12 festive afternoon teas in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Treat yourself to finger sandwiches, savouries and cakes galore with your bubble this December.
Peanut Parties, Woodbridge
The couple behind Peanut Parties have been cooking up a storm during lockdown delivering afternoon teas, snack boxes, brunches, and miniature birthday cakes. From now until Christmas Eve though there’s a festive spin on their offering – with two options available.
The Festive Box (£12 per person) includes a choice of three sandwiches (such as roast turkey and cranberry sauce), a pig in blankets sausage roll, red slaw, vanilla fudge, homemade mince pie, Black Forest gateau, candied fruit cake, mini apple and cinnamon crumble, fresh seasonal fruit and a Pukka tea bag. A Santa’s Box (£5 per person) is also available, including a Christmas tree brownie, snowflake trifle, reindeer cupcake, Santa’s chip cookie, sugar cane and chocolates.
They’re available for delivery Wednesday to Sunday with free delivery within a 12-mile radius of Woodbridge, and a small charge outside of this area.
Painter’s Café, Sudbury
Throughout lockdown the café has been keeping sweet-toothed customers in south west Suffolk happy with its bumper afternoon tea boxes. This December in addition to a plethora of Christmassy cakes and mulled wine, the team are pulling out all the stops with their festive afternoon tea to eat in or takeaway. Priced at £13.50 per person, each box includes a sandwich of your choice from the menu, a scone with clotted cream, butter and jam, a mince pie, reindeer brownie, cupcake, holly truffle and caramel shortbread.
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Bookings are essential and the café is open Tuesday to Saturday until 2.30pm.
Nourish Café, Newbourne
Team Nourish have been serving their local community with all sorts this year – from high tea boxes to Southern-style barbecues. Now Tracey is gearing up for the festive season with her Christmas afternoon tea, which is available Wednesday to Friday for collection between 11am and 2pm until December 18.
It’s £35 for two, and very generously proportioned to include sandwiches, sausage rolls, pork pies, cheese scones, sweet scones with trimmings, iced fruit cake, mince pies, sticky ginger cake, Terry’s Chocolate Orange brownies and lebkuchen – all baked to order.
Sisters Beth and Hannah have won Best Café/Tearoom multiple times in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards. These ladies know their coffee and cake. And their take on afternoon tea, served on a board in the relaxed eatery on one of Ipswich’s loveliest streets, has gained them loads of fans. The festive tea comes with turkey, cranberry and stuffing and brie and Christmas chutney sandwiches, sausage rolls, mini mince pies, iced gingerbread cake and sweet and salty chocolate slices.
It’s £16 per person to eat in, or £14 per person to takeaway and booking is essential. Applaud is open Tuesday to Saturday.
The Neathouse, Dennington
Winner of Best Afternoon Tea in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020 – so well worth a visit. The Neathouse is baking everything to order for its festive afternoon tea, available to collect until December 24 or with free delivery locally when possible.
The kitchen needs 48 hours’ notice for your order, which is £16.95 per person, made up using ingredients from suppliers within a 30-mile radius. You’ll get turkey, stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce sandwiches, pig in blanket sausage rolls, chorizo and mozzarella quiche, Scotch eggs, mixed fruit scones with clotted cream and jam, and a whopping four pieces of cake each.
Honey and Harvey, Melton
The popular café on the outskirts of Woodbridge in Melton has just relaunched its afternoon teas with a bang, going straight into offering a Christmassy-themed box of treats.
It’s £28 for two, and for that you’ll get brie and cranberry sauce, and chorizo, Parma ham and manchego sandwiches, and an array of miniature sweet and savoury delights including: sausage rolls, mince pies, cheese scones with chilli jam, fruit scones with cream and jam, lemon shortbreads, cranberry Bakewells, and chocolate orange brownies. You need to give 24 hours’ notice and the menu is available Monday to Sunday.
The Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe
The refined dining areas and lounges of this seaside hotel provide a grand setting for a celebratory afternoon tea, and the kitchen is known for its fabulous cakes and generous portions.
Festive tea menus are set to be launched on Thursday, December 3, and will include finger sandwiches, mature cheddar scones with chutney, freshly baked Suffolk pork sausage rolls, fruit scones with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream and the pastry chef’s selection of themed cakes and fancies. It’s £16 per person and available every day.
The Swan, Southwold
This afternoon tea with a difference is more like a high tea, with various hot elements thrown into the mix. Served from 3pm to 5pm daily in the decadent lounge, you’re experience includes mini brioche sandwiches with fillings such as Adnams gin-cured salmon, pickled cucumber and cream cheese, and dry-aged roast sirloin with watercress and horseradish. Then, tuck into a turkey bon bon with sage and onion espuma, mini monkfish and chips with pea puree, and a goats’ cheese, satsuma and hazelnut cone. Sweets begin with cranberry and buttermilk scone accompanied by homemade jam and Devon clotted cream, a clementine and cinnamon pavlova, Christmas cake, Black Forest cake pop, salted caramel profiteroles and cinnamon custard doughnuts.
The feast is £21 per person. Or upgrade to include Adnams fizz or gin.
Ravenwood Hall, Rougham
A stately setting for afternoon tea just minutes from Bury St Edmunds. The yuletide themed experience is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm to 5pm, and must be booked in advance. It can also be taken away. It’s £18.95 per person, including four types of sandwich (fillings range from Suffolk smoked ham with wholegrain mustard, to roast Norfolk turkey breast with sage and onion stuffing and cranberry sauce), sherry-drenched fruit and allspice scones with Tiptree jam and clotted cream, open mince pies with Italian meringue, Milanese pannetone, mini dark chocolate and kirsch cherry trifle, and artisanal teas and coffees.
The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds
Angel Hill (one of the settings for recent film The Personal History of David Copperfield) is a magical place at Christmas - lights flooding the magnificent buildings in all their glory. This ivy-covered hotel is the ‘grand dame’ of the town and head chef Scott Taylor goes all-out when it comes to afternoon tea, with lots of elements making it extra special.
His Christmas tea menu (£25 per person) begins with a cranberry and cheddar pinwheel pastry, and three types of sandwich. Then there’s a sausage roll. And sweets kick off with both a spiced fruit and a buttermilk scone, accompanied by homemade strawberry and Champagne jam and Devonshire clotted cream. Rounding everything off are an eggnog tart, mulled wine macaron, mince pie topped with Viennese biscuit, salted caramel choux bun and stollen.
The tea is available during the afternoons from December 23 to 31, excluding Christmas Day.
Nora’s Tearoom at The Shed, Sproughton
Recently expanded, this is a delightful 1940s-style café in what really is a Tardis of a building. It’s teatime like your granny would have known it - served on vintage china, with real napkins, and a woolly tea cosy round the pots. You’ll be rolling home after this indulgent feast of sandwiches (including brie and grape, roast turkey with cranberry, roast pork and apple relish and mature cheddar with festive chutney), mini tuna vol au vents, sausage roll, spiced fruit and sultana scone, mince pie, mini gingerbread man, handmade truffles, Christmas cake, filled brandy snaps and Victoria sponge truffles.
The experience is £19.95 per person including unlimited tea or coffee and must be booked in advance. It’s available Tuesday to Sunday. The café shuts at 3.30pm.
The Swan, Lavenham
The hotel offers one of the most luxurious settings for afternoon tea, and will be offering its festive version throughout December for £22.50 per person.
Expect four types of neatly cut fresh finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a quartet of cakes – almond sponge with amaretto icing, white chocolate and orange choux, Irish cream macaron and mincemeat star. Pre-booking is essential.