The best afternoon teas in Kent
Warm scones, sweet jam, delicate finger sandwiches and pretty, miniature cakes… What could be more decadent and delicious than a traditional afternoon tea? And with Afternoon Tea Week being celebrated across the UK this week, there’s no better excuse to indulge in this very British treat.
Before we get into the debate about cream or jam first (Devon all the way for me!), here is my round-up of some of the best afternoon teas in Kent.
Fleur de Thé, Rochester
This charming café on Rochester high street is the epitome of shabby chic, elegant decor with baked goods to match!
Full of rustic ornaments, pretty tea sets and freshly baked cakes, this quintessentially English tea room oozes character and homely sophistication. Afternoon tea is served 7 days a week between 10am-5pm, and offerings include a classic afternoon tea, sparkling afternoon tea and children’s afternoon tea.
Price: £25.50pp for the classic afternoon tea / £32.50pp for a sparkling afternoon tea / £16.95 for a children’s afternoon tea
The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells
Served Wednesday-Sunday between 1.30pm-4pm in their modern yet elegant Orangery Restaurant, The Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells is a gorgeous spot for afternoon tea.
The restaurant itself offers fabulous views across the picturesque gardens, whilst the tea comprises a classic assortment of savoury and sweet delicacies, as well as an extensive list of teas to choose from. They also offer an upgrade to a sparkling afternoon tea which includes a chilled glass of Chapel Down.
Price: £30pp for the classic afternoon tea / £40pp for the Chapel Down tea
The Lane, Deal
The Lane’s afternoon teas really are something special. With seasonal themes and afternoon teas centred around films, TV series and books, creativity is certainly at the forefront of everything they do! There’s both Friends and Harry Potter themed afternoon teas coming up, as well as their adorable Children’s teas which have previously featured The Tiger That Came To Tea and The Gruffalo.
The cafe itself, in the heart of the pretty seaside town of Deal, is also beautifully decorated and always a pleasure to visit. Their array of cakes are mouth-wateringly good and savoury items are refreshingly different from the traditional finger sandwiches including items such as pork sliders and crostinis.
Afternoon teas are £27.50 and Children’s teas are £12.50
Café Nucleus, Rochester
Café Nucleus on Rochester High Street is one of the prettiest buildings in Kent and the interiors exude just as much beauty and glamour.
Boasting a selection of finger sandwiches, warm fruit scones, colourful macarons, petit fours and truffles, their afternoon tea is an indulgent affair and is served in the Boardroom daily between 3.30pm and 6.30pm.
Price: £30pp with refillable tea
Chilston Park Hotel, Maidstone
Rooms don’t get much more impressive than those at Chilston Park Hotel! Served in their grand Marble Lounge, enjoy a decadent afternoon tea surrounded by vast, historic fireplaces, gold-gilded mirrors and ornate chandeliers.
Their teas include a traditional selection of beautifully presented sandwiches, cakes, scones and loose leaf teas, and are served daily between 12.30pm-3.30pm. There is also a children’s menu available for youngsters.
Price: £32 per adult / £14.40 per child
Tiny Tim’s Tea Room, Canterbury
Though perhaps most famous as a destination for those with a penchant for a ghost story or two (I recommend reading up on this building’s paranormal backstory!), Tiny Tim’s in the heart of Canterbury also serves deliciously fresh afternoon teas in their charming and historic tea room.
Along with an extensive range of teas, Tiny Tim’s offers a few alternative options to the traditional afternoon tea, such as a High Tea which includes crumpets topped with a poached egg, and their Gentleman’s Tea which includes a bottle of Kentish Spitfire Ale.
Price: £22.95pp for traditional afternoon or high tea / £23.95 for a Gentleman’s Tea / £59.95 for a celebration tea for 2 (including a bottle of Prosecco)
The Secret Garden, Ashford - private bookings only
Though only available for private dining experiences, The Secret Garden had to be included on this list as a great choice for special occasions such as birthday teas, hen parties and baby showers.
Not only do they offer traditional afternoon teas complete with scones, sandwiches and cakes, but also a chocolate afternoon tea (for those with a real sweet tooth!), gentleman’s relish afternoon tea (which includes a scotch egg and goat’s cheese scone) and teddy bear’s afternoon tea for little ones. With everything beautifully presented in one of The Secret Garden’s picturesque private dining spaces, it’s the perfect way to spoil a loved one.
Price: £29.95pp for traditional afternoon tea / £31.95pp for chocolate afternoon tea / £31.95pp for gentleman’s relish afternoon tea / £20pp for teddy bear’s afternoon tea (for under 10’s)
The Tulip Tea Room, Chiddingstone
Located in the historic National Trust village of Chiddingstone, The Tulip Tea Rooms is another charming, shabby chic tea room which offers a great selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches and pastries. They also have a lovely little garden for sunny days.
More on the informal side than many of the others, but still bursting with character and delicious treats, their afternoon teas are available for pre-booked customers Monday-Friday. You can also enjoy a stroll around the beautiful Chiddingstone Castle after eating your body weight in sweet treats!
Price: £19.95pp for a classic afternoon tea / £23.95 with Prosecco
Eastwell Manor, Ashford
Once home to Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Albert, Eastwell Manor has the royal seal of approval, and the grandeur to match. Surrounded by formal gardens and set in the heart of the Kent countryside, it is a perfectly peaceful and luxurious location for a sumptuous afternoon tea.
Their offerings include a classic afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches and hand-crafted cakes, as well as a champagne afternoon tea accompanied by Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée.
Price: £34pp for a classic afternoon tea / £46pp for a champagne afternoon tea
Whitstable Castle & Gardens, Whitstable
The Orangery Tea Rooms at Whitstable Castle is an idyllic spot for afternoon tea. Surrounded by pretty gardens and views of the sea, it’s the perfect destination for a Summer’s afternoon.
The tea room is open daily serving breakfast, lunches and cakes, but afternoon teas themselves must be pre-booked at least 24 hours in advance. You’ll be spoilt for choice with their array of sandwiches, scotch eggs, brownies, scones and cakes though!
Price: £26pp or £32 with a glass of Prosecco
The Star & Eagle, Goudhurst
Located in the charming village of Goudhurst and dating back the 14th century, The Star & Eagle is a beautiful pub and restaurant which is bursting with character.
In addition to serving delicious Sunday roasts and gourmet meals, their high teas are something rather special. Featuring an array of fresh sandwiches, fluffy cakes and rich brownies, as well as the classic scones and jam, this is a perfect destination for a celebratory treat. Sit outside with views across the Weald in Summer months and inside the cosy pub in colder months. They also cater for a wide range of dietary requirements and allergies.
High teas are £25pp and must be pre-ordered.