10 charming places to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in Essex


EXG MAY 17 TEA SHOP TRAIL - Credit: Archant

Treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea in the county and visit one of these lovely Essex tea rooms. Think buttery scones, tea and quaint finger sandwiches galore

1. The County Hotel, Chelmsford

Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the elegant and classic County Hotel in Chelmsford, either in the lounge bar or hotel restaurant. Guests can enjoy a glass of prosecco, Champagne and fantastic teas from around the world, or a freshly-brewed ground coffee. The chefs at The County Hotel also make beautiful finger sandwiches, house-made delicate cakes and sweet treats, plus savouries and freshly-baked house-made scones.

2. Jacqueline’s Tea Room, Colchester

Jacqueline’s Tea Room is charming, cosy and vintage, located in the heart of Colchester. Lunch includes traditional fare of homemade tartlets, jacket potatoes, fresh sandwiches, homemade cakes and sausage rolls. The team pride themselves on their range of homemade, gluten free products and their passion for loose leaf tea, stocking more than 50 different varieties from all over the world. After a day’s shopping or sight-seeing, why not drop into Jacqueline’s Tea Room? At the counter you’ll always find a selection of teas to sample to give you the chance to relax and unwind, as you are transported back to an era when everything really does stop for tea!

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3. ACanteen, Chelmsford

Established in 2001, ACanteen is a family-run business born out of a passion for creating good, wholesome food. It offers a delicious afternoon tea for grown ups and children, full of homemade delights. Enjoy sandwiches, scones with local jam and clotted cream plus a huge slice of homemade sponge from the patisserie. You’ll also find whole leaf teas from all over the world, including Matcha! Acanteen is open all day for great coffee, brunch, afternoon tea, light bites, dinner and late drinks. All the food is ethically produced and sustainably sourced.

4. Lathcoats Farm, Chelmsford

The Bee Shed Coffee House at Lathcoats Farm offers relaxing surroundings for excellent coffee and tea, plus delicious homemade cake, English breakfasts, light lunches and Afternoon Tea (booking required) – and there is even a tempting children’s platter for the younger guests. Enjoy the cosy wood burning stove in winter or a sunny terrace for the summer, plus a natural play area for younger children, all within a working fruit farm. This is the perfect spot for friends and family to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

5. Blackmore Tea Rooms, Ingatestone

The Blackmore Tea Rooms are set in the middle of the village of Blackmore, located by the small village green. These 15th century tea rooms exude charm, with their exposed beams and sumptuous furnishings. There is a wide choice of teas and other beverages on offer, as well as a delicious menu, including gluten free bread and cakes, plus free wi-fi. As you would expect in these charming surroundings, the kitchen offers traditional, home-baked cakes and uses traditional tea.’

6. Lower Barn Cafe, Rayleigh

Served on vintage bone china, Afternoon Tea at the Lower Barn Cafe comes brimming with delectable treats and sandwiches. Freshly-baked fruit scones, topped with strawberry jam, Cornish clotted cream and deliciously-ripened strawberries, make a fine accompaniment to the versatile selection of sandwiches, sausage rolls and quiche pieces on offer. Right down to an assortment of chocolate truffles, everything served here is lovingly created by professional chefs and hot drinks are prepared by trained baristas.

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7. Maison Talbooth, Dedham

Who doesn’t love a delicious Afternoon Tea? At Maison Talbooth, enjoy freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam, delicate sandwiches and a delicious selection of cakes coupled with an interesting selection of tea or coffee to make it a treat to remember. You can even add a glass or two of Champagne if you feel like celebrating!

8. Scrumptious Tea Rooms, Great Dunmow

Award-winning Scrumptious Tea Rooms has a welcoming, traditional feel inspired by the character of the pre-war English corner shop. This charming tea shop offers a tranquil change of pace where you can really unwind and enjoy the joy of real tea and tasty tea-time treats. The family-run business prides itself on serving a great selection of loose leaf teas in the traditional way and the regular menu uses quality and locally-sourced produce. The pre-bookable Signature Afternoon Tea is the perfect indulgence for that special occasion as well as the private drawing room for small functions to suit your home from home event with friends and family. Gluten, dairy and wheat-free cakes are also available daily along with Vegan friendly options.

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9. Orsett Hall Hotel, Orsett

Orsett Hall is the ideal venue for an Afternoon Tea, offering a choice of Afternoon Teas in calm and contemporary surroundings, overlooking the hotel’s picturesque gardens with a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The hotel’s Traditional Afternoon Tea offers a selection of traditionally British, thinly sliced finger sandwiches, warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, plus a range of mini desserts and not forgetting the lovely tea selection. A Champagne Afternoon Tea is served with an additional Glass of Champagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. As not everyone has a sweet tooth, there is also a Savoury Afternoon Tea, so diners can still enjoy the full Afternoon Tea experience but with a savoury option, which pairs the hotel’s classic finger sandwiches and tea with savoury scones and delicate savoury treats.

10. Down Hall Country House Hotel, Hatfield Heath

Visit Down Hall Country House Hotel to experience the much-loved treat of traditional English Afternoon Tea at its finest. Served in the historic splendour of the hotel’s lounge or Ibbetsons Tea Lounge, with a choice of delicious menus combined with a selection of the finest teas, you are set for an unforgettable afternoon. At Down Hall Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2pm and 5pm and, as all the Afternoon Teas are freshly made to order, reservations are required.

Looking for something a bit more filling? Why not visit these splendid places for a proper breakfast in Essex?