A forest tea party in Brockenhurst
- Credit: Archant
Head to Brockenhurst on what appears to be any day of the week and you will come across gaggles of fashionable types on a sugar high. Why? It’s all about the afternoon tea darling. Natalie French has the difficult job of choosing her favourite 10
The Cloud Hotel
Forget standing on ceremony; at The Cloud Hotel you can spread your paper across the table in a cosy lounge and leisurely munch your way through homemade scones, washed down with unlimited refills of tea or coffee. Expect the full traditional tea experience in a lovely relaxed and unhurried environment.
Who will love it? Those who love that lazy Sunday morning feeling.
Eat me: A traditional cream tea: a pot of tea or coffee, two homemade scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam for £6.50 per person. (Special set tea also available with all the trimmings for £15.50 or £21.50 with sparkling wine.) Find out more at
The Pig Hotel
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The Pig takes traditional Afternoon Tea and turns it on its head or, more appropriately, its bottom! Hotel guests can grab a blanket and head out in to the grounds for a stroll before finding the perfect spot to plonk themselves down and feast on the delights found in the Pig-Tea basket.
Who will love it? Those who like lashings of fresh country air with their afternoon tea.
Eat me: Pig-Tea, comprising of tea, prosecco and home-made cakes & cookies - available to hotel guests only for £25. Visit
www.thepighotel.com to book your table.
Carey’s Manor Hotel & SenSpa
For an über indulgent afternoon, opt for the Afternoon Delight package at SenSpa. Hang out in the hydrotherapy pool and melt away life’s stresses in the crystal steam room before floating into the relaxation room to sip fizz and feast on afternoon tea.
Who will love it? Those who like to indulge the whole body, not just the stomach.
Eat me: A selection of sandwiches, cakes and a glass of champagne. Available 2pm – 6pm with full use of the spa facilities: £69 Sunday to Friday and £89 Saturday. Visit www.careysmanor.com to book your afternoon.
New Park Manor Hotel
If you’re searching for a place to bring your brood, without worrying that the little sprites will offend anyone whilst they carry on like, um, children – then look no further. New Park Manor Hotel is super family friendly and welcomes kids of all ages with open arms. Opt for afternoon tea on the terrace on a warm day, so the kids can count New Forest ponies, whilst you definitely don’t count the calories as you slather on just a little more clotted cream.
Who will love it? Those who want to relax with their lovely, but noisy children in tow.
Eat me: Full traditional afternoon tea, £15.95 or £24.95 with champagne. Go to www.newparkmanorhotel.co.uk to book.
Rhinefield House Hotel
Enjoy the mother of all cream teas at Rhinefield House: dainty sandwiches filled with cucumber and smoked salmon, traditional scones, homemade pastries, lemon cake, fruit tarts and mouth-watering macaroons – topped off with the finest fresh leaf tea. Dine outside whilst admiring the ornamental pond with the historic country house in the background.
Who will love it? Those seeking full-blown afternoon tea decadence.
Eat me: Book the Full Afternoon Tea, at least 24 hours in advance, for £18.50. Or add bubbles for £26.50. Visit
www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/rhinefield-house t o find out more.
Just because you have a gluten intolerance doesn’t mean you have to forego one of life’s little pleasures. The 400 year old Thatched Cottage offers a delicious three-tier Cream Tea which includes gluten-free open sandwiches, two baby scones with clotted cream and a delicious slice of lemon drizzle cake. Having served cream teas since 1989, it’s fair to say Thatched Cottage have Afternoon Tea down to a fine art – they’ve even named all the rooms after teas.
Who will love it? Those who want their (gluten-free) cake and eat it!
Eat me: Gluten-free Cream Tea, served 2pm-5pm, £14.50 per person. Visit www.thatched-cottage.co.uk to book.
The Watersplash Hotel
If you want truly local cream tea, The Watersplash Hotel will happily provide. Think: home-made cakes using the eggs from resident chickens; local New Forest strawberries; bread from the local Brockenhurst baker and veg lovingly grown and picked from the plot. All can be enjoyed in the Secret Garden, complete with bunting- clad marquee and fireplace, offering a quirky take on grandma’s front room.
Who will love it? Those who want a true, home-grown taste of Brockenhurst.
Eat me: Strawberry Tea: A traditional cream tea plus delicious Hampshire strawberries and a big pot of double clotted cream £8.95. Visit www.watersplash.co.uk to book a table.
The Buttery at the Brock & Bruin
This traditional tea house makes a lovely stop for locals and visitors. Even the free-roaming ponies have been known to stick their heads in the door – quite possibly to marvel at the collection of cuddly teddy bears and badgers that adorn the tea room, but more likely to sample the delicious assortment of cakes that are all hand-made on the premises.
Who will love it? Those who prefer a traditional tea room with a big selection of cakes, teddies and the occasional pony.
Eat me: A home-made scone with strawberry jam, clotted cream and a pot of tea for one, £5.20. Visit
www.thebuttery.org/brockenhurst to book.
Rosie Lea Tea House & Bakery
Love the idea of afternoon tea, but don’t have a sweet tooth? No problem. The small, but perfectly-formed Rosie Lea Tea House & Bakery offer an alternative to the sweet scone-cream-jam combo – and best of all, it involves cheese! The savoury afternoon tea; along with the beautiful vintage china - are just two of the reasons why the Rosie Lea won our prestigious award for ‘Best tea room in Hampshire.’
Who will love it? Cheese fiends - who prefer life in the savoury lane!
Eat me: ‘Simplici-Tea’ – Cheddar scone with Loosehanger Cheese and Hampshire Chutney Company Cheeky Chutney, served with a choice of tea - £4.25 for one, £7.50 for two. Visit www.rosielea.co.uk to find out more.
The Lounge at the Balmer Lawn Hotel
Whether you want to sink into large leather sofas in the lounge; retreat to the cosy snug; or soak up the sun out on the terrace – Balmer Lawn Hotel can oblige. Their traditional afternoon teas even include home-made biscuits - ideal for that rare, but discerning, species that shuns the cakes.
Who will love it? Those who want a full traditional afternoon tea at a snip of the price
Eat me: Balmer Lawn Afternoon Tea: finger sandwiches, scone with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, a selection of home-made biscuits and cakes, plus a pot of tea or coffee, available 12 – 6pm, £12.50 per person. Visit www.balmerlawnhotel.com to find out more.