It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the one time where you can absolutely stuff your face and not feel guilty. And what better way to stuff your face than with a festive afternoon tea? Whether you’re on Santa’s nice list or not, no one can stop you getting stuck into lovely cakes, tasty teas, and even a glass of festive fizz.
If it’s traditional Christmas-time glamour you’re looking for, Celtic Manor will tick all the boxes. It’s one of the most luxurious resorts in all of the UK and simply driving along the stunning Welsh countryside to reach it will make you feel like you’re royalty. In the spirit of Christmas indulgence, this festive afternoon tea includes every favourite you can think of; mince pies, white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle, and even a cosy glass of mulled wine. Afterwards, take a wander around the resort, hang out by the roaring fires, admire the huge Christmas tree, or go for a twirl around the stunning ice-rink. (Yes, they have an actual ice rink.)
The London Carriage Works
No one does glitz and glamour better than the team at London Carriage Works, making it the perfect place to splash out on a festive afternoon tea to celebrate the season of goodwill. Enjoy a Christmas-themed feast complete with mince pies and brandy butter, (yum) pavlovas, and of course, turkey sandwiches. It’s literally the perfect stop-off between Christmas shops, a quick walk from the main thoroughfare, with relaxing surroundings to take your mind off the fact you haven’t found anything for auntie Jean yet.
Blythswood Square Salon
Ah Christmas in Scotland. What could be more magical? Festive afternoon tea at the famous Blythswood Square Hotel of course. The stunning art-deco hotel is one of the most luxurious spots in the city, mixing their beautiful old building with modern furnishings and stylish colour schemes. Wash down a very festive Spiced Kir Royale with seasonal treats like a coffee liquor snowman and turkey and cranberry mayo sandwiches. We hear there’s even some gingerbread men on the menu for some traditional Christmas snacking. The hotel itself is right in the centre of Glasgow and just a stone’s throw away from the festive markets if you’re not all Christmassed out.
Set in the gorgeous Tullyglass House, the Tullyglass Hotel transforms each December into a winter wonderland. Famous for their dining and entertainment, their festive afternoon tea is a little more refined, if no less spectacular. The in-house patisserie chef presents “an enchanting take on afternoon tea” Monday – Saturday throughout December with delights like Palace Snowflakes which are blackcurrant and cardamom cakes with crushed glittering meringue or creme patisserie Blackberry Kisses. Try and visit when it’s snowing as the place is truly magical with Christmas lights illuminating the wintery backdrop.
If you can find a place more beautiful than the Cotswolds at Christmas then we’ll eat our Santa hats. Situated in the lovely village of Broadway, The Lygon Arms “Festivi-Teas” are the quintessential example of a great festive afternoon tea. Including the traditional favourites of scones and mini-sandwiches, they also have mince pies, delicious seasonal treats, and home-made jams. If you decide to add a little sparkle (Taittinger sparkle, obviously darling), The Lygon Arms is also a hotel and has some gorgeous, welcoming rooms that you can book to save you the drive home. Don’t kid yourself that you’ll resist a festive tipple and miss out: they’re always busy so get in there quick.
Garden Brasserie at Orsett Hall
Another beautiful stately home that’s been lovingly converted into a hotel, Orsett Hall boasts a lovely dining space in the Garden Brasserie. It’s also an amazing spot for a festive afternoon tea, with it’s classic decor and views over the garden. This one is perfect for those of you who don’t have a sweet tooth as they serve a classic festive afternoon tea and also a savoury one. Choose from a huge selection of teas including pomegranate white, cranberry and raspberry, and apple crunch and quirky additions like mini soups and festive macaroons. Of course, you can add fizz to your order just to make it that bit more Christmassy.