675 and serving wonderful traditional afternoon tea on three tier stands. The choice of tea is fantastic, all loose leaf and served in beautiful bone china. Everything is authentic in this stunning building, from the china, the paintings on the walls to the Victorian costumes the staff wear, it really does feel like you've stepped back in time. They also serve delicious homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches. We came away feeling like we had an experience rather than just an afternoon tea. Fantastic, relaxing and very very tasty :-)
Whether walking the Cleveland Way, on a day out or enjoying a holiday on the beautiful, unspoilt north east coast of England - a visit to Anne's Tea Garden in Runswick Bay will transport you back to the days when cakes were made using quality ingredients and with a pride in producing a delicious outcome.
Anne, a retired nurse, genuinely enjoys producing irresistible cakes and, I suspect, opens her delightful garden each summer for the sheer joy of sharing her produce with visitors and locals.
Cakes on offer vary, but you can be assured of being spoiled for choice. Walking along the Cleveland Way from nearby Staithes last Friday, we found difficulty in choosing between lime and coconut cake, apple pie (made using apples from the garden which were frozen down in the autumn), date and walnut loaf, berry tarts, chocolate cake, lemon meringue tart, scones and almond slices (we had a piece of apple pie each and shared a piece of lime and coconut cake, then walked the strenuous way back to burn off the calories!)
The tea pots are large and the hot water plentiful (refills offered), and if you want lunch or high tea then quiche and a variety of sandwiches are on offer. The garden is delightful, there is parking nearby and, of course, you have the beautiful little village of Runswick Bay (a cluster of white cottages which look as though they could tumble down the cliff into the sea at any moment) with its extensive sandy beach to explore thus working up an appetite before your visit or burn up calories afterwards. Anne opens daily during the summer (from approx. May to September) but closes Thursdays and on very rainy days, because covered space is limited.
This part of the coast also has two other excellent venues for tea and cakes: The Ship Inn at Port Mulgrave (a former pub, now a bed and breakfast establishment and licensed tearoom, which sadly only opens at weekends, except during high summer) and the Tea Room in Staithes, where you will also find excellent coffee and a variety of traditional hot dishes (opens daily in summer and restricted opening in winter). At both places you will receive a warm welcome and be assured of gastronomic delights that will transport you back in time to the days of good home baking.
2 Ellerby Lane, Runswick Bay, near Whitby, North Yorkshire, TS13 5HS
Google map: bit.ly/L0gZt2
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.
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 ...
You don't need to do the five mile circular walk around Nicky Nook and Grizedale Fell with spectacular views of the Trough of Bowland and Morecambe Bay or take a boat trip around the small lake to enjoy a cream tea here. Unless of course you need some help working up the appetite you'll need before tucking into the tea with homemade scones and cakes all served with a welcoming smile and mix and match bone china crockery. If you're too full for the drive home you can always stay the night in one of the luxury tents hiding in the grounds.
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.
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