Everything stops for afternoon tea!
15th November 2021
Alison Huntley rounds up some of the best places to enjoy this delicious pastime in North Norfolk
Updated May 2023
Morston Hall, Morston
If you want to push the boat out, where better than award-winning Morston Hall, a stone’s throw from Morston Quay (where you can literally push a boat out). Afternoon tea here is traditional, sumptuous and served in the stylish comfort of the sun lounge. Maybe start with a delicious Norfolk quail’s scotch egg before tucking into freshly made sandwiches, scones with homemade preserve and a selection of delicious cakes.
01263 741041, www.morstonhall.com
Congham Hall, Congham
Boutique hotel style in an elegant Georgian manor? It’s the perfect backdrop for their full afternoon tea. They’re on the ball here and change the menu four times a year, but whatever the season, expect goodies of the calibre of smoked salmon mousse, Lincolnshire Poacher and parmesan palmiers or lavender and lemon scones. Choose one of the lounges, the newly-refurbished Samphire Kitchen, or if it’s warm enough, the terrace outside. Enjoy a stroll round the lovely gardens too.
01485 600250, www.conghamhallhotel.co.uk
Upping the game
Relaxation is the name of the game at this smart yet cosy coastal hotel, but when you feel like an upmarket treat, afternoon tea here proudly declares itself to be posh. You’ll get three-tier plates of goodies stacked with such homemade favourites as sausage rolls and cheese twists as well as a trio of mini desserts alongside the customary favourites. Dietary requirements can be catered for if you speak to the hotel beforehand.
01485 210742, www.briarfieldshotelnorfolk.co.uk
By royal appointment
Sandringham Restaurant, Sandringham
You’d expect an afternoon tea at Sandringham to be a bit special and it doesn’t disappoint. Not only are the scones freshly baked, they’re made using flour milled on the estate. Even the china has a story – the Chelsea botanical porcelain is handmade, and its design was inspired by a collection owned by the Queen Mother.
The menu has traditional favourites such as individual Bakewell tarts, Viennese raspberry creams and mini brownie cakes alongside dainty sandwiches made with local organic bread. Maybe try a Sandringham gin cocktail as an accompaniment.
Hoste of delights
The Hoste Arms
Luxury is a bit of a thing here, and standards are just as high for afternoon tea as they are for dinner. The 17th century coaching inn’s afternoon tea includes modern twists, whether it’s lobster and crayfish brioche rolls or assorted macarons. They do traditional beautifully too, with scones and cherry bakewells nestled alongside coronation chicken sandwiches and carrot cake.
Whether you’re staying in one of the gorgeous rooms or dropping in with friends, these are the perfect surroundings for an indulgent treat.
01328 738777, www.thehostearms.com
Advance booking is required.