10 group travel ideas: places to enjoy Afternoon Tea

Date Posted: 15/05/2014

The Treasure Houses of England offer a fitting backdrop to enjoy the quintessentially English tradition of afternoon tea.

1.    Blenheim Palace

At Churchill’s ancestral home, you can take traditional afternoon tea either in the Indian Room or the Champagne Bar, overlooking the fountains on the water terraces.

You can choose from a selection of menus including a traditional Blenheim Tea, a Churchill Champagne Tea or a luxury Winston Churchill Premier Tea, which features the war PM’s favourite tipple, Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV.

2.    Chatsworth

In the heart of the Peak District, groups can indulge in this British tradition at the Cavendish Restaurant in the 18th century stables, designed by architect James Paine. Enjoy homemade finger sandwiches, a selection of cakes and pastries and a choice of loose-leaf teas.

3.    Holkham Estate

Holkham Hall is a privately owned and lived-in family home, shared by Viscount Coke and his family. Built in the vision of an Italian villa in the 18th century, it now occupies a 25,000-acre estate on the windswept Norfolk coast.

With two cafés offering afternoon tea, your group has a choice - either discover the Stables Café in the courtyard or there's the Beach Café just a stone's throw from the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea.

4.    Harewood House

Experience the high life at Harewood House in Leeds, where Georgian architecture meets contemporary style. You can take tea on the south-facing terrace with spectacular views over the formal parterre and ‘Capability’ Brown's landscaped grounds.

Sample the finger sandwiches, an assortment of pastries, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, as well as a choice of cakes.

5.    Castle Howard

Castle Howard, 15 miles north of York, offers up an afternoon treat in either the bistro-style Courtyard Cafe or the more traditional Fitzroy Room. Its seasonal menu includes a selection of freshly-made sandwiches, salads and home-baked cakes.       

Pictured: Woburn Abbey.

6.    Woburn Abbey

Afternoon tea is said to have been popularised here around 1840 by Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford who entertained her friends at Woburn Abbey

Groups today can experience afternoon tea at Woburn at the Duchess' Tea Room or at the estate's hotel The Inn at Woburn (pre-booking required).

7.    Hatfield House

For something a little less traditional but with plenty of glitz, Lord and Lady Salisbury invite you on an eight-mile helicopter pleasure flight over the Hatfield House estate for aerial views of its architecture and gardens.

Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, you can round off your experience with a down-to-earth cream tea at the house.

8.    Beaulieu Estate

Groups can enjoy afternoon tea with a wide selection of cakes and pastries all baked in-house in the Brabazon Coffee Shop and Restaurant at Beaulieu in Hampshire.  

Some produce comes from Lord Montagu's own Victorian kitchen garden. Beetroot is transformed into cake, and plums made into jam to eat on scones with Dorset clotted cream.

9.    Burghley House

Afternoon tea at Burghley House in Lincolnshire is served in the Orangery Restaurant.The ornate gothic windows provide an elegant space to indulge in homemade scones, cakes and a range of teas while overlooking the peaceful rose garden.

10.    Leeds Castle

Last but certainly not least, you could enjoy afternoon refreshment in Kent with a cream tea in the 17th century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall. Or on a sunny day, you could take it outside on the terrace overlooking the fairy-tale Leeds Castle.

Cakes and other sweet treats can be enjoyed in a rustic farmhouse kitchen style-setting featuring oak and wrought iron finishes.

For more information visit www.treasurehouses.co.uk.

The Treasure Houses of England is a heritage consortium made up of ten palaces, stately homes and castles in England.

facebook twitter