Fa-la-la! 12 festive afternoon teas
Pinkies poised for a Christmas afternoon tea. Here are 12 of our favourite foodie hangouts to nibble festive fancies in Bucks & Oxon.
Milton Hill House, Abingdon
Fancy a dip in the pool after your tea and scones? (Remember: 30 minutes between eating and swimming – but we won’t tell, promise.) Access to Milton Hill House Leisure Club is included with your afternoon tea reservation, starting from a very reasonable £18.95 (£27.95 for champagne).
The Orangery, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Step up the sophistication with a spread at Blenheim’s stunning Orangery restaurant from £28.75pp. Even the toasties are posh: wild mushroom and truffle, anyone? If you’re feeling particularly ravenous, there’s also the option to add an appetiser (an added £6) or a bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve for £80 (oh, go on, it’s Christmas).
Served everyday from 3 – 4.30pm, Browns is offering a classic afternoon tea of savoury sarnies, cakes and scones with festive jams served alongside a selection of hand-blended teas for £20pp, champagne for £28pp, or boutique G&Ts for £27pp. Book a later slot and head straight out into the dark to see the Christmas lights strung up in central Oxford.
Minster Mill, Cotswolds
This classic Cotswold hotel recently underwent a major refurb with an impressive new hotel restaurant and bar where you can enjoy your tea. You’re slap bang in the middle of 65 acres of idyllic grounds, plus the River Windrush is right next door – ideal for walking off too many mince pies. £25pp.
Peterley Manor Farm, Bucks
Baby, it’s cold outside – so if you fancy staying at home, get your chops around this limited edition afternoon tea takeaway from Peterley Manor Farm, all homemade in the farm kitchen. The hamper for two includes honey roast ham, mulled wine macarons, orange peel and cinnamon scones and more – yum! £40.
Stoke Park, Stoke Poges
Stoke Park really knows how to deck the halls (Muddy held its Xmas party here last year, so we’ve seen it first-hand) and is offering an equally festive afternoon tea running until Christmas Eve with a selection of canapés, roast turkey finger sandwiches and mincemeat and chestnut crumble tart. Prices start at £45pp, or add a glass of champers for £60. There’s also a brilliant Little Stars option for kids including adorable Christmas tree meringues – £13.50. Gluten free, nut free and dairy free available on request.
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury
Created in-house by the Manor’s head pâtissier, this afternoon tea is a smorgasbord of festive flavours including turkey & cranberry finger sandwiches, pork & chicken terrine with homemade chutney and apple cinnamon crumble panna cotta. Not drooling yet? The chocolate, coffee & hazelnut opera gateau should do the trick (£28 adult, £15.50 child). Vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free options available.
Don’t chuck out the chintz, go revel in it! This elegant tea room has floor to ceiling windows (complete with rather swanky pelmet curtains, obvs) with views across the hotel’s 10 acres of grounds. Foodwise, it’s your classic finger sandwiches and cakes with a festive twist. £25pp.
Danesfield House, nr Marlow
Pinkies perfectly poised, it’s 5-star all the way. Afternoon tea at this exquisite Grade II-Listed, late Victorian country house hotel just outside Marlow starts from £30pp with the option to upgrade to fizz for £40, plus a kids menu from £15. Choose between the stunning restaurant or Grand Hall to dine in style.
Festive Afternoon Tea, Cliveden House Hotel, Taplow
Dig out your tiara and head to Cliveden House Hotel for a festive afternoon tea with diamonds. This year Cliveden has teamed up with jewellers Garrard to create the beautiful Christmas tree in the Great Hall – and the Festive Afternoon Tea is a gem (£45pp), featuring finger sandwiches, luxurious red velvet cake and served with tea and a glass mulled wine. Once your’ve scoffed the lot, swing by the Garrard pop-up boutique and try on some of the most famous tiaras (replicas, alas) ever created by this famous jeweller.
Claydon Estate, Bucks
This grand ol’ country manor house serves up lavish 18th-century interiors with its afternoon tea offering including delicate turkey finger sandwiches, creamy brie with caramelised red cabbage, pigs in blankets drenched in Claydon honey mustard dressing and added Christmas cheer with a glass of mulled wine. All of that and more for a very reasonable £19.95pp.
Macdonald Compleat Angler, Marlow
Fancy a side of stunning vistas with your high tea? This award-winning restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar has unrivalled views of Marlow Weir and the Thames. The festive afternoon tea offering at £29.50pp is all homemade, plus there’s the option to upgrade with fizz for an added £10.