Take time out from the Christmas chores and treat yourself to a festive afternoon tea at one of these luxury South West hotels
Boringdon Hall, Devon
Few South West destinations do Christmas as well as Boringdon Hall in Devon. During December the Elizabethan manor transforms into a ‘house of Christmas’, offering guests the opportunity to escape from it all with food- and entertainment-filled festive breaks.
If you can’t visit for an overnight break, enjoying a festive afternoon tea in the hotel’s Great Hall is the next best thing. Exquisitely crafted creations such as reindeer macarons, fig and treacle baubles, chocolate-orange opera cake and vanilla cheesecake snowmen create Christmassy indulgence par excellence. They’re accompanied by familiar faves such as scones with clotted cream, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and sausage rolls.
Festive afternoon teas are available from November 18 between 1pm-4pm.
Bovey Castle, Devon
Kick off the holiday season in style with an elegant afternoon tea experience at this Edwardian country pile. Nestled in the rolling hills of Dartmoor, it’s the perfect setting in which to indulge after a spot of Christmas shopping in Ashburton or a wintry yomp on the moor.
Twinkling lights, elegant decorations and a roaring fire set the scene for a wonderfully cosy afternoon of feasting in the castle’s Great Western Restaurant. Keep it traditional with a pot of loose-leaf tea or up the luxe by adding a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, before diving into the cloud-skimming tower of festive fancies. The line-up includes mince pies, seasonal sandwiches and scones and cakes, all crafted in-house by talented pastry chefs.
The Greenbank, Cornwall
If you like the idea of sipping a warming glass of mulled wine with a backdrop of calming harbour views then we recommend booking a festive afternoon tea at The Greenbank in Falmouth. The contemporary hotel is perched right on the waterfront and is an ideal spot for hunkering down on a wintry afternoon and watching the ebb and flow of harbour life as you delight in delicious bites.
Enjoy three tiers of festive treats on a line-up that includes savoury delicacies like mustard-glazed pigs in blankets, roast-turkey club sandwiches and smoked salmon pinwheels. Chase this with sweet confections such as white-chocolate raspberry macarons, Bailey’s mousse with pistachio crumb, and a snowball tart of torched coconut meringue.
The Greenbank’s festive afternoon tea is available from December 1 to January 1 (excluding December 23-26).
Lords of the Manor, Gloucestershire
This 17th-century country house hotel is located in Upper Slaughter, a village blessed with picturesque Cotswold-stone buildings and a babbling river. Lords of the Manor is wonderfully grand and surrounded by eight acres of exquisitely manicured lawns and gardens where you can take a stroll before settling in for a sumptuous afternoon tea.
On nippy days, request a table near the log fire, then imbibe a glass of Champagne as you set to work devouring an array of delectable goodies. The festive line-up includes seasonal specials alongside finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve.
Festive afternoon tea is served between 12pm-4pm from Monday to Saturday and 3pm-4pm on Sunday.
Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
A visit to Bath Christmas Market is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit and what better way to make a day of it than by booking a table for a festive afternoon tea at nearby Lucknam Park? The 18th-century Palladian mansion is just six miles from the historic city and set in acres of tranquil parkland, so guarantees respite from the crowds.
Once nestled in the dining room, order a glass of something sparkling and graze on a plethora of festive edibles. Savoury goodies include sandwiches generously filled with Burford Brown egg and Wiltshire truffle, Norfolk Bronze turkey with sage and chestnut stuffing, and Valley Smokehouse salmon with cucumber and cream cheese. Finally, hit the sweet spot with a winning trio of mini desserts: cranberry and white chocolate dome, Irish cream and chestnut choux mont blanc, and Jivara chocolate and orange opera.
Festive afternoon teas are available December 1-23.
Like 5 of the best festive afternoon teas? Check out our Christmas recipe collection here.
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