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Afternoon tea in Kent: 16 of the best tearooms

PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:01 21 February 2018

Chiddingstone Castle, Edenbridge (pictures Manu Palomeque)

Chiddingstone Castle, Edenbridge (pictures Manu Palomeque)

Archant

From gin-inspired affairs to chocolate-themed events, there is something to suit even the most discerning customer searching for an afternoon tea to remember

1. Chilston Park Hotel

Sandway, Lenham, Maidstone

Located just outside Maidstone, Chilston Park is a country house hotel with a two AA Rosette restaurant. Sharla Payne, regional sales manager at Chilston Park Hotel, explains: “The ambience of the hotel really sets the afternoon teas here apart from other venues.

“Visitors love the Marble Lounge, with its grand marble floors, cosy fireplace and great views of the lake at the front of the hotel.” Guests can choose to be served in one of its private dining rooms.

Traditional or savoury from £25

2. Whitstable Castle

15 Tower Hill, Whitstable

The beautiful castle, which reopened in 2010 following a £3m restoration project, offers afternoon tea from its Orangery Tea Rooms. Guests can enjoy views across the gardens while enjoying one of the tea experiences.

Expect classic finger sandwiches, buttermilk fruit scones with jam, butter and clotted cream and sweet treats in the form of petit fours and cupcakes, served with tea or coffee.

Traditional £15, luxury £20 and Prosecco £25

3. Hythe Imperial

Princes Parade, Hythe

Tea lovers can enjoy an experience in the special afternoon tea parlour overlooking the gardens. The room is decorated as an elegant salon with Victorian-styled china.

There are 10 varieties of tea to choose from alongside finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and fresh-baked scones with cream.

Classic £18. Glass of Chandon +£9

4. Broadview Gardens

Hadlow College, Tonbridge Road, Hadlow

Part of the celebrated horticultural college at Hadlow, near Tonbridge, the gardens, which include a garden centre and florist, also boast a deservedly popular and recently refurbished tea room.

Visitors are invited to take a tour of the grounds followed by a relaxing tea experience, which offers finger sandwiches, cakes and scones.

Broadview afternoon tea (for two) £16 or high tea with prosecco (for two) £25

5. The Falstaff

8-10 St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury

A traditional 15th-century coaching inn, the Falstaff is steeped in history and has been used for hospitality for more than six centuries.

Afternoon tea is served in the refurbished lounge and on weekends is accompanied by live background music from a pianist.

Tea and cake £5.50, cream tea £8.50, afternoon tea £15 and Champagne tea £22.50

6. Chiddingstone Castle

Hill Hoath Road, Edenbridge

This historic house, boasting breathtaking views of the North Downs, is filled with treasures collected by the late antiquarian Denys Bower. According to director Ali Ditzel, the setting is beautiful, with the feel of an old stately home. “The line we always use is it is an Englishman’s home,” she explains. “An Englishman’s home is his castle and this is a castle, but this was also a family home for 400 years.”

Afternoon teas run from April until October, Sunday to Wednesday, and include the classic or full offering. “The very special thing about the tea room is that it’s all waitress service, with vintage china; everything about it is quintessentially English,” says Ditzel.

Check the website during open season for prices

7. Fleur de Thé

134 High Street, Rochester

This unique tea room offers teas, coffees and cakes surrounded by shabby chic gifts and home wares, with many for sale.

Not only does it offer traditional and luxury afternoon tea, but it also provides a special chocolate experience, too. Guests can tuck into chocolate chip scones with Belgian chocolate chip ganache, cupcakes and hot chocolate.

Traditional £11.95, luxury £16.95, chocolate £18.95 and children’s £8.95

8. Sands Hotel

Marine Drive, Margate

Located on the seafront in Margate, Sands Hotel has become a popular venue for tourists and locals, with spectacular views out to sea.

The hotel offers a selection of tea experiences with scones, sandwiches and cakes, including provision for children.

Cream tea £6.50, afternoon tea £14.95, Champagne afternoon tea £23.95 and children’s tea £7.95

9. Woods Restaurant & Bars

62 & 64 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells

Located in Royal Tunbridge Wells’ Pantiles, the pretty Georgian colonnade home of shops, cafés and restaurants, Woods serves tasty teas of differing varieties.

Indulge in a sparkling tea for two including two scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, a selection of sandwiches, cakes and meringues. A pot of tea or cup of coffee to follow and of course, sparkling wine.

Afternoon tea £7.50, tea for two £23 and sparkling tea for two £34

10. Albion House

Albion Place, Ramsgate

Located on the cliff top in Ramsgate, Albion House underwent a major refurbishment in 2014, bringing it back to its former glory. Built in 1791, the building has a colourful history, and was visited by Princess Victoria shortly before she was crowned Queen.

Its afternoon tea is an indulgent affair with scones, cream and jam, chocolate madeleines, fruit tart, carrot cake and mini chocolate mousse, served in The Chamber or The Parlour.

Afternoon tea £22 or Champagne tea £30

11. Secret Garden

Business Village, Mersham-Le-Hatch, Hythe Road, Ashford

This enchanting secret garden in the Ashford countryside features a large Victorian walled garden and is an elegant spot for tea.

And the team at the venue have made sure they do not leave anyone out, even providing a ‘gentlemen’s relish’ savoury offering, with a bottle of beer on the side.

Prices can be checked online and change on the weekend

12. Rowhill Grange

Top Dartford Road, Dartford

It describes itself as the ideal place to enjoy afternoon tea in Kent, with a choice of areas to enjoy the treat - one of the hotel’s intimate lounges, the brasserie or restaurant and on the terrace in warmer weather.

There is also a private service available which includes a welcome drinks reception with Kir Royale, Bellini, Pimms or Bucks fizz.

Afternoon tea mid-week £22.95 or weekend £24.95. Private tea £27.95

13. Hotel du Vin

Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells

This boutique hotel gives visitors the chance to escape the daily grind and enjoy a sumptuous experience in stylish surroundings.

And to make things a little more interesting, there is a gin-inspired afternoon tea with a selection of hand-picked gins, each paired with its own tonic by Fever Tree. In addition to sandwiches and savouries, sweet-toothed guests can enjoy treats including rhubarb and custard doughnuts and homemade apple candy floss.

Classic cream tea £8.50 and full afternoon from £22.50

14. Hempstead House Hotel

London Road, Bapchild, Sittingbourne

Set within four acres of grounds and surrounded by landscaped gardens, this country house hotel has an AA rosette for its fine dining and is renowned for its friendly staff.

Large parties of 10 guests or more are given their own private dining room.

Classic £18.50 or £21.50 on weekends and Champagne £25.50 or £29 on weekends. Make sure to pre-book

15. The Yarrow Hotel

Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs

Very recently reopened as a luxury boutique training hotel, this establishment is operated by a team of apprentices and students from East Kent College in addition to its professional team.

The Jacobean-style building was previously a children’s convalescent home and boasts wide, bright corridors and rooms. Afternoon tea is served in either the solarium or snug drawing room.

Classic £18.95, children’s tea £9.50, sparkling tea with Prosecco £24.95 and bubbly afternoon tea for two served with a bottle of Chapel Down Vintage Reserve Brut £34.95 per person

16. Eastwell Manor a Champneys Spa Hotel

Eastwell Court, Ashford

For true tea lovers, this countryside manor provides a beautiful setting to sample an array of different flavours, with an extensive range of classic and speciality teas by the Kent Tea and Trading Company.

From its own Eastwell tea to Sencha Genmaicha Japanese green tea with rice and popcorn, visitors will find an assortment of unusual tastes to go along with mini sandwiches and savouries before scones, jam and cream and then sweet treats.

Eastwell Manor Tea £23.50, Pimms tea £25 or Champagne £29.50

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