Tea rooms in Essex: 20 of the best places
PUBLISHED: 13:08 17 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:08 31 May 2016
Indulge yourself with an afternoon tea in one of these lovely Essex tea rooms. Think buttery scones, tea and quaint finger sandwiches galore
Scrumptious Tea Rooms
1 Market Street, Great Dunmow, CM6 1AX. 01371 238082, www.scrumptioustearooms.co.uk
Scrumptious Tea Rooms has a welcoming, traditional feel inspired by the character of the pre-war English corner shop. This charming tea shop offers a tranquil change of pace where one can really unwind and enjoy the joy of real tea and tasty tea-time treats. The family-run business prides itself on serving a great selection of loose leaf tea in the traditional way and the regular menu uses quality and locally-sourced produce. In fact, the pre-bookable signature Afternoon Tea is the perfect indulgence for that special occasion. Gluten, dairy and wheat-free cakes are also available.
Orsett Hall Hotel
The Garden Brasserie at Orsett Hall is the ideal venue for a traditional afternoon tea. It offers calm and contemporary surroundings, overlooking the hotel’s picturesque gardens with a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The hotel’s traditional afternoon tea offers elegant tiered stands bearing a selection of traditionally British, thinly sliced sandwiches and warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The patissier’s selection includes a range of mini desserts – not forgetting the traditional English tea selection.
A Canteen Ltd
35 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 OND. 01245 205889, www.acanteen.co.uk
Established in 2001, acanteen is a family-run business born out of a passion for creating good, wholesome food. It offers a delicious afternoon tea for grown ups and children, full of homemade delights. Enjoy sandwiches, scones with local jam and clotted cream plus a huge slice of homemade sponge from the patisserie. You’ll also find whole leaf teas from all over the world, including Matcha! Acanteen is open all day for great coffee, brunch, afternoon tea, light bites, dinner and late drinks. All the food is ethically produced and sustainably sourced.
Le Bouchon Brasserie & Hotel
The Square, Holloway Road, Heybridge, Maldon, Essex, CM9 4LT. 01621 856511, www.le-bouchon.co.uk
A selection of fine Twinings teas and Illy coffee is accompanied by a selection of finger sandwiches, chef’s homemade cakes, pastries and freshly baked scones with jam and Cornish cream, all served from Tuesday through to Sunday. For that extra indulgence, why not try a Luxury Afternoon Tea including a glass of house Champagne and strawberries. Or enjoy a sea cruise or river trip from Maldon to make a real treat of the occasion.
The Street, High Easter, Essex, CM1 4QR. 01245 230715, www.snugcafe.co.uk
Highly commended in the 2015 Essex Life Fine Food and Drink Awards, Snug Café continues to go from strength to strength, serving freshly-prepared, locally-sourced and seasonal food for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Described as the best-kept secret in Essex, it serves delicious, freshly-brewed coffees, teas, wines and beers, plus there is the once-a-month pop up brasserie dinner to look out for. This is a true dining destination for locals, cyclists and walkers, open seven days a week and Bank Holidays.
The Roslin Beach Hotel
10-16 Thorpe Esplanade, Southend on Sea, SS1 3BG. 01702 586375, www.roslinhotel.com
Afternoon tea at The Roslin Beach Hotel is a quintessentially British experience that originated among the wealthy classes in England in the early 1840s. Enjoy your afternoon tea with fantastic, panoramic views of the sea as you indulge in fine cut sandwiches with classic fillings together with freshly baked scones spread with Devon clotted cream and Tiptree jams, all served on fine bone china. There is also a large range of fruit and herbal Teas as well as freshly-brewed coffee, or why not treat yourself with a chilled glass of the hotel’s award-winning Champagne.
West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 8HR. 01245 476444, www.pontlandsparkhotel.co.uk
Pontlands Park in Great Baddow serves up a fabulous afternoon tea in its relaxed, comfortable and luxurious lounge or there is also a private room available for larger parties. The beautifully presented and delicious tea is very popular and, at just £7.50 for cream tea or £15 for full afternoon tea, is great value. There is also a children’s version available for £9.50. It’s just perfect for a quick treat with a couple of friends, a baby shower or even a birthday celebration.
The Shoulder of Mutton
Halstead Road, Colchester. 01206 243487, 01206 243 487, www.shoulderofmuttoncolchester.com
Whether it’s for a quick catch up with friends or the luxury of an afternoon tea, The Shoulder of Mutton can cater for any occasion. The beautiful old pub is situated in an idyllic spot in the heart of Fordham, alongside the banks of the River Colne. Be greeted by the friendly team and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. From a cup of tea and freshly-baked scone, jam and cream, to a very reasonably-priced Vintage Traditional Afternoon Tea including finger sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones, all served on beautiful crockery. Pre booking is essential.
Down Hall Country House Hotel
Matching Road, Hatfield Heath, Essex, CM22 7AS. 01279 731441, www.downhall.co.uk
The luxury country house hotel, Down Hall, has launched an Allotment Afternoon Tea, using seasonal ingredients from its 110 acres of surrounding gardens and woodland. At £21.50 per person or £28.50 including a glass of Champagne, guests can while away the afternoon with a selection of freshly-made finger sandwiches followed by warm buttermilk scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree preserves. Delicate pastries including carrot cake, strawberry tart, raspberry drizzle cake and chocolate cheesecake will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Best Western Ivy Hill
Writtle Road, Chelmsford, CM4 0EH. 01277 353040, www.bestwestern.co.uk
Best Western Ivy Hill in Margaretting has a fabulous new lounge and bar, the perfect setting to enjoy afternoon tea. Cream teas are available for £6.95 and full afternoon tea is just £12.95, offering a selection of open sandwiches, a fruit scone with butter, clotted cream and Tiptree preserve, a selection of freshly-baked cakes, a sweet treat, plus your choice from the selection of traditional and infusion teas or filter coffee. It’s perfect for a quick treat with friends, a baby shower or even a birthday celebration.
Zoë’s Coffee Shop
9 High Street, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1AB. 01371 878 060, www.zoescoffeeshop.co.uk
Zoe’s Coffee Shop, winner of the Top Coffee/Tea Shop at the Essex Life Fine Food & Drink Awards 2015, is passionate about great tasting food. As well as this prestigious title, the team have also been awarded a Great Taste Award for their traditional Scotch eggs, so they certainly know their food. All their dishes are made on site with a varied menu including homemade soups, savoury tarts and sausage rolls. Also on offer are several homemade cakes, including gluten free options.
Scones are made fresh every morning, but get there early before they sell out! Enjoy them served warm with jam and cream for a fabulous cream tea treat.
Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HN. 01206 322367, www.milsomhotels.com/maisontalbooth
Who doesn’t love a delicious afternoon tea? At Maison Talbooth, enjoy freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam, delicate sandwiches and a delicious selection of cakes coupled with an interesting selection of tea or coffee to make a treat to remember. You can even add a glass or two of Champagne if you feel like celebrating! Available from £19.50 per person.
2 Coast Road, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8QE. www.islandartcafe.co.uk
Now in its 13th year, The Artcafé was born out of our love for real, homemade food. From the very start, the aim was to serve customers the best coffee available, the freshest sandwiches, imaginative wholesome dishes and genuinely homemade cakes from Maggie’s recipe collection. Now open 9am to 5pm daily, The Artcafé has a fantastic breakfast menu until 11am and lunch until 3pm followed by an afternoon menu which offers homemade cakes and sandwiches, cream teas and superb coffees. All of this surrounded by original works by leading local artists.
Jacqueline’s Tea Room
14 Short Wyre Street, Colchester, CO1 1LN. 01206 576241, www.jacquelinestearoom.co.uk
This charming tearoom has been inspired by the 1940s era. Customers can expect to be greeted as an old friend and enjoy freshly-made sandwiches as well as homemade cakes and savouries, while the team also pride themselves on their wide range of homemade gluten free products, all available with a selection of more than 50 loose leaf teas (or freshly ground coffee if you’d prefer). Why not treat yourself to Afternoon Tea at Jacqueline’s Tea Room, with three tiers of finger sandwiches, bite size cakes and a traditional cream tea of fruit scone, clotted cream and jam - not forgetting tea served from teapots and bone china.
Coggeshall Road, Colchester, CO6 1HR. 01206 210374, www.poplarnurseries.co.uk
Enjoy the welcoming atmosphere at the Poplar restaurant, where on warm summer days you can sit on the terrace overlooking landscaped gardens. A seasonally-changing menu offer home-cooked breakfasts, lunches and delicious homemade cakes. You can also indulge in a traditional or Prosecco afternoon tea, made freshly to order with the finest ingredients including local Tiptree jam and clotted cream. Afternoon tea gift vouchers are also available, as well as the chance to take a steam train ride around the gardens on the Poplar Miniature Railway.
Ash Close, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7NH. 01760 723845, www.strattonshotel.com
Strattons’ afternoon tea is the perfect treat. Enjoy a scrummy selection of homemade cakes, scones and sandwiches in relaxed, comfy and funky surroundings. Chill in the art rooms by the fire in winter or sit al fresco in the summer in the Italian garden.
The Essex Rose Tea House
High Street, Dedham, CO7 6DE. 01206 323101, www.trooms.com
Dedham village and the pretty countryside that surrounds it provide an ideal place to visit throughout the year, with plenty of walks on offer including a stride across the meadows to Flatford Lock. The Essex Rose is a traditional 16th century timber-framed tea house in the heart of Dedham, close to the Stour Valley and Constable Country.
Snape nr Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP17 1SS. 01728 688303, www.snapemaltings.co.uk
Situated on the historic frontage of Snape Maltings is the Granary Teashop. This bustling, vibrant tea room uses the best of local produce to offer a delicious menu of light lunches, morning and afternoon teas and homemade cakes and slices as well as an extensive drinks menu.
Lower Barn Cafe
London Road, Rayleigh, SS6 9ET. 01268 780991, www.lowerbarnfarm.co.uk
Lower Barn Café is an atmospheric cottage café situated in rural Rayleigh and is renowned for its locally-sourced menu, wholesome and delicious meals, and friendly staff. Afternoon tea is served on vintage bone china with delicious cakes, finger sandwiches and freshly-baked fruit scones, served with Cornish clotted cream and Tiptree jams. Gluten free options are available. Also, don’t miss the selection of tasty homemade cakes baked freshly on the day.
The Picture Pot
Village Green, Finchingfield. 01371 81109
This charming old-world Tearoom and Art Gallery is full of character and provides a warm and friendly welcome seven days a week. The tearoom is set in the picturesque village of Finchingfield, situated on the village green overlooking the duck pond. The walls are adorned with works of art from a number of local artists. The tearoom serves specialty teas, coffee, and cold drinks with a delicious selection of handmade cakes and scones. Why not allow yourself to be tempted by a Handmade by Hadley’s ice cream or take a picnic rug and enjoy a scrumptious Cream Tea on the green.