10 Christmas afternoon teas in Suffolk for 2019
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The tinsel is out. The fairylights are twinkling. And Santa has been in kitchens across Suffolk sprinkling a dusting of magic over the cake, scone and sandwich offerings at its hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, Bury Rd, Newmarket
How much: £18.95 per person or £26.95 with a glass of Moet & Chandon, launching December 2
Cosy up at the hotel, which will be decked with holly ready for the festivities. The kitchen's afternoon tea offering includes sumptuous sandwiches of Suffolk honey roast ham and piccalilli, turkey with cranberry sauce and egg mayonnaise with…shredded sprout tops! Warm scones arrive with clotted cream, strawberry jam and sharp lemon curd. And then tuck into Christmas cake, white chocolate eclairs with mince pie cream filling, Baileys macaron, shortbread Christmas trees, mini gingerbread men and more surprises.
The Ickworth Hotel, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds
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How much: £24.50 for adults (or £29.50 with prosecco) and £12.50 for children. Served until January 4 from 12noon to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and from 2pm to 4.30pm at weekends
Inspired by the release of Frozen 2, this Winter Wonderland tea is served up in the magnificent surroundings of this wing of the property, where you can take the treats in the conservatory, drawing room, library or terrace. In addition to freshly cut sandwiches and warm scones and preserves, the menu includes chocolate and raspberry bombs, vanilla macarons, blueberry ice mountain cupcakes, aerated chocolate snowflakes and marshmallow snow cubes.
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Applaud, St Peter's Street, Ipswich
How much: £16 per person. Available Monday to Saturday from 2pm throughout December
A truly relaxed affair. This is, dare we say it, the afternoon tea for people who don't really like afternoon tea. Served on a board, it's a no-fuss option, focussing purely on great ingredients and lovely flavour combinations. This year's selection includes a mini cheese scone, beetroot and walnut hummus with chives on granary toast, iced gingerbread, a sausage roll, white chocolate rocky road and a mince pie.
Old Hall Farm Café, Norwich Rd, Bungay
How much: £16 per person with tea or £21.50 with English sparkling wine. Available every day from Monday, December 2 to Sunday, January 5.
Warm your cockles from the huge selection of fruit and traditional teas, including Norwich and Norfolk Christmas Tea and Mulled Wine Tea before choosing your sandwiches from options such as turkey and cranberry, brie and fig, turkey and cranberry and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Then tuck into a dreamy cheese scone with the farm's own cream cheese, and a fruit scone with its own thick raw Jersey cream. And round off with some of a selection of cakes and bakes which could include spiced apple cake, mince pies, Christmas pudding cheesecake, gingerbread, shortbread, Black Forest sponge and mulled wine trifle.
Marlows, Hollow Road, Bury St Edmunds
How much: £30 for two and add £5 per person for a glass of prosecco. Available Monday to Saturday 2pm to 4pm and Sunday 2pm to 3pm from December 1 to 22
This home and garden centre hides a secret -one of the scrummiest afternoon teas in the Bury St Edmunds area. The shop is brimming with lovely gifts at this time of year (including an impressive array of foodie treats) so why not combine some of that shopping with a visit? The kitchen team promise freshly made sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls, mini mince pies, scones and lots of homemade festive sweets and goodies!
Lynford Hall Hotel Lynford Rd, Mundford, Thetford
How much: £39 for two. Available from 2.30pm to 5.30pm daily during December.
Make afternoon tea an occasion at this lovely hall in south Norfolk where you'll sip on a warm glass of mulled wine before diving into freshly cut sandwiches, spiced scones with jam and cream, yule log, Christmas cake, mince pies and your choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
Harriets, 57 Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds
How much: £19.95 per person throughout the rest of November and December
A truly indulgent celebration of cake -and served on a silver plated three tiered stand too for a touch of additional luxury. Take your choice from one of the large selections of loose leaf teas and coffees, including exclusive house blends. Then get started with turkey and cranberry sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and egg mayonnaise and watercress finger sandwiches. The tea is completed by apple and cinnamon scones, a miniature Christmas cake, mince pie cheesecake and a handmade macaron.
The Swan, High Street, Lavenham
How much: £22.50 per person, throughout December
A quintessentially British afternoon tea experience, with the finest loose leaf teas and coffee, and lovely table settings. The Swan manages to blend formality with the relaxed vibes of a country house hotel. This year's festive tea includes sandwiches of cucumber, dill and black pepper, smoked salmon and lemon crème fraiche, Suffolk roast turkey and cranberry, and Manor Farm hen's egg with light mustard mayonnaise. Nibble on festive and plain scones with clotted cream and preserves. And finish with delicacies of mincemeat muffin with brandy butter cream, cranberry choux bun, chocolate orange battenburg and pineapple macaron.
Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa, Ufford
How much: £19 per person (an extra £3.95 for a glass of mulled wine or prosecco). Served daily between 2pm and 5pm
Take your choice of tea or coffee then enjoy the view over the greens as you work your way through dainty finger sandwiches of turkey and cranberry, smoked salmon and dill cream cheese, and egg mayonnaise with cress. Follow with a warm sausage roll. Then work your way up to the sweet stuff. Mince pie. Fruit scone with preserves and clotted cream. Red velvet and cream cheese sponge. Christmas trifle. Oh, and chocolate delice too.
The Mill Hotel, Walnut Tree Lane, Sudbury
How much: £19.95 per person throughout the rest of November and December
The chefs at the hotel have worked hard to give a yuletide twist to their traditional afternoon tea menu, making it the ideal pre-Christmas treat to enjoy with a loved one. Sandwiches have been tweaked to offer fillings such as roast turkey and cranberry mayonnaise, honey roast ham with plum and cider chutney, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and curried egg mayonnaise. Your next 'course' is freshly baked cranberry and buttermilk scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. And those all-important sweet delights range from salted caramel chocolate tartlet, to Victoria sponge, espresso martini cheesecake, orange, almond and passion fruit financier and vanilla panna cotta with mulled wine berry compote. Enjoy unlimited tea and coffee with your experience.