Afternoon tea Bath: 13 scrumptious offerings to try in the city

Where to scoff scones and finger sandwiches in one of the UK's most picturesque cities

Updated on 16 March 2020 • Written By Emma Mitchell

Afternoon tea Bath: 13 scrumptious offerings to try in the city

There’s always time for tea – or is there? In our modern day lives, where everything moves at record speed via email and social media, it’s a miracle that we Brits still find the time in our busy schedules for one cuppa, let alone several served with an array of dainty finger sandwiches, savouries, scones, pastries and petit fours. And yet this most quintessential of British traditions still remains a thriving part of our culture that is known world-over as a part of our gastronomical heritage. Indeed, perhaps it is the antiquated nature of dressing up a little, sitting in a smart hotel lounge and whiling away a few hours sipping on Early Grey and quaffing cupcakes that is all part of the appeal.

Afternoon tea is a time to reminisce on when life moved at a slower pace and when excuses didn’t need to be made for consuming a small feast mid-way through the afternoon. Granted it’s probably not a good idea to partake in this pastime every day or you may find that your waistband, and indeed your wallet, starts to tighten a little. However, for special occasions and rainy days there really is no experience quite so spoiling.

We reckon a trip to Bath undoubtedly makes the cut as a good reason to indulge in afternoon tea. After a morning of sightseeing, shopping and maybe even a climb up the 212 steps of Bath Abbey’s Tower, we reckon you deserve a hearty spread to refuel. Many visitors flock to Bath for its renowned spas and it’s a known fact that a pamper day is incomplete without the addition of afternoon tea to make sure you leave feeling indulged both inside and out. If we still haven’t persuaded you then add the fact that Bath is the home of Jane Austen and the famous Bath Bun and we reckon that’s reason enough to book into one of the spots below for a traditional afternoon tea in Bath.

The Pump Room Restaurant

What: The Pump Room Restaurant is an attraction in itself with its stunning Georgian architecture that includes a famous fountain spewing water from a natural hot spring. Nowhere will a Champagne afternoon tea feel more fitting and this one is about as traditional and luxurious as they come.
How much: Standard £26 per person or £35 with Champagne
Where: Searcys at the Roman Baths and Pump Room, Stall Street, BA1 1LZ

The Bath Priory

What: The Bath Priory is only a mile from the city centre and epitomises country-house comfort complete with velvet lawns, plump sofas and gilt-framed portraits. Served in The Pantry, terrace and lounge, afternoon tea here evolves with the seasons and features dedicated vegan and vegetarian alternatives too.
How much: Standard £34 per person or £46 with Champagne
Where: Weston Road, BA1 2XT

Browns Bath

What: Known for its menu of crowd-pleasers, Browns Bath also serves an afternoon tea thanks to popular demand. A three-tiered platter comprises a selection of savouries, sandwiches, home-baked scones, and an assortment of mini cakes and puddings. A highlight comes in the form of a teeny tiny whisky marmalade bread and butter pudding. Gluten-free options are also available.
How much: Standard £17.95 per person or £25.95 with Champagne 
Where: Old Police Station, Orange Grove, BA1 1LP

No.15 Great Pulteney

What: No.15 Great Pulteney claims it has elevated its afternoon tea experience from the traiditional to the genteel, and indeed the setting certainly oozes sophistication. The menu remains faifthful to the classics with a few surprising additions, including an intriguing '18-carat' chocolate orange dome.
How much: Standard £30 per person or £38 with Champagne
Where: 15 Great Pulteney Street, BA2 4BS

The Restaurant at Wooley Grange Hotel

What: Although Lucknam Park is not in Bath itself, it’s worth the six mile trip just to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in an 18th Century Palladian mansion surrounded by 500 glorious acres of parkland and manicured gardens. In a Michelin-starred restaurant, you can set your expectations high for the dainty patisseries.
How much: Standard £30 per person or £44 with Champagne
Where: Lucknam Park, SN14 8AZ

The Ivy Bath Brasserie

What: The Ivy Bath Brasserie, as with the other restaurants in The Ivy Collection, brings old-school glamour with plush furnishings, white table cloths and slick service. The afternoon tea menu comprises a selection of unusual savouries and sweets including a truffled chicken brioche roll and a blackberry and Champagne trifle.
How much: Standard £19.75 per person or £28.50 with Champagne 
Where: 39 Milsom Street, BA1 1DS

The Regency Tea Rooms at The Jane Austen Centre

What: Afternoon tea at The Jane Austen Centre is part and parcel of the package – and as you would expect is inspired by Austen’s heros and heroines. Visitors can choose from the likes of Mrs Bennet’s cake of the day, Mr Dashwood’s aromatic teacake, or Lady Catherine’s proper cream tea. For the full experience, opt for ‘Tea with Mr Darcy’ which comprises a full selection of sweet and savoury treats.
How much: £19.50 per person
Where: 40 Gay Street, BA1 2NT

The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa

What: This five-star hotel in the heart of Bath is a haven of elegance and tranquillity, with a blissful spa and glorious gardens to wonder in the summer months. A number of afternoon tea spreads are available comprising a selection of gourmet sandwiches with luxurious fillings, savoury canapés, and intricate pastries. There’s even a special afternoon tea for children under the age of 11.
How much: Standard £37.50 per person or £50 with Champagne. Children’s afternoon tea, £19.50
Where: 16 Royal Crescent, BA1 2LS

Sweet Little Things

What: This little café was practically made for Instagram, with pastel colours aplenty and flowers all over the walls and in the food. Expect rainbows, unicorns and heart shapes galore – it’s the millennial dream. Everything is picture perfect and sickly sweet, including the afternoon tea which is served daily from 12-4pm and is a big hit with shoppers looking for some respite.
How much: Standard £15.95 per person or £20.95 with Prosecco 
Where: 6 Lower Borough Walls, BA1 1UQ

The Roseate Villa

What: This peaceful spot in the centre of Bath makes for a relaxing venue to while away a few hours. Start by picking from a selection of loose-leaf teas, followed by a selection of sandwiches on home-made bread, warm plain and fruit scones with strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. Then move on to lavish selection of moreish tarts and French pastries.
How much: Standard £25 per person or £35 with Champagne
Where: Henrietta Road, BA2 6LX

Hands Georgian Tearooms

What: These traditional tearooms on Abbey Street are a welcoming and unique spot to enjoy a two-tiered High Tea which includes a selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, and scones with a large pot of tea. It’s a more laid back affair than most but this adds to the appeal. All comes served to the tinkling tunes of an in-house pianist who plays most weekends and afternoons.
How much: £18.50 per person
Where: 1 Abbey Street, BA1 1NN

The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe

What: This quaint little tea room is one of the most historic spots to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. The family run café claims to have the best selection of homemade cakes in the city, including regional speciality the Bath Bun. The food all comes served on precious porcelain by staff in period costume with rare teas from around the world.
How much: £18.50 per person
Where: 2 Abbey Green, BA1 1NW

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

What: The luxurious surrounds of the Drawing Room at Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel overlooking the stunning landscape gardens make it a particularly memorable spot to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. Sink into one of the comfortable sofas, sip on bubbles and enjoy the fluffiest of scones as you soak up the regal atmosphere.
How much: Standard £25 per person or £35 with Champagne
Sydney Road, BA2 6NS

Planning a trip to the capital? Check out 37 of the best afternoon teas in London