Whether you’re looking to treat family, friends or even little ones, our pick of the season’s best afternoon teas are sure to put everyone in the Christmas mood
Cliveden House, Berkshire
With views of its gorgeous National Trust gardens, afternoon tea at Cliveden House is done in true style. A generous serving of finger sandwiches and warm scones with homemade jams and clotted cream jostles for space on the three-tiered selection, accompanied by an array of mince pies and festive pastries. Cliveden even crafts its own blend of tea to go with. For a really indulgent experience, make a day of it and book a treatment at Cliveden House’s exceptional spa.
£60 per person, including a glass of mulled wine, clivedenhouse.co.uk
The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason, London
With 313 Christmases to its name, few do the art of afternoon tea quite like Fortnum & Mason. Take a breather from present shopping on Piccadilly to enjoy its festive offering, starting with a glass of Fortnum’s Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (£16.25 extra) or a festive Champagne cocktail (from £14.50 extra) before tucking in to sumptuous sandwiches, scones and decorative patisserie.
From £70 per person, fortnumandmason.com
The Landmark, London
Served in The Landmark hotel’s magical Winter Garden Restaurant, this year’s High Palms High Tea features such festive treats as warm cranberry and orange scones, a mandarin and cinnamon yule log, and a chocolate brownie with gingerbread and dark chocolate mousse. A glass of chilled Laurent Perrier Champagne Brut is also included.
£68 per person, landmarklondon.co.uk
The Orangery Restaurant, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Often a Christmas tradition in itself, this year The Nutcracker ballet inspires an enchanting afternoon tea of three acts at The Orangery. With a menu available for both adults and children, the whole family can come along. Grown-ups can sip on a Winter Spiced Negroni (£8.50 extra) as they sample toasted English Welsh rarebit muffins and a sparkling Victoria sponge, whilst children will enjoy buttermilk scones, Nutcracker gingerbread soldiers and a warming cup of fruity, caffeine-free Sugar Plum Fairy tea.
£28.75 per adult, or £14.50 for each child under 12, blenheimpalace.com
Moonfleet Manor, Dorset
An ideal inclusion for a wintry jaunt to the seaside, Moonfleet Manor’s seasonal afternoon tea captures festive flavours with the likes of clementine and white chocolate choux buns, ginger and passionfruit cake, and chocolate, pear and hazelnut domes. Children are also catered for with their very own menu, complete with cupcakes, jam tartlets and VIP gingerbread men.
From £27 per adult and £15 for children, moonfleetmanorhotel.co.uk
The Biltmore Mayfair, London
Within the grand setting of The Biltmore Mayfair hotel, festive afternoon tea comes with a luxurious twist. Sandwich fillings include roast turkey and cranberry sauce, and cucumber and truffle cream, whilst amongst the sweet goodies, milk chocolate and cherry mousse is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, as is the mulled pear and cinnamon macarons. What’s more, the hotel’s very own prima ballerina will perform Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and other Nutcracker sequences within the Tea Lounge at regular intervals each afternoon, and it’s said that Father Christmas may even make an appearance too…
From £55 for adults and £28 for children, lxrhotels3.hilton.com
Woolley Grange Hotel, Wiltshire
On the fringes of the Cotswolds, this Jacobean manor house makes for a beautiful afternoon tea location. Adults can opt for a glass of fizz or a ‘G & Tea’ cocktail before tucking into honey glazed ham and mustard or chicken and cranberry mayonnaise sandwiches, followed by wild mushroom and black garlic tartlets. Kids, meanwhile, will make short work of their homemade scones and chocolate and clementine cupcakes.
From £27 per adult and £15 per child, woolleygrangehotel.co.uk