There are plenty of well-known spots for tea in London and across England, but true fans should go farther abroad and explore what other countries of the United Kingdom have to offer.
In Wales, for example, beyond the customary British menu items such as scones and finger sandwiches, tea trays will frequently have local favorites like Welsh cakes – cookies prepared on a griddle, and bara brith – a speckled fruit loaf. Here are five places to grab a cuppa:
1) The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny: Sally Lane, The Angel Hotel’s specialty baker began by making afternoon tea in her home before moving into the hotel’s kitchen. Now, she’s helped make the property one of only a handful of hotels outside of London to hold the UK Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence.
2) The Celtic Manor, Newport: Try rarebit -- the Welsh version of a grilled cheese not typically found in tea rooms across Britain -- at The Celtic Manor’s Autumn Afternoon Tea. Then, tee up at the hotel’s 2010 golf course, which was purposely built when the resort hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.
3) Llanerch Vineyard, The Vale of Glamorgan: Sip on Welsh wine at Llanerch Vineyard’s Sparkling Afternoon Tea. The vineyard hotel has two varieties of its very own Cariad label on the menu. These sparkling wines are produced on site at the 22-acre estate set in the Welsh countryside.
4) Pettigrew Tea Rooms, Cardiff: Have tea within the walls of one of the most famous fortresses in Wales: Cardiff Castle. Stop by after a day of touring the gothic-style interiors and immense castle grounds. Visitors can try a Welsh cream tea served with bara brith, a fruit loaf made with tea, or any one of Pettigrew’s specialty cakes, including gluten free options -- all prepared in the kitchen.
5) St. Tudno Hotel and Restaurant, Llandudno: Sit down for Alice’s Afternoon Tea at St. Tudno where Alice Liddell (who inspired Lewis Carroll's books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.) Carroll, in fact, met Liddell in Llandudno, a Victorian resort town.