First things first – we thought it might be interesting to find out where the concept of afternoon tea came from. Tea consumption increased during the early nineteenth century and around this time, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is believed to have complained of ‘having a sinking feeling’ during the late afternoon.
At the time it was ‘the norm’ for people to only have two meals a day – breakfast and then dinner (or supper) at around 8pm. The solution for the Duchess was a pot of tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.
This soon evolved into her inviting friends to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey, and this summer practice became so popular that she continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to invite her friends to join her for ‘tea and walking the fields’.
Other social hostesses quickly adopted the idea and the practice became respectable enough to be moved into the drawing room. Before long, all of fashionable society were sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal.
Located on the roof of Newcastle’s famous Vermont Hotel, ABOVE offers a dining experience with 360 degree views of Newcastle, set in beautifully designed surroundings.
On 27 March, enjoy a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and an all-important cup of tea all whilst marvelling at the stunning views of Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. From £24.95pp.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, the team at Spanish City are hosting an Afternoon Tea with Jazz event on Mothering Sunday.
Taking place in the stunning St. Mary’s Lighthouse Suite, you and mum can indulge in one of their opulent treat towers and toe-tap along to a live jazz band as they play hits from the golden age. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Café 21, Fenwick
There’s no place like Café 21 in Fenwick, Newcastle when it comes to indulging in the ultimate afternoon tea.
After a spot of shopping, head to this popular eatery and tuck into an assortment of delicious finger sandwiches, fruit scones, handmade pastries and indulgent cakes, all washed down with a satisfying cup of tea, coffee or perhaps a glass of champagne to make the day extra special for mum. From £40 for two.
South Causey Inn
An afternoon tea at the South Causey Inn in Stanley, County Durham, boasts a mouth-watering range of homemade Causey goodies including freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of delicate sandwiches and scrummy cakes (we love their Malteser cheesecake!).
All food is served on cute miniature picnic tables alongside free-flowing tea, coffee or hot chocolate – or of course, add that touch of sparkle with a glass of fizz or a colourful cocktail. From £25pp.
Where better to treat someone special to a traditional afternoon tea than this stunning mediaeval castle in Hexham?
Langley Castle’s afternoon tea includes assorted finger sandwiches such as Northumberland egg and cress and oak smoked salmon, a wide selection of scrumptious cakes and sweet treats, as well as fruit and cheese scones, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
Prices from £20.50 per person – or why not indulge in a glass of Drappier Champagne for an additional £10 each?
For an incredibly decadent afternoon tea, make a special trip to Grantley Hall near Ripon, North Yorkshire, and delight in a quintessentially British treat.
Created using the finest Yorkshire produce, Grantley’s afternoon tea includes exceptional sandwiches such as truffled cucumber and cream cheese and Wensleydale egg and shallot mayonnaise, alongside stunning pastries such as Yorkshire rhubarb ‘candle’ and mango and jasmine teacakes.
All of these incredible edibles are complemented perfectly by the rich surroundings of Grantley Hall’s stunning Main Hall. Prices from £45pp.
This elegant restaurant space on BALTIC’s top floor offers a delicious afternoon tea, served in Six’s Viewing Box, located at the front of the international art gallery where the views of the cityscape are breathtaking.
Tuck in to seasonal finger sandwiches, sweet treats such as orange and passionfruit cheesecake, and fruit scones with clotted cream and delicious local jam whilst you take in the vistas through Six Rooftop’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
The classic afternoon tea is served with organic tea or coffee for £25pp – or why not upgrade and indulge in a glass of champagne for £32pp.