Discover the weirdest and wackiest afternoon teas that Suffolk has to offer

Afternoon tea is on trend

Afternoon tea is on trend - Credit: Archant

Afternoon tea is a classic English tradition that’s enjoyed the country over, writes Victoria Richman.

Afternoon Tea is as much about having time to catch up with friends as it is the cake

Afternoon Tea is as much about having time to catch up with friends as it is the cake - Credit: Archant

While it has been out of style for several decades it has recently seen a boost in popularity again for those who want to enjoy a vintage-style snack.

Afternoon tea traditionally includes, as you’d expect, a pot of tea, though sometimes coffee or even Champagne is substituted, a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes.

While the traditional style is popular, tearooms and restaurants around Suffolk have recently been putting their own twist on the British classic, from a gentlemen’s afternoon tea at The Bedford Lodge to a children’s version at The Paddocks House.

For the kids


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The Paddocks House in Newmarket serves a lovely afternoon tea with a selection of cakes and savoury treats, but unlike a lot of places they don’t forget the children.

Tasty scones are an essential element of the traditional afternoon tea - unless you are a kid

Tasty scones are an essential element of the traditional afternoon tea - unless you are a kid - Credit: Archant

The hotel provides an afternoon tea option for little ones that includes a ham or cream cheese sandwich, a chocolate brownie or slice of cake, ice cream and strawberry milkshake or warm hot chocolate. This tasty treat allows children to feel involved, but serves them food suitable for their age.

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The Children’s Afternoon Tea costs £4.95 and is served in the Study.

Log onto their website for more details or call 01638 593222.

Tea at sea

Fancy taking afternoon tea on the water? Orwell River Cruises offers a delicious afternoon tea aboard the Orwell Lady.

Why not take tea aboard the The Owell Lady on the river?

Why not take tea aboard the The Owell Lady on the river? - Credit: Archant

The English Afternoon Tea Cruise combines a trip down the beautiful river Orwell while enjoying a tasty afternoon treat.

The tea is supplied by Mary Duggan Fine Cuisine and includes a selection of mini sandwiches, homemade fruit scones, a variety of cakes, including chocolate éclairs and coffee and walnut, as well as tea and coffee.

Orwell River Cruises provides two afternoon tea cruises – Harwich Harbour Afternoon Tea Cruise and Pin Mill Afternoon Tea Cruise.

Prices start from £20.50. To see more prices and dates, visit their website or call 01473 258070.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Afternoon tea at the White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh

Afternoon tea at the White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh - Credit: Archant

The White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh is offering a really special, one-off afternoon tea event with a literary theme later in the year.

On Saturday, October 10, it will be hosting an Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea featuring delights from Alice’s world, all handmade by award-winning pastry chef Anmar Odendal.

The event was held last year and was incredibly popular, so make sure to book.

If you can’t wait until October, then The White Lion serves a delicious afternoon tea that includes a variety of teas as well as sweet treats and sandwiches.

The Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea costs £35 per person. Book for the event by calling 01728 452720 or by emailTraditional with a twist

If you’re looking for a proper afternoon tea, but with a bit of an update, then head to The Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich.

Afternoon tea at The Salthouse Harbour Hotel on The Ipswich Waterfront.

Afternoon tea at The Salthouse Harbour Hotel on The Ipswich Waterfront. - Credit: Archant

It features all of the old-fashioned aspects of afternoon tea but with a luxurious twist.

Try the delicious cheese scones and tuck into a selection of sandwiches, such as egg mayonnaise finger sandwiches.

Sweet items include chocolate eclairs and macarons, plus scones with jam and cream.

Afternoon tea is served daily from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and costs £17.50 per person.

You can upgrade to luxury afternoon tea, which includes a glass of fizz, for £26.50.

Find out more online or call 01473 226789 to book.

Afternoon tea at Tally Ho Tearooms, Bungay

Afternoon tea at Tally Ho Tearooms, Bungay - Credit: Archant

Victorian Victuals

For a traditional Victorian afternoon tea, head to the Tally Ho Tearooms in Mettingham, near Bungay.

You’ll get the authentic experience as the tearooms are Victorian, from the traditionally dressed staff to the bone china. The venue has a number of afternoon teas, such as the Victorian Afternoon Tea, which includes your choice of sandwich, cream tea and delicious cakes. You get a lot to eat, as Sunday Lamdin from the tearoom explained: “A number of people take home some of it in a doggy bag which we provide as a service – because there is a lot to eat!”

Tally Ho Tearooms also provides a Sovereign Afternoon Tea, which includes a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries, chocolate mousses, cordial, cupcakes and petit fours served in a special lace and pearls setting.

To find out more and book (essential for the Sovereign Afternoon Tea) visit their website or call 01986 897818.

The Bedford Lodge Hotel

The Bedford Lodge Hotel - Credit: Archant

Gentleman’s Tea

The Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa in Newmarket offers a gentlemen’s afternoon tea which provides a bit more of a substantial option.

Like all afternoon tea this comes with tea or coffee, but you can switch it for Peroni, Adnams Bitter or Aspall Cyder instead, for a great Suffolk twist.

It also includes a chicken and serrano ham club sandwich, warm fruit scone with clotted cream and a selection of savouries, including Newmarket sausage rolls. There are also sweet options or ‘fancies’ including a mini treacle tart and lemon loaf slice.

The Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea costs £19 per person, or £22 with an alcoholic beverage. To book, visit the website or call 01638 663175.

See more dining out ideas here

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