There is something so deliciously luxurious about afternoon tea: it conjures up images of porcelain teapots, gorgeous scones, delicious jams and clotted cream. A cup of tea in the morning is just fine but high tea is special. That’s why we’re celebrating mother’s day by compiling a list of the best places to get a nice bit of cake.

England

Sketch

Afternoon Tea at Sketch - Sketch

Afternoon Tea at Sketch – Sketch

Piccadilly Circus, sometimes called the “Times Square of London” is renowned for its buzzing energy and constant action. Just a few blocks away, once you’ve worn yourself out in the crowds, stop by Sketch for an afternoon tea. Established in 2002 Sketch, rapidly became the go-to location for high tea: a quirky atmosphere and incredible food pair make for an unforgettable experience.

Betty’s Cafe Tea Room

Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms - Afternoon Tea UK

Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms in Harrogate – Flickr: Neil Turner

The first Betty’s opened its doors in 1919 in the small and very fashionable town of Harrogate. Harrogate is famous for its natural springs and spas, charming architecture and beautiful horticultural gardens. A visit to Harrogate isn’t complete without a stop at Betty’s Cafe Tea Room for a taste of traditional Yorkshire high tea. The selection of teas, sandwiches, cakes and preserves are all served on the classic silver tea stand. An elegant and exciting way to spend the afternoon.

Rococo

Lemon Scones - Afternoon Tea UK

Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream – Flickr: Benson Kua

Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, Liverpool is famous for its connection to The Beatles but it has a lot more going on that just that. Rococo, nestled on the second floor of a busy Lord Street shop, offers high tea at a low price. The cool, laid back vibes and the delicious food make it the perfect place to stop for an afternoon indulgence during a busy day of sightseeing.

Edwardian Tea Room

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Cafe - Flickr: Harry_nl

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Cafe – Flickr: Harry_nl

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (or BMAG as the locals call it) offers an eclectic mix of ancient and modern history with rooms focusing on ancient Egypt and others discussing the city’s evolving suburbs. Tucked into the back of the museum you’ll find something entirely different: a newly renovated tea room with affordable prices and a very chic clientele. The tiled floors and huge vaulted ceilings make it feel like a special treat after a day spent exploring Birmingham’s history.

Scotland

Books and Beans

Bookd and Beans - Afternoon Tea UK

Bookd and Beans – Flickr: Jarle Refsnes

Aberdeen’s rich maritime heritage, abundance of castles and other stunning architectural features make it a perfect place to wander. Lose yourself in the side streets and you just might find Books and Beans: this quaint cafe set in a used book shop blends the city’s academic culture and its rustic charm. Cheap books, good fair trade coffee and friendly staff make this a perfect place to escape for the afternoon.

Anteaques

Cup of Tea at

Cup of Tea at Anteaques – Flickr: Swithun Crowe

With such a delightful pun for a name Anteaques lives up to its promise: the cafe is filled with antiques and oddities to keep its guests interested. There is a story behind each piece and you can just feel the city’s incredible history. Edinburgh is full of gorgeous churches and the incredible Edinburgh Castle, you can walk the city for hours but this small cafe is worth a stop of its own. Indulge in one of their fan favourite scones and scour their huge list of options for just the right tea to match it.

Ireland

Farmgate Cafe

English Market in Cork - Flickr: Jessica Spengler

English Market in Cork – Flickr: Jessica Spengler

Kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork, explore the Blackrock Castle and definitely make a stop at the Farmgate Cafe for an afternoon tea. The cafe looks out over the Old English Market and makes a perfect spot for people-watching. Compliment your tea with some of the fresh Irish soda bread, one of their savoury options or their incredible lemon tart.

Queen of Tarts

Queen of Tarts - Afternoon Tea in the UK

Queen of Tarts – Flickr: Laura Bittner

A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a stop at this cosy little tea room. The mismatched china and freshly baked goods at Queen of Tarts makes a quaint alternative to a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Sit for a spell and enjoy a delicious brunch, or afternoon tea complete with Victoria sponge, dense scones and one of their titular tarts (sweet or savoury).

Wales

Dylan Thomas Boathouse

Dylan Thomas Boathouse - Afternoon Tea UK

Dylan Thomas Boathouse – Flickr: jo-marshall

Laugharne, home of Dylan Thomas for the later part of his life, lies on the Welsh coast. The Dylan Thomas Boathouse combines this poetic heritage and the beautiful coastal setting. Often patronised by members of Thomas’s family, you never know who you might run into while taking afternoon tea. The tearoom serves traditional Welsh fare including bara-brith (a fruit cake) and the classic high tea delicacies.

Ruthin Castle

A medieval castle for afternoon tea - Flickr: Jim Linwood

A medieval castle for afternoon tea – Flickr: Jim Linwood

Ruthin Castle is breathtaking. Much of it is in beautiful moss covered ruins, but some reconstruction has turned the main Castle into a fully functioning hotel. Stay the night in a Medieval castle but be sure to stay long enough for tea the next day. They have got an incredible deal on afternoon tea complete with all the classic finger sandwiches and homemade pastries: fresh baked scones and chocolate eclairs among other delicious treats.

Feature photo courtesy of Karen Booth.

Hannah Sinclair

Canadian university grad trying and failing to figure out her life.Passion for baking and crafting.Accidentally had herself deported from Hungary. Follow her many misadventures @sinclair_hannah.