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Round-Up   ›   Travel Inspiration  ›  South West of England

Where to find the best festive afternoon tea in Dorset and The New Forest

Everyone loves and afternoon tea right? so what better way to spend time with family and friends than partaking in a festive afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest.

Imagine siting by a cosy fire, choosing from tasty finger sandwiches, as well as some Christmas inspired cakes and some light and fluffy scones piled high with jam and clotted cream, maybe some traditional mince pies.

I’m pretty sure calories don’t count at this time of year ;-)

I often get asked where to go for a really great afternoon tea, so I am sharing some of my favourites,

I have personally tried most of these afternoon tea in Dorset and The New Forest myself at various times of year, and can recommend them for a special experience.

November 17, 2022


The Montagu Arms - Beaulieu

Set in the beautiful village of Beaulieu in The New Forest, this elegant country house hotel is the perfect setting for your cosy afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest.

Originally a meeting place for farmers and parish officers the inn, it was very much the heart of the picturesque Beaulieu village,
today it’s no different, you cant drive past without noticing the welcoming doors of this inviting country hotel.

Once inside you are greeted with a warm and comfortable interior, with comfy sofas and a bright and airy conservatory and of course no country hotel would be complete without the fire to warm yourself by.

Myself and my friend and fellow GirlAbout Hampshire were lucky enough to be invited to sample their afternoon tea this summer, and it remains one of our favourites to date. You can read our review for more information in the link at the bottom.

Priced from £30pp their festive afternoon tea will be just as mouthwatering.

Pre booking is essential, served from 1-4pm you will be treated to a selection of delectable finger sandwiches, and a selection of festive made homemade cakes and pastries from their pâtisserie. You can add a glass of bubbly to really add to the Christamassy feel.

I love the atmosphere, friendly service and yummy food.

Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa - New Milton

If you’re searching for a 5 star afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest, then you must visit the Chewton Glen Hotel, a luxury New Forest Country House Hotel set in 130 acres of beautiful countryside and just a few minutes from the sea.

If the weather is kind then you can even take a walk down for some sea air from the grounds here.

For years friends and family have raved about how delicious the afternoon tea is at Chewton Glen and a few weeks ago I came for a spa day and sampled their amazing food myself. To say I was impressed is an understatement.

Their festive afternoon tea is served in the Dining Room, amongst a backdrop of twinkling lights and traditional decorations what could feel more seasonal.

Available from Saturday 26th November to Friday 23rd December and costing from £50 p.p it is at the top of the budget, but along with the stunning surroundings, you will be tempted by a selection of tasty finger sandwiches including roast New Forest turkey sandwiches with chestnut and celeriac stuffing and cranberry sauce, as well as warm cinnamon scones, some delicious cakes and from the cake trolley – BÛCHE DE NOËL, Cranberry and white chocolate cake and mince pies. It is worth spending that little bit extra to be totally spoiled by their tantalising offerings.

I love the decadence, luxury and feeling spoilt.

The New Forest Pantry - Ringwood and Breamore

If you’d rather a local family run business then the Pantry in Ringwood and their new location The Pantry Barn in Breamore will be the choice for you.

Run by Stuart and his family, the friendly welcoming service here makes it one of my favourite cafe’s to visit. Their avocado and scrambled eggs on BH24 sourdough is my go to, but that’s for another blog.

For their festive afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest, they are providing finger sandwiches of your choice, festive fruit scones with clotted cream, along with mini mince pies, Stollen bites, and Christmas cake bites all with unlimited drinks of your choice.

This is priced at £19.50 p.p which is an absolute bargain and great value for money, check the link below for opening times at each venue.

I love that supporting local business is one of the GirlAbout’s core values, so I love to include some smaller business’ that rely on our support to keep them going.

Burley Manor - Burley

Cosy up by roaring log fires and see the sights of the local deer in the grounds, Burley Manor is an escape from it all countryside haven to relax and enjoy your afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest.

As you walk through the grand doors into the entrance hall, you are greeted by a toasty log fire that immediately makes you feel you can relax and chill out in their lovely lounges or conservatory dining areas for your festive tea.

On the menu is a Brie and cranberry tart, Coronation turkey sandwiches, a hog roast and stuffing sausage roll, Salmon & prawn vol-au-vent, selection of scones, together with Mini mince pie, Chocolate yule log, A shot of homemade egg nog and a Festive macaroon.

Priced from £27 p.p you can add fizz at extra cost – pre booking is essential and gets booked up in advance pretty quickly.

I love the great selection of savoury items and the way the afternoon tea is displayed, the beautiful surroundings and wildlife.

Maw - Christchurch

A pretty in pink family run independent local business in the heart of Christchurch.

Maw offers brunch, cocktails and private hire, and their festive afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest is aptly named The Nutcracker, available in two sittings on the 18th December at 12 or 2pm.

Dainty finger sandwiches, scones, warm mince pies, chocolate yule log, a festive Christmas cupcake and a candy cane – anyone seen Elf my must see Xmas movie, this immediately appealed to me :-)

Costing £20 p.p or £25 with a glass of bubbly this is another great value for money choice. Please make sure you book ahead as space is limited.

I love the pretty flowery interior and attention to detail.

Rhinefield House Hotel - Brockenhurst

Set in the New Forest National Park nestled amongst 40 acres of private grounds featuring ornamental ponds, fountains and terraces. Rhinefield House is perfectly set to host your festive afternoon tea in Dorset and the New Forest.

When you drive up the grand sweeping drive surrounded by enormous tree’s synonymous to the area, I always feel I’m entering into a movie set featuring one of the country houses of bygone years. It feels special straight away.

From £35 p.p the Christmas menu from Rhinefield features, finger sandwiches, as well as scones and delicate festive treats.

Pre booking is advised, being set in such beautiful surroundings means they rarely ave walk in availability.

I love strolling around the grounds, with the maze and sightings of deer and watching the heron fancying his chances of a catch in the large ornamental fish ponds.

The Daisy Tea Garden - Brockenhurst

Part of the Setley Ridge Vineyard Garden Centre and Farm shop, The Daisy Tea Garden is another of my favourite lunch spots when out and about in the New Forest.

Their portion sizes are generous and home made, the cakes are absolutely delicious too, I have been known to take some home for later.

They are offering a festive afternoon tea In Dorset and The New Forest this season, with homemade sandwiches, scones and christmassy sweet treats. From £17.20 p.p

I love the homely handmade light and airy feel with home-cooked food.

Careys Manor and SenSpa

Christmas is the New Forest is always magical, the crisp frosty leaves and the ponies with their winter coats, stopping off at the winter wonderland that Careys Manor turns into, their 40ft decorated Christmas tree makes this the perfect backdrop for your festive afternoon tea in Dorset and the new Forest.

Look out for hundreds of baubles and woodland animals throughout the hotel and crackling wood fires to keep you warm and fill you with winter cheer.

From £28 p.p with an additional £15 for a glass of Taittinger Champagne; the menu is tempting with Finger Sandwiches including:

Honey roast ham & piccalilli brioche, Smoked salmon, cucumber and dill crème fraiche, Brie and cranberry and my fave – Egg mayonnaise and mustard cress. Enjoy spiced cranberry scones and Mincemeat crumble tart, Apple and cinnamon choux and a traditional chocolate brandy yule log. Vegan and Gluten Free options available – pre booking essential.

You could always stay the night and indulge in some pre Xmas pampering at their renowned Thai Sen Spa, all that indulging will no doubt leave you in need of a dip in the pool.

I love the cosy country feel and tasty treats and their hydrotherapy centre is the best.

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November 17, 2022