Tea Rooms in the Cotswolds

When it comes to relaxing it doesn't get much better than sitting in one of the many tea rooms; Cotswold scenery behind you while you read a paper in the sunshine on a lovely summer's day.

Tea rooms in the South West of England have a reputation to keep up - and there's a great deal of friendly rivalry going on in the Cotswolds.

What is Afternoon Tea?

A quintessentially English tradition, enjoyed at that time of day between 3pm and 5pm when a little energy boost is needed. Afternoon tea is a little luxury between meals, making a cup of tea just so much more enjoyable. Afternoon tea most commonly consists of small sandwiches and a selection of cakes accompanied by a pot of English tea.

The History of Afternoon Tea

The tradition was said to have been created back in the 1800s, when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford simply became hungry between meals. She ordered her servants to serve tea and cakes at exactly 5pm. She enjoyed the idea so much, she insisted on having it everyday.

The idea of afternoon tea became increasingly popular. Over the decades it become more and more elaborate; ladies would dress specially and invite friends to join them for the occasion. Hotels as well soon caught on to the idea of dedicating an hour a day to the enjoyment, social pleasures and delicious food that came with the traditional afternoon tea.   

Afternoon Tea in the Cotswolds

Today, afternoon tea is still very much enjoyed throughout the Cotswolds. One of the most well loved types of afternoon tea may be a “cream tea”. This consists of scones, jam (often strawberry) and cream, served with a pot of tea. Other tempting foods are also available – from dainty cakes in summer to more hearty fare such as chocolate cakes and toasted teacakes in winter.

You will find tea rooms all over the Cotswolds. Areas such as Moreton in Marsh and Stow on the Wold in particular have a wonderful selection of teashops to visit, including Marshmallow Tea Rooms, who were awarded the Tea Guild of Excellence in 2011. Other winners of Tea Guild Top Tea Place Awards included Abbey Tea Rooms in Tewkesbury and Cream Tea Room in Stow on the Wold.

Huffkins Tea Room & Bakery, one of the Cotswolds most popular destinations for afternoon tea, can be found in Stow on the Wold, Cheltenham, Burford or Witney. This family-owned bakery dedicates its time to pleasing its customers with home-made cakes accompanied by a choice of hot drinks; sold alongside delicious hampers to take away for a picnic. In 2010, Huffkins joined Cotswolds Tourism at the British Fair Osaka, Japan, in recognition of their cream tea excellence within the Cotswolds.

Juri’s Tea Room, located in the beautiful town of Winchcombe, is known for its award winning cream teas, cakes and pastries.  Winner of the British Tea Council’s Tea Room of the Year in 2008, Juri’s is run by a Japanese family who fell in love with the English tea room style.  Look out for Gloucestershire Tea on the menu - a blend devised to reflect the Cotswolds. Strong and full of character.

You really shouldn't leave without trying a Cotswold cream tea in a traditional Cotswold Tea Room!
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