20 charming places for afternoon tea in Essex

PUBLISHED: 15:56 19 October 2020

Afternoon tea places in Essex

Afternoon tea places in Essex


Few things are more deliciously indulgent than an idyllic afternoon tea. Here Essex Life showcases 20 of the best places for tea and cake the county has to offer


1. The County Hotel, Chelmsford


Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the elegant and classic County Hotel in Chelmsford, either in the lounge bar or hotel restaurant. Guests can enjoy a glass of prosecco, Champagne and fantastic teas from around the world, or a freshly-brewed ground coffee.


The chefs at The County Hotel also make beautiful finger sandwiches, house-made delicate cakes and sweet treats, plus savouries and freshly-baked house-made scones.



2. Little Channels Bistro, Little Waltham


Little Channels Bistro lays on delectable afternoon teas throughout every season. As well as themed teas in May, July and October, the Bistro's traditional afternoon tea features quintessentially British staples including a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade mini quiches, fruit scones and milkshakes.


For those looking for extra sparkle, there's a glass of Prosecco and a bite-sized dessert too. The Bistro is no ordinary restaurant. This attractive destination eaterie, set in a Tudor barn with a charming courtyard, is ideal for relaxing with friends and family on sunny afternoons.



3. Jacqueline's Tea Room, Colchester


Jacqueline's Tea Room is a charming, cosy and vintage spot located in the heart of Colchester. Lunch includes traditional fare of homemade tartlets, jacket potatoes, fresh sandwiches, homemade cakes and sausage rolls. The team pride themselves on their range of homemade, gluten free products and their passion for loose leaf tea, stocking more than 50 different varieties from all over the world.


After a day's shopping or sight-seeing, why not drop into Jacqueline's Tea Room? At the counter you'll always find a selection of teas to sample to give you the chance to relax and unwind as you are transported back to an era when everything really does stop for tea!



4. ACanteen, Chelmsford


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.


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5. Lathcoats Farm, Chelmsford


The Bee Shed Coffee House at Lathcoats Farm offers relaxing surroundings for excellent coffee and tea, plus delicious homemade cake, English breakfasts, light lunches and Afternoon Tea (booking required) - and there is even a tempting children's platter for the younger guests.


Enjoy the cosy wood burning stove in winter or a sunny terrace for the summer, plus a natural play area for younger children, all within a working fruit farm. This is the perfect spot for friends and family to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.



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6. Blackmore Tea Rooms, Ingatestone


The Blackmore Tea Rooms are set in the middle of the village of Blackmore, located by the small village green. These 15th century tea rooms exude charm, with their exposed beams and sumptuous furnishings.


There is a wide choice of teas and other beverages on offer, as well as a delicious menu, including gluten free bread and cakes, plus free wi-fi. As you would expect in these charming surroundings, the kitchen offers traditional, home-baked cakes and uses traditional tea.'



7. Lower Barn Cafe, Rayleigh


Served on vintage bone china, Afternoon Tea at the Lower Barn Cafe comes brimming with delectable treats and sandwiches. Freshly-baked fruit scones, topped with strawberry jam, Cornish clotted cream and deliciously-ripened strawberries, make a fine accompaniment to the versatile selection of sandwiches, sausage rolls and quiche pieces on offer.


Right down to an assortment of chocolate truffles, everything served here is lovingly created by professional chefs and hot drinks are prepared by trained baristas.



8. Maison Talbooth, Dedham


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 it a treat to remember.


You can even add a glass or two of Champagne if you feel like celebrating!



9. Orsett Hall Hotel, Orsett


Orsett Hall is the ideal venue for an Afternoon Tea, offering a choice of Afternoon Teas in calm and contemporary surroundings, overlooking the hotel's picturesque gardens with a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The hotel's Traditional Afternoon Tea offers a selection of traditionally British, thinly sliced finger sandwiches, warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, plus a range of mini desserts and not forgetting the lovely tea selection.


A Champagne Afternoon Tea is served with an additional Glass of Champagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. As not everyone has a sweet tooth, there is also a Savoury Afternoon Tea, so diners can still enjoy the full Afternoon Tea experience but with a savoury option, which pairs the hotel's classic finger sandwiches and tea with savoury scones and delicate savoury treats.



10. Down Hall Country House Hotel, Hatfield Heath


Visit Down Hall Country House Hotel to experience the much-loved treat of traditional English Afternoon Tea at its finest. Served in the historic splendour of the hotel's lounge or Ibbetsons Tea Lounge, with a choice of delicious menus combined with a selection of the finest teas, you are set for an unforgettable afternoon.


At Down Hall Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2pm and 5pm and, as all the Afternoon Teas are freshly made to order, reservations are required.



11. The Old Moot House, Castle Hedingham


The Old Moot House welcomes you to this charming, 15th century building, with parts that date back to the 13th century. While retaining its traditional features, this classic restaurant has recently been refurbished to a high standard to offer you a stylish and comfortable setting for a perfect afternoon tea.


Situated in the medieval village of Castle Hedingham, close to the village's impressive castle and historic buildings, this is the ideal location to enjoy a high class afternoon tea, with Prosecco or Champagne on offer to complement your experience.



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12. Prested Hall, Feering


Step back for a moment and relax with a delicious afternoon tea at Prested Hall in Feering. Delight in this traditional experience, with your afternoon tea served on crisp white linen tablecloths decorated with fresh cut flowers. Enjoy beautiful vintage bone china and select from more than a dozen different types of loose leaf tea including Organic Darjeeling and Egyptian Mint.


Conversely, if you prefer Yorkshire Tea, just ask! The menu of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, scones, and gorgeous miniature cakes changes according to the season. Afternoon tea is served in The Hall in one of the charming reception rooms, while in warmer weather, it can be served on the decking overlooking the moat. Booking is essential. 24 hours notice required.

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13. Roslin Beach Hotel, Thorpe Bay


Indulge in a slice of this quintessentially British pastime and take Afternoon Tea at The Roslin Beach Hotel. With panoramic views of the Thames Estuary, the Roslin has become synonymous with this finest of British traditions. Take time out with mouth-watering finger sandwiches, beautifully presented on aptly-named Duchess fine bone china.


Freshly-baked scones complete with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree preserves, accompany sumptuous seasonal teacakes and exquisitely presented pastries, all served with a selection of the finest teas. Or add some sparkle to your day and sip on a chilled glass of Champagne, giving a sense of celebration to any gathering. And if there is too much for one sitting, take some home in one of the elegantly designed cake boxes. Don't miss the special themed afternoon teas too. After all, everything stops for tea.



14. Tiptree Jam Shop & Tea Rooms, Tiptree and various other locations


As well as making Tiptree preserves, Wilkin & Sons also has a flourishing collection of traditional tea rooms across Essex, each with a unique character of its own. There is a common thread that runs through all of them - good old-fashioned service, with care and respect.


Expect good quality service, food and drink, and the desire to visit again soon! Alongside the tea room at the main home of Tiptree preserves, you will also find a Museum of Jam-Making, a Gift Shop and the chance to enjoy countryside walks around the fruit farm. For a full list of all of Tiptree's tea rooms in Essex, visit the link above.



15. Tymperleys, Colchester


Have you heard the Tymperleys Tale? Once upon a time, not that long ago (in fact just last week), Miranda Scone was feeling peckish having shopped till she dropped in Colchester. Her best friend, Minty Loose-Leaf, had text to say that she was in the Walled Garden at Tymperleys in Trinity Street indulging herself with the tastiest lemon drizzle.


Miranda was there in a trice. Jealous of the three-tiered afternoon tea on the table next door, she glanced over just as a dishy man suddenly got down on one knee and declared undying love to none other than her old friend Eggy Benedict. Miranda hadn't seen her in years! What are the chances, eh? What treat awaits you on your visit to Tymperleys?

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16. Meadow Hill Coffee Shop, Great Dunmow


Meadow Hill Coffee Shop offers a warm, welcoming setting with a friendly, helpful team serving freshly-ground Rain Forest Alliance coffee, great hot chocolate, a wide range of traditional and flavoured teas as well as milkshakes and cold drinks.


For a real treat, the afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches freshly made with granary and white bread, scones with jam and clotted cream and slices of cake. Allergens are catered for and gluten free options are available when booked in advance. Why not add a glass of wine or Prosecco for a special occasion?



17. The Pier at Harwich


Jam first or cream first? As you are in Essex, the choice is yours when it comes to the scones that are part of the delicious afternoon tea at The Pier at Harwich. Expect a full afternoon tea of delicious sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a mouth-watering choice of cakes as well as a range of teas from English breakfast through to Persian Pomegranate - all for just £17.50 per person.


And of course you can add a cheeky glass of fizz if you want to! Afternoon tea is available every day from 2pm in the restaurant overlooking the harbour and the Stour and Orwell estuaries. Alternatively, in the summer, sit back and soak up the view on the balcony or on the terrace adjacent to the harbour.


18. GreyFriars Hotel, Colchester 


Two beautiful rooms, blessed with marvellous natural light and the glint of bespoke Murano chandeliers, provide the perfect setting for Afternoon Tea at the GreyFriars hotel in Colchester.


This is a ceremony of indulgence and elegance, with wafer thin sandwiches, the lightest scones with rich strawberry preserve and a selection of unique exotic fancies, entremets and other creations all made by the team of specialist chefs and accompanied by five-star service. Reservations are essential. 


19. The Artcafé, West Mersea


The Artcafé was born out of a love for real, homemade food. From the very start the aim was to serve customers the best coffee, the freshest sandwiches, imaginative lunches and genuinely homemade cakes from the owner’s own recipe collection.


The Artcafé has a fantastic menu selection including homemade cakes and sandwiches, cream teas and superb coffees. Enjoy all of this surrounded by original artworks by leading local artists. 


20. The Pig & Whistle Restaurant, Chelmsford  

The Pig & Whistle Restaurant Afternoon Tea is a treat of sweet and savoury foods, perfect for sharing with friends or family. Rather than sandwiches, there are savoury scones served with a delicious homemade bacon jam and a range of savoury bites which changes regularly with each season. Sweet treats include a sweet scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream alongside cakes and mini desserts served on a tiered stand.


Afternoon Tea comes with a range of tea options, freshly-brewed coffee or a hot chocolate, while a Deluxe Afternoon Tea allows you to add a gin and tonic or glass of wine or Prosecco. 




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