Afternoon tea in Kent: 15 of the best tearooms
PUBLISHED: 12:26 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 08 June 2020
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
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 £25.50. 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Reservations essential
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.
£20 per person, £25 with Prosecco. 24 hours notice required. Please book over the phone at 01227 281726. Vegetarian and gluten free options available
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 a changing menu of finger sandwiches, delicate cakes and pastries and fresh-baked scones with cream.
Classic £19.95. Glass of Chandon £9
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
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 afternoon tea £22.50
Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, 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
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, sparkling £21.95, chocolate £19.95 and children’s £8.95
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 £7.50, afternoon tea £16.95, Champagne afternoon tea £25.95 and children’s tea £7.95
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
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 with a chocolate afternoon tea, with vegan and gluten free options, 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
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 £23.95 or weekend £25.95. Private tea £28.95
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 are cocktails to complement your afternoon tea including a gin, plum sake, crème du mure and elderflower cordial concoction topped up with lemon juice. In addition to sandwiches and savouries, sweet-toothed guests can enjoy treats including tutti frutti macaron, black forest gateau and rhubarb and custard tarts.
Classic cream tea £12.50 and full afternoon from £22.50 or with Champagne £30
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
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.
Served daily 2.30pm to 5pm. 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
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 £25.50, Pimms tea £27.50 or sparkling £31.50. £3 supplement applies at weekends