Our love of afternoon tea never wanes, from delectable finger sandwiches to beautifully baked scones and cakes, who wouldn’t welcome these tasty treats alongside teas or a glass of fizz?

Magic Mushroom.

Priding itself on customer service, this Billericay-based restaurant proudly accommodates various dietary requirements for its afternoon tea menu including vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Afternoon teas are increasing in popularity and the top choice for baby showers, bridal showers and special birthday celebrations in the private dining room. Customers who wish to enjoy this classic pastime in the private dining room are advised to book early to avoid disappointment. Classic, Champagne, as well as Rose Champagne and children’s afternoon tea menus are all available.

What we love: Choice with a capital C when it comes to catering for dietary needs.


Great British Life: Tiptree Tea room, Bond Street, Chelmsford, is just one of the company's tearoom locations Tiptree Tea room, Bond Street, Chelmsford, is just one of the company's tearoom locations (Image: Tiptree Tea room)


The delightful jar of jam is synonymous with Tiptree and pretty much every afternoon tea! “Tiptree afternoon tea is served in all our tea rooms across Essex,” said Aimee Meredith, marketing manager for the Tiptree tea rooms. “Our special scone recipe is used to make fresh scones each morning and customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to choose their own sandwiches. At Tiptree there is also an opportunity to visit the small John Wilkin Jam Museum and to find a treat in the jam shop.”

What we love: The challenge of visiting every one of these delightful tea rooms.


Epping and Ongar Railway.

Let the train really take the strain while enjoying a delicious afternoon cream tea. Yes, whilst you sit back and relax, the steam hauled journey takes you through the Essex countryside. The fare costs £24.50 includes an all-day rover ticket allowing unlimited travel all day on the heritage buses and steam and diesel train services. The cream tea (scone, clotted cream, jam and tea) is served at 14.50 on board the 15:00 steam hauled departure from North Weald. Cream tea events run on selected dates throughout the year.

What we love: Boarding a unique venue is always a joy.


Great British Life: The intricate delights of afternoon tea at Orsett Hall The intricate delights of afternoon tea at Orsett Hall (Image: Orsett Hall)

Orsett Hall.

Served in the Garden Brasserie, afternoon tea is a tradition here. There’s an assortment of traditionally British, thinly sliced finger sandwiches and warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, all served on elegant, tiered stands. A range of mini desserts and English tea selection is also on offer. As well as a traditional option, diners can upgrade to a Champagne afternoon tea, while children have their very own menu. Dietary requirements (including vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free) are catered for.

What we love: Not just afternoon tea but the floral-inspired décor and views over the stunning grounds.


Down Hall Hotel, Spa and Estate.

Step into a fairytale land where all dreams come true with this new enchanting princess-themed afternoon tea. Prince and princess enthusiasts are invited to an unforgettable afternoon with popular fictional characters from favourite classic and contemporary fairytales, including Cinderella, Snow White and Frozen’s Elsa, who will be on hand to meet, greet and entertain. Suitable for children of all ages…and adults, too, guests are encouraged to dress up in their favourite costumes. Available to book on various dates throughout the year.

What we love: Taking home a small keepsake from the dreamiest afternoon!


Belsteads Coffee Shop.

Named after the historic Belstead Farm, this beautiful new coffee shop is located just inside Channels Hotel. It’s quaint, yet classic interior, is the perfect venue and it’s moderately priced at £21.99 per adult and £14.99 per child. Delve into a selection of both savoury and sweet indulgences, with finger sandwiches and handmade sausage rolls served with onion chutney followed by an array of four mini cakes and fruit scones and unlimited tea. There may be a surcharge for additional drinks and the mini cakes served may differ on occasion.

What we love: New venues are always welcomed.


Great British Life: Perrywood's afternoon tea are popular with visitors to the garden centrePerrywood's afternoon tea are popular with visitors to the garden centre (Image: Daniel Jones Photography)


Another Tiptree favourite, this popular garden centre is a much-respected spot for afternoon tea. Served Monday to Friday from 2pm (excluding bank holidays) there’s an assortment of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scone with Tiptree preserve and clotted cream, as well as mouth-watering handmade cakes and sweet and savoury treats. All are complimented by pots of tea or fresh filter coffee. Children’s afternoon tea is available, as are extras, such as wine or Prosecco. No booking is required, and dietary requirements are catered for.

What we love: It’s the go-to for plants, gifts and homewares, too.


Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

As one of the Top 100 restaurants in the UK on Open Table, this Leigh-based gem is home to some of the most imaginative afternoon tea experiences. An enchanting Glass Slipper Afternoon Tea in the Parlour tearoom has sittings at noon and 2.30pm with selective 5pm sittings on Saturdays. Alternatively, don’t be late for the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Afternoon tea held upstairs in the Botanical rooms with sittings at 12.30pm and 3pm. The tearoom is open Wednesday to Sunday with both themes running until May 5.

What we love: Lose yourself in the magic and wonder of a unique experience.


Topsail Charters.

Afternoon tea cruises set off from Maldon Quay and take in two island treasures. See the statue of Byrhtnoth, before passing Northey Island, home to a nature reserve. The barge then heads to the Chelmer and Blackwater canal (look out for the colourful beach huts along the way) before heading towards Osea Island. Passengers will enjoy a freshly baked scone with cream and jam, homemade cake and tea or coffee before heading back to the quay. Themed trips are for two hours and run on selected dates.

What we love: Tea and cake on the river…what’s not to love?!



Great British Life: The Pavilion, Dovercourt, offers afternoon tea while enjoying views over Dovercourt Bay The Pavilion, Dovercourt, offers afternoon tea while enjoying views over Dovercourt Bay (Image: The Pavilion)

The Pavilion.

Having recently celebrated its first birthday, The Pavilion is an enchanting blend of art deco elegance topped off by amazing sea views over Dovercourt Bay. Once a former toilet block, it’s been transformed into a beautiful venue which oozes charm and serves coffee, cake, light lunches and a great selection of drinks. You can also indulge in a spot of afternoon tea and pair with a classic cocktail. Gluten-free, vegan and savoury options are available. Please note 48 hours’ notice is required for afternoon tea, call 01255 506376 to book.

What we love: Art deco elegance and those views, of course!

I: @thepavilion_dovercourtbay