From Routemaster bus tours to tea among actual tigers, the UK is home to some marvellously quirky afternoon tea experiences
In celebration of Afternoon Tea Week (taking place from 7–13 August 2023) we’re taking a look at some of the more unusual places you might enjoy this classic British tradition.
We've pulled together a list of the very best places in the UK to have ‘afternoon tea with a twist,’ the twist being a unique theme, unusual location, or some quirky entertainment as you eat. From sipping tea on a vintage train in the Surrey countryside to finger sandwiches and scones beside Liverpool’s most famous landmark, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Perhaps best saved for a special occasion, it’s worth noting that many afternoon tea experiences come with a fairly hefty price tag. But remember, as a Boundless member you now have unlimited access to a vast array of discounts on restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cafés and (of course) tearooms, courtesy of tastecard and Coffee Club.
Tour the streets of the capital with a London Bus afternoon tea – London
Enjoy an afternoon tea like no other on a vintage double decker Routemaster bus. There’s arguably no better way to cruise around the streets of central London than with a sumptuous afternoon tea to enjoy as you go. High tea is served during the tour including a selection of scrumptious sandwiches, delectable desserts and pastries. And while you enjoy what’s on offer, an experienced London bus driver will show you Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James's Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Nelson's Column, Downing Street, and much more on a roughly 90-minute sightseeing trip (depending on traffic).
Tea beside a Liverpool landmark – Liverpool
Oh me oh my afternoon tea – £33.50pp
This stately tea parlour is located beside Liverpool's historic Albert Dock and boasts truly unbeatable views of the famous Royal Liver Building, making it an ideal spot to unwind after a hectic day seeing the city. And it's not just the views that set this rooftop experience apart from the rest, with a seasonally changing menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, you’ll get to enjoy exceptional petit fours, scones, finger sandwiches, cakes and a pot of tea of your choosing while you absorb the city views.
Live the ultimate Jane Austen fantasy – Bath
The Pump Room Afternoon Tea – £33.95pp
Afternoon teas don’t get more quintessentially English than at The Pump Room in Bath; a truly beautiful space where Pride & Prejudice author Jane Austen spent many an afternoon savouring tea, cake and Regency gossip. The Pump Room Trio musicians will keep you entertained with charming string music as you eat delicious sandwiches, cakes, and scones with clotted cream and jam. And don't forget to sample the Bath buns; this regional specialty is not to be missed.
Afternoon tea with a vintage spin – London
Visit this charming 1920s antique tearoom, one of London's best kept secrets, dressed up in your most opulent Great Gatsby-esque finery and savour home-made scones, cakes, and finger sandwiches. And don't worry if you don't have the appropriate attire; there's a changing room stocked with vintage accessories perfect for helping you to live your very own flapper fantasy for the afternoon.
The tiger who came to tea – Hertfordshire
If you’re a fan of Judith Kerr’s famous 1968 children's book, you’ll no doubt be besotted with this particularly unusual afternoon tea experience. The Tiger Tree Tops Café at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne is located right at the heart of the Big cat Territory at the park, offering exciting views of the resident tigers as you enjoy your hot drinks and food. Without a doubt an afternoon tea to remember, this experience includes a variety of freshly made sandwiches, home-baked scones, and a delectable selection of cakes, as well as a pot of tea for two at your table overlooking this majestic animal’s enclosure.
Afternoon tea on a train
Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea – £57pp
Relax and unwind as you ride on this special Afternoon Tea train, the Wealden Rambler, in one of four spacious 1950s/60s lounge or restaurant cars. This traditional afternoon tea contains all of your favourites: delicious finger sandwiches, delightful cakes, and scones with jam and cream. The trip takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes and takes in some of the most beautiful parts of the Surrey countryside.
Do more with Boundless
Boundless membership is packed full of exciting ways members can make the most of their free time, grab superb savings, and connect with local interest and community groups. For more information, visit www.boundless.co.uk