In a beachside city that is filled with British nostalgia, we can’t think of a better place to go for afternoon tea than Brighton. This seaside town is filled with quaint cafes, grand hotels and chic restaurants, each offering their own unique take on afternoon tea.
If you’re visiting the UK as a tourist and wondering what all the fuss is about then let us explain the answer to one of the most common questions we're asked - ‘what is afternoon tea exactly?’. Well, it's a mid afternoon treat which allows you to enjoy a delightful array of treats, from freshly-baked scones with jam and clotted cream to delicate pastries and finger sandwiches. It is traditionally served with English breakfast tea but can also be washed down with a glass of Champagne if you’re feeling fancy (and we always are...).
To help you plan the perfect occasion we have rounded up some of the finest afternoon teas in Brighton. If you are looking for something traditional then head to one of Brighton’s impressive hotels that offer an elegant setting and traditional take on afternoon tea with perfectly cut sandwiches, sweet pastries and scones with clotted cream. For something cute and quirky explore the host of tea rooms and independent cafes which offer tea with a homemade feel. Foodies will love to explore afternoon teas at some of Brighton’s best restaurants for a fine dining approach to this leisurely celebration. Elsewhere, themed afternoon teas - and even tea on a bus - are options for those looking to have fun with a group. Whether you are celebrating with friends, planning a hen party or just want to treat yourself, you’ll find the perfect spot to suit your needs.
Terre à Terre
What: This vegetarian and vegan restaurant found on East Street is home to some seriously good food. It’s not just the dinner that is unmissable, Terre à Terre also offers a gourmet experience when it comes to afternoon tea. Served a little untraditionally over two courses, the savoury course arrives first with a steamed rice bun stuffed with Szechuan marinated halloumi, kimchi Chinese cabbage, lapsang souchong pickled watermelon and cucumber followed by tiers of sweet treats including chocolate hazelnut truffle cake and praline served with a whipped dark chocolate mousse. On top of all that, there is of course a traditional tier of tea soaked sultana scones served with vanilla strawberry jam and clotted cream. Sparkling wine upgrades are also available.
Where: East Street, BN1 1HQ
How much: From £29 per person
Book now: Terre à Terre
Brighton i360 & West Bar Beach & Kitchen
What: For the ultimate Brighton afternoon tea then you can beat the Brighton i360 experience. Diners glide up 450ft in the Brighton i360 pod before heading to the beachfront restaurant West Beach for afternoon tea. Here guests can enjoy an array of finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries and unlimited tea and filter coffee, all made with ingredients locally sourced where possible. If you are looking to make your experience extra special then you also have the option of adding a glass of Nyetimber sparkling wine to enjoy on your pod journey. That'll be a yes from us.
Where: Lower Kings Road, BN1 2LN
How much: From £40.25 per person
Book now: West Bar Beach & Kitchen
Victoria Bar & Terrace at The Grand Brighton
What: If you are looking to keep things suitably traditional and decadent then afternoon tea at The Grand Brighton will be perfect for you. Set in the impressive seafront Grand Hotel, the traditional afternoon tea includes the likes of brie, pear and rocket quiche, along with hot leek and pork sausage rolls wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry, traditional finger sandwiches, freshly baked Shipton Mill scones and a choice of sweet treats to finish. This one is served with English loose leaf tea, or you can upgrade to Champagne, gin or English sparkling wine if you’re looking to celebrate.
Where: Kings Road, BN1 2FW
How much: From £38 per person
Book now: The Grand Brighton
Hotel du Vin Brighton
What: This impressive luxury hotel is tucked away down the cobbled streets of The Lanes and what first looks like a quaint and quirky setting quickly emerges as a luxurious spot for afternoon tea. Those looking to cater for allergies will be delighted to know that the restaurant offers vegan, gluten-free and nut-free afternoon teas. Hotel du Vin works closely with tea producers Bird and Blend to offer a choice of decadent and unique tea infusions. The menu is filled with traditional scones, finger sandwiches and cakes, with options to upgrade to Champagne or cocktails if you fancy something stronger.
Where: Ship Street, BN1 1AD
How much: From £27.50 per person
Book now: Hotel du Vin Brighton
Brighton Regeny Routemaster
What: The Brighton Regency Routemaster is perfect for a hen party afternoon tea or for those who simply want to enjoy their tea while taking in the sights of Brighton. For this one you'll travel on a vintage Routemaster bus taking in the sights of Brighton while you enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea. You can book anything from tables for two right through to private hire of the whole bus so it’s ideal for groups of any size. The menu includes freshly baked scones, perfectly cut finger sandwiches and the option to upgrade to Brighton gin or Prosecco.
Where: Pool Valley Bus Station, BN1 1NJ
How much: From £43 per person, £30 for under 12’s
Book now: Brighton Regency Routemaster
What: Found on the waterfront of Brighton Marina, Malmaison offers a serene setting for an elegant afternoon tea. Those looking for a lighter bite may prefer the hotel’s signature cream tea. Or keep things traditional with the tiered afternoon tea. The savoury course takes a nod from the restaurant’s a la carte menu with beef sliders, crunchy Thai wraps and prawn cocktail, while the sweet course remains traditional with assorted cakes, sweet pastries and - of course - scones. Upgrade your tea to include Champagne, gin, Prosecco or cocktails if you’re looking to celebrate.
Where: Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA
How much: From £27 per person
Book now: Malmaison Brighton
Harbour Kitchen & Bar at Harbour Hotel Brighton
What: This impressive Victorian building sits proudly by Brighton’s seafront and the restaurant has impressive views of the water. Afternoon tea at Brighton Harbour Hotel is a fun occasion - literally. The funfair afternoon tea is themed around the nostalgia that Brighton is wrapped up in. Served on its own ferris wheel, the tea includes elegant takes on finger finger sandwiches, hot dogs and cheeseburgers. Sweet treats are also a nod to nostalgia with coconut ice cream sandwiches, doughnut balls and candyfloss all present and correct. Scones come in sweet and savoury, while you also have the option to add a glass of Moet.
Where: Kings Road, BN1 1NA
How much: From £30 per person
Book now: Harbour Kitchen & Bar
What: An ideal spot for hen parties or larger groups, Browns Brighton offers a daily afternoon tea that is one of Brighton’s most affordable. Savouries include ham and Dijon mustard finger sandwiches and brioche rolls filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Scones are served warm with clotted cream and jam While the sweet treats include blackcurrant and vanilla profiteroles, mango and passionfruit torte and a glazed chocolate rum delice. Diners can also add gin or Champagne to their tea.
Where: Duke Street, BN1 1AH
How much: From £22 per person
Book now: Browns Brighton
Leman Tea Room
What: If you are looking for a quaint and quirky afternoon tea experience then head to this adorable tea shop serving homemade cakes and scones daily. The Leman’s traditional afternoon tea comes with your choice of sandwich, a slice of cake (choices vary daily depending on what has been freshly baked that morning) and a pot of tea.
Where: Madeira Place, BN2 1TN
How much: £16.90 per person
Book now: Leman Tea Room
What: This relaxed cafe found on Upper St James’s Street is open daily for brunch and serves afternoon tea Thursday to Sunday. Ingredients for each thing are locally sourced and the menus change seasonally but you can expect savouries such as bacon and cheddar croissants, and port and thyme sausage rolls, along with homemade scones and sweet treats such as hazelnut delices and mini glazed doughnuts. A vegan tea is also available - and all afternoon teas come with a complimentary glass of Prosecco.
Where: Upper St James’s Street, BN2 1JN
How much: From £29.50 per person
Book now: Metrodeco
What: Just a short distance from Brighton is boutique hotel The Claremont in Hove which offers a traditional afternoon tea created using local produce wherever possible. Finger sandwiches include Cheddar cheese with homemade chutney and free range Sussex egg and cress. Savouries are teamed with freshly baked scones and baked treats such as Victoria sponge cake and chocolate brownies. Prosecco and Champagne are also available for those wanting to add something sparkling.
Where: Second Avenue, BN3 2LL
How much: From £19.50 per person
Book now: The Claremont
Looking to enjoy more of Brighton’s foodie scene? Explore our pick of Brighton’s best restaurants or discover our pick of the best bottomless brunches in Brighton.