Time for Tea

Afternoon tea is surely one of the most perfect experiences, particularly during the summer, and we recommend a regional tour of some of the best venues in the North East to keep you happily spoilt throughout the summer months.

For those in the know, Debrett’s sets out some rather lovely rules for the taking of afternoon tea, including the fact that when one is serving tea for a group, it should be served as a pot of loose leaf, alongside a second pot with hot water to dilute if necessary.

If a waiter places a teapot on the table without pouring the tea, the person nearest the pot should pour for everyone.

The tea should be poured first and any milk, lemon or sugar added afterwards. Once you have stirred your tea, remove the spoon from the cup and place it on the saucer.

When drinking tea, hold the handle of the teacup between your thumb and forefinger. Do not hold your little finger in the air!

Don’t dunk biscuits or pastries in your tea unless you are in a very informal setting, and don’t make slurping noises – even if it is hot!

If you are served a scone with jam and cream, bear in mind that the most practical way of consuming it is to split the scone in half, spread the jam first, then add the cream on top. This is favoured in Cornwall, but in Devon the practice is to spread the clotted cream first. Who knew?



At Brocksbushes Farm near Corbridge, the popular Tea Room makes a lovely setting for afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones and cakes served the traditional way for a fresh, home-cooked treat enjoyed any and every day of the week.

The Tea Room menu suits every need from morning coffee to home cooked lunches and daily specials served with wine or beer, and the afternoon tea is a perfect excuse to stop off for an indulgent treat. There is seating inside for up to 100 and extensive seating outside the conservatory overlooking the fruit plantations and herbaceous borders. Disabled facilities include wheelchair access with parking adjacent to the Farm shop.

Brocksbushes Farm, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE43 7UB, tel 01434 633 100, www.brocksbushes.co.uk


Close House

At Close House, afternoon tea and Champagne afternoon tea is always a special occasion, starring seasonal delicacies such as gateau opera, salted caramel macaroons, gin and blackberry Bakewell slice, shot glasses with peach schnapps panna cotta and rhubarb compote.

Afternoon tea changes with the seasons, and there are occasional special event versions, such as the chocolate special with tiny chocolate and raspberry Sacher Gateaus, double chocolate & Griottine trifles, bitter chocolate & orange tartlets & white chocolate & lime roulades, and the summer special starring Pimm’s to drink, Pimm’s jelly, strawberry tart and macaroons, complete with an elegant 1920s-style silver tea set.

Close House, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Newcastle, NE15 0HT, tel 01661 852 255, www.closehouse.co.uk


Eshott Hall

A boutique hotel designed to give the discerning guest a taste of country house living set within beautiful gardens and woodland in the heart of Northumberland.

Head Chef Chris Wood and his team are delighted to be recently awarded an AA Rosette for the highest standards of creative cuisine. Visiting the restaurant at Eshott Hall near Morpeth, is an experience in fine dining and the team uses only the freshest ingredients to create tempting seasonal menus not to be missed. Private dining and party reservations are
also available.

Eshott Hall, Eshott, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 9EN tel 01670 787 454, www.eshotthall.co.uk


Longhirst Hall

Set in 75 acres of woodland in the heart of Northumberland, Longhirst Hall is one of Northumberland’s great old country houses and a majestic setting for a truly indulgent afternoon tea served in the beautiful lounge and Collingwood snug.

The afternoon tea includes a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, the chef’s own selection of cakes and a scone served with cream and jams. It is best enjoyed with a simple cup of English Tea or, for a really special treat, with a glass of Champagne.

The Decoro Spa is home to a range of relaxing treatments and, combined with afternoon tea, makes for a truly indulgent day out.

Longhirst Hall, Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3LL, tel 01670 795 000 www.longhirst.co.uk



Afternoon tea at Malmaison, Newcastle, is all about indulgence in sumptuously sophisticated surroundings which add to the feeling of a special occasion, particularly when paired with a visit to the world of calming therapies and peaceful treatments that is Le Petit Spa at Malmaison.

Mal afternoon tea comprises an elegant selection of delicate sandwiches and gorgeous homemade patisserie, and a glass of fizz makes the whole experience altogether more indulgent.

Malmaison Newcastle is located on the Quayside and its sophisticated contemporary décor more than matches up to its beautiful riverside location, adding more indulgence to this very special afternoon out.

Malmaison, 104 Quayside, Newcastle, NE1 3DX, tel 0844 693 0658, www.malmaison.com


The Barn at Beal

Sumptuous afternoon tea is a real treat at The Barn at Beal, in a spectacular location overlooking Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve, its rare sand dunes and mudflats and important bird species including waders and geese.

The Barn features a coffee shop and restaurant serving the best of local produce from coffee and cake to a three-course meal with wine and it is renowned for its traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones and cake. The Barn at Beal also features a gift shop, outdoor walks and trails, and a function room. The Smith family works with Natural England to ensure the farm works in harmony with its very special landscape.

The Barn at Beal, Beal Farm, Berwick, TD15 2PB, tel 01289 540 044, www.barnatbeal.com


The Caledonian

Traditional afternoon tea is served daily with a selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, preserves and clotted cream and a variety of cake and pastry delights with a choice of tea or coffee – £15.95 per person, add a glass of Champagne £6.90. For alfresco dining, your choice of cuisine can be enjoyed on the heated outdoor terrace, perfect for taking in the vibrant buzz of Jesmond. Built in 1870, the Caledonian Hotel displays classic Georgian architecture. An extensive refurbishment has created a stylish contemporary interior. Wooden flooring, plush leather sofas and low level lighting feature in the public areas.

The Caledonian Hotel, Osborne Rd, Jesmond, NE2 2AT, tel 0191 281 7881, www.peelhotels.co.uk/hotels/caledonian


Wallsend Hall

At Wallsend Hall vintage tea room, afternoon tea is a very North Eastern affair and a tribute to some of the region’s signature dishes. Hence, the Northumbrian High Tea includes a beautiful selection of finger sandwiches, panhaggerty pie, ham and pease pudding croquet with mustard mayo dip, Brown Ale cake, a mini cheese scone and a pot of tea or filter coffee, plus the option to enjoy a glass of Champagne.

Wallsend Hall occupies a beautiful location in its own grounds facing the village green and features a glorious ornamental garden with walks along the river and tree-lined pathways covering some nine acres of mature woodland. The Tea Room serves luxury afternoon teas and quality coffee with a variety of home-baked cakes, scones and pies.

Wallsend Hall, The Green, Wallsend, NE28 7PA, tel 0191 263 7022, www.wallsendhall.co.uk

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