The best afternoon teas in Cheshire

An array of traditional afternoon tea treats from Churche's Mansion

An array of traditional afternoon tea treats from Churche's Mansion - Credit: Churche's Mansion

Cheshire Life's editor takes afternoon tea at Churche's Mansion in Nantwich and looks at other choices in the county.

Churches Mansion afternoon tea

The afternoon tea chocolate brownies at Churche's Mansion – beautiful and delicious - Credit: Archant

What a treat – afternoon tea in one of Cheshire's loveliest and oldest buildings in one of its most historic and interesting towns. Churche's Mansion is the landmark timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan mansion house at the eastern end of Hospital Street in Nantwich.

The Grade I listed building dates from 1577, is one of the very few to have survived the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583 and is now a superb restaurant specialising in fish and seafood. But afternoon tea is also a popular offering with a choice of menus and, on my visit, a packed room of quiet conversation, supreme service, the gentle clink of cups and champagne glasses and an array of delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes.

Afternoon Tea Week 2021 (August 9-15) was the perfect time to get out, get dressed up and take tea.

Churche's Mansion in Nantwich

Afternoon tea at Churche's Mansion in Nantwich is a treat - Credit: Archant

We chose the Churche's Mansion traditional afternoon tea with a selection of finger sandwiches (pastrami and sharp mustard, comforting cheese and pickle, and free-range egg, indulgent smoked salmon and cream cheese), warm scones with jam and cream (we did them the cream-first Devon way), home-made cakes including exquisite chocolate brownies decorated with tiny edible flowers, a one-bite lemon cheesecake and a little baba au rhum fruit bowl, then loose-leaf tea and artisan coffee. The event was a family affair for my birthday with my sister and granddaughter making up the party. 

Nine-year-old Lailah had the Churche's Mansion Little Squid's afternoon tea with all those cakes, lashings of lemonade and sandwiches with jam and ham. (She is a girl with a mature palate and was a little disappointed not to get the squid she had assumed would be part of the 'Little Squid'.) The menu also offers afternoon tea, with a choice of alcoholic drinks including prosecco, gins, wines and champagne and there is the very modestly priced cream tea at £6.95 with freshly baked scone, clotted cream & jam, loose leaf tea or artisan coffee.

READ MORE: The do's and don'ts of afternoon tea

The team at Visit Chester and Cheshire choose 10 more afternoon tea experiences 

Davenports Tea Rooms, Northwich
The afternoon tea is multi-award-winning, and the popular Mad Hatter's Tea Parties are a specialty with Alice in Wonderland-inspired treats, a choice of delicate sandwiches and a selection of locally made homemade delicious cakes and scones.

The Gardener's Cottage, Tatton Park, Knutsford
An exclusive dining experience in the beautiful setting of its famous award-winning gardens. It's the perfect location for a relaxing specialty afternoon tea, served using garden produce available right on their doorstep to create unique dishes.

Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa, Chester
Afternoon tea is a real specialty at Palm Court with a variety available including prosecco, Laurent Perrier, G&T, and cocktail featuring quirky tea-based cocktails.

Mottram Hall, Macclesfield
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, or just fancy an indulgent treat, you will be spoilt with a homemade selection of freshly cut finger sandwiches and warm scones smothered in jam and clotted cream. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from an exceptional range of speciality leaf teas or coffees. The champagne afternoon tea allows you to mark the occasion with a glass of bubbles alongside your sweet and savoury treats.

Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen 
Wherever you go in the Queen Hotel, Chester, you will find wonderful areas to relax and unwind. Enjoy afternoon tea in the magnificently restored Albert Lounge and sink into a wonderfully deep chair and relax by the fire. The Queen’s scones are not to be missed.

The Mere, Knutsford
The Mere serves afternoon tea from 12pm to 5pm every day in Browns and the Lobby Lounge. Add a little sparkle to your afternoon treat, and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine each for an additional £5pp.

The Chester Grosvenor, Chester
Served daily at The Chester Grosvenor since 1882. The traditional Grosvenor afternoon tea includes sweet creations made by award-winning chefs, served alongside a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve and freshly brewed tea or coffee. Champagne afternoon tea includes a chilled glass of champagne with strawberries and clotted cream.

Crewe Hall, Crewe
Relax in the Sheridan Lounge and enjoy Crewe Hall’s famous afternoon tea. The Sheridan Lounge in the old hall was once Lord Crewe’s dining room where he entertained King George V and Queen Mary during their visit in 1913.

Peckforton Castle, Tarporley
French pastries and scones, to the indulgent choice including a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne or a refreshing gin and tonic.

Oddfellows, Chester
With natty interiors and a huge helping of humour and fun, Oddfellows presents the ultimate afternoon tea with a splash of 'Odd'. Freshly prepared finger sandwiches are served using flavours of the season, including the classic scones, jam, and clotted cream. Enjoy the chef’s selection of treats, inspired cakes and tarts with tea or coffee. Add an extra bit of nostalgia with a vintage-inspired cocktail or glass of bubbles.

Please note booking in advance is advisable for all of the above establishments.

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