It’s finally December! The most wonderful time of the year is about to become even more wonderful, because all over the North East, restaurants and hotels are serving some really spectacular festive afternoon teas. I am a huge fan of afternoon tea and have sampled many a dainty turkey and cranberry sandwich in my time. No matter where you live, or where you are staying in the North East, I’ve picked out a venue that serves a really special Christmas-themed afternoon tea for you to enjoy.
Hotel du Vin, Newcastle
Two years ago, my family and I spent a truly magical Christmas Eve at Hotel du Vin in Newcastle, where we sat by a roaring fire and enjoyed a special festive afternoon tea. An afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin is a relaxed affair, with just a hint of luxury and a whole lot of festive spirit. We gathered on sofas around the fire, sipped sparkling wine and tucked into yummy Christmas sandwiches and the most delicious banana bread I think I have ever tasted! Twinkling lights, log burners and a delightful afternoon tea – the recipe for the perfect Christmas Eve. Here’s what Hotel du Vin are offering on their festive afternoon tea this year for £22.50 per person:
“…tasty mini savouries including tender turkey sandwiches, warm scones oozing with cream and jam, exquisite little cakes and desserts like lemon meringue pie and crumbly mince pies, topped with a wonderful wisp of homemade candy floss that melts in the mouth.”
Rene’s of Tynemouth
Rene’s of Tynemouth, my favourite place to enjoy a cup of tea in Tynemouth, is offering a jam (and cream) packed festive afternoon tea for you and your friends and family this Christmas! If their afternoon teas last year are anything to go by, you’ll enjoy sandwiches stuffed full of festive goodness, homemade scones, mince pies, Christmas cake and all the extra little touches that makes Rene’s as quaint and lovely as it is. Rene’s are currently undergoing a bit of refurbishment to make this coffee house as charming as possible, just in time for Christmas. Look out for more info about this year’s Christmas afternoon teas at Rene’s, which will soon be available on their Facebook page.
Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham
For me, Crook Hall’s USP is that you can have a first-class afternoon tea, in the most beautiful historical surroundings. Served in the elegant Georgian Drawing Room, Crook Hall’s festive afternoon tea is an absolute delight to both the eyes and the tastebuds. Everything from the canapes, to the glasses of mulled wine and mince pie inspired fruit scones are fabulous. The effort that goes into making the Hall as festive as possible really is staggering, and it really shows. Giant Christmas trees, Santa’s twinkling attic grotto, antique Christmas decorations and much more, making this the ultimate festive afternoon tea experience. Check out what fancies Crook Hall is offering up this festive season for £24.50 per person:
Drinks: Mulled Wine, Christmas Tea and Hot Chocolate
Canapes: Toad in the Hole and Smoked Salmon Blini
Sandwiches: Turkey & Cranberry, Chicken & Stuffing, Roast Sweet Potato & Goats Cheese, Cheese & Christmas Chutney
Scone: Mince Pie inspired Spiced Fruit Scone, with Plum Jam and Cream
Cakes: Mince Pies, Coconut Meringue Snowballs, Chocolate Orange Brownies, Ginger Cake and Trifle Sponges
Carriages Tearoom, Bellingham, Northumberland
The next place I wish to continue my afternoon tea education is at the Carriages Tearoom in the lovely little village of Bellingham in Northumberland. How many people can say they’ve had a festive afternoon tea onboard a train? Restored by local volunteers and the Heritage Lottery Fund, these old train carriages have been restored to their former glory and now house a tearoom with a locomotive twist! I have been told to expect a warm welcome aboard and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon tea and day out in Bellingham. I can’t wait! For just £10 per person, or £19 for two people, the Carriage Tearoom offers us:
“A sumptuous afternoon treat complete with pieces of our favourite cakes and tray bakes, a round of four different sandwiches and half a cream scone per person and a pot of tea.”