10 Afternoon Tea Ideas
The best places in Muddy Cambs to enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea
It’s that time of year when we celebrate the great British tradition of afternoon tea – it runs this year from Mon 14 – Sun 20 Aug. So let’s get our pinky fingers out and enter the magical world of doll sized cakes, crustless sarnies and load bearing scones. Back off dieters – this meal is probably one to skip as we’re talking calorie overload. If you feel that there’s somewhere that we have missed off then do let us know in the comments box below as it’s great to share the knowledge.
The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester
A recent addition to the afternoon tea scene, the Grantchester based brasserie only entered the arena of spoonfuls of lemon curd and doll sized pastries a few weeks ago. The restaurant in Grantchester now serves aftertoon tea Mon-Sat from 12noon – 6pm. I haven’t had a chance to sample it yet so if you get there before me let us now what you think in the comments section below but wouldn’t you love to be hanging out on this balcony!
The Rupert Brooke, 2-4 Broadway, Grantchester, Cambridge, CB3 9NQ, therupertbrooke.com
Flock Cafe, Burwash Manor, Barton
This cafe is set up in the artisan quarter of Burwash Manor – a collection of shops housed in converted farm buildings set in a peaceful countryside. Flock Cafe is open seven days a week and serves brunches, lunches and delicious freshly baked cakes, scones and meringues accompanied by a pot of afternoon tea. It’s not a huge cafe but there’s a courtyard area that you can spill out onto when the sun is out.
Flock Cafe, Burwash Manor, Cambridge, CB23 7EY, flockcafe.co.uk
The Houghton Tea Rooms, Houghton
A came across this teeny tiny cute-to-the-max brew house after a walk at Houghton Mill and what a find. It’s worth a visit, if only to watch your children dribbling at the cake counter – all home made by owner Linda Prentice who clearly knows a thing or two about making a sponge rise. There’s also a small gallery attached if you still have any energy left to mooch. It’s open Wed – Sun (12 noon-4pm) – if you’re after lavish afternoon tea you’ll need to book ahead but if a slice of delicious cake and a cup of tea is what you’re after just pitch up.
Houghton Tea Rooms, Mill Street, Houghton, Huntingdon PE29 2AZ, stneotscakes.co.uk
The DoubleTree Hilton, Cambridge
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in the centre of Cambridge doesn’t look massively exciting from the front but bear with… Inside the décor is your kind of normal formal hotel style – Jonathan Adler isn’t going to get the shakes but it’s smartly done. The USP at this place is the amazing view of the River Cam – you could dip your toes in the water if you so desired. If the weather’s looking good it’s a perfect spot for catching a few spring rays in the sheltered garden whilst punt-watching. Afternoon tea is always beautifully presented and there’s heaps of space both inside and out – no-one seems to get too precious about kids, so the pressure’s off there. On a practical note there’s ample parking – in a traffic-chocked city that’s a winner in my book.
The DoubleTree Hilton, Granta Place, Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RT, doubletree3.hilton.com
Peacocks Tearoom, Ely
This quirky tearoom was set up in the owners home twelve years ago. It has now spread to take up much of the ground floor and you feel as if you have been invited to tea in someones house is the best way of describing it. As well as a lunch menu they have a huge selection of home made cakes and they offer tea from every continent bar Antartica! They don’t take bookings for afternoon tea and if you want to make a weekend of it they have two suites upstairs that are run on a B&B basis.
Peacocks Tearoom, 65 Waterside, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4AU, peacockstearoom.co.uk
The Cafe at Gog Magog Farmshop
The cafe at the award winning Gog Magog farmshop has a relaxed and warm feel about it as well as serving some serious good tea and cake. There’s a busy vibe and if you’re feeling sociable you can gather around the central long farm house table or pick a quieter spot to catch up with a mate. Word of warning: the scones are enormous and there’s a huge array of cakes. With a farmshop, butchers and deli on site you’ll leave with a boot full of goodies to enjoy.
The Gog Magog Hills Farmshop, Heath Farm, Babraham Rd, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 3AD, thegog.com
The Orchard Tea Gardens, Grantchester
Another tea option based in the historic setting of Grantchester but when a village looks this fine it’s hardly surprising that there are several watering holes. Just a short stroll, cycle ride, punt or drive from the bustle of Cambridge you’ll find the Orchard Tea Garden; a corner of England where time stands still as the hectic world hurtles by. The Orchard has been serving tea for nearly 120 years (they should have it nailed by now) and is renowned for the plethora of famous bods who’ve enjoyed its genteel setting including Rupert Brooke and his Bloomsbury set friends Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes and Ernest Rutherford to name but a few. Relax in a deck chair under the shade of an apple tree, enjoy the genteel setting and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era.
The Orchard Tea Gardens, 47 Mill Way, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9ND, theorchardteagarden.co.uk
The Geographer, Histon
A cafe-cum-shop-cum-deli that is found in the village of Histon, just north of Cambridge. This quirky place has a vintage feel with stripped floorboards and vintage tables many of which have been given a make over with vintage maps. Most of the cakes are made on-site but the few that aren’t they are produced by local companies such as Gourment Brownie Ltd. Afternoon tea is served on a traditional cake stand and if you fancy a glass of something then there’s champagne and Prosecco on offer provided by the local Cambridge Wine Merchants. The Geographer is stacked high with artisan products, some locally sourced but also many of the brands that you recognise from abroad. Don’t forget to take home some of their homemade Presecco and strawberry jam.
The Geographer, 103 Station Road, Impington, CB24 9NP, Cambridge, facebook.com
The Gonville, Cambridge
This boutique hotel is located by Parker’s Piece so is within easy strolling distance from the city centre. The Brasserie and Bar area has a city vibe with a large contemporary bar and sofas and comfy chairs for guests to relax in. The Gonville serves up a delicious afternoon tea with delicate sandwiches, dolls sized cakes and topped off with mahoosive scones. Loosen those waist bands you’ll need plenty of room to eat this lot.
Gonville Hotel, Gonville Pl, Cambridge CB1 1LY, gonvillehotel.co.uk
Tilly the Travelling Tea Room
You’ve gotta love a wild card and if you just can’t be bothered to go and find your afternoon delight then why not grab a bunch of your bezzies and have afternoon tea delivered to you. This genuine Thomson Mini Glen caravan has been lovingly restored to her former glory, with the help of a little Cath Kidston. The Nanny McPhee of the tea wold – she gets out and about travelling to tea parties and events where you might need her help. Give Betty Crocker the afternoon off and get Tilly to pitch up with afternoon tea, ice creams and a host of homemade cakes and cookies.