Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, you won't find yourself short of things to do in Newcastle. After all, the jewel of the North East is packed with great activities and eateries. You can visit one of its cultural hubs, like Sage Gateshead (affectionately compared to a “giant shiny slug - but in a good way”), for a concert or exhibition. For a boozier day out, there’s always Ouseburn, which is packed with cosy pubs for an afternoon ale. If it’s sunny, you can venture into the stunningly beautiful Jesmond Dene in search of kingfishers and red squirrels. For dinner, Newcastle’s restaurants don’t disappoint and afterwards, the nightlife has been called the UK’s best. However, if you do manage to find time between lunch and dinner, a spot of afternoon tea could be the perfect way to fill the gap.
Everyone likes their afternoon tea a different way, which isn't surprising for a country that can’t agree on how long to leave the bag in. After all, which item is the centrepiece: the tea, the scones, the sandwiches, the savouries or the cakes? Should it be a sober affair or do you think the only suitable way to consume finger sandwiches and dainty sweets is with a glass of fizz? Should it be a quick bite and hot drink or a decadent, three-hour feast of tiny treats? Does an authentic vegan or gluten-free afternoon tea even exist?
Thankfully, the birthplace of Greggs has a whole host of options, ranging from the casual cupcake and cuppa to the more decadent three-tiered extravaganza. Venues include family-owned cake shops and grand Georgian hotels. We’ve scoured all the options, weighing up the merits of each so that no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Here is our ultimate shortlist for afternoon teas in Newcastle.
What: Towards the edge of the city centre, you'll find Newcastle’s branch of Malmaison, which sits by the banks of the Tyne. This airy former warehouse boasts a restaurant, spa, bar and, best of all, afternoon tea. Its selection includes classic smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, scones and cakes along with some more unconventional tastes, like a Thai sticky beef and sesame wrap. The Mal don’t leave vegans out of the fun with plenty of plant-based alternatives. You can also ramp up the decadence with the prosecco, champagne or cocktail version. Available Friday to Sunday 12:30-3:30pm.
How much: £20 per person, £25 with prosecco or £27 with a cocktail or champagne
Where: 104 Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3DX
Book now: Malmaison
The Great British Cupcakery
What: Where better to satisfy your sweet tooth than the Great British Cupcakery? Although its speciality is wedding cakes (check its Instagram), it also offers afternoon tea. Expect such delights as a cheddar and herb scone topped with melted cheese and a candied thyme sprig or a lemon and curd slice topped with a “meringue kiss”. If you’re in the market for pink, tiny treats and quirky china, this is the place for you. This place doesn't serve alcohol, but you can bring your own and pay a £5 corkage fee. It also allows for all dietary requirements if given sufficient notice.
How much: £19.95 per person, Kids for £9.95 per person
Where: 15 Queen St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3UG
Book now: Great British Cupcakery
Cafe 21 at Fenwick
What: Cafe 21 at Fenwick is a stylish French restaurant in the heart of Newcastle. From coffee and a croissant in the morning to an Aperol Spritz in the evening (with lunch in between), this all-day eatery has thought of everything. Pastries, however, remain its speciality and what better way to sample them than with afternoon tea? Explore raspberry and rose macaroons, a cherry and almond tart and Gateau Esterhazy alongside savoury sandwiches such as chicken and tarragon or cheese and chutney. Sweet treats are so much the star of the show that it only offers three choices of tea. Available from 2pm daily.
How much: £40 for two people, £55 with champagne
Where: 39 Northumberland St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AF
Book now: Cafe 21
Hotel du Vin
What: If you choose to stay in the stylish, pub-filled area of Ouseburn, Hotel du Vin is a popular choice. The Edwardian building was once home to the Tyne Tees Steam Shipping Company and has kept its industrial feel and quayside view. Inside, you’ll find modern suites, private dining rooms and an intimate French bistro. Afternoon tea here includes the classics, as well as a good vegan selection including Isle of Wight heritage tomato and olive tapenade. The sweet treats include chocolate and cherry cupcakes and a crunchy chocolate cheesecake. The tea selection is fun and unique, with names such as “Nearly Nirvana”, “Mojitea” and “Dozy Girl”. For special occasions or boozy days out, Hotel du Vin offers a selection of champagnes and cocktails.
How much: £22.50 per person
Where: Allan House, City Rd, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2BE
Book now: Hotel du Vin
What: Another cultural hub in the North East, Sage Gateshead is an international music centre that sees more than two million visitors per year and is home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia. If you accidentally arrived a few hours early for a concert or decided to stick around after an exhibition, Sage has a winter afternoon tea menu that might take your fancy. Sandwiches include all the usual culprits, while desserts go down a more indulgent route with white chocolate profiteroles... Alternatively, you can opt for the Marlish menu, with highlights such as an applewood smoked cheese and spiced tomato chutney sandwich and a millionaire caramel tart. Afternoon tea at the Sage is available 12-4pm daily, while the winter menu is available until the end of January.
How much: £15.95 per person, or £20.95 with a cocktail
Where: St Mary's Square, Gateshead NE8 2JR
Book now: Sage Gateshead
Six at Baltic
What: Afternoon tea doesn’t have to be limited to indoors. At Six, you can sip and snack on the terrace bar overlooking the Newcastle skyline. Savouries aren’t limited to sandwiches here, so try its coronation chickpea wrap or parmesan custard and spinach tart. A frosted earl grey chocolate pave serves as the perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee. You can even order a kit to make your own afternoon tea at home, although laziness is part of the experience if you ask us.
How much: £25 per person, £28 with prosecco or champagne
Where: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, S Shore Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead NE8 3BA
Book now: Six
The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth
What: The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth’s was originally a place where the Duchess of Northumberland could while away her summers. The sweeping staircase has survived almost 150 years and so has the hotel’s opulent offerings. If you aren’t looking for a lavish suite or an extravagant wedding venue, sneak a peek of the opulence over afternoon tea in the drawing room. Afternoon tea at the Grand is available daily from 12pm.
How much: Prices start at £18.50 per person
Where: 14 Grand Parade, Tynemouth, North Shields NE30 4ER
Book now: The Grand Hotel
The Vermont Hotel
What: Another luxurious hotel is the Vermont, which combines modern elegance with Gatsby-era grandeur. You can choose from cream tea, traditional afternoon tea or the heartier “Gentleman’s” menu, which includes a scotch egg, Vermont burger, pork pie, cheese and fries. For the kids, the Vermont also do a family afternoon tea with Santa in December, with festive sandwiches and even a gift from Santa (if you’re on the nice list).
How much: £19.95 per person, £23.95 with a glass of wine, £24.95 with a glass prosecco, £26.95 with champagne and kids for £9.95
Where: Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ
Book now: The Vermont Hotel
What: In keeping with the theme of historic venues, the award-winning Blackfriars is believed to be the oldest purpose-built restaurant in the UK, and it really goes the whole hog. It hosts hundreds of events every year in its cookery school, tasting room and banquet hall and offers an afternoon tea to match. Dine inside, or venture outdoors in the cloister garden for a handmade wild hog and winter truffle sausage roll, rhubarb and custard choux bun, homemade scones and, of course, tea or a glass of fizz. Blackfriars offer afternoon tea on Friday and Saturday, 2.45-5pm. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available.
How much: £18 per person or £24 with a glass of fizz
Where: Friars St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4XN
Book now: Blackfriars
What: Before moving North in 2007, the founders of Dreamworld Cakes supplied the likes of Buckingham Palace garden parties, the Chelsea Flower Show and Ascot. In 2019, they made it to the final six in Bake Off - The Professionals. Now, they run a top-notch patisserie, offering light lunch, pastry-making lessons and afternoon tea. Expect freshly baked fruit scones, mini patisserie treats, sandwiches and hot drinks. Gluten-free and veggie options are also available, from Wednesday to Saturday, 11-3pm and Sunday 11-1pm.
How much: £18.50 per person, £7 for kids up to 10 years old
Where: Arch 3 Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2NP
Book now: Dreamworld Cakes
Jesmond Dene House
What: This Grade II-listed Georgian venue was bought, sold and expanded before becoming Newcastle’s first independently-owned boutique hotel in 2005. Jesmond Dene House prides itself on its luxurious rooms, rich history and “quintessential” afternoon tea. As such, you can expect quintessential scones, sandwiches, savouries and sweet treats, with unlimited tea or coffee. The tea selection is extensive, including exciting blends like 'Birds of Paradise', which combines white and green tea with marigold petals, safflowers, apple and peach. Jesmond Dene House afternoon tea runs Wednesday to Sunday from 1-4pm. Vegetarian options are also available.
How much: £25 per person, £32 with prosecco or £38 with champagne
Where: Jesmond Dene Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2EY
Book now: Jesmond Dene House
Check out our guide to London’s best afternoon teas if you fancy taking a tea trip to the big smoke!