Brew love: the best festive afternoon teas in the UK
Festive Afternoon Tea at the Midland Hotel
Manchester's historic Midland Hotel launched its revamped Tea Room earlier this year, making it the only place in the city dedicated solely to the time-honoured tradition of afternoon tea. For its Christmas-themed edition expect seasonal crowd-pleasers, from sandwiches filled with turkey, cranberry and stuffing to stollen and mince pies, alongside inventive reimaginings of wintry flavours. These include a caramelised pear mousse with mulled wine jelly and a cinnamon and clementine frangipane.
From 24 November, £35; 16 Peter St, Manchester, M60 2DS; tearoomatthemidland.co.uk
Festive Afternoon Tea at Coworth Park
With its roaring fire, cosy armchairs and welcoming atmosphere, Coworth Park has got the quintessential English country house experience down to a T. Hole up for an afternoon with its special menu that includes refined takes on festive fare, such as smoked turkey and sage mayonnaise sandwiches and a twist on the traditional Mont Blanc, a chestnut-based dessert designed to evoke the snow-capped mountains of the Alps. To get guests fully in the Christmas spirit, the Drawing Room will be filled with the sound of carollers every weekend until 23 December (excluding Sunday 26 November).
From £34 on weekdays, £55 on weekends; Blacknest Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, SL5 7SE; dorchestercollection.com
Festive Diptyque Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal
London's Hotel Cafe Royal has once again teamed up with renowned French perfumer Diptyque for an afternoon tea inspired by four of its popular scents – Oyedo, Benjoin, Jasmine and Noisetier. Pastry chef Sarah Barber has interpreted these into a selection of tempting sweets treats including a fragrant jasmine pistachio mousse and raspberry citrus tart. Opt for the tea including a gift to end the afternoon by taking home a 70g Baies candle to fill your home with floral aromas of rose and blackcurrant leaves.
From £55 (£70 with gift); 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY; hotelcaferoyal.com
Festive Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House
One for traditionalists, Sopwell House has overhauled its popular tea to include classic Christmassy ingredients throughout December. Tuck into chicken and cranberry sandwiches, gingerbread-spiced and raisin scones and a chocolate yule log, washed down with a warming glass of mulled wine. Weather permitting, finish the afternoon with a brisk walk around the 12 acres of this beautiful Hertfordshire countryside retreat.
From 1-30 December (excluding 24 and 25 December), from £29.95; Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQ; sopwellhouse.co.uk
Festive Afternoon Tea at Jean-Georges at The Connaught
Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's eponymous restaurant at the Connaught usually serves a high-end tea with a contemporary twist. Its festive iteration starts with an indulgent black truffle brioche before moving onto a dainty selection of sandwiches. Sweets surprise with a rich chocolate fondue complete with gingerbread for dipping, while the array of colourful miniatures include a modern take on a black forest gateau and a chestnut and blueberry jam tart.
From £75; Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL; the-connaught.co.uk