Posted on 06/09/2017 by David
Afternoon tea has become something of a British national treasure. We’ve loved a cuppa ever since King Charles II and his wife introduced it to the masses back in the 1660’s, but it wasn’t until the 1800’s when the Duchess of Bedford started to invite her high-society chums around for a mid-afternoon cup of tea and light refreshments that afternoon tea became a formal social occasion.
In recent years, the tradition seems to have exploded in popularity - after all, who doesn’t enjoy tea and cake?
When we think of afternoon tea, we usually imagine pretty cake stands loaded with elegant finger sandwiches, luscious cream cakes and melt in the melt pastries and scones, washed down with fine tea served in delicate bone china cups. If you’re really pushing the boat out, you might even have a glass of champagne! Whilst this is the traditional set up of an afternoon tea it can vary region by region.
North Wales has plenty of hotels, tearooms and restaurants offering their own take on a traditional afternoon tea, often with the addition of two Welsh favourites - bara brith (a type of fruit bread) and Welsh cakes (similar to flat scones) alongside a panad (cup of tea).
We’ve put together a list of some of the best places for an authentic afternoon tea in the area - which ones will you visit?
1. Characters Tea Room, Llandudno
As the name suggests, this family run tea room in Llandudno oozes charm and character. Enjoy a selection of vintage teas, delicious cakes and pastries in a homely and cosy environment. Whilst you’re waiting for your tea to be served, have a mooch around the quirky bits and pieces for sale.
2. Ty Hyll, near Betws-y-Coed
Ty Hyll might translate to ‘The Ugly House’ in English, but don’t let the name put you off. This quirky looking and uniquely charming tea room is set in the beautiful Snowdonia, and legend has it that it was built by robbers and thieves who would take advantage of travellers journeying through the region.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about them anymore! It’s now the place to go for a fabulous Welsh afternoon tea. Try their ‘Pot Mel’ tea - Bara brith, scone with jam and cream and bread and honey, served with a pot of tea!
3. Bodnant Welsh Food, Conwy
The Furnace Tea Room, housed in the 18th century stable building of Furnace Farm at Bodnant is an idyllic setting for an afternoon tea. Enjoy delicious homemade food against the stunning backdrop of the Conwy Estuary.
Everything is locally sourced or made on site - from Welsh brewed tea and locally ground coffee to bread, butter and clotted cream made at Bodnant. Enjoy freshly made Welsh cakes, still warm from the griddle or the traditional bara brith.
4. Caffi Florence, near Mold
Caffi Florence is based at the Loggerheads Country Park in Mold, below the dramatic and imposing limestone cliffs of the Alyn Valley. This award winning cafe serves fantastic homemade food, using the very best of Welsh ingredients.
Try their freshly made sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and selection of cakes, including Bara Brith. Once you’ve had your fill, take a walk around the beautiful, wooded river valley.
5. St Tudno, Llandudno
St Tudno Hotel is well known for its afternoon teas - it even has it’s very own special afternoon tea lady, Doris Roberts! Try the mini afternoon tea, which includes traditional buttered bara brith, lemon madeira cake and warm scones with jam and cream, or go for the full version, which includes delicious sandwiches and cakes.
If you’re wanting a really special treat, go the whole hog and add champagne, strawberries and cream - yum!