If you know your Lovegoods from your Longbottoms and your Polyjuice from your Patronus, this list of the best Harry Potter-inspired afternoon teas around the United Kingdom will tickle your fancy. Ranging from wizard teas to iconic film locations and even a trip on a steam train, these afternoon teas will have you reminiscing about your favourite wizarding series.
The British tradition of afternoon tea has been around since the 1840s and even today, it still has its charm, drawing together tea-drinking friends to celebrate bridal showers, birthdays, baby showers or anniversaries. It was first made popular by Queen Victoria as a fashionable grand social ceremony known as a ‘tea reception’, where hundreds of guests were invited to quell their hunger pangs before a dinner later in the evening.
But what is afternoon tea? It’s not just pots of tea, but bite-size sweet treats and savouries served as a light three-course meal. It normally features finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries, and classic scones served with jam and clotted cream.
Scroll down for our top wizard, witch and magic-themed afternoon teas and tuck into a range of enchanted sweets, mystical savouries, and perfectly brewed pots of tea. So, don your house colours and your best witches hat and let the magic begin. Accio finger sandwich!
Harry Potter afternoon teas in London
London, a magical city in itself, was home to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre play and many filming locations during the Harry Potter series, including Harry’s first encounter with magic in the Reptile House at London Zoo and platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station. So grab your broomstick and get ready to explore.
Cutter & Squidge -The Potion Room, Soho
Image: Cutter & Squidge
What: Wrap your wizard’s cloak around your shoulders and take a seat at a school desk in potions class. The potions master will arrive shortly and take you on a spellbinding journey that gets the cauldron bubbling. Mix your own potions and see it magically transform before your eyes before you eat and drink your creepy concoctions. The menu tantalises with a few magical surprises alongside Yorkshire pudding, scones, butterscotch biscuits, sandwiches and the Galaxy Juice potion with hibiscus, passion fruit, and unicorn tear tea.
Why: Although not Harry Potter affiliated, this afternoon tea is one of the most delightful immersive experiences in the capital. The potions room is decorated with faux school badges, beakers of brews, and other-worldly knick-knacks everywhere you look. Cutter & Squidge also cater for dietary requirements, offering vegan, gluten-free and halal menus.
Where: 20 Brewer Street, W1F 0SJ
How much: The two-hour experience is £49.50 for adults and £39.50 for kids
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - afternoon tea off-site, Watford
Image: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
What: A two-in-one adventure that will even delight muggles. Enter the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford. Get to see behind the movie scenes with props, sets, costumes and even sip on a tankard of Butterbeer. Choose when to fit in your afternoon tea at Mercure Hunton Park with a scrumptious set up of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and mini fruit tartlets.
Why: Not only do you get to climb aboard the Knight Bus, have a peek at Dumbledore’s office and ride a broomstick, but you also get to pair it with a magical afternoon tea at a period house in the area. The tea is not themed, but the centuries old British tradition matches the Harry Potter experience in the historical Queen Anne house.
Where: Studio Tour Drive,Watford WD25 7LR and Essex Lane, Kings Langley, WD4 8PN
How much: £129 for two people from Virgin Experience Days
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - afternoon tea on-site, Watford
Image: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
What: Get the whole magical experience with a Warner Bros. Studio Tour and a refectory-style afternoon tea right on the premises. Have your fun in the Great Hall, count the cats in Professor Umbridge’s office and marvel at the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes storefront. At teatime, stop by the Food Hall and enjoy an afternoon tea spread of finger sandwiches, mini Scotch eggs, and a brie and leek tart for savouries. Sweets include scones, treacle tart (Harry's favourite dessert), and a take on Dumbledore’s favourite sweet, the Sherbet Lemon, with a lemon sherbet cupcake.
Why: If you’re planning to head to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, make a day of it by adding an afternoon tea to the experience at the Food Hall in the lobby. The two-person tea also offers an option to upgrade your tea or coffee to a glass of Prosecco for an extra bit of zing. You can also choose to book this experience as a private group package for 20-50 guests and have your very own Potter party.
Where: Studio Tour Drive, Watford WD25 7LR
How much: Tickets for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour are £45 for adults and £37 for children. The afternoon tea is an additional £20 for two.
Wizard Afternoon Tea at the Georgian House Hotel, Pimlico
Image: The Georgian Hotel
What: The Georgian House hotel is the latest place to launch a wizard themed afternoon tea. The three-course afternoon tea offers up the likes of 'inside-out sandwiches' (aptly named ‘hciwdnas’) and ‘brieware’ tarts to start before moving on to 'eye of the newt scones' (which we hope is a play on words) and to finish, a selection of Grand Wizard cakes including dark arts baked chocolate and salted caramel, and web-topped passionfruit jelly. If you feel like making it boozy, upgrade to bottomless bubbles or a red fairy dust wizard cocktail.
Why: In keeping with the theme of the hotels wizard chambers, the wizard afternoon tea is the ideal way to complete your magical experience at this hotel. Not a guest? No worries because this tea is open for everyone: whether you are a die-hard wizarding fan or just want something a little bit out of the ordinary.
Where: 35-39 St George’s Drive, SW1V 4DG
How much: £40 per person and a £10 supplement for a wizard cocktail. For bottomless bubbles its an additional £20
The Hansom, King’s Cross
Image: Renaissance Hotels
What: Visit one of the franchise’s most famous locations, King’s Cross station, where Harry caught the Hogwarts Express steam train from platform 9 ¾. See the gothic architecture, find The Harry Potter Shop, and pose at the trolley in the wall. Then finish it off with an afternoon tea in the Hansom Lounge at St Pancras Renaissance hotel in parts of the original rail station. Tuck into delicacies including caramel-glazed profiteroles with salted caramel cream and haggis Scotch eggs served with piccalilli.
Why: Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the old station buildings, making you feel like you’re in the station’s yesteryears while getting your dose of Potter. The unapologetically British hotel is a sight to behold and is just a four-minute walk from platform 9 ¾.
Where: Euston Road, NW1 2AR
How much: The classic afternoon tea goes for £38 and the Champagne tea is £50
Harry Potter afternoon teas around England
Other filming locations around the country including Hogsmeade station, Oxford University and various castles where many Hogwarts shots were filmed. So it's no surprise that there are a handful of wizard-friendly afternoon teas around the UK to choose from. Check out some of the afternoon teas we love below.
Happily Ever Afters, Margate
Image: E Greenhalgh from Happily Ever Afters
What: This magical wizard-themed afternoon tea at the Happily Ever Afters tearoom covers all bases. Be enchanted by cupcakes that sort you into your schoolhouse, sip on jugs of butterbeer and try not to let your chocolate frog hop away. You can finish up by tucking into sherbet lemon sundaes while finger sandwiches will keep you well-fuelled before you get there.
Why: You can munch on eats straight out of the witch’s cookbook, see flying envelopes and floating candles around the space before donning the cloaks and witch’s hats to start the bubble, bubble, toil and trouble potion making. The teas are either served as set events or can be booked privately for large groups.
Where is it: 13 Market Place, CT9 1ES
How much: £20 per person for the two-hour experience
Cardamon Tea Lounge, Colchester
Image: @natalyjennings on Instagram
What: This fantastical wizard-themed afternoon tea at an Essex tea room comes complete with spellbinding props, enchanting eats and witchy finishing touches. Tuck into snacks and treats such as pumpkin-spiced scones, sandwich bites, cauldrons of popcorn, and chocolate broomsticks.
Why: This themed tea transports you into a world of alchemy, potions and fantasy. Let your imagination go wild as you dress up and take photos with the witch’s props to feel like a real sorcerer ready to whip up your next charm.
Where: 44 St John's Street, Colchester, CO2 7AD
How much: £25 per person every March and October
Hempstead House, Sittingbourne
Image: Terry Vine and Hempstead House
What: Immerse yourself in the world of magic and wonder with the Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea and magic show at Hempstead House hotel. Watch your Professor perform some bewitching spells, be sorted into your house and by the end of the day, you may have mastered a spell or two. Catch snitch cake pops, bite into sorting hat biscuits and cheers with a mug of butterbeer.
Why: It’s perfect if you’re looking for something for both parents and kiddies to do. Muggle adults get to sip on a cuppa with afternoon tea in the Heritage Suite while children can a kid-friendly version of Harry Potter-inspired afternoon tea.
Where: Hempstead House Hotel, London Road, ME9 9PP
How much: £28.50 for adults and £19.50 for children
Durham Cathedral, Durham
Image: Durham Cathedral
What: You’ll recognise Durham Castle as a film location for many Hogwarts scenes. Erected in 1093, the cathedral features beautiful Romanesque architecture with rounded arches and school corridor cloisters. Enjoy a traditional selection of afternoon tea goodies including finger sandwiches, mini scones and homemade cakes.
Why: Durham Cathedral is A UNESCO World Heritage Site which shows up in the first three Harry Potter movies. See if you can spot where Ron threw up slugs and find McGonagall’s Transfiguration classroom.
Where: The College, DH1 3EH
How much: Entry is free for the cathedral, but donations are welcome. For the afternoon tea, it is £11.95 per person and is served from 2.30-4pm
Harry Potter afternoon teas in Scotland
Scotland is the mystical land up North where Harry Potter came to life. Venture into the Highlands to find eerie film locations, castles, and steam trains, while in Edinburgh, find the café where J.K. Rowling began her story and stop by Victoria Street, the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.
Jacobite steam train over Glenfinnan Viaduct, Fort Williams
What: Probably the most famous scene in Harry Potter is when the Hogwarts Express steam train travels over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which boasts picturesque Scottish Highlands scenery. You can board the Jacobite steam train from Fort Williams and cross the viaduct while enjoying The Jacobite Cream Tea in first-class. Bite into Ploughman’s sarnies, homemade cakes and scones with strawberry preserves and clotted cream.
Why: The luxury experience is magical in many ways – not only do you get an elegant afternoon tea aboard a steam train, but you get to experience the untouched countryside that Harry Potter is famous for.
Where: Tom-na-Faire, Station Square, Fort William, PH33 6EN.
How much: Tea is £18.95 each. First class return train tickets are £59.95
Inverlochy Castle, Fort Williams
Image: Inverlochy Castle
What: Feel like you’ve stepped into the Wizarding World with the idyllic 19th century Inverlochy Castle in Fort Williams on the banks of Loch Eil. Pair this majestic castle with an afternoon tea complete with scones, cakes and other savouries of the day, as well as gourmet sandwiches including whisky-cured smoked salmon, avocado and wasabi cream. You can even add a glass of rosé Champagne to top it all off.
Why: Explore the picturesque Glencoe area and reminisce over the familiar countryside you’ve seen in the Harry Potter films while gracefully tucking into your afternoon tea. You can make a day of it by taking a car ride to find the loch which inspired Hogwarts' Great Lake, Loch Shiel (as seen in the Triwizard tournament), and head to Fort Williams to board the Jacobite steam train or take a trip up to Loch Eilt, the famous resting place of Albus Dumbledore.
Where: Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN
How much: £31.50 per person
Clachaig Inn, Glencoe
What: Stay at the quaint Clachaig Inn in amongst the glens in the Glencoe area and be close to where the filming sets once stood.
Why: Although not a conventional afternoon tea, this experience gives you an ethereal Harry Potter experience in the middle of the magical Scottish Highland landscape. Have a short stay at age-old Clachaig Inn, pack an afternoon tea picnic and take a short hike to where Hagrid's hut once stood, a majestic setting on the banks of Ben Nevis. In the scenic Glencoe area, find more Potter-esque destinations and other breathtaking lochs in the area.
Where: Glencoe, PH49 4HX
How: Up to you!
Harry Potter afternoon teas in Wales
Wales is home to Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire, the fateful beach where we bid Dobby farewell. We could only find one wizard-themed afternoon tea on offer in the country, but it's more than worth checking out. Find out why below.
The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff
Image: The Exchange Hotel
What: Gather in the Exchange Hotel’s Grand Hall for the wizards and witches afternoon tea or visit for the Yule Ball afternoon tea every December and see it transformed into an enchanted world. Sip on themed cocktails and munch on wizard hat cookies, cakes and finger sandwiches.
Why: Find elegantly decorated tables, flickering candles and tasty treats galore. There is also a Harry Potter quiz where you could walk away with some magical goodies. The Harry Potter-inspired aftertoon tea here takes place every few months and tickets for these hotly-anticipated events often sell out very quickly, so we'd recommend booking well in advance.
Where: Mount Stuart Square, CF10 5FQ
How much: £30 per adult, £15 per child
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What time is afternoon tea?
Afternoon tea is usually served between 4 and 7pm, acting as a light meal between lunch and dinner.
What is the difference between high tea and afternoon tea?
High tea is often confused with afternoon tea, but they are vastly different. High tea is not a social affair with finger sandwiches and scones like its counterpart, but more of a buffet-style sit-down meal served after 5pm. Originally, it was served as the main meal of the day containing hearty dishes such as pies, sausage, fish dishes, cheesy casseroles, cold meats and cheeses. To clear things up a bit more, afternoon tea is often known as low tea.
How do you dress for afternoon tea?
Afternoon tea is the perfect time to get dressed up, but most teas have a smart-casual dress code. If you’re going to somewhere like the Ritz for tea, dress more formally but otherwise smart jeans, button ups and closed shoes for men (but no trainers), with dresses, skirts and heels for the ladies. Of course, cloaks, witches hats and brooms are widely accepted at Harry Potter afternoon teas.
Can you drink alcohol at afternoon teas?
There are no formalities against drinking alcohol at afternoon teas and most offer an option to upgrade to a glass of fizz. When adding a glass of Champagne or Prosecco to afternoon teas, it gets the name ‘royal tea’. We somehow think a Butterbeer doesn't quite count though.
All this talk about tea has got us hankering for a freshly brewed pot. If Harry Potter isn’t your cup of tea (sorry, we had to), see our list of the best afternoon teas in London.
Let’s get Sirius, the above mentioned afternoon teas are in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. All of which are inspired by alchemy, magic and wizards and not based on any specific story or character, and they are not Harry Potter Afternoon Teas. Harry Potter characters, names and related information are registered trademarks of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.