The Bristol Magazine discovers the best places to enjoy the most indulgent of British traditions in Bristol: Afternoon Tea
1 Harvey Nichols Decorated in decadent gold, the stylish setting of Harvey Nichols Bristol’s Second Floor Restaurant is the perfect place for an indulgent treat after a day of shopping. With their current chef in residence, Louise McCrimmon, she brings her expertise and experience working in Burgundy, France to the menu. The traditional afternoon tea costs includes a trio of sandwiches, a selection of homemade cakes, homemade mini scone with clotted cream and a choice of Harvey Nichols preserves, all served with a pot of house tea. For an extra bit of indulgence, you can add a glass of Champagne, perfect to celebrate a special occasion in style.
Cost: Champagne tea, £28 per person; afternoon tea, £20 per person.
Served: Monday to Saturday, 3pm – 5pm
2 Avon Gorge Hotel Enjoy afternoon tea while taking in one of the best views of the city at the Avon Gorge Hotel’s Bridge Café in Clifton – ideal if you’re showing visitors to the area. Floor to ceiling windows open out onto a terrace, where you can take in the vista across the Avon Gorge to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Traditional afternoon tea here includes a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and clotted cream, Bristol fruit cake, madeleines and seasonal fruit tartlets, all served with pot of tea.
Cost: £20 per person for the Bridge Café Afternoon Tea. You can also opt for the Traditional Cream Tea for £8.50 per person.
Served: Monday to Saturday, 2.30pm – 6pm and Sunday 12pm – 6pm.
3 Thornbury Castle This magnificent castle hotel which sits on the edge of the Cotswolds offers a unique and quitessentially English afternoon tea experience. Here, where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn once walked, the hotel boasts ornate Tudor architecture and historic walled gardens. After exploring the house and grounds, on a sunny day take afternoon tea in the picturesque garden or if it’s cold, sit by the fire in the cosy library, served by immaculately presented waiters. Afternoon tea at Thornbury Castle includes a pot of tea or coffee, freshly baked scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, homemade biscuits, a selection of cakes and a selection of finger sandwiches.
Cost: £8.50 for scones & tea, £17.50 for a Cream Tea, £21.50 for a full Afternoon Tea, and £32.50 for their Champagne afternoon tea.
Served: Monday to Saturday, 3pm – 4.45pm and Sunday 4pm – 4.45pm.
4 Hotel du Vin This magnificently restored Sugar House, just a stone’s throw from Colston Hall, boasts an award winning bistro, secluded courtyard and private bar where you can experience an elegant and French-style setting for afternoon tea. Choose from a selection of infusions including Darjeeling, Ceylon, China rose petal, Assam and the rich and refreshing house blend, and enjoy the beautifully presented finger sandwiches, a slice of tea loaf, cream cake, warm fruit scone, strawberry preserve and dollop of fresh clotted cream.
Cost: £8.50 per person for a Cream Tea, £18.50 per person for a Traditional Afternoon Tea, or £24.50 per person for a Champagne Afternoon Tea.
Served: Daily 3pm – 5pm.
5 Cox and Baloney Tea Room This is the place to come for afternoon tea if a sprinkle of glamour and lashings of fun is what you’re looking for. The quaint tea room on Cheltenham Road is beautifully decorated, full to the brim with vintage gems and treasures. It has really made a name for itself in Bristol, famous for its cream tea towers and afternoon teas, served daily alongside other traditional lunch dishes and fresh homemade cakes. Relax in a comfy armchair with your favourite pot of tea (there are 15 different loose teas to choose from, as well as bubbly and teapot cocktails) and tuck into finger sandwiches, homemade cakes, scones, cream, strawberries and local jam all served on pretty vintage china.
Cost: £18.50 per person for Lilly’s Afternoon Tea, £22.50 with a glass of Prosecco, or you can opt for Ethel’s Cream Tea Tower at £5.50 per person.
Served: Daily: 11am – 5pm, with late openings until 11pm on Thursday – Saturday. Saturday: 10am – 11pm, and Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.
6 Berwick Lodge This hotel and fine dining restaurant sits in a beautiful spot just off the motorway, 15 minutes drive from the centre of Bristol. It has been lovingly restored to its former grandeur to create a totally unique venue – blending the spirit and romance of the arts and crafts movement with a touch of the East. Located high on a hill and surrounded by acres of private garden and woodland, you can’t beat afternoon tea in the sunshine here. Or you can choose to sit in the lounge, a beautiful wood panelled room with feature fireplace and views of the garden. Afternoon teas include a pot of tea from a selection of fine teas, finger sandwiches, chocolate opera cake, vanilla slice, lemon tart, carrot and banana cake and scones. There is also a children’s afternoon tea available, great for treating the family on a special occasion. The children’s afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches of chocolate spread, peanut butter, jam and cheese along with strawberry jelly, banana and chocolate chip muffin, scone and chocolate cornflake cakes, all served with a glass of pink lemonade.
Cost: £8.50 per person for a Cream Tea, £19.50 per person for a Traditional Afternoon Tea, or £29.50 per person for an Autumn Champagne Afternoon Tea and £8.50 per person for a Children’s (under 12s) Afternoon Tea.
Served: Daily 3pm – 5pm.