Where to have afternoon tea in Essex
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Is there anything more quintessentially British than afternoon tea? In Essex, we have perfected the art of this classic meal, so for we've rounded up seven of our favourite afternoon teas just in time for National Afternoon Tea Week - how many have you visited?
Le Bouchon Brasserie & Hotel, Maldon
Le Bouchon is a Grade II listed, 300-year-old Georgian building, which has undergone an extensive two-year refurbishment to restore the property to its former glory. What has been achieved is a wonderful ambience, combining original features with classically styled décor to complement the building.
Adjacent to Le Bouchon is the beautiful 14-mile Chelmer and Blackwater navigation canal, which opened in 1797 and flows from Springfield Basin in Chelmsford to the sea lock at Heybridge Basin. This makes it the perfect setting for guests to walk off their afternoon tea along the riverbank.
The Square, Holloway Road, Heybridge, Maldon, CM9 4LT; lebouchon.co.uk
Le Benaix Bar & Brasserie, Chelmsford
Le Benaix is the sister restaurant to Le Bouchon Brasserie & Hotel. Offering a blend of French and European cuisine, the former Wheatsheaf site on the old A130 has been transformed, while maintaining many period features such as original fireplaces. As well as a delicious afternoon tea, the main restaurant serves from its extensive brasserie menu. Diners will love looking out over the private gardens while they enjoy their sweet treats, and for an extra treat, you can wash it all down with a cocktail in the Orangery bar.
Main Road, Rettendon, Chelmsford, CM3 8DY; brasseriebenaix.com
The County Hotel, Chelmsford
Elegant and classic, the County Hotel in Chelmsford is the perfect place to experience a delicious afternoon tea, either in the lounge bar or restaurant. Indulge in an array of beautiful finger sandwiches, homemade delicate cakes and sweet treats, savouries and freshly baked scones. Just a three-minute walk from Chelmsford train station, this has to be one of the most accessible afternoon tea spots.
29 Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2PZ; countyhotelchelmsford.co.uk
The George Hotel, Colchester
Fancy a fun take on afternoon tea? A quirky Victorian-themed experience is launching soon at The George. Served in a beautiful room full of light, mirrors and panelling, everything is made in-house by its specialist chef. Enjoy the delights of sumptuous scones, rich strawberry preserves, quirky fancies and finger sandwiches, accompanied by fine teas in bespoke tea pots. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available, so everyone can get in on the action.
116 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1TD; suryahotels.co.uk
Wivenhoe House, Colchester
The brasserie afternoon tea here is served in a relaxed, informal setting, overlooking one of the venue’s famous cork oak trees. Diners can expect a modern take on the traditional, refined afternoon tea experience. You’ll be greeted at the restaurant and taken to your table, where delicious sandwiches, freshly baked scones and beautiful cakes and pastries will be served, alongside enough tea and coffee to keep you fuelled.
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3FA; wivenhoehouse.co.uk
The Old Moot House Restaurant, Castle Hedingham
This charming 15th century building, with parts that date back to the 13th century, has been fully renovated to a high standard while retaining its original features. This blend of old and new provides a stylish backdrop for afternoon tea. Found in the medieval village of Castle Hedingham, close the impressive castle and historic buildings, a high-class and classic afternoon eta awaits you. Make sure you add some champagne or prosecco to the occasion to complement the experience.
1 St James street, Castle Hedingham, CO9 3EJ; moothouserestaurant.co.uk
This exquisite Michelin-recommended luxury hotel plays host to a superb restaurant, cocktail bar, lounge bars, an idyllic terrace and a wonderful afternoon tea parlour. Beautifully appointed, with comfort at the heart of the design, Greyfriars offers a five-star experience. Afternoon tea here is a ceremony of indulgence, with wafer-thin sandwiches, the lightest scones, rich strawberry preserve and a selection of exotic fancies – all created by the hotel’s team of specialist chefs.
High Street, Colchester, CO1 1UG; greyfriarscolchester.co.uk