Best places for afternoon tea in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 12:49 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 12 August 2020

Best places for afternoon tea in Suffolk (photo: EmmaIsabelle, Getty Images)

Best places for afternoon tea in Suffolk (photo: EmmaIsabelle, Getty Images)


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

COVID-19 statement: Please abide by establishment rules and government guidelines when visiting these establishments. Check social media or call ahead to avoid disappointment.

The Strawberry Teapot Tearoom & Cakery

This beautiful vintage tearoom with exposed wooden beams and mismatched chairs in Sudbury is a quintessentially British spot to enjoy afternoon tea. Think colourful bunting and vintage china teacups and cake trays piled high with sandwiches, cakes and scones.

Keep an eye out for fun, themed afternoon teas. Kids and teen party afternoon teas are available too. Afternoon teas and homemade cakes are also available to take away.

Salthouse Harbour Hotel

Pay a visit to this boutique hotel on Ipswich’s vibrant harbour quayside for an afternoon by the water. Relax in the waterfront restaurant with a cream tea or afternoon tea.

Expect sandwiches and other savoury treats including homemade sausage roll before scones with jam and clotted cream and decadent little sweet bites to finish. Add a glass of champagne for a spot of extra luxury.

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.

Opt for a traditional afternoon tea with inventive treats such as an orange and lavender scone and mini Eton mess or choose the strictly savoury “gentleman’s” afternoon tea with cheese scones. Champagne optional, but highly recommended.

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, delicate sandwiches plus a variety of tea to choose from, ranging from organic earl grey to Himalayan Peak darjeeling.

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Hintlesham Hall

Over 400 years old, Hintlesham Hall is a Grade I 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 add a glass of champagne, prosecco or Bucks Fizz to really make it special.

Stoke by Nayland Golf, Hotel and Spa

The family owned golf hotel and spa in Leavenheath, on the Suffolk-Essex border, boasts a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. As well as the traditional afternoon tea, you can enjoy a fancy sparkling tea too.

Tea can be taken next to a roaring fire in the winter months or al fresco on the terrace when the sun is shining.


The following great spots are temporarily closed due to lockdown but keep an eye on websites and social media for news on when they will resume...

Milsoms Kesgrave Hall

A 20 minute drive from Ipswich, Kesgrave Hall is a four-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.

White Lion, Aldeburgh

In-house restaurant Brasserie Bleue produces a number of themed afternoon teas that mix up their sandwiches, scones, cakes and treats to reflect just what is going on in that particular month. For example, their Suffolk-themed afternoon tea promoted some of the county’s very best produce, in the process guaranteeing that you are supporting local business and getting incredibly fresh ingredients.

Maison Talbooth

Find the luxury country house hotel on the Suffolk and Essex border, set in 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 enjoy an afternoon tea.

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. Everything is freshly prepared for every sitting.


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