The tale goes that afternoon tea was created by the 7th Duchess of Bedford as an antidote to the ‘sinking feeling’ she used to experience in the late afternoon. A statement we never thought we’d utter: the Duchess of Bedford and the team at SquareMeal HQ have something in common. We know all too well the perils of the afternoon slump and we can’t thank her royal highness enough for introducing the world to one of the greatest British traditions to date.
Afternoon tea is now a widely loved and practiced affair, with the ritual of enjoying dainty sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and miniature cakes served everywhere from independent cafes to high-class hotels all over the UK. One particular perpetuator of the tradition is Scotland’s largest city, which is why we’ve rounded up all the best afternoon teas in Glasgow in one sweet list.
A rule that’s true for afternoon teas up and down the country: some of the fanciest and most fabulous afternoon teas are often found in hotels. For that reason, you’ll find an entire section of this guide dedicated to afternoon teas served in hotels in Glasgow, many of which boast some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. Fancy enjoying a host of dainty sandwiches underneath a 26-foot-high glass dome? Believe it or not, such a dream is in fact possible – keep scrolling until you reach The Corinthian Club for proof.
If you’re after something a little more chill, not to worry, because Glasgow’s very best afternoon teas include something for everyone, from fancy teas to traditional offerings served in quaint and cosy vintage tea rooms. Whatever tickles your fancy, you can find all the best afternoon teas in Glasgow right here in this complete guide. Browse them all, then go ahead and book one as a foodie gift for a friend, or simply just for yourself – we don’t judge.
Afternoon teas in hotels in Glasgow
It makes sense that Glasgow's fanciest hotels serve some of the finest afternoon teas in the city. Why not continue the theme and wash it all down with a glass of Champagne? Tea is overrated anyway - right?
Windows at The Carlton George Hotel
What: Windows restaurant is located on the 7th floor of The Carlton George Hotel, meaning you can enjoy its afternoon tea with a view over Glasgow’s rooftops. Served seven days a week, guests are treated to unlimited refills of tea and coffee alongside classic sandwiches, scones with Chantilly cream and jam, and British sweets such as miniature strawberry tarts, carrot cake and tiffin bites.
How much: From £16.95 per person
Where: 44 West George Street, G2 1DH
Book now: Windows at The Carlton George Hotel
Sherbrooke Castle Hotel
What: Afternoon tea is served within the lounge, Library or Morrisons Room at Sherborne Castle, a four-star baronial hotel located on the south side of Glasgow. Artfully-crated cakes rotate all the time, but you can expect them to be served on a beautiful tiered cake stand alongside sandwiches and freshly baked plain and fruit scones with cream and preserves. While loose leaf teas available include everything from English breakfast to green gunpowder and assam.
How much: £21.95 per person
Where: 11 Sherbrooke Avenue, G41 4PG
Book now: Sherbrooke Castle Hotel
The Corinthian Club
What: Housed within a stunning grade A-listed building set over five floors, The Corinthian Club is one of Glasgow’s most iconic and historic buildings. Afternoon tea is served in its restaurant, Tellers Brasserie, underneath a 26-foot glass dome while regal chandeliers and elaborate plasterwork make for a truly memorable setting. Naturally, its afternoon tea has received a treatment worthy of such a location. Start with savoury canapes such as potted foie gras and duck liver parfait with cranberry, before moving onto extra special sandwiches including prawn bloody Mary with an avocado, lime and dill crème fraiche on baby brioche. To finish? Look out for things like strawberry and Thai basil with matcha tea battenburg and a lemon sherbet curd tart sphere.
How much: £25 per person
Where: 191 Ingram Street, G1 1DA
Book now: The Corinthian Club
The Willow Tea Rooms
What: The Willow Tea Rooms first opened in 1983, with this particular Buchanan Street branch opening in 1997, and has since become one of the best places in Glasgow for everything from a light lunch to a slice of cake. Perhaps its most famous offering though, is afternoon tea served in its kooky tearoom. Guests can opt for a traditional or a savoury afternoon tea, with the latter including a selection of sandwiches, cheese scones with butter and savoury treats. Both are presented on a three-tier cake stand for maximum impact, and you can always choose to add a glass of prosecco, Champagne or a G&T for an extra cost.
How much: From £15.50 per person
Where: 97 Buchanan Street, G1 3HF
Book now: The Willow Tea Rooms
What: Malmaison is an ‘anything but orthodox’ boutique hotel with outlets all over the UK. This one in Glasgow is housed inside a former Greek Orthodox Hotel just off of Blythswood Square, with guests able to indulge in its signature MAL afternoon tea. Savouries include a crunchy Thai sticky beef and sesame wrap, mini Cumberland sausage and apple rolls and a prawn cocktail, while cakes arrive in the form of a calamansi citrus meringue tart and a raspberry ripple and white chocolate sundae.
How much: £27 per person
Where: 278 West George Street, G2 4LL
Book now: Malmaison Glasgow
What: Located a little way south from Glasgow city centre, the restaurant at Crossbasket Castle hotel is overseen by Michel Roux Jr, so you can guarantee the afternoon tea here is going to be extra special. It's also extra pricey, but we think that the 'chef's artisan sandwiches' and 'afternoon tea delicacies' will make the price tag worth it. Enjoy in the exquisite Baillie Room which is decorated with gold leaf and opulent antiques.
How much: £35 per person
Where: Stoneymeadow Road, G72 9UE
Book now: Crossbasket Castle
Casual afternoon teas in Glasgow
We get it - sometimes you just want to indulge in fancy cakes and copious amounts of tea without all the frills and fuss. Keep things quaint and cosy at these casual spots.
Cup Tea Lounge
What: Cup Tea Lounge’s grand arches, high ceilings, crystal chandeliers and vast windows provide a suitably impressive backdrop for this afternoon affair. Guests can choose from traditional, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus, with its classic offering featuring an indulgent selection of sandwiches, scones and sweets. Things start on a classic note with a roasted tomato chutney and feta quiche and dill cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, and end on an indulgent one – think chocolate brownie and peanut butter ice cream.
How much: £24 per person
Where: 71 Renfield Street, G2 1LP
Book now: Cup Tea Lounge
The Hidden Lane Tea Room
What: With over 30 loose leaf teas to choose from and a host of freshly-made cakes all baked in house, afternoon tea at the Hidden Lane Tea Room certainly doesn’t do things by halves. Guests receive four finger sandwiches, four mini cakes and a mini scone with a pot of tea or coffee, all delivered to the table on a vintage cake stand. And at the delightfully modest price of £16.50! Vegan and gluten-free options are also available.
How much: £16.50 per person
Where: 1103 Argyle Street, G3 8ND
Book now: The Hidden Lane Tea Room
The Butterfly and The Pig
What: The Butterfly and The Pig comprises a restaurant and a tea room, and naturally it’s the latter where guests can enjoy its afternoon tea offering. Step back in time via its vintage, shabby-chic interiors and tuck into a selection of canapés, sandwiches, scones, cakes and a choice of tea. They proudly state on the menu that they ‘believe in hearty portions and our afternoon tea is no exception’, so make sure to arrive with an appetite.
How much: £16.95 per person
Where: 153 Bath Street, G2 4SQ
Book now: The Butterfly and The Pig
What: This modern all-day café is a celebration of all things Scottish, with its eclectic dining room featuring tartan wallpaper, landscapes by local artists and a deer antler chandelier. It’s here where guests are treated to sandwiches, cakes, scones and miniature desserts on a traditional afternoon tea stand. Make it boozy and add a glass of pink prosecco, an Edinburgh gin goblet or a Hendricks gin goblet teapot.
How much: From £19.95 per person
Where: 48 Buchanan Street, G1 3JN
Book now: Cranachan Cafe
Keen to explore Glasgow's foodie scene but need to do it on a budget? These are the best cheap eats in Glasgow that won't break the bank.