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Afternoon tea in Suffolk: 9 of the best places to go

PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 02 May 2017

Afternoon tea © Jeerawan Duangnam Herriot, Shutterstock

Afternoon tea © Jeerawan Duangnam Herriot, Shutterstock

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Suffolk is home to some of the best cream teas in Britain – from country house hotels to chilled out coffee shops, we pick 9 places worth a visit

If you fancy something sweet, elegant and indulgent, what could be more fabulously British (and delicious) than treating yourself to afternoon tea at one of the many tearooms and hotels in Suffolk.

Once you’ve decided upon where to go, the toughest part will be choosing between an ‘afternoon’ or ‘cream’ tea. Will it be the more reserved cream tea; with scones, clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea (ours is an Earl Grey, in case you were wondering). Or, will you go the whole hog and opt for the traditional afternoon tea; with delicate finger sandwiches and dainty pastries – it’s a tough call! Which ever you decide upon, here are 10 places guaranteed to satisfy your sugar cravings.

1. Salthouse Harbour Hotel

Head to this boutique hotel in Ipswich’s vibrant Harbour quayside for an afternoon tea from the 2 AA Rosette restaurant. Relax in the waterfront eatery and sip a choice of luxury teas from around the world, before you tuck into a selection of sandwiches, earl grey scones with jam and amaretto cream and a selection of cakes. Afternoon tea is available daily between 2.30pm and 5.00pm. 01473 226789

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2. The Swan at Lavenham

Well known in East Anglia for its Michelin-recommended food, the 15th century hotel and spa sits in the heart of the beautiful medieval village of Lavenham. Choose from the traditional Suffolk Cream Tea with a selection of freshly-baked cakes, pastries and finger sandwiches or indulge in the deluxe ‘Emperor Swan Afternoon Tea’ that includes culinary treats such as venison and cranberry jelly on rye bread. Afternoon tea is served between 12.00pm and 5.00pm. 01787 247477

3. Maison Talbooth

Find the luxury country house hotel on the Suffolk and Essex border, set amongst grounds that look out across Constable’s Countryside and the Dedham Vale. Guests can settle into the Garden Room and gaze out towards St. Mary’s Church as they sample the afternoon tea selection. Maison Talbooth offer a selection of sandwiches and buttermilk scones with jam and clotted cream, plus a changing menu of cakes which may include chocolate brownies, Battenberg, raspberry puffs with fresh cream or fruit cake. Served every day between 2pm and 6pm. 01206 322367

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4. Tuddenham Mill

The sympathetic refurbishment of this traditional watermill makes it a little different to the average boutique hotel, with its cast iron water wheel and towering chimney. The kitchen is run by award-winning chef Lee Bye who has earned Tuddenham Mill its 2 AA Rosette. The afternoon tea is served with the traditional scone with jam and clotted cream, pretty pastries and delicate sandwiches – plus a variety of tea to choose from, ranging from organic earl grey to Himalayan Peak darjeeling. Served Monday to Saturday between 2.30pm and 5pm. 01638 713552

5. Hintlesham Hall

Over 400 years old, Hintlesham Hall is a Grade 1 Listed Country House in Hintlesham Suffolk. Just 10 minutes drive from Ipswich, the tranquil property is surrounded by broad front lawns and picturesque rear gardens, complete with a rose garden and orchard. In addition to the usual treats expected with one’s afternoon tea, guests can also expect to find a chocolate éclair, fresh fruit tartlet and fruit cake adorning their tiered cake stands. Served daily between 2pm and 5pm. 01473 652334

6. Stoke by Nayland Golf, Hotel and Spa

The family owned golf hotel and spa in Leavenheath, on the Suffolk border, boasts a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. Expect to find a sumptuous array of finger sandwiches, cakes, scones with clotted cream and freshly brewed tea or coffee. Tea can be taken next to a roaring fire in the winter months or al fresco on the terrace when the sun is shining. 01206 265843.

7. Westleton Crown

The traditional Suffolk coaching inn on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, between Southwold and Aldeburgh, dates back to the 12th century. The reasonably priced cream tea comprises of a homemade scone with strawberry jam and vanilla cream, served with a sticky toffee pudding cake, shortbread and a choice of tea. Served between 3pm and 6pm. 01728 648777

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8. Milsoms Kesgrave Hall

A 20 minute drive from Ipswich, Kesgrave Hall is a 4 star boutique hotel set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Enjoy a delicious-looking selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes in the relaxed lounge or the outside terrace on a sunny day. Afternoon tea is served between 3pm and 5pm. 01473 333741

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9. Baileys 2

Head to Whiting Street in Bury St Edmunds to find a tempting variety of homemade cakes – including a gluten free menu – at the award-winning Baileys 2. The relaxed coffee shop is known locally for top service and yummy homebaking.

Love Suffolk food and drink? Try these places!

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