If you're celebrating Mother's Day, what better way to honour your mum, or any other motherly figure in your life, than by treating her to a luxurious afternoon tea experience? Because what could be more special than sharing tea and delicate treats with your mum? In this blog, we'll unveil the 21 best afternoon tea experiences in the UK, spanning the Scottish Highlands to London, perfect for celebrating Mother's Day in style. But first, let's delve into the background of this legendary British tradition.

What is Afternoon Tea?

claridges afternoon tea
Afternoon tea is a light meal served between lunch and dinner, consisting of tea (of course) accompanied by finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of pastries and cakes. It's often enjoyed in elegant settings with loved ones, offering a chance to relax, indulge, and connect with friends or family - making it a perfect Mother's Day activity!

How did the tradition of Afternoon Tea begin?

The tradition of afternoon tea in the UK began back in the early 19th century when Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, felt a hunger pang in the late afternoon. To curb it, she started having tea, sandwiches, and cakes served in her chambers. Soon, this became a fashionable social event among the elite. Over time, it evolved into a beloved British tradition, enjoyed for its elegance and opportunity for socializing.

What should you wear at Afternoon Tea?

While there's no strict dress code for afternoon tea, embracing a sense of elegance and refinement is key. Think sophisticated yet comfortable attire that reflects the occasion.

For ladies, a classic choice might include a tea dress or a skirt and blouse ensemble, paired with tasteful accessories like pearls or a chic hat. While men can opt for smart-casual attire such as trousers, a collared shirt, and perhaps a blazer for added polish.

Remember, the aim is to strike a balance between style and comfort, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience without feeling restricted. So, whether you're savouring tea in a grand hotel or a cosy tearoom, dressing the part will only enhance the charm of the occasion.

How much is Afternoon Tea?

As with everything in life, the cost of afternoon tea can vary widely depending on the venue, location, and the level of luxury or exclusivity offered. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £100 or more per person for a traditional afternoon tea experience in the UK.

At more prestigious establishments or luxury hotels, you may find prices at the higher end of the spectrum, reflecting the quality of the setting, service, and culinary offerings. On the other hand, there are also plenty of charming tearooms and cafes that offer more affordable options without compromising on taste or ambience.

It's worth noting that some places may offer special promotions or deals, particularly during off-peak times or as part of seasonal offers. Additionally, keep an eye out for inclusive afternoon tea packages that may bundle afternoon tea with other amenities such as a guided tour or spa treatment.

Now that we've covered the background behind afternoon tea, let's uncover the 21 best afternoon tea experiences in the UK.

The 21 Best Afternoon Tea Experiences in the UK

Luxury Afternoon Tea in London

1. Afternoon Tea at Claridge's - London

enjoy afternoon tea claridges when spending time in london
Average Price: Enjoy traditional afternoon tea at Claridge's from £90 per person or upgrade your afternoon tea to a Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea for £115 per person.
Indulge in the timeless elegance of Claridge's in London, where afternoon tea is served in the iconic Foyer & Reading Room. Enjoy a selection of exquisite teas, accompanied by delectable sandwiches, scones, and pastries, all in a setting adorned with art deco glamour.

2. The Ritz - London

have afternoon tea at the ritz london
Average Price: From £75 per adult and £53 per child.
Tuck into your afternoon tea in the epitome of luxury at The Ritz London, where afternoon tea is served in the breathtaking Palm Court. Delight in a menu featuring handcrafted sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and an array of delicate pastries, all accompanied by the melodic sounds of the resident pianist. You can choose from over 20 different types of loose-leaf teas and even sip champagne to take your luxury afternoon tea experience to a whole new level.

3. The Savoy - London

Average Price: £75-£95 per person.
Step into the timeless elegance of The Savoy, where afternoon tea is served in the elegant Thames Foyer. Try a selection of teas curated by the in-house tea sommelier, complemented by an assortment of savoury treats and sweet indulgences, all amidst the opulent surroundings of this iconic hotel.

4. Harrods - London

Average Price: £50-£70 per person.
Treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea experience at Harrods, nestled within the iconic department store in Knightsbridge, London. Once you've finished browsing all the shelves of luxury British products, you can tuck into a decadent array of sandwiches, scones, and pastries, all crafted with the finest ingredients, and served amidst the stylish ambience of the Harrods Tea Rooms.

5. The Shard - London

afternoon tea at the shard
Average Price: £60-£80 per person.
From 12pm-2pm each day, you can enjoy afternoon tea with a view at The Shard, London's tallest building, offering stunning panoramic vistas of London's skyline. Sip refreshing artisanal teas, accompanied by a sumptuous assortment of sweet and savory delights, all while taking in the breathtaking scenery from this iconic landmark.

Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh

6. The Balmoral - Edinburgh

Average Price: From £60 per person.
Immerse yourself in luxury at the award-winning Balmoral's Palm Court, where an afternoon tea experience awaits amidst the iconic surroundings of this renowned Edinburgh hotel. Tuck into the likes of chicken pesto salad, applewood smoked cheddar spiced pear relish and Balmoral’s smoked salmon, chive cream cheese sandwiches. Before finishing of your tea with pistachio layers, scones (of course) and vanilla chouquettes.

7. The Dome - Edinburgh

Average Price: From £32 per person.
Step into grandeur at The Dome and experience the timeless charm of a traditional afternoon tea served in a stunning Georgian building. Delight in the elegant ambience as you savour every bite of delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and exquisite pastries. Upgrade your afternoon tea to enjoy a cocktail or glass of champagne with each round.

8. The Signet Library - Edinburgh

Average Price: From £65 per person.
Transport yourself to an era of refined elegance at The Signet Library, where the historic setting of this former library sets the stage for an unforgettable afternoon tea in Edinburgh. Treat yourself to an array of hot smoked salmon & kimchi cones, red pepper hummus & artichoke on homemade focaccia and chocolate, lime & avocado choux pie amidst the literary atmosphere of this iconic Edinburgh landmark.

Afternoon Tea in Glasgow

9. The Corinthian Club

Average Price: £25 per person and add a glass of champagne for £8.
The next afternoon tea on our list of the best afternoon tea experiences for Mother's Day takes us to Glasgow. Revel in opulence at The Corinthian Club and indulge in a decadent afternoon tea experience amidst stylish surroundings. Delight your senses with an exquisite selection of sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats in this lavish Glasgow venue.

10. The Willow Tea Rooms

enjoy afternoon tea at the willow tea rooms in glasgow
Average Price: From £16.95 per person.
Experience the allure of Mackintosh design at The Willow Tea Rooms, where a classic afternoon tea awaits in an ambience of artistic inspiration. There is even a 'free-from afternoon tea' available so vegans and vegetarians can also join in. Delight in the elegance of this iconic Glasgow venue as you indulge in a feast for the senses.

11. Blythswood Square

afternoon tea in glasgow at blythswood square
Average Price: From £35 per person.
Another option for afternoon tea in Glasgow is at the luxury at Blythswood Square and treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea spread in plush surroundings. Enjoy a delectable selection of savoury and sweet delights served with impeccable hospitality at this esteemed Glasgow hotel.

Afternoon Tea in Liverpool

12. The London Carriage Works

afternoon tea in liverpool
Average Price: From £30 per person
When spending your time in Liverpool, you can discover a contemporary twist on afternoon tea at The London Carriage Works, nestled in the heart of Liverpool. Indulge in innovative flavour combinations and stylish presentation in this vibrant culinary destination.

13. The Titanic Hotel

afternoon tea at the titanic hotel
Average Price: From £28.50 per person.
Immerse yourself in history at The Titanic Hotel and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the atmospheric surroundings of this former warehouse. Savour classic treats served with a touch of nostalgia in this iconic Liverpool venue.

14. Panoramic 34

Average Price: Choose from standard afternoon tea for £32 per person or luxury afternoon tea for £42 person.
Our third choice for afternoon tea in Liverpool comes with an unbeatable backdrop. Elevate your afternoon tea experience at Panoramic 34 and savour spectacular views of Liverpool from the 34th floor. Indulge in a selection of truffle and spinach quiches, coronation chicken wraps and blackberry mousse tartlet amidst Liverpool's skyline at this renowned dining destination.

Afternoon Tea in Birmingham

15. The Edgbaston

enjoy afternoon tea in birmingham at the edgbaston
Average Price: From £24.95 per person.
First on our picks for the best afternoon tea in Birmingham is The Edgbaston where you can immerse yourself in the elegant surroundings of this boutique hotel for a refined afternoon tea experience. Served from 1pm to 5pm every weekend, visit The Edgbaston to indulge in a selection of exquisite treats served with impeccable attention to detail.

16. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse

afternoon tea in birmingham
Average Price: From £25 per person.
Indulge in luxury at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea featuring a selection of savoury and sweet delights like. Experience culinary excellence in the stylish ambience of this renowned Birmingham eatery.

Afternoon Tea in Manchester

17. The Midland Hotel

afternoon tea at The Midland Hotel
Average Price: 
From £30 per person.
Experience timeless elegance at The Midland Hotel and indulge various types of afternoon tea including vegetarian, vegan, royal or traditional served in the iconic Octagon Lounge. Included is a delightful array of sandwiches, scones, and pastries amidst the sophisticated ambience of this historic Manchester landmark.

18. Cloud 23

Average Price: From £30 per person.
Sip tea with a view at Cloud 23, where afternoon tea takes on new heights on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower. Enjoy panoramic vistas of Manchester's skyline as you indulge in a selection of delectable treats in this sky-high venue. Expect sleek interiors and a contemporary twist on a traditional afternoon tea experience.

19. Richmond Tea Rooms

Average Price: From £15.50 per person.
For an afternoon tea with a difference head to the Richmond Tea Rooms where you can step into a whimsical wonderland at and immerse yourself in a themed afternoon tea experience like no other. Choose from Wonderland Champagne Afternoon Tea, Queen's Afternoon Tea, Tweedles Afternoon Tea and Hatters Afternoon Tea where you'll be served a mixture of scotch eggs, finger sandwiches and scones.

Afternoon Tea in the Scottish Highlands

20. Golf View Hotel & Spa - Highlands

Average Price: £20 to £30 per person.
Experience a delightful afternoon tea overlooking the Moray Firth coast at the Golf View Hotel & Spa, located in Nairn, about 16 miles east of Inverness in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The afternoon tea menu at Golf View Hotel & Spa features a selection of delicious treats, including finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as a variety of pastries and cakes. Each item is carefully prepared using high-quality ingredients, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that you can enjoy while enjoying stunning sea views.

21. Bunchrew House - Highlands

enjoy afternoon tea at bunchrew house near inverness
Average Price: £25 to £35 per person.
Set amidst the beautiful Highlands countryside, Bunchrew House offers guests scenic views of its landscaped gardens and the nearby Beauly Firth. Whether you enjoy your afternoon tea indoors in one of the elegant drawing rooms or outdoors in the garden terrace, guests can enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Where will you go for Afternoon Tea?

Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity to show your mum just how much she means to you, and what better way to do that than by treating her to a special afternoon tea? After all the love, care, and support she's given, she deserves a moment of relaxation and indulgence. So why not elevate your plans for Mother's Day with a delightful afternoon spent sipping tea and savouring tasty treats while you deepen your bond? Just make sure you book in advance though, as Mother's Day is one of the most popular times for afternoon tea.

Buy the Best Mother's Day Gift with Experience Vouchers

mothers day gifts
If you're on the hunt for the ultimate Mother's Day gift that will truly make her dreams come true, consider our experience gift certificates. With our gift vouchers, you can turn her long-held dream of indulging in the quintessential afternoon tea experience into a reality. Imagine treating your mum to an unforgettable afternoon at one of the UK's finest venues, where she can immerse herself in the elegance and tradition of this beloved cultural ritual.

You could gift her the flight over to any of these UK destinations with Flightgift, arrange for her accommodation at a luxury hotel with Hotelgift, or provide her with exciting experiences to enjoy with Activitygift.

So, why not give your mum the gift of cherished memories and delightful delicacies with one of our experience gift vouchers this Mother's Day? It's the perfect way to make her dream of experiencing a luxury afternoon tea come true and create moments that she will treasure forever.