Time for tea in Essex
PUBLISHED: 15:36 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:36 23 May 2013
La Petite Petanque
The Bowling Green Pavilion
Cambridge Square Gardens
Southend SS1 1EZ
Situated overlooking the green in Southend, this elegantly French-styled eaterie is the perfect venue for a little bit of afternoon indulgence. La Petite Petanque offers a wide selection of teas and coffees, and the cakes and patisseries are freshly-baked every morning.
The icing on the cake: Sandwiches are made to request with special dietary and allergy needs taken into account.
The Essex Rose
Dedham CO7 6DE
This 16th century tea room must be one of the most authentically English places in the county to visit and is a must following a walk around the beautiful surrounding landscape as painted by John Constable. Flatford Lock, the site of the Haywain, isn’t too far away and a gentle stroll around the pretty village of Dedham is a real delight.
The icing on the cake: The building itself is a treat and combined with traditional table service and homemade food including delicious cream teas with fresh scones served with Tiptree strawberry conserve and Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, the experience is complete.
Tiptree Tea Room
Tiptree Visitor Centre
Tiptree CO5 0RF
The Tiptree Tea Room and Visitor Centre is open seven-days-a-week and well worth a visit. The museum, which is free, is a fascinating insight into the history of Wilkin & Sons and its Tiptree preserves as well as local Essex village life from days gone by. The tea room serves a tempting selection of hot and cold snacks, cooked lunches and mouth-watering cakes and scones.
The icing on the cake: Being able to order a simple jam sandwich just to remember how good it tastes.
BarnPlants Coffee Shop
Turkey Cock Lane
Colchester CO3 8ND
Foodies and gardening fans alike will enjoy a trip to BarnPlants Garden Centre for a good look around this Mecca of plants, shrubs and trees, followed by refreshments in the welcoming coffee shop. All deserts and cakes, including the always popular meringues and coffee and walnut cake, are made on site, while breakfasts and delicious, freshly-cooked cooked lunches are also available.
The icing on the cake: BarnPlants offers a gluten-free choice of dessert and a sugar-free cake choice for diabetics, and if there is a specific request, the staff and chef will always endeavour to help where possible.
Blackmore Tea Rooms
Ingatestone CM4 0RL
Blackmore is a picturesque village situated four miles north of Brentwood and boasts a history rich in medieval and royal associations. Visitors to this pretty part of Essex will enjoy taking a break here for a leisurely walk and then a visit to the tea rooms, where they can enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea in the charming Tudor building.
The icing on the cake: Fresh leaf tea, freshly-ground coffee and pleasant surroundings makes this venue the perfect place to stop and relax for walkers and cyclists.
The Dutch Nursery
Coggeshall CO6 1NT
Café Dutch is open daily and is a popular destination for families, coach parties, cyclists, and walking groups. Whether you fancy a breakfast, lunch, Sunday roast, delicious home-made cake or just a tea or coffee, the friendly staff will make you very welcome and there is plenty of parking available.
The icing on the cake: The play area and animals will keep children occupied, while parents can dine on the outside terrace overlooking the River Blackwater.
Heybridge Basin CM9 4RS
The stunning setting of The Lock makes it popular all year round and whatever the weather. With outstanding views of the Blackwater Estuary, this former ship’s chandlers and café offers a traditional menu as well as daily specials to tempt the walkers, bird watchers and boat owners who flock to the Heybridge Basin.
The icing on the cake: Sit outside on a gloriously sunny day while enjoying a cup of perfectly brewed Tiptree tea and look across to Northey Island, where in 991 Byrhtnoth fought off 4,000 Vikings.
1 Market Street
If the name isn’t a temptation in itself, Scrumptious Tea Rooms has a wonderful array of homemade cakes to offer the visitors and locals of Great Dunmow. This family-run business prides itself on serving loose leaf tea in the traditional way and their regular menu uses locally-sourced produce.
The icing on the cake: Pre-book the signature Afternoon Tea for a perfect experience suitable for any special occasion.
Chelmsford CM1 3RS
The newest of the Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Tea Rooms, The Lordship in Writtle is set in the grounds of Writtle College and is on the site of an old cattle shed and milking parlour. Afternoon teas, freshly-made lunches and a specials menu are all created from fresh ingredients and a friendly and efficient service creates the ideal relaxing atmosphere for the perfect lunch or tea-time treat.
The icing on the cake: On site is a fine food and gift shop that sells the whole range of Tiptree preserves, Cole’s puddings and patisserie, fresh bread and luxury ice cream.
There are many things to see and enjoy in this beautiful part of the Stour Valley, and highly recommended is a visit to Maison Talbooth for a spot of tea, in between visiting quaint villages and places of historic interest. Tea at this luxurious venue can be taken in the sitting room, Garden Room or, if the weather allows, on the terrace as well.
The icing on the cake: Nothing beats a perfectly-brewed cuppa especially with delectable sandwiches and scrummy cakes but if a bit more indulgence is in order, why not order a glass of Champagne as well – perfect!
Wivenhoe House Hotel
Colchester CO4 3SQ
A visit to the beautiful setting of the Wivenhoe House Hotel is definitely a treat and a perfect opportunity to indulge you and a special friend or relative. With waiter service, tea includes a three-tier choice of delicious sandwiches, homemade scones and cake, presented in impeccable fashion in the elegant and peaceful ambiance of the lounges overlooking the gardens.
The icing on the cake: This fine country house dates back to the 18th century and was painted by John Constable. Now fully restored, it is a chance to step back in to more opulent times.
High Ongar CM5 9NL
Afternoon tea, served at the table and in stylish surroundings can be such a treat and a trip to Mulberry House will tick all the boxes for indulgence. Three types of tea are available and vary in cost, but recommended is the High Tea which comes with dainty cakes and sandwiches, scones with cream and strawberries. Booking is essential.
The icing on the cake: When the weather is favourable, tea can be taken outside on the terrace that overlooks the splendid 22 acres of land that feature many mature trees including a mulberry.
Poppy’s Tea Rooms
5 Fishmarket Street
Thaxted CM6 2PG
Poppy’s is an award-winning traditional tea room set in the picturesque village of Thaxted. Based on the expertise of the owner’s tea-planting family heritage, loose-leaf speciality teas are served alongside delicious homemade food.
The icing on the cake: Quality ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible and all the cakes and scones are freshly made on the premises.
Down Hall Country
Nr Bishop’s Stortford
This stunning location and luxurious hotel offers three extremely tempting choices of tea that are most certainly a meal in themselves. Traditional Afternoon Tea, Chocolate Indulgence Tea, and the Down Hall Royal (must be booked with 48 hours notice) include a selection of mouth-watering sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones.
The icing on the cake: Take a wander in the 110 acres of landscaped gardens or relax in front of a roaring log fire.
The Tea Tree Café
Great Dunmow CM6 1AZ
A popular destination with both locals and tourists, this charming location overlooks the Doctors Pond. This warm and inviting family-run café serves a great selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolate, plus lunchtime snacks including sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
The icing on the cake: Good parking, generous portions and a perfectly traditional experience that will please any granny or great aunt!