The only thing that beats a good cup of tea is having one in a quintessentially British tearoom. Mouth-watering cakes, dainty-but-delicious sandwiches, nostalgic décor; is there anything better way to spend a weekend afternoon? Being a nation of tea drinkers, it’s no surprise the UK is filled with fantastic establishments dedicated to serving our favourite beverage, with food menus thrown in for good measure. If you’re out and about and in need of a good cuppa, these are just some of the cosiest and best tearooms in the UK.
Dolly’s Tea Room and Bar, Falmouth
With nostalgic British decor and a classic Afternoon Tea menu, Dolly's is everything you hope for in a quintessentially British tea room. With an entrance tucked away above one of Falmouth's independent bookshops, Dolly's Tea Room and Wine Bar is one of Cornwall's best-kept secrets, but is absolutely beloved by locals and tourists alike. The Georgian architecture, along with chapel chairs and high ceilings, allow for a comforting yet grand atmosphere, making a trip to Dolly's feel like a real treat. If that wasn't enough, the traditional teas, cakes, and sandwiches are served by frock-wearing staff to complete the experience. Your time at Dolly's Tea Room and Bar will fly by, but that's exactly how afternoons are supposed to be.
What to order: We recommend the Lavender Treacle Tart.
How to get there: Hop on board at your local CrossCountry station and head for Truro station, where a connecting service will take you to Falmouth.
Betty's Tea Room, York
With six branches spread across the county, Betty's Tea Room is a Yorkshire institution. It’s been serving delightful afternoon tea for over 100 years, but there’s no doubt the menu has changed somewhat since the York tea room first opened its doors in 1936. Today, its silver stands are overflowing with ham and tomato pate sandwiches, miniature gala pies, fresh berry meringues, and hand-made macaroons. Choose from a list of over 50 loose-leaf teas delivered by waitresses in period costumes. Betty's is a must-visit tea room for real tea lovers. With interiors inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner, there could not be a more luxurious location to have a tea break. Trust us, it's worth the queue.
What to order: If you feel fancy, splash out and get an afternoon tea. If you're popping in for a cake break, opt for the Gooey Rascal.
How to get there: Take a CrossCountry train to York station, followed by a short walk to Betty's in the city centre.
Co-owned by Jenny McAlpine of Coronation Street fame, Annie's tea room is a quaint hideaway in the middle of Manchester’s bustling city centre. Perfectly blending high-end décor with a relaxed, homely vibe, Annie's has captured the most unique afternoon tea experience in the city. From the outside, Annie's may look like it will cost a fortune, but its offerings of tea from different regions and homemade cakes and sandwiches are good value for money.
What to order: Annie's very special Lancashire Rarebit.
How to get there: Located just off of St. Anne's Square, you can get to Annie's from Manchester Piccadilly station in 16 minutes on foot.
The Bertinet Bakery, Bath
Described as a bread lover's paradise, The Bertinet Bakery in Bath is a tea room specialising in delicious bakes and refreshing tea. Richard Bertinet is well-known in Bath for his cooking schools, but most recognise his surname from one of the best tearooms and bakeries in the area. It's an ideal location, with produce from The Bertinet Bakery so fresh it only has to travel a flight of stairs (literally). Expect a cosy tearoom experience with a wide range of hot drinks and some of the finest patisserie treats. The bakery's specialist sells bread, so be sure to take home a loaf while you're there.
What to order: Make sure to order the sourdough loaf to take home.
How to get there: Get to Bath with a direct, non-stop transfer from Bristol Temple Meads. From Bath Spa station, the Bertinet Bakery is a 10-minute walk.
Hidden Lane Tea Room, Glasgow
Tucked away in Glasgow's West End, Hidden Lane Tea Room is not only the perfect place to treat yourself to a classic cream tea, it is also a creative hub. Hidden Lane Tea Room offers a varied menu to suit all palates - whether you prefer classic English Breakfast tea, a herbal infusion, or a home-brewed Dhesi Chai. Their food menu is just as wide-ranging and just as delicious! Choose between homemade cakes, freshly baked scones, and scrummy sandwiches. Or, don't choose - and opt for an Afternoon Tea that includes all this and more!
What to order: Their signature scones are baked fresh every morning; they're a must-try item!
How to get there: Take a CrossCountry train from your local station to Glasgow Central station, followed by a 15-minute bus ride.
Orchard Tea Garden, Cambridge
If the weather’s looking bright, there’s no better place to sip on a cup of tea or coffee than the Orchard Tea Garden. The famous poet Rupert Brooke once lodged in the neighbouring Orchard House and spent his afternoons writing in the garden. Whether you're inspired by the landscape or simply by their homemade scones, finger sandwiches, and sumptuous tea options, this is an extra special spot for tea. It’s a beautiful way to spend time at a tearoom and with the fresh outdoors combined.
What to order: Enjoy a classic cream tea with freshly baked scones.
How to get there: Take a CrossCountry train to Cambridge station, followed by a short walk and bus ride.
If you’re planning a trip to one of the best tearooms in the UK, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UK, the best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.
Written by Abby