In any other circumstance, devouring a selection of sandwiches would not feel as sophisticated. But afternoon tea is no ordinary event in Bristol. You don’t have to be a Jane Austen or Bridgerton fan to enjoy the ultimate British pastime either – although we can always hold out hope for our Mr Darcy to walk through the door.
Everyone, from Brits to tourists, must try it at some point and with it being Afternoon Tea Week (August 7 to 13), why not book today? Whether you’re after a traditional afternoon tea in a fancy hotel or a marvellous and quirky twist on the classic, there’s something in Bristol for everyone. Check out our guide to the very best spots for afternoon tea in Bristol and the South West. These tiers tower over the rest!
1. No.4 Clifton Village
Situated at The Rodney Hotel, an afternoon tea here is quintessentially British. No.4 offers an assortment of sandwiches, traditional cream teas and a variety of cakes to accompany your pot of tea. As well as serving your classic afternoon tea of miniature sandwiches and freshly baked scones and cakes, guests can also opt for an afternoon tea served with prosecco or a Hendrick’s gin and tonic to make things a little boozy, and for just £24 per person.
Plus, vegans needn’t miss out as No.4’s plant-based afternoon tea features sweet treats such as almond Victoria sponge cake, chocolate dipped strawberries and lemon sponge cake. To add to all the traditional offerings, all afternoon teas come served on kitsch vintage crockery, which is also available to hire.
No.4 Clifton Village, The Rodney Hotel, 4 Rodney Place, BS8 4HY
2. Hotel du Vin
Within this charming city centre hotel you’ll find Bistro du Vin where afternoon tea is served. For £27.50 per person, guests can tuck into a moreish finger sandwich selection which features the likes of Severn & Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese on dark rye bread and Croxton Manor cheese and pickle on malted loaf.
However, it’s the vegan options that are out to impress with sumptuous savouries such as Provençal vegetable, basil pesto and feta wrap; beetroot and baba ganoush on white tin loaf; and Isle of Wight heritage tomato and olive tapenade on a white roll. The hotel also has a vast selection of teas to choose from, which range from classic Great British cuppa to more exotic teas like fruit salad and gingerbread chai, as well as three different champagnes and mouthwatering cocktails that take your afternoon tea in Bristol up a notch or two.
Hotel du Vin Bristol City Centre, The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, BS1 2NU
3. Ashwell & Co
Have you ever sipped on tea and gorged on cake in a vintage boutique? Well, there’s a first for everything. At Ashwell & Co you can eat, shop and dress as not only is the store brimming with handpicked vintage fashion, it’s also a bridal shop and tearoom. Ashwell & Co’s menus always change seasonally and their summer menu features the likes of greengage and elderflower Victoria sponge, lavender blondies, lemon curd shortbread bites as part of their sweet treats.
You can also enjoy satisfying sandwiches with fillings like coronation chickpea and Granny Smith apple; pea and mint purée; plus ricotta, dill and cucumber. Everything from the bread to the cakes, to the scones and even the clotted cream is homemade and the tearoom also has an extensive loose leaf tea menu courtesy of Bristol Tea Company. Ashwell & Co aims to provide a proper, traditional afternoon tea in Bristol like you’re granny might’ve made.
Heartfelt Vintage, 32 Alma Vale Road, BS8 2HY
4. The Last Word
Another Clifton favourite for afternoon tea is The Last Word. During lockdown, this cocktail bar was bringing their amazing afternoon teas to our doors but now we can enjoy the real deal at their swanky spot on Regent Street. Served every Saturday, 12pm to 5pm, The Last Word’s afternoon tea is reasonably priced at £25, or get it delivered for £22.50.
The bar offers your classic scones with jam and cream plus a pot of tea, and brings plenty of decadence with cakes such as lemon and blueberry cupcakes, chocolate brownies and strawberry Victoria sponge with fresh cream. As well as enjoying a cup of tea and a glass of prosecco, be sure to try one of the cocktails with standout drinks being pineapple margarita, vanilla and apple martini and a gin cocktail named after the bar.
The Last Word, 3A Regent Street, Clifton, BS8 4HW
5. Berwick Lodge
This north Bristol hotel brings plenty of atmosphere at teatime whatever the weather as you can sit in their beautiful, wood-panelled lounge with a roaring fire or sit back on one of their vintage white garden chairs to witness amazing views of the grounds. Choose from three elegant afternoon teas (and there’s also a children’s one that includes milkshakes and a unicorn cake)- Traditional, Berwick and Champagne.
If you’re feeling ultra fancy, we recommend ordering the Berwick afternoon tea which includes a cheese scone, smoked duck breast and smoked salmon blini as well as classic yet exceptional sarnies. Their wintery sweet specials include banoffee choux, chocolate and orange liqueur macaron, lemon posset, raspberry and meringue, and coffee and walnut cake. Plus, warm scones with clotted cream and Earl Grey jam. Drooling yet? Head here to learn more.
Berwick Lodge, Berwick Drive, BS10 7TD
6. The Ivy
A special occasion calls for a lavish meal at The Ivy in Clifton and nothing says lavish quite like an afternoon tea. Overlooking The Mall Gardens, The Ivy adds to the chic of Clifton Village, especially with its food and drink offerings and impressive décor featuring brass chandeliers, Art Deco details and banquettes to sit back on whilst you sip on tea or champagne.
The Bristol Brasserie’s afternoon tea includes savouries like smoked salmon and cream cheese finger sandwich, grilled chicken and truffle mayonnaise brioche roll and pickled cucumber, courgette and basil double decker. As well as the traditional scones, cream and jam, The Ivy offers dainty sweet treats like red velvet raspberry cake, almond macaron, chocolate shortbread slice and berry smoothie bottle.
The Ivy Clifton Brasserie, 42-44 Caledonia Place, Clifton, BS8 4DN
KIBOU in Clifton puts a Japanese twist on the traditional afternoon tea. It’s the same daintiness we have come to expect from the English pastime but, rather than cucumber sandwiches and jam-filled scones, expect salmon, sashimi and traditional Japanese sweets. Highlights include tempura prawn California rolls, sea bream nigiri and the yuzu cheesecake.
There is also a vegetarian afternoon tea menu available too. Guests can sip on a choice of Japanese teas and infusions, such as jasmine or genmaicha, while a matcha tea option is also offered. Those looking to get a little boozy can also enjoy champagne, KIBOU’s signature cocktail and sake – to keep the afternoon truly Japanese.
KIBOU, 16 King’s Road, Clifton, BS8 4AB
8. The Bristol Hotel
For a little luxury down by the water’s edge, The Bristol Hotel adds glitz and glamour to Harbourside. Relax and take in the sights of the harbour as you enjoy seasonal in the modern setting of either the lounge or restaurant, Thursday to Saturday from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Sip on tea, champagne or tea-infused cocktails, as you tuck into traditional scones with Cornish clotted cream and jam, miniature cakes, and a selection of finger sandwiches. For more info head here.
Prince St, Bristol BS1 4QF
9. The Aqua Grand Cafe
There’s something about Clifton and afternoon tea. Up on Whiteladies Road, you’ll discover The Aqua Grand Cafe. Inspired by the all-day dining of France’s finest brasseries, the afternoon tea keeps it very British. A classic afternoon tea (£25) provides assorted finger sandwiches, scones with jam & clotted cream, a selection of pastries and a choice of teas. For £35, add some champagne to your afternoon. While the French Brasserie offers a selection of bottomless afternoon tea options.
153 Whiteladies Rd, Redland, Bristol BS8 2RF
10. Regency Tea Room
Fancy living out your Jane Austen fantasies? Look no further than the Regency Tea Room on the 2nd floor of the Jane Austen Centre. Open from 11am to 5pm every day, so treat yourself to a selection of delicious cakes and savour a pot of tea after wandering around the Georgian architecture all day. Of course, it’s not the only place to grab afternoon tea in Bath! You can’t blink for stumbling across a jam-and-cream scone. Other options also include the equally fabulous Pump Room Restaurant and Sally Lunn’s – known as the home of the Bath Bunn – are also worth visiting outside of Bristol.
Regency Tea Room, 40 Gay St, Bath BA1 2NT
Sally Lunn’s, 4 N Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX
The Pump Room, Stall St, Bath BA1 1LZ
Whether living a life of luxury or catching up with an old friend, there are some divine places to enjoy afternoon tea at your leisure around Bristol. We hope this tea-rrific roundup will help you have a splendid time surrounded by cake, tea, sandwiches and more!