October 10, 2013

Afternoon Tea in Great Britain

Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Bettys in York

One of the many highlights of my study abroad summer in England, was enjoying afternoon tea with my new friends.  We spent much of our free time traveling around Great Britain, and these adventures inevitably included a visit to the local tearoom.  Here are some of my favorite of these experiences.

Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Scones and Finger Sandwiches at Bettys

Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Tea and Sweets at Bettys

The most enjoyable experience was at Bettys in York.  Three of us girls traveled to York on one of our days off from university, and we fell in love with the historic town.  After a long day of exploring York Minster, walking the famous walls and shopping in The Shambles, we were in desperate need of sustenance.  We stumbled upon Bettys and were more than happy to rest our tired feet here while we took our tea.  When you enter Bettys, you are immediately presented with their counter of sweets and pies.  They all look glorious!  We enjoyed a traditional tea, starting with finger sandwiches, then sultana scones followed by the prettiest cakes you have ever seen.  I tried the Bettys Tea Room Blend and it paired perfectly with all three courses.



Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
The Orangery at Kensington Palace

One of the most memorable of our afternoon teas took place at the lovely Kensington Palace.  The Palace was once home to such notables as Queen Victoria, Lady Diana and will soon be home to Prince William and his family.  A group of us toured the opulent Palace and had very high hopes for an equally fancy tea at the Orangery, the Palace's tearoom and restaurant.  Instead, our large group ended up at a very small table and chaos ensued.  The small table soon become completely overrun with teacups, stands and plates.  We bumped elbows and spilled our tea, but the food was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed what we now remember as our 'Mad Hatter tea'!

Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Our 'Mad Hatter Tea' at Kensington Palace

Another highlight of the summer was tea at Buckingham Palace.  After a jaw-dropping tour of Buckingham, visitors exit at the back of the Palace.  Here, The Garden Cafe is created each summer, offering light refreshments.  After touring the formal Palace, this informal cafe is a relaxing way to end your afternoon.  Don't be fooled by the temporary feel of the tents, the tea and cakes served here are high quality treats.  And it certainly seems indulgent to be taking tea in the Queen's backyard!


Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
The Garden Cafe at Buckingham Palace


Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Treats at The Garden Cafe, Buckingham Palace

I also enjoyed a memorable tea with my friend Mandy at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.  During our brief stay in Edinburgh, the Palace had been closed for a royal visit.  On our last day, the Palace was reopened early and we walked to the bottom of the Royal Mile to check it out.  The Palace, famous as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, is a fascinating building to tour.  We followed the tour with a look at the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.  


Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
Holyroodhouse Palace Gates

Afterwards, we lingered over tea at the Cafe at the Palace as we waited for our return train to Nottingham.  I was delighted that they had slices of my favorite strawberry Victoria sponge cake.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day!

Afternoon Tea Memories in Great Britain
My Glorious Victoria Sponge Cake!


More than just tea and cakes, these afternoons spent with new friends over pots of steaming tea are ones that I will treasure forever!



9 comments:

  1. You are reeeeaallllly making me want to hop the next flight to England just for some tea!!

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  2. What a lovely post! And I am delighted to be able to say that I shared each one of these tea party adventures with you in Britain! I too will treasure these wonderful memories with my new friends and I will always be ready to hop the next flight to England for proper tea!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mandy! I'm so happy to have shared all these experiences with you!!

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  3. What a lovely tour through tea rooms in England - I loved Betty's and went there with Andrew when we were visiting York. Isn't that sweets and treats counter amazing!

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head when I first saw that sweets counter! Bettys was a highlight of my trip. I only wish I had thought to bring some of their tea or a teacup home with me. Next time!!

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