The best places to enjoy afternoon tea in North Yorkshire
The charming ritual of afternoon tea owes its origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. As a young woman in the early 1800s, she lived during a time when it was common to eat only two main meals a day, with breakfast scheduled early in the morning and dinner occurring late in the evening. Routinely weakened and irritated by hunger pangs, she decided to schedule time to take tea and snack each afternoon. This private ceremony was firstly done in her bedroom, but over time she was joined by friends and the practice was continued. Nowadays tearooms and hotels throughout the country offer variations of this quintessentially English tradition. As the birthplace of Yorkshire Tea, we have put together a guide of some of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea in North Yorkshire.
Café 74 – The Lawrance, Micklegate, York
If you are staying at The Lawrance apart-hotel in York you can enjoy afternoon tea in the comfort of your own luxury apartment thanks to Cafe74 who will deliver it to you. Alternatively you can come into our bustling coffee shop, which is within the apartment building yet opens onto Micklegate at street level. As you watch the world go by you will be enjoying a beautifully presented, freshly prepared English afternoon tea with homemade scones, fresh strawberries, jam and butter with generously filled sandwiches cut into squares. Along with teas and coffees and a lovely selection of cakes, the friendly staff create a relaxing atmosphere with music and great service in the heart of York.
Betty’s – Harrogate, York, Ilkley, Northallerton
Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms are famous for providing Swiss confectionery and Yorkshire hospitality in a sophisticated environment. Bettys was founded in 1919, and its popularity has continued to grow over the years.
There’s a real sense of occasion to the afternoon tea experience, as they bring a freshly filled teapot and a gleaming silver cake stand to your table, laden with sandwiches, exquisite handmade cakes and freshly baked scones, along with fruity preserves and thick Yorkshire clotted cream.
Botham’s of Whitby – Whitby and Pickering
Since 1865, Elizabeth Botham & Sons has been a family-run craft bakery in the ancient port of Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. Enjoy afternoon tea in their quaint tearooms, served on a Botham’s traditional tea stand. Freshly-made sandwiches, scones and dainty classic fancy cakes are served with a pot of Botham’s own-blend Resolution Tea or a cup of their Café 1865 coffee.
Raithwaite Estate – Sandsend, Whitby
Raithwaite Estate Country Retreat, which includes the Spa at Raithwaite, is a luxury country house hotel near Whitby.
The estate is set in 80 acres of breathtaking countryside on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, just a few minutes’ walk from the historic Whitby coast.
Take afternoon tea in The Poachers Bar, which includes a selection of finger sandwiches, homes baked scones with clotted cream and preserves, homemade cakes and pastries and a choice of tea or coffee.
Mama Doreen’s Emporium – Harrogate
Featuring a selection of delicious sandwiches, scones decadently topped with lashings of cream and champagne and strawberry jam and an assortment of tempting cakes, Mama Doreen’s popular afternoon tea makes a perfect treat for someone special. Visit the colourful café on Cold Bath Road and also enjoy one of their luxurious hot chocolates topped with cream, marshmallows and chocolate chips.
Fodder – Harrogate
With views overlooking Harrogate’s Crimple Valley, you can sit back and relax as Fodder serves delicious treats and a traditional pot of Yorkshire Tea.
Serving two people, enjoy Fodder’s afternoon tea with a selection of traditional finger sandwiches and the chef’s savoury item of the day. It also includes a miniature homemade scone, accompanied by strawberry preserve and clotted cream, plus a selection of specially selected sweet sensations.
Goldsborough Hall – Goldsborough, near Knaresborough
Goldsborough Hall is a 17th Century Grade II listed stately building, set in beautiful uninterrupted parkland. The hall has a very rich royal connection with HRH Princess Mary, who lived here during the 1920s.
Afternoon tea at Goldsborough Hall consists of dainty finger sandwiches, a selection of miniature cakes and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, served with a selection of teas or coffee.
The Black Swan – Helmsley
The Black Swan Hotel, Helmsley, is a beautiful 15th century property offering a unique combination of traditional charm and luxurious escapism, set in one of the North Yorkshire Moors’ prettiest villages.
The tearoom has been awarded the Tea Guild’s award for Tearoom of Excellence on four occasions, and in 2010 was given the title of Top Tea Place.
Enjoy afternoon tea in the tearoom, lounge or the Cygnet Bar which includes a selection of dainty finger sandwiches, warm, freshly-made scones served with jam and cream, and a selection of cakes and patisseries, plus your choice from a selection of 20 teas.
The Devonshire Arms – Bolton Abbey Estate, Skipton
After a brisk walk in the beautiful surrounding countryside you will be sure of a comfy sofa and a warm welcome to go with your afternoon tea. So choose your lounge, sit back, relax and let the Devonshire Arms serve you one of the best afternoon tea’s outside London.
The Devonshire Arms afternoon tea includes a selection of homemade sandwiches, freshly baked buttermilk scones, clotted cream and preserves, delicious cakes and a fine pastry selection, as well as a selection of tea, coffee or infusions.
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