Best afternoon tea in Bristol: 11 spots to enjoy tea and cake

From classic cream teas to boozy alternatives, this is the only list you'll need when looking for options for your next afternoon tea

Updated on • Written By Holly Butterfield

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Best afternoon tea in Bristol: 11 spots to enjoy tea and cake

Afternoon tea has long been a quintessentially British tradition, but over recent years it's really swept across the nation, solidifying its place as one of the country’s favourite pastimes and we, for one, are completely on board. What's not to love about stuffing your face with savoury sarnies and cutesy sweet treats whilst consuming endless cups of tea? 

It's the perfect way to break up an afternoon, whether you're looking for a relaxing cafe after a long day of shopping or a more elegant hotel ballroom for a fancier affair. It's a great idea no matter the occasion and, most of the time, it’s actually pretty affordable. Nowadays, there are almost too many places to have afternoon tea in Bristol, offering tiered-stands packed full of homemade cakes and patisseries alongside freshly brewed loose-leaf teas. If you’re overwhelmed by all the choice and not really sure where to start your search, then you've come to the right place. 


Having established a bit of a rep as a foodie hotspot, Bristol boasts some of the best restaurants in the UK, attracting tourists from all over to explore its dining scene. It's somewhat of a cultural hub and boasts lots of charming waterside spots too, which draw in the crowds and providing an idyllic backdrop for a stroll along the harbour. Perfect for walking off a couple of cakes after a delightful afternoon tea.

Bristol is bursting with places to go for afternoon tea so we've done the heavy lifting, scouring the area and rounding up our favourites into one handy list. From harbourside locations with a view, quirky vintage shops that serve tea on the side and venues offering unlimited fizz with your sweet treats, these are some of the best afternoon teas in Bristol. 

The River Grille

Afternoon tea at The River Grille in Bristol

What: If you’re looking for a glamorous spot by the water, then this one's for you. The River Grille at The Bristol Hotel has put its own spin on the classic with this G&T Afternoon Tea served every Thursday to Saturday. A selection of dainty sandwiches are on offer followed by freshly-baked scones topped with jam and Cornish clotted cream and a variety of miniature cakes. All served with your choice of tea and coffee, with options to upgrade to include one of the G & Tea cocktails.
Where: Prince Street, BS1 4QF
Book now: The River Grille 

Ahh Toots

a stand of afternoon tea treats (left), a display of different cakes (right)

What: There’s something special about Ahh Toots with its vintage decor, cosy interiors and cake artistry that has established its position as a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. Starting off life at St Nicholas Market, you’ll now find Ahh Toots at the bottom of the Christmas Steps - instantly recognisable thanks to its Tudor style exteriors, with a history that dates back centuries. The team serves a whole host of artistically designed cakes which feature heavily in the afternoon tea offering, with menus of lemon and sage sponge and a spiced carrot cake choux bun. Seating is very limited so be sure to book a table so as not to miss out.  
Where: 17 Christmas Street, BS1 5BT
Book now: Ahh Toots 

The Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols

a table laid with cakes and sandwiches

What: Found on the second floor of this shopping mecca, the restaurant at Harvey Nichols serves a tempting afternoon tea to reinvigorate shoppers. Here you’ll find slightly less traditional afternoon tea options including the likes of duck spring rolls and artichoke empanadas with sweets in the form of lavender and honey macarons or marmalade choux buns. If you’re wanting somewhere to really celebrate in style, you can upgrade to the bottomless Champagne afternoon tea, with 90 minutes of free-flowing fizz to go alongside your dainty afternoon treats.
Where: 27 Philadelphia Street, BS1 3BZ
Book now: The Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols 

Café at the New Room 

glass domes filled with cakes

What: Found inside what is said to be the oldest Methodist chapel in the world, Café at the New Room is a charming space, featuring a courtyard which is protected from the elements by a glass roof. Almost everything served here is made in-house and veggies and vegans aren’t forgotten about either. Known for its chocolate brownies and tasty shortbreads, enjoy a selection of sweet treats as part of the afternoon tea - just make sure you book in advance to bag yourself a table.
Where: 36 The Horsefair, BS1 3JE
Book now: Cafe at the New Room 

No.4 Clifton Village 

afternoon tea stand (left), someone pouring a cup of tea (right)

What: Quintessentially British, No. 4 boasts rustic chic interiors and a cosy, welcoming vibe. Afternoon tea here can be innocent or boozy, with Hendrick’s Gin and Prosecco packages available alongside the standard offering. Food wise, you can expect an assortment of miniature sandwiches, freshly-baked scones, a selection of daily changing sweet treats, and of course, endless cups of freshly-brewed tea or coffee. If you're looking to celebrate be sure to switch your brews for one of the Tipsy Tea-Pots which come filled with a selection of cocktails such as Pimms or a selection of Spritzes.
Where: 4 Rodney Place, BS8 4HY
Book now: No.4 Clifton Village 

Ashwell & Co

a teapot and cups (left), a stand of cakes (right)

What: If you’re after that cutesy, mismatched crockery kind of afternoon tea, then Ashwell & Co could be exactly what you’re looking for. This boutique and tearoom is beloved by locals offering delightfully British stands of cakes and scones in this unique setting. Everything here is handmade or locally sourced, even offering its own signature homemade clotted cream. Afternoon teas are available for everyone, with classic, vegan and gluten free options alongside child’s and mini’s afternoon teas so you can even bring your little ones along to enjoy this experience. Don’t want to leave your house for afternoon tea? No problem, Ashwell & Co will let you order it to enjoy at home. 
Where: 32 Alma Vale Road, BS8 2HY
Book now: Ashwell & Co 

Symonds at Redwood

a stand of afternoon tea treats from Symonds at Redwood

What: Afternoon tea at Symonds is a pretty traditional affair, boasting a glamorous setting that’s bursting with English charm, just a short drive from Bristol city centre. Finger sandwiches come with classic fillings such as egg mayonnaise and smoked salmon, while warm and plain fruit scones are topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam. All this is followed by the oh-so-sweet likes of mango and passionfruit tart, Victoria sponge cake and pistachio and rose macarons. Lashings of tea and infusion brews are sure to help wash everything down. 
Where: Beggar Bush Lane, BS8 3TG
Book now: Symonds at Redwood 

The Ivy Clifton Brasserie

the floral interior restaurant at the ivy clifton

What: Part of the nationwide Ivy Collection, this all-day restaurant features the brand's signature colourful art-deco interiors and a menu full of crowd-pleasers which take influence from across the globe. The afternoon tea here however, is resolutely British. Start with savoury sarnies filled with the likes of grilled chicken or smoked salmon, before moving on to the sweeter likes of a chocolate pot, sticky caramel slice or madeleine served with chocolate sauce.
Where: 42-44 Caledonia Place, BS8 4DN
Book now: The Ivy Clifton Brasserie 

The Harbour Kitchen

a table set for afternoon tea at The Harbour Kitchen

What: Looking for a central spot for your afternoon tea? Just a short walk from several of Bristol’s top tourist locations, The Harbour Kitchen is housed in a former banking hall, offering ocean blue seating and aquatic decor in its glamorous, marine style dining room. But that doesn’t mean it’s only fish on the menu - here you’ll find a pretty classic afternoon tea full of cucumber sandwiches and prawn cocktails to start, followed by sweet treats of chocolate eclairs and winter berry tarts. Be sure to upgrade to include a glass of bubbles to make it slightly boozier.
Where: 53 - 55 Corn Street, BS1 1HT
Book now: The Harbour Kitchen 

Hotel du Vin & Bistro 

Afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin & Bistro

What: You couldn't find a more perfect spot for afternoon tea than one of Hotel du Vin’s boutique hotels. Here, you’ll find two different afternoon tea offerings. A classic cream tea is available for something a bit simpler, but here the full works includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes such as bakewell tarts and raspberry and dark chocolate ice cake pops. Wash it all down with a selection of Bird & Blend teas. A glass of fizz may be the expected addition to your afternoon tea, but here you can add a cocktail or two if that’s more your style. 
Where: The Sugar House Narrow, BS1 2NU
Book now: Hotel Du Vin & Bistro Bristol 

Berwick Lodge

an afternoon tea in the grounds of Berwick Lodge

What: This one may be a little bit out of the way, but it is absolutely worth the journey. Just a few miles outside of the city centre you’ll find Berwick Lodge with its three different afternoon tea options. You can opt for keeping things traditional, adding Champagne, or even taking things outside into the manor house’s picturesque grounds. An elegant spot that’s perfect for a summer’s day, start with the likes of chicken terrine and beef and horseradish sarnies, followed by freshly baked scones and delicate sweet treats of macarons, panna cotta and Battenbergh cake. 
Where: Berwick Drive, BS10 7TD
Book now: Berwick Lodge 

Prefer dining out earlier in the day? You’ll want to explore our round up of the best brunches in Bristol

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