There aren’t many dining experiences more quintessentially British than afternoon tea. And while there may be debate across the aisle as to what actually should be included in such an affair – or whether jam should go first on a scone or cream – one thing is universally acknowledged. The UK does high tea like nowhere else in the world. So when you’re visiting the beautiful county of Wiltshire, you may be wondering where is the best place to sample this most British of pastimes. We’ve listed a few favourites below to get you started on your tea-tasting adventures.
Beechfield House is an award-winning country house hotel that has it all, including a fabulous restaurant and afternoon tea. This is a perfect place to include the family and your pup, as all are welcome in the hotel and the acres of surrounding gardens. The hotel menu features finger sandwiches, plain or fruit scones with jam and cream, a selection of pastries, and tea or coffee. If you want to celebrate an occasion, the Celebratory Menu includes a glass of champagne or two. Plus, you can choose where to enjoy your tea across the four dining rooms or even on the outdoor terrace in the walled garden, weather permitting. Teatime runs daily between 2.30pm to 5.30pm, with the menus available to peruse here.
The Bridge Tea Rooms
The beautiful Bridge Tea Rooms are set in a cottage dating from 1675 with a history as a tailor, home to a blacksmith, and then an antique shop before it became a stunning tearoom in 1989. The tearoom serves from midday daily with a menu that includes sultana and plain scones with Dorset clotted cream and strawberry jam, loose-leaf tea, finger sandwiches, cakes, and even Champagne or Prosecco. They also offer gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options – it’s recommended to book ahead for specific dietary requirements. For a British classic in a historical setting, you must try Bridge Tea Rooms.
Beatons Tearooms & Bookshop is a small tearoom inspired by the style and elegance of Cecil Beaton, the original photographer of the stars.
Beatons offers a full high-tea with a choice of over 25 loose-leaf teas, coffee, delicious cakes, fresh sandwiches, and scones and cream. For more information on what’s on offer to indulge in, look at the menu here.
The Bishopstrow Hotel is another place worth visiting for an excellent and welcoming afternoon tea. This Georgian building features a long, meandering drive from the road to the big front doors that will let you step back in time to 1817 while enjoying contemporary details. In this traditional setting, you will, of course, expect an afternoon tea with flair. You can sit in a cosy lounge or on the terrace if the weather is fine to enjoy fresh finger sandwiches, fluffy scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of mouth-watering pastries. For more information, peruse the menu here.