Compared to breakfast tea, an intrinsic part of British culture, afternoon tea is a delightful experience that brings comfort, luxury, and joy. If you’re in the historic city of Southampton, known for its picturesque port and thriving cultural scene, you’re in for a treat, as the city is brimming with excellent afternoon tea options.
From the bustling city centre, with its unique blend of traditional and modern establishments, to the serene waterfront locations that combine stunning views with exquisite refreshments, and the scenic beauty of the surrounding areas, Southampton offers a diverse range of venues to enjoy this beloved tradition.
Whether you’re looking for a cosy, laid-back setting, a glamorous spot with decadent treats, or a grand historical venue that takes you back in time, there’s a place in Southampton that will cater to your post meridian tea cravings. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeply into these delightful destinations, promising to satiate your palate, soothe your senses, and elevate your afternoon tea experience.
1. Southampton City Center
In the vibrant heart of Southampton, the city centre is home to an assortment of charming tea rooms and cafés, each offering a unique afternoon tea experience. Here are some of the standout venues:
The Grand Cafe epitomizes luxury and elegance in the iconic Grade II listed South Western House. Here, you can savour a delectable afternoon tea under ornate chandeliers and an intricately designed high ceiling. The Grand Cafe’s afternoon tea menu is as refined as its decor, with a delightful selection of finger sandwiches, warm scones served with clotted cream and jam, various cakes, and a wide range of teas.
Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery
The Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery in the historic Bakehouse Lane offer a quaint and cosy setting perfect for a relaxed afternoon tea. With an emphasis on homemade, quality food, they serve a wonderful assortment of freshly baked goods, sandwiches, and fine teas. Their charming, rustic interior and welcoming service add to the delightful adventure.
Halladays Tea Rooms
Hidden in Bedford Place, the Halladays Tea Rooms is a gem of a place that transports you to a bygone era. The vintage-themed decor, the china teapots, and the delicate tea cups add an old-world charm to your afternoon teatime. They offer an array of delightful sandwiches, homemade cakes, and pastries, and all served with a pot of your favourite tea.
Kettle and Cake
Kettle and Cake is a vibrant and homely venue known for its warm hospitality, delicious homemade cakes, and excellent tea. Their afternoon tea is heartwarming with a selection of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, an assortment of mini cakes, and a pot of tea or coffee. The friendly atmosphere at Kettle and Cake adds an extra layer of comfort to your afternoon tea indulgence.
Each city centre venue presents a distinct atmosphere and menu, ensuring that every afternoon tea experience is unique and memorable.
2. Waterfront Locations
Southampton’s impressive waterfront is ideal for a memorable afternoon tea experience. These locations combine delicious cuisine with breathtaking views for an experience that delights all senses.
Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa
At the five-star Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, you can enjoy an afternoon tea of sheer luxury. Their traditional afternoon tea, served in the hotel’s stylish HarBAR, includes an array of delicate with clotted cream and strawberry jam, a selection of pastries, and your choice of tea. What’s more, the stunning views of the marina add a sense of tranquillity and luxury to the experience.
HarBAR on 6th at Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa
If you’re after an afternoon tea with a contemporary twist, HarBAR on 6th, located on the top floor of the Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, is the place to be. Along with traditional finger sandwiches and warm scones, they serve a range of unique sweet treats that change with the seasons. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the waterfront, providing an impressive backdrop to your afternoon tea experience.
The Old Station Tearooms
Set in a restored train station on the waterfront’s edge, The Old Station Tearooms provide a charming and rustic setting for afternoon tea. They offer a traditional menu that includes a variety of sandwiches, homemade cakes, and a selection of teas. All are served in vintage China. The added touch of watching boats lazily drift by on the water enhances the serene and relaxed ambience.
HarBAR On 6th
HarBAR on 6th, aside from its location at the Harbour Hotel & Spa, also boasts a standalone waterfront venue. Offering a similar menu to its sister location, the real treat is the unrivalled views of the marina and the Solent. Enjoy your afternoon tea on the outdoor terrace for an unparalleled dining experience enveloped by the sights and sounds of the sea.
Mayflower Theatre Afternoon Tea
The Mayflower Theatre, one of the city’s cultural landmarks, also offers an exquisite afternoon tea experience. Available on selected matinee performances, their afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches, scones served with cream and jam, a variety of cakes, and of course, a range of delicious teas. Enjoying your tea while overlooking the bustling waterfront adds a unique touch to the experience, making it a must-try for all theatre and tea lovers.
These waterfront locations in Southampton provide an exceptional afternoon tea experience and a visual feast, making each visit a special occasion.
3. Surrounding Areas of Southampton
Just beyond the city limits of Southampton, you can find an array of venues serving exceptional afternoon tea in the beautiful surrounding areas.
New Park Manor
Set within the New Forest National Park, New Park Manor provides a quintessentially English setting for afternoon tea. Enjoy an array of delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and delicious cakes while enjoying the idyllic surroundings.
Macdonald Elmers Court
Nestled on the edge of the New Forest, Macdonald Elmers Court offers a grand afternoon tea experience. The magnificent Tudor manor house creates an enchanting backdrop, while the menu is a delightful mix of traditional and unique flavours.
Norton Park, located near Winchester, offers a luxurious afternoon tea in their grand Manor House. Enjoy the view of the 54 acres of parkland as you savour the selection of sweet and savoury treats.
Long Barn, Alresford
Long Barn in Alresford is a unique location offering many artisanal products, including afternoon tea. This is served in their rustic barn, with home-grown lavender fields and a charming country shop.
The Montagu Arms Hotel
In the quaint village of Beaulieu, The Montagu Arms Hotel offers an exquisite afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries, and scones served with clotted cream and seasonal jams.
Rhinefield House Hotel
In the New Forest, Rhinefield House Hotel offers a traditional afternoon tea in the grandeur of its historic lounge or on its outdoor terrace overlooking the landscaped gardens.
Careys Manor Hotel
At Careys Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst, you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with an array of sandwiches, pastries, and scones. Their Thai-inspired SenSpa also offers a unique ‘Zen Garden Thai Afternoon Tea’ for those looking for an exotic twist.
The Ageas Bowl Hotel
Located at the home of Hampshire Cricket, The Ageas Bowl Hotel offers an indulgent afternoon tea. Overlooking the iconic cricket ground, it’s a must for any sports fan.
Millies Tea Room
Set in the heart of the New Forest, Millies Tea Room in Lyndhurst is a delightful, family-run venue serving homemade cakes and scones.
Wonderberrys in Fareham is a modern, family-friendly café that offers a delightful afternoon tea menu with sandwiches, scones, and cakes.
Make & Brew
At Make & Brew in Winchester, you can enjoy a delicious, homemade afternoon tea. Their contemporary, minimalistic interior creates a relaxed environment for tea lovers.
The Mansion at Coldeast
Set in 7 acres of parkland, The Mansion at Coldeast offers a truly luxurious afternoon tea experience. Enjoy the range of sweet and savoury treats while enjoying the stunning views.
New Place Hotel
New Place Hotel, situated near Shirrell Heath, is a grand manor house offering a delightful afternoon tea menu with a view of the beautiful gardens.
Woodlands Lodge in Woodlands offers an afternoon tea that combines traditional elements with a modern twist. This can be enjoyed in their cosy lounge or on the outdoor terrace overlooking the gardens.
Pinkmead Bistro & Tea Rooms
Pinkmead Bistro & Tea Rooms, located on a working farm in Botley, offers a rustic and charming environment for a delightful afternoon tea.
Doubletree By Hilton Southampton
At the Doubletree By Hilton Southampton, you can enjoy a modern take on the classic afternoon tea in their contemporary lounge.
Slug And Lettuce Southampton
The Slug And Lettuce in Southampton offer a stylish, modern environment for afternoon tea. They also offer to add a glass of prosecco for a touch of sparkle.
Chilworth Manor Hotel
Chilworth Manor Hotel is a grand Edwardian Manor house with 12 acres of landscaped gardens. Here, you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea overlooking the beautiful grounds.
Botley Park Hotel
Situated in the Hampshire countryside, Botley Park Hotel offers an afternoon tea menu that includes a variety of sandwiches, pastries, and scones.
Each of these venues in the surrounding areas of Southampton provides a unique atmosphere and delightful menu for an exceptional afternoon tea experience.
Reflecting on Southampton’s Diverse Afternoon Tea Landscape
With its charming city centre, stunning waterfront locations, and splendid surrounding areas, Southampton is a haven for afternoon tea lovers. Whether you’re searching for a traditional afternoon tea experience or something with a modern twist, there’s no shortage of options in this vibrant city.
In the city centre, establishments such as the Grand Cafe, Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery, Halladays Tea Rooms, and Kettle and Cake offer delightful afternoon teas that provide a much-needed break from the bustling city life. For those who prefer a stunning waterfront view, Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, HarBAR on 6th at Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, The Old Station Tearooms, HarBAR On 6th, and Mayflower Theatre Afternoon Tea are must-visit venues.
Embracing the Tranquillity and Delight of the Surrounding Areas
Venturing afield into the surrounding areas, venues such as New Park Manor, Macdonald Elmers Court, Norton Park, Long Barn, Alresford, The Montagu Arms Hotel, and Rhinefield House Hotel, among others, offer a serene and tranquil setting for afternoon tea, surrounded by the beauty of the Hampshire countryside.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the afternoon tea options in Southampton are diverse, satisfying, and plentiful. Each place has its unique charm, menu, and ambience, but they all share a common love for this quintessentially British tradition. So next time you’re in Southampton, take some time to savour the simple yet profound pleasure of afternoon tea.