12 Quirky Afternoon Teas in Yorkshire – A Twist on Tradition

Tea drinking became a beloved pastime in Britain during the mid to late 17th century, largely attributed to King Charles II and his Portuguese wife. However, it wasn’t until the Victorian era that the quintessentially British tradition of “Afternoon Tea” truly flourished.

In 1840, Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, found herself famished between the long stretch from lunch to dinner, typically served around 8 pm. Seeking a solution, she began requesting a tray of tea, bread, butter, and cakes to be delivered to her room around 4 pm. This indulgence soon became a regular affair, with the Duchess inviting friends to join her in this delightful ritual.

Initially reserved for the upper classes, Afternoon Tea has undergone a democratisation in recent years. Once confined to luxury hotels and fine dining establishments, this tradition has now found its way into cafes, restaurants, and even home bakeries across the country. While the classic elements of delicate china cups, finger sandwiches, and dainty cakes remain popular, there has been a surge of creativity, with establishments adding their own unique twists to the experience.

In Yorkshire, renowned for its exceptional tea, the tradition of Afternoon Tea is particularly cherished. Here, amidst stunning landscapes and historic cities, one can find an array of establishments offering quirky and inventive takes on this cherished ritual, promising delightful surprises for tea enthusiasts and foodies alike.

Where to Find Quirky Afternoon Teas in Yorkshire…

Pearly Cow

Quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire - seafood afternoon tea at Pearly Cow

1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA

Introducing a standout among quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire: Afternoon Sea at Pearly Cow in York city centre. A departure from the traditional spread, this unconventional afternoon tea experience showcases a delightful array of fresh seafood across three tiers, priced at £38 per person.

Elevate the experience with unlimited glasses of rosé from QV wines for an additional £20 per person, ensuring a full 90 minutes of indulgence. Perfect for food enthusiasts and ideal for a romantic rendezvous, this alternative afternoon tea promises a memorable afternoon.

From Mussels Marinière to fresh oysters and exquisite hand-dived scallops, seafood lovers will struggle to find a finer alternative. Available exclusively on Friday and Saturday afternoons, bookings require a £10 deposit.

Cupcakes 2 Love, Doncaster

College Road, Doncaster DN1 3JH

Indulge in themed afternoon teas like never before at Cupcakes 2 Love in Doncaster. Constantly innovating, they offer a plethora of captivating themes, from Barbie to Harry Potter, available for online booking in advance. Their repertoire also includes holiday specials for Halloween and Christmas, making them ideal for school holiday indulgences.

Renowned for their expertise in cake-making, their afternoon tea stands are loaded with creatively shaped sandwiches, exquisitely decorated cupcakes, and an array of sweet and savoury delights. Ensure you secure your spot in advance to enjoy these Instagram-worthy feasts with friends.

Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom

quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire - Carribean afternoon tea

 8-9 Grand Arcade, New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6PG

Step into the charming setting of Leeds’ Grand Arcade and discover a variety of afternoon teas at Just Grand! Indulge in the traditional British version featuring classic cheese, ham and egg mayonnaise sandwiches in addition to savoury bakes and homemade cake.

For a unique twist, opt for the Caribbean Afternoon Tea, also presented on a tiered china platter. Priced at £21.95 per person, this delightful spread includes flavorful fillings like Jerk chicken and peppered beef, paired with indulgent treats like beef and salt fish patties, matured fruit rum cake, and freshly baked scones with jam and cream. It’s a delicious departure from the ordinary!

Betty’s Vintage Hut, Littondale

quirky afternoon teas in yorkshire

Hesleden Lodge, Skipton BD23 5QL

Nestled in Littondale, Betty’s Vintage Hut beckons with its unique setting—a charming shepherd’s hut tucked in the owner’s front garden. Surrounded by the picturesque Yorkshire Dales countryside, it offers a quintessentially British afternoon tea experience with a twist. Anne, the proprietor, bakes everything fresh, from the sandwiches’ bread to the scones’ jam, ensuring each bite is infused with love.

Adorned with the loveliest vintage china, the setting exudes nostalgic charm. Perfect for intimate gatherings, whether it’s a birthday, baby shower, or hen party, Betty’s Vintage Hut provides a serene backdrop for indulging in a vast array of delectable treats. Due to its popularity, booking in advance is highly recommended to secure your spot in this idyllic countryside retreat for a truly memorable experience of quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire.

Twisted Teapot, Barnsley

quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire

243 Park Road, Barnsley S70 1QW

Discover the whimsical realm of Twisted Teapot in Barnsley, where the decor transports you to a fantasy movie set. From captivating bookcase wallpaper to opulent gold frames and vintage accents, every detail adds to the enchantment. Inspired by classic children’s literature like Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland, this venue offers a truly quirky dining experience. Even the ladies’ toilets are accessed through a giant old wardrobe, adding to the charm.

At Twisted Teapot, you can indulge in a range of afternoon teas, each offering a magical array of treats. Prices start at £26.50 per person for the Classic Afternoon Tea, which includes sandwiches, scones, cakes, and unlimited hot drinks. For the full Twisted Teapot afternoon tea experience, complete with potion making and wand work, opt for the Wizarding and Potions afternoon tea, priced at £29 pp.

Themed afternoon tea sessions are held throughout the year so be sure to check the website before booking. The Beauty and The Beast afternoon tea is one in particular you won’t want to miss!

RealiTea, Ripon

quirky afternoon teas in yorkshire

84 North Street, Ripon HG4 1DP

Prepare to tantalise your taste buds with a unique twist on afternoon tea at RealiTea in Ripon, a hidden gem in Yorkshire’s culinary scene. Since its opening in 2020, this Anglo-Indian tea room has been delighting patrons with its fusion of British tradition and authentic Indian flavours. From Tuesday to Saturday, between 11 am and 4 pm, indulge in a feast of savoury delights and homemade sweet treats.

RealiTea’s British Raj High Tea offers a wonderful blend of traditional afternoon tea classics infused with Indian street food flair. For £25 per person, you’ll savour homemade buttery chicken or a roasted vegetable dish served with fragrant rice, alongside samosas and paratha. Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without cakes and scones, which RealiTea serves with aplomb. Please note that a 24-hour notice is required for bookings, ensuring you don’t miss out on this unique tea experience.

Grand Pacific, Leeds

quirky afternoon teas in yorkshire

City Square, Leeds LS1 1PJ

Step into the opulent world of Grand Pacific in Leeds, where British tradition meets Eastern excellence in a setting that exudes high society charm. Beyond its stunning interiors, Grand Pacific offers a Pan Asian-inspired menu that promises to please.

Among the myriad of alternative afternoon teas we’ve sampled in Yorkshire, Grand Pacific is a firm favourite. Priced at £29.50 per person (or £39.50 with an Individual 200ml Bottle Of Vitelli Prosecco), this indulgent experience offers a generous spread across three-tiered platters for each course.

On the savoury tier, you’ll find finger sandwiches featuring Smoked Salmon & Wasabi Crème Fraîche, alongside traditional coronation chicken, warm Lobster Brioche Rolls, and Duck & Hoi Sin Sausage Rolls. For dessert, indulge in an array of decadent treats, including White Chocolate & Strawberry Profiteroles and Chocolate Delice. Of course, the obligatory scones with cream and preserves are also present and they’re some of the best we’ve tried! Certainly one of our favourite places to get afternoon tea in Leeds

Hetty and Betty

quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire

7 Baxtergate, Whitby YO21 1BW

While afternoon tea is a quintessentially British tradition, Yorkshire adds its twist with a seaside favourite: Fish & Chips. Nestled in picturesque Whitby, Hetty and Betty stands as a pioneer, offering the unique Fish & Chips Afternoon Tea experience. Established nearly a century ago, this iconic eatery serves up quality fare using locally sourced ingredients and MSC-certified fish.

Open from 9:30 am until 3 pm Saturday to Thursday, Hetty and Betty ensures a delightful seaside indulgence for visitors and locals alike. Their famous afternoon tea features a generous portion of freshly battered fish and fluffy chips, accompanied by mushy peas, bread and butter, and homemade scones for dessert. It’s an exceptional culinary journey that encapsulates the essence of Yorkshire’s coastal charm.

Skipton Boat Trips

quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire

The Wharf Office, 3 Coach St, Skipton BD23 1LH

Afternoon tea is often associated with elegant tea rooms and high-end hotels but sometimes it’s nice to break from the norm. In the beautiful market town of Skipton, you can enjoy a traditional afternoon in a more unusual setting. With Skipton Boat Trips, you can tuck into a fabulous afternoon tea aboard one of their canal barges whilst enjoying a 2-hour cruise along the scenic Leeds-Liverpool Canal. You’ll set off from Skipton’s picturesque canal basin and be served the traditional finger sandwiches, mini cakes and freshly baked scones as you soak up the stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales.

This is one of the best things to do in Skipton and one of the quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire that offers an experience rather than just food. Vegan and vegetarian options are available so do state your preference when booking. There’s also a fully licensed bar on board so you can pair your perfectly prepared afternoon tea with a glass of wine or perhaps a local ale.

LIVIN’ Italy

quirky afternoon teas in Yorkshire

Granary Wharf, Wharf Approach, Leeds LS1 4BR

Indulge in an Italian-inspired twist on afternoon tea with LIVIN’ Italy, a beloved destination in Yorkshire’s culinary scene. Nestled in Leeds’ vibrant Granary Wharf, this friendly bar, restaurant, and deli offer an extensive menu of authentic Italian cuisine crafted from the finest ingredients.

Priced at £25 per person, LIVIN’ Italy’s afternoon tea is a culinary delight, featuring a mouthwatering array of perfectly flavoured dishes. Start with savoury delights like Mini Arancini Carbonara, Mini Margherita Pizzas, and Short Rib Sliders, then satisfy your sweet cravings with Chocolate Cake Cubes, Frollino Biscuits, and Tiramisu.

The experience includes a glass of prosecco, or for an extra £8 per person, indulge in an Aperol Spritz instead. Whether for after-work drinks or casual dining, LIVIN’ Italy promises a memorable Italian-inspired afternoon tea that’s sure to delight foodies and casual diners alike.

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

quirky afternoon teas in yorkshire

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AF

One of Skipton’s top attractions, Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway offers stunning journeys through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Apart from its scenic rides, the railway is renowned for its sought-after afternoon tea experience, a popular choice among visitors.

Priced from £70 for two people, the afternoon tea experience includes an array of delightful treats. From classic finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam to tempting tarts and indulgent mini trifles, you’ll be thoroughly spoiled as you travel through the Dales.

For those seeking a truly luxurious experience, the VIP option offers a taste of opulence in a historic setting. Enjoy your afternoon tea in the lavish surroundings of Queen Victoria’s Royal Saloon carriage, complete with personalized service and a glass of bubbly to elevate your journey.

Whether you’re a railway enthusiast or a food lover, Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway’s afternoon tea promises an unforgettable experience, blending heritage charm with culinary excellence amidst the stunning Yorkshire countryside.

The Steel Cauldron, Sheffield

quirky afternoon teas in yorkshire

3 Spooner Road, Sheffield S10 5BL

The Steel Cauldron in Sheffield is a wizard-themed tea room and bar that promises an extraordinary afternoon tea experience. Open Thursday to Sunday, this mystical establishment invites you to immerse yourself in a realm of mystery and magic while indulging in a delightful afternoon tea.

Perfect for Harry Potter enthusiasts and anyone with a penchant for whimsy, The Steel Cauldron’s ‘Wizard’s Tea’ offers a magical twist on the traditional. Available from 11:30 am, this enchanting spread features a variety of quirky and colourful culinary creations, sure to ignite imaginations and tantalise taste buds alike.

Their bestseller, the Enchanted Wizard’s Afternoon Tea, is priced at £18.50 per person and includes a selection of classic sandwiches, a slice of cake, a chocolate frog, jelly beans, a cauldron of popcorn with a chocolate wand, crisps, and pretzels. Whether you’re a fan of wizardry or simply seeking a unique culinary experience, The Steel Cauldron promises to transport you to a world of wonder with its quirky afternoon tea in Yorkshire.

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