10 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG
0191 227 5500
This is a proper event of an afternoon tea. The monthly afternoon tea at the movies (or rather, the cosy parlour at one end of the bar-restaurant) includes dainty little sandwiches, home-baked cakes, scones with clotted cream and bottomless Ringtons tea or coffee, and it’s all themed around the film you’re watching on the bar’s big screen – when we went, we had Oliver Cheese Twists. You can add prosecco too.
Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington DL2 2DU
Everyone knows that Rockliffe Hall is very fancy indeed, and their afternoon tea menu’s a perfect distillation of its fanciness. It includes freshly baked scones, sandwiches like shaved pastrami with Dijon mustard and mature cheddar with hot gooseberry relish, and sweet treats including blackberry tart with vanilla cream and banana and mango posset.
88 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AG
0191 340 1393
Head to the tea parlour at this Durham institution, whose dainty sandwiches – smoked salmon, rocket and lemon mayo is the standout – fruit scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, cheese scomes, homemade cakes and tartlets and choice of 17 blends of loose leaf teas or a cafetière of coffee have earned it a die-hard fanbase.
Wynyard, Stockton TS22 5NF
Rockliffe Hall and Wynyard Hall are jostling for the title of fanciest place on this list, and we wouldn’t want to have to call which one’s the winner. Actually, seeing as this is our list and we can do what we want, we’re going to abdicate that responsibility completely and just tell you that Wynyard Hall’s afternoon tea includes refined sandwiches, fruit scones, cakes including raspberry macaroon filled with white chocolate and lychee ganache and a chocolate and cherry delice, and loose-leaf tea or coffee. Their gentleman’s afternoon tea comes with a glass of Glenfiddich whisky too. Fancy? Fancy.
The Running Fox
Rothbury Road, Longframlington NE65 8AE
This artisan bakery’s afternoon tea has quite a rep – sample it yourself, picking from a choice of sandwiches (smoked salmon and cream cheese; brie, walnut and chutney; beef, stilton and chutney; sausage, cheddar and red onion chutney; roast ham, cheddar and pickle) and adding a slice of pie or quiche, a fresh scone, slice of cake and, obviously, tea.
Serendipity Tea and Trinkets
10 Frederick Street, Sunderland
0191 510 0054
Prettiness and daintiness are the key words here: you’ll get tasty sandwiches, freshly baked savoury and sweet scones, homemade cakes and tea or coffee served in vintage china. Their champagne and sparkling afternoon tea or cocktail afternoon teas are great if you’re after something a little stronger.
Remember Me Tearooms
5 Finkle Street, Stockton
This super-cutesy place has a big hit of nostalgia to it, with proper china and little nods in the decor to the 40s and 50s (we’re not sure war and austerity were that relaxing, but there we are). Their afternoon tea for two is £15 and includes a sandwich from the menu, a scone with jame and cream, a cake, side salad, crisps and a pot of tea. You really, really need to try out their themed afternoon teas too – they’ve had Beauty and the Beast and Harry Potter ones of late, and have teased a Polar Express-themed tea for this Christmas.
Jesmond Dene House
Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle NE2 2EY
0191 212 6066
Still the grand dame of the afternoon tea scene in Newcastle, the secluded vibe here is complemented by a refined line-up on the menu: finger sandwiches, quiche, three types of scone, homemade jams and, obviously, belting cakes. they do a champagne afternoon tea too, or you could add a tea-infused liqueur from Noveltea. The surroundings in the cocktail bar, billiard room and garden room are pretty unbeatable too.