Afternoon Tea in the New Forest
Great places to enjoy afternoon tea in style in Lymington, the New Forest and surrounding areas...
Afternoon tea is one of the most quintessential of English customs and no wonder – all those delicious sandwiches, fruit-laden slices, yummy scones and melt-in-the-mouth cakes.
In fact, afternoon tea a relatively new tradition. The tradition of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and was popularised in England during the 1660s by King Charles II and his wife the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza, but it was not until the mid 19th Century that the concept of ‘afternoon tea’ first appeared.
Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, would have a “sinking feeling between luncheon and supper”. In 1840 she asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.
This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.
Afternoon tea: ideal for business and pleasure!
These days there are several distinct excuses to our mind for taking afternoon tea:
The first is to make a change. Those groups of friends who have the luxury of time to meet for morning coffee and gossip, could try switching their gatherings to try afternoon tea in one of the many New Forest eateries where it’s served.
The second is for a business meeting with a colleague or your team, especially when you need to do a bit of brainstorming and thinking outside the box. We tried an afternoon tea and it works brilliantly!
And of course afternoon tea in the New Forest is a wonderful experience to share with loved ones on an anniversary, special birthday or other occasion; afternoon tea is a sophisticated and relaxed way to celebrate with your closest friends and family.
Pour your tea and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, usually including a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries. Tea grown in India or Ceylon is poured from dainty tea pots into delicate bone china cups.
Where to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the Lymington and New Forest area
Here are our recommendations for a splendid afternoon tea locally:
Afternoon tea served Monday to Friday from 2:30pm to 5:30pm and weekends 1:30pm to 5:30pm
Indulge in Traditional Afternoon tea at the chic Cambium restaurant or in the comfort of a cosy lounge in front of a roaring log fire. A mouth-watering selection of finely cut sandwiches, speciality cakes including freshly baked scones smothered in New Forest Jam and thick clotted cream, all complimented by a large selection of the finest artisan teas from Camellia’s Tea House and Fair Trade coffee.
Careys Manor cater for everyone, their gluten free afternoon tea and vegan afternoon tea are especially popular. Enjoy afternoon tea this Easter at Careys Manor - and book ahead for a special Father's Day afternoon tea which includes a hearty selection of savouries including pork pies, venison sausage rolls and Welsh rarebit followed by traditional scones and open sandwiches, plus a choice of loose leaf teas and fair trade coffees.
Afternoon tea served from 3.30pm to 5.30pm
Afternoon tea at The Montagu Arms is reminiscent of the rituals of its 1840s origins, with a twist. A unique ‘course by course’ tasting journey starts with a savoury selection of delicate finger sandwiches and an array of sweet treats, before arriving at freshly baked scones served with homemade jam and clotted cream. Your afternoon tea will be perfectly accompanied by a selection of finest loose leaf teas and fairtrade coffee.
Enjoy an unforgettable afternoon tea experience in quintessential English surroundings in comfort of a cosy lounge with log fires or in the conservatory overlooking the manicured gardens.
Book today for Easter afternoon tea at Montagu Arms and also for a special Gentleman's afternoon tea for Father's Day, which includes homemade scotch eggs and beer cake alongside traditional scones and finger sandwiches.
Afternoon tea is served from 3pm to 5pm.
The family-friendly New Park Manor makes the perfect setting for afternoon tea after a walk in the New Forest. Take a seat in one of the cosy lounges, in The Vinery, or on the terrace if the sun shines, and sample sweet treats and delightful savoury snacks with a wide range of fresh loose-leaf teas, from traditional English breakfast and herbal classics to flavourful fruit blends.
Afternoon tea is served from 3pm to 6pm.
Select your tea from a range of SUKI teas and then then work your way through three tiers of assorted freshly prepared sandwiches and homemade sweet treats. Finish off with homemade scones served with clotted cream and jam. Menus change regularly to offer the freshest, locally sourced produce in line with the season.
Afternoon tea served 3pm to 5pm.
At the Bell Inn you can choose to have a more formal tea in the Garden Room, a relaxed afternoon tea on the sofa in the lounge or maybe take tea al fresco in the garden if the sun is shining. There are four different afternoon teas available and booking is usually required.
Afternoon tea (booking essential)
Enjoy afternoon tea or a cream tea inside at The Thatched Cottage or out in the beautiful garden when the weather is kind. Located in Brockenhurst in the heart of the New Forest National Park, the hotel is within easy walking distance of the rail station, village centre, open heathland and forest.