From traditional teas to delectable takes on an old classic, our team rounds up the best afternoon tea Cambridge has to offer
Cambridge’s culinary scene is one to reckon with, not only for its brunch, lunch and supper servings. For special occasions – or simply a mid-week treat – a spot of afternoon tea may be just the trick. You’ll need no excuse to head on over to these afternoon tea nooks, from hotels overlooking the stunning expanse of Parker’s Piece, to caravans kitted out in Cath Kidston, to revamped train carriages, all importantly dishing up a dainty and delicious selection of afternoon tea bites.
Perhaps the most famous of the afternoon teas in Cambridge, Fitzbillies has been serving up the goods since the 20s. All treats are handmade at the cafe’s artisan bakery, from the bread to the macarons. Enjoy it daily at the Trumpington Street branch: if you’re feeling decadent, throw in a glass of champagne – or take it away as a picnic. Fitzbillies also offers afternoon tea in a box from its website, available for delivery anywhere in the UK.
The Varsity Hotel
Climb to the heights of Cambridge’s Varsity Hotel to sample moreish finger sandwiches, warm scones and scrumptious cakes. To drink, choose from champagne, cocktails – the bramble, daiquiris or a blushing Russian are our favourites – or its famous teas of the world selection. You could even experience a pre-afternoon soothing session at the Glassworks Spa.
For a taste of refinement, look no further than the Graduate. One of the city’s most luxurious afternoon
tea offerings, this hotel serves up a sumptuous spread in the gorgeous Garden Room. Expect exquisite sweets and
savouries dreamed up by head chef Adam Wood, including a homemade fruit-and-nut chocolate bar, goat’s cheese and fig ‘Oreo’, and some delicious sugar-dusted doughnuts.
With an elegant platter of sandwiches – including Ivy Cure smoked salmon and cream cheese fingers, grilled chicken and truffle mayonnaise brioche and pickled cucumber, courgette and basil double decker rolls – The Ivy afternoon tea is not to be missed. The restaurant has now paired up with Laurent-Perrier to bring a bit of sparkle to the party.
Inspired by A. A. Milne’s classic characters, the Wonders of Winnie afternoon tea is a playful take on high tea. Sweets include a Tigger’s chocolate-orange swirl cake, an Eeyore’s tail eclair and Winnie-the-Pooh macaron (honey flavoured, naturally). There’s also a delectably truffly sausage roll, oversized scones laden with clotted cream and jam, plus a variety of dainty sandwiches.
The ideal location – along with being among the best afternoon tea Cambridge has to offer – the Gonville Hotel overlooks Parker’s Piece, with a choice of dining in the light and spacious Terrace Restaurant or outside on the lawn. Its menu features finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, freshly baked scones and a selection of sweet treats, including pistachio and raspberry financier, millionaire cake and vanilla and olive oil macarons.