The best local afternoon teas
On the hunt for a gift voucher? Or after inspiration for a later date? We’re here to help – feast your eyes on these Bucks & Oxon afternoon tea spots.
It’s indulgent, soothing, better value than lunch or dinner and involves a LOT of cake. What’s not to like about afternoon tea? Mother’s Day outings may be officially cancelled this year, but if you’re on the hunt for a gift voucher or just after inspiration for a later date, then we’re here to help – feast your eyes on these.
The Chesterton Hotel, Bicester
It’s afternoon tea, but with a twist, at this chichi new boutique hotel in Bicester, with a huge list of speciality tea (bye boring Breakfast!) including Moringa Passion Fruit, Coffee Truffle, Bombay Chai and Darjeeling Queen – apparently it’s the Champagne of the tea world. Tea is served 12pm-6pm with prices starting from £10.50 for cream tea, up to the pretty reasonable £19.95 (add £5 for fizz).
Café Wolseley, Bicester Village
If you usually just whizz into Pret for a coffee while at Bicester Village, there’s now a whole new level of refreshment indulgence to enjoy. This is the little sister outpost of the gorgeously elegant Wolseley on Piccadilly (where I spent about 90 percent of my working day in ‘meetings’ in a previous life). Champagne afternoon tea comes in at £38.75 and it’s available anytime from 11.30am – 6.30pm so you can definitely fit in some ruinous designer shopping around it.
Don’t chuck out the chintz, go revel in it – this elegant tea room has floor to ceiling windows (complete with rather swanky curtains, obvs) with views across the hotel’s 10 acres of grounds. Open daily from 12-6pm, the classic afternoon tea costs £22.50 per person or £30 with a glass of champagne. Pick up an afternoon tea gift voucher here.
The Ivy Marlow Garden, Marlow
I’ve had afternoon tea here with girlfriends a couple of times and it’s the perfect atmosphere for the occasion – grown-up, glam and indulgent, with a menu to match. The classic afternoon tea is excellent value at £19.75 a head, or you can opt for the Champagne version for £28.50 (OR, better yet, just order a cocktail on the side – the G&T menu here is not to be missed). Buy afternoon tea vouchers here.
Miller of Mansfield, Goring
Gastropubs don’t tend to be big on afternoon tea but this Goring hotspot is an exception. Priced £24.95, there’s an emphasis on top quality ingredients – think homemade bread and locally sourced cheeses. And the cakes alone sound worth the price of entry – I’ll take a massive slab of banana cake with lime cream and walnut, please.
Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Bucks
What’s lovely about Stoke Park’s luxe, classic afternoon tea in The Orangery is how well they cater for children – it’s in Condé Nast Traveller’s top 10 child-friendly retreats, no less. Their Little Stars under-12s tea, with its cute teddy bear biscuits, is a very reasonable £13.50, although I’ll be making a beeline for the classic Champagne option at £52. Buy afternoon tea gift vouchers here.
Old Parsonage, Oxford
If you want to be a real fancy-pants, this refined 17th century 5-star hotel on Banbury Road is the one for you. It’s served daily from 2.30pm to 5pm (3.30p to 6pm on a Sunday), priced from £29.50 and has a savoury tea among the options. I always like an afternoon tea menu that offers this – I’m a total sugar fiend but some teas are so sickly sweet that even I feel like my teeth are going to immediately fall out. This one includes homemade blue cheese scones. Buy afternoon tea gift vouchers here.
Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden, Mill Lane, Kirtlington, Oxon
One of my favourite hidden spots, Jane and her amazing afternoon teas are tucked away down a canal towpath, so only accessible on foot or via narrowboat. They’ll (hopefully) be open from the beginning of May until the end of September this year, and booking is essential. Try the brilliantly named Full Jeeves tea at £27.50 a head.