5 of the poshest places for afternoon tea in Norfolk
- Credit: Steve Adams
Fit for a queen, here are just a handful of the best places to enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea. Whether you fancy scones, finger sandwiches, or freshly-made cream cakes, enjoy them all at these highly-regarded establishments.
Beechwood Hotel, North Walsham
Did you know that the Beechwood Hotel at North Walsham was a favourite destination of the queen of crime Agatha Christie?
The world-famous author was a close friend of Drs Peter and Margaret McLeod who lived at what was then known as The Shrubs.
Christie was a regular visitor and would stay in room number nine for a month at the time, writing her novels in a summerhouse in the grounds.
Adding to the intrigue, she would travel to the town incognito, using the surname of her husband Sir Max Mallowan.
The luxury country house hotel was recently named one of the most romantic spots in the UK in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022 and its elegant restaurant makes the perfect location in which to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.
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Savouries to savour include dainty sandwiches filled with favourite combinations such as smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, cheese and chutney and ham, and homemade mini sausage rolls.
Load up freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam – or jam and clotted cream, if you prefer it that way round.
And finish with an array of sweet treats – how does a chocolate éclair, trifle pot shot, homemade mini Victoria sponge, macaroons and lemon posset sound?
There’s a full selection of teas and coffees to choose from too.
Afternoon tea is served daily from 2pm-4.30pm, 3-4.30pm on Sundays. The price is £25 per person.
The Norfolk Mead, Coltishall
A Georgian country house nestled in eight acres of beautiful private parkland on the banks of the River Bure must surely be one of the county’s most picturesque settings for afternoon tea.
Take a stroll around the grounds or watch the longboats on the river before relaxing in the stylish restaurant or the Grade II-listed walled garden and be served up a selection of sandwiches, scones and patisserie.
To give you a taste, sandwiches might include smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and cress and ham salad with light wholegrain mustard mayonnaise.
Plain and fruit scones are accompanied by clotted cream and local Norfolk strawberry preserve.
Cakes are made on-site each morning - options include chocolate brownie, lemon drizzle, mixed berry cheesecake with a white chocolate crumb, sticky date cake, hazelnut praline cake with orange mascarpone, and pistachio macarons
Afternoon tea costs £20 per person and is served Monday to Saturday 1pm to 4pm and 4pm Sunday. All dietary requirements can be catered for and 24 hours’ booking notice is required.
The Orangery Tea Room, Ketteringham Hall
Tucked away in the Norfolk countryside, with beautiful lake views, The Orangery Tea Room at Ketteringham Hall offers three types of afternoon tea.
The first is a three-tier, traditional afternoon tea (£24.95), with three types of fine sandwiches and a mini goat’s cheese and beetroot tart, five dainty sweet treats which change throughout the year to match the seasons or special holidays, and mini cheese and fruit scones.
The tea is accompanied by plenty of butter, jam and clotted cream – and there’s a selection of loose leaf teas, coffees and soft drinks available.
For those without a sweet tooth, The Orangery also offers a savoury afternoon tea (£26.95).
Centred round a large baked camembert, the menu includes savoury shortbread, sausage rolls, cheese scones, puff pastry red onion and goat’s cheese tarts topped with rocket, roasted peppers, crackers, houmous, crusty bread, whipped goat’s cheese, chilli jam and butter.
And to ensure no-one is left out, they also offer a children’s afternoon tea (£12.50) of two sandwiches, a mini cheese and fruit scone, gingerbread man, brownie, a chocolate-dipped strawberry, and a mini Victoria sponge.
Dietary requirements can be catered for including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.
The Old Post Office, Harleston
Owner Claire Myers-Lamptey has spent three years restoring The Old Post Office in Harleston to its former glory.
Afternoon tea is a signature offering at the gorgeous Georgian guest house, which was originally a bank, and diners have the choice of enjoying it in the setting of the grand drawing room, the quirky modern lounge or the Arts and Crafts dining room, providing different experiences.
The four-course menu of finger cut sandwiches, freshly-baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, a savoury platter and sweet options can be booked for up to 20 people to celebrate birthdays, hen parties, baby showers, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
During June, in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee, pianist Will Fergusson from Bungay, will be entertaining guests with a collection of commemorative pieces spanning the 70-year reign of the Queen.
It costs £25 per person with special edition Jubilee Blanc de Blanc from Norfolk vineyard Chet Valley available.
The Assembly House, Norwich
Chef Mark Mitson, head of pastry at The Assembly House in Norwich, knows a thing or two about afternoon tea – he creates up to 350 of them a day and bakes almost 200,000 scones a year.
He’s cooked for the Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, Princess Diana and other royals.
And to celebrate the Queen's 70-year reign, the elegant Georgian venue, which was chosen by Princess Elizabeth for her first official visit to the city, is serving up The Queen’s Teatime Tea (£24.95 per person).
The Assembly House is famed for its themed afternoon teas and its special jubilee menu includes the Queen’s favourite chocolate biscuit cake, made to her chef’s special recipe and crowned with gold leaf, and a Jammy Dodger macaron alongside traditional hand-cut sandwiches and freshly baked fruit and cheese scones.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.
The Queen’s Teatime Afternoon Tea is at The Assembly House until June 30.