If you’re planning on visiting the Cotswolds, whether for a short break, a romantic getaway or a family holiday, indulging in a classic afternoon tea could well be one of the highlights of your trip. As one of the Cotswolds’ finest and longest-standing traditions, there are a wealth of places to enjoy a warm pot of tea, perhaps a bubbling glass of champagne, with a wonderful combination of sweet and savoury refreshments. It’s the perfect way to spend time with friends and family.
Here at Holidays in the Cotswolds, we have sampled many a ‘high tea’ in our time and wanted to share our local knowledge with you. From decadent delights in boutique surroundings to hearty finger food in casual cafes, afternoon tea in the Cotswolds is a big business. With Afternoon Tea Week just around the corner, here are five of our favourite Cotswolds afternoon tea spots.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is the grandest venue you could choose for tea and cake. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough, this 11,500-acre estate was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and is as quintessentially British as it gets. After exploring the palace, park and spectacular gardens, the beautiful Orangery offers an idyllic backdrop for an afternoon spent sipping champagne and nibbling macaroons. From delicate finger sandwiches to melt in the mouth buttermilk scones served with a mountain of clotted cream and strawberry preserve, plus a cornucopia of cakes, these afternoon teas are all about indulgence.
Afternoon tea at Blenheim Palace starts at £26 per person.
The Huffkins Bakery and Tearoom in Burford has been around since 1890, boasting some of the tastiest Cotswold cakes you will ever try, all made by hand. A local favourite, they have tearooms dotted around the Cotswolds and their afternoon tea is exceptional. Exquisitely presented on a classic three-tier stand, Huffkins’ afternoon tea includes rounds of sandwiches, award-winning scones served with lashings of clotted cream and preserves, a selection of pastries and a pot of loose leaf tea. Diners can also indulge in a chilled glass of prosecco while taking in the warm and cosy surroundings.
Classic afternoon tea for two at Huffkins starts at £16 per person.
Dormy House, Broadway
If you fancy combining an elegant English spread with a relaxing afternoon in a luxury spa, the Dormy House in Broadway should be at the top of your Cotswolds itinerary. Sample an enticing platter of freshly made sandwiches, quiches, scones slathered in cream and jam, and a fine array of fancies, alongside a pot of English breakfast tea or even a spectacular Flowering Osmanthus. Those with hearty appetites can order an additional plate of sausage rolls or cheese scones with smoked salmon and caviar, while diners wanting to add a touch of sparkle can treat themselves to a glass of Veuve Clicquot. For a great summer al fresco alternative, enjoy a gourmet picnic on the estate with a pre-ordered Dormy Hamper. Bliss!
Whatley Manor, Malmesbury
Magnificently serving up a tower of dainty sandwiches, fluffy scones, delectable cakes and sweet treats, an afternoon tea at Whatley Manor in Malmesbury is always a memorable experience. This beautifully restored manor house and spa is nestled within 12 acres of pretty gardens in the heart of the Cotswolds and prides itself on keeping with tradition and having a unique old-English charm. Whether you visit in the summer months and dine alfresco on one of the terraces overlooking the gardens or during the winter when you can cosy up in front of a crackling log fire in the Sitting Room, we highly recommend the afternoon teas here. They are also perfect for those wishing to celebrate a special occasion with the option of a glass of champagne, Pimms or a mojito depending on your taste.
Full afternoon tea at Whatley Manor starts at £29 per person.
Well Walk Tea Room, Cheltenham
For a quirky afternoon tea experience in the Cotswolds, the Well Walk Tea Room in the heart of Regency Cheltenham is the place to go. One of the oldest shops in the town dating back to the 1790s, this charming little tea room boasts chic interiors, vintage teaware and has a touch of the Mad Hatter about the place. Relax in cute and cosy surroundings and choose from four different afternoon tea selections to suit your occasion (or appetite). There’s even a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, complete with pork pies and cheese. Think warm crumpets, scones with jam and cream, home-made cakes and a wide selection of tea served in a china pot.
Afternoon tea at the Well Walk Tea Room starts from £12.95 per person.
Map of afternoon tea spots in the Cotswolds
Plan your Cotswolds holiday itinerary by finding your favourite afternoon tea spots from the list on the map below.
Where to stay?
Why not combine one of these mouth-watering Cotswolds afternoon tea experiences with a relaxing stay in one of our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds? Perfect for special occasions such as Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, anniversaries and birthdays, you can look forward to pretty gardens, logs fires and sumptuous interiors. The Cotswolds is waiting to be explored by you!
*Prices are correct at the time of publishing; however, they are subject to change.
For more great holiday inspiration, have a read of our ‘Guide to the Cotswolds’.