Peppered amongst the rolling fells and picturesque shores of the Lake District are some of the finest spots to indulge in a quintessentially British afternoon tea. There’s no finer expression of Victorian elegance than nibbling on classic dainty sandwiches, petite sweet pastries and warm scones laden with clotted cream, all served with a traditional tea service by a window overlooking a lake.
This tradition is taken very seriously in the Lakes and there is an abundance of places where you can enjoy a feast of pretty cakes and perfectly cut sandwiches, from cosy tearooms to luxury manor houses. We have found some of the best afternoon teas in the Lake District, whether you prefer your tea traditional or with a twist (and some bubbles). After all, you do need a break from all that adventuring! Be sure to check ahead before you set out, as some require pre-booking.
The Fizzy Tarte, Bowness-on-Windemere
Served: 12pm – 4.30pm
Discover an exquisite patisserie, champagne bar and café all rolled into one at The Fizzy Tarte in Bowness-on-Windermere. If you’re looking for a modern twist on the traditional classic, you’ll find one of the best afternoon teas in the Lake District here.
There’s a great choice of options depending on the level of luxury you fancy, but our favourite has to be The Ultimate Afternoon Tea where you can spoil yourself with a variety of indulgent sweet treats, alongside finger sandwiches, locally made scones and a glass of Prosecco. The Fizzy Tarte also do a fine selection of cocktails, so don’t be surprised if your afternoon tea extends into the evening!
Stay in Bowness-on-Windermere.
The Daffodil Hotel and Spa, Grasmere
Served: 12pm – 3.30pm
Surrounded by verdant fells and boasting blissful views across Grasmere, The Daffodil should certainly be on your list of afternoon tea spots in the Lake District to try. Make yourselves comfortable in the sophisticated lounge or peaceful dining room inside, or pull up a chair on the terrace outside on a sunny day.
From an assortment of hand-crafted sandwiches to melt-in-the-mouth buttermilk scones and bite-sized patisserie, all served with a pot of fruit or spiced tea from Teapigs, the afternoon teas here are irresistibly displayed. They also feature the very best of local produce from the area.
Stay in Grasmere.
Inn on the Lake, Glenridding
Served: 2.30pm – 5pm
Nestled on the tranquil shores of Ullswater in Glenridding, the Inn on the Lake is a local favourite for afternoon tea in the Lakes. In the warm summer months, the large outdoor terrace is an idyllic spot to savour enticing finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and a colourful display of fancies, while in the winter you can cosy up by the glowing fire in one of the lounges.
For a special treat, you can upgrade to a Prosecco Afternoon Tea. Plus, they also offer a range of themed afternoon teas throughout the year, such as for Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas, and even a Star Wars-themed afternoon tea for May the 4th!
Stay in Glenridding
Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden, Portinscale
Served: 1pm – 4pm
Hidden amongst leafy woodland, along the sparkling shores of Derwentwater, Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden has quickly become a popular destination for a Lakeland afternoon tea. Set within the Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter spent summer holidays as a child, the café has a stunning 100-foot-long glass wall looking down on the octagonal walled garden. It was this that the writer and illustrator credited as her original inspiration for Mr McGregor’s Garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit!
Look forward to the likes of garden pea and chorizo muffins, delicate raspberry and lemon macarons and fragrant blueberry shortcake, all created on site in their bakery. Combine with a choice of artisan coffees from local Cumbrian roasters, loose-leaf teas or a chilled glass of Prosecco.
Stay in Portinscale.
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Haverthwaite
Served: 12pm – 3.30pm
One of the more unique places to have afternoon tea in the Lake District, the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway near Ulverston serves up four different varieties. These can can be enjoyed in their charming little tearoom or on the Victorian platform while watching the magnificent steam trains chug past.
The traditional and savoury options include freshly made sandwiches, a medley of delicious cakes, and homemade crumbly scones. Or you can sample their Hot Afternoon Tea featuring mini burgers, chicken and mozzarella garlic bread, sausage kebab, chips and a shot of homemade soup! If you've still got room, follow that with a tier of cakes and scones with lashings of jam and clotted cream! Vegetarian and gluten-free choices are also available.
Stay in Haverthwaite.
The Wild Boar, Kendal
Served: 12pm – 4pm
For a Lake District afternoon tea with a twist, head to The Wild Boar in Kendal for their Alternative Afternoon Tea menu. Instead of traditional finger sandwiches, this smorgasbord of delights features wild boar and apple mini burgers, asparagus, watercress and smoked salmon tart, fish and chips, and warm pork scratchings with Bramley apple sauce, amongst other delectable items.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an afternoon tea without the classic scones topped with raspberry jam and clotted cream, and a selection of other sweet treats too. There’s also a Vegetarian Afternoon Tea and an Alternative Afternoon Picnic which includes everything above but is served in the great outdoors. A blanket, cushions and picnic basket are provided which you can lay out on the lawn or within their 72-acre private woodland.
Stay in Kendal.
Holidays in the Lake District
Have we tempted your tastebuds with any of these wonderful spots in the Lake District to enjoy afternoon tea? If so, we’ve got a stunning collection of holiday cottages in the Lake District, many of which are within easy reach of these fine establishments. Or, if you’re still feeling a little peckish, check out our guide to the best places to eat in the Lake District.