7 Best Afternoon Tea Spots Near Windsor Castle Featured Image

I. Introduction

Craving a delightful afternoon tea after exploring the grandeur of Windsor Castle? Look no further! Here’s our list of the top 7 spots for an indulgent afternoon tea experience near the iconic castle. From classic settings to unique themes, these options cater to every taste, promising an unforgettable treat.


II. Top Picks for the Best Afternoon Tea Near Windsor Castle


1. The Castle Hotel Windsor

Steeped in royal ambience, The Castle Hotel Windsor is a top contender for the best afternoon tea near Windsor Castle. In their signature “Royal Afternoon Tea,” a spread fit for royalty featuring delectable treats crafted by expert chefs. If you have a more savoury preference, opt for the “Gentleman’s Tea,” a unique twist on the classic experience.


2. The Ivy Windsor

Oozing with old-world charm, The Ivy Windsor offers a quintessential afternoon tea experience. Their signature “The Ivy Afternoon Tea” presents a delightful three-tiered stand overflowing with freshly baked scones, delicate finger sandwiches, and tempting cakes and pastries. Elevate your experience with the “Champagne Afternoon Tea” for a truly special occasion, adding a touch of bubbly to your afternoon delight.


3. Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Windsor

Steeped in tradition, the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel offers a quintessential English afternoon tea experience. Choose from their classic “Afternoon Tea,” featuring a delightful selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and a tempting array of cakes. If you prefer a lighter option, the “Cream Tea” provides scones and all the trimmings for a more relaxed indulgence. The charming atmosphere overlooking the River Thames completes this delightful afternoon escape.


4. The Orchid Tea Room at Fairmont Windsor Park

Embrace elegance at The Orchid Tea Room at Fairmont Windsor Park. Indulge in their opulent “Grand Afternoon Tea,” a multi-tiered masterpiece showcasing handcrafted finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and decadent pastries – all created by expert pâtissiers and chocolatiers. If you prefer a seasonal twist, their “Seasonal Afternoon Tea” highlights the freshest flavours. Inspired by the hotel’s history of orchid collecting, the luxurious surroundings provide an unforgettable setting for your afternoon tea.

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5. Browns Windsor

Seeking a relaxed afternoon tea near Windsor Castle with a scenic view? Look no further than Browns Windsor. Their classic Afternoon Tea boasts a delightful selection of finger sandwiches, warm scones with seasonal jams, and irresistible miniature cakes, all enjoyed with charming riverside views of the River Thames. If you prefer something lighter, Browns Windsor also offers a delightful “High Tea” featuring a focus on a wide variety of Good Earth teas alongside a selection of pastries and treats – perfect for a more casual afternoon indulgence.


6. Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Windsor

Craving an extra touch of luxury for your afternoon tea near Windsor Castle? Look no further than The Ivy Windsor’s Champagne Afternoon Tea. This delightful option elevates their classic afternoon tea by adding a glass of bubbly to the mix. Imagine indulging in a three-tiered stand overflowing with freshly baked scones, delicate finger sandwiches, and tempting cakes and pastries, all complemented by a refreshing glass of Champagne. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself to an unforgettable afternoon delight.


7. The Drawing Room at The Windsor, part of the Macdonald Windsor Hotel

Seeking a modern take on a luxurious afternoon tea near Windsor Castle? Look no further than The Drawing Room at The Windsor, within the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. This elegant venue offers a delightful afternoon tea experience that combines high-quality ingredients with a contemporary presentation. Imagine indulging in a beautifully presented selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with house-made jams, and an assortment of tempting pastries and cakes – all crafted with the finest ingredients. The Drawing Room promises an utterly delicious and visually stunning afternoon tea.

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II. Afternoon Tea

A. A Delightful Ritual: A History of Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea, a cherished tradition of British culture, boasts a surprisingly long and fascinating history. While its origin remains mysterious, most historians trace it back to the 17th century. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited with pioneering the practice. Legend has it that the Duchess, known for feeling peckish between lunch and a late dinner, began requesting a light afternoon tea, bread, and butter meal. This personal indulgence gradually became a social event, attracting friends and acquaintances for conversation and refreshments.

By the 18th century, afternoon tea had become a firmly established custom among the upper classes. Tea consumption in England had skyrocketed during this period, and the afternoon gathering provided a welcome opportunity to showcase exquisite tea sets and elegant china. The etiquette surrounding the ritual blossomed, with specific guidelines for pouring Tea, holding the cup and saucer, and consuming the various treats.

The Victorian era (1837-1901) witnessed a further surge in the popularity of afternoon tea. Queen Victoria, known for her fondness for strong black Tea and rich pastries, further solidified its place in British social life. Afternoon tea served as a social gathering to display wealth and status. Elaborate multi-tiered stands overflowing with finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, jam, and delicate pastries became the norm.

B. The Allure of Afternoon Tea near Windsor Castle

Imagine yourself indulging in a quintessentially English tradition, surrounded by the grandeur of Windsor Castle, a magnificent symbol of British history and royalty. Afternoon tea near Windsor Castle offers an unparalleled experience, combining the ritual’s elegance with this iconic landmark’s awe-inspiring presence.

Soak in the rich tapestry of history as you sip on your favourite tea and savour delectable treats. Picture yourself gazing upon the majestic castle walls, perhaps catching a glimpse of the Royal Standard fluttering in the breeze, signifying the Queen’s presence. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking a relaxing and delightful afternoon, afternoon tea near Windsor Castle promises an unforgettable experience.

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C. What to Expect in an Afternoon Tea Experience

A traditional afternoon tea typically follows a three-tiered presentation. The bottom tier usually features a selection of savoury finger sandwiches with various fillings, such as smoked salmon with cream cheese, cucumber and cream cheese, or coronation chicken. The middle tier takes centre stage with freshly baked scones, often served warm and accompanied by clotted cream and jams (strawberry being a classic favourite). Finally, the top tier dazzles with sweet treats, including miniature cakes, pastries, tarts, and macarons.

Of course, modern interpretations of afternoon tea abound. While some venues remain true to the classic format, others offer variations to cater to diverse preferences. Vegetarian and vegan options are becoming increasingly common, featuring plant-based substitutes in sandwiches and pastries. For those seeking a touch of indulgence, champagne afternoon tea elevates the experience with a celebratory glass of bubbly.

D. A World of Flavors: Types of Afternoon Tea

The beauty of afternoon tea lies in its versatility. Here’s a glimpse into some popular variations:

  • Traditional Afternoon Tea: This classic format embodies the essence of the ritual, featuring finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of sweet treats.
  • Vegetarian Afternoon Tea: Catering to a growing dietary preference, vegetarian afternoon tea offers a delightful selection of plant-based finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats that are equally delicious and visually stunning.
  • Vegan Afternoon Tea: Vegan afternoon tea takes things further, ensuring all components are free from animal products. Vegan alternatives for finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries ensure a delightful and inclusive tea experience.
  • Gluten-Free Afternoon Tea: For those with gluten sensitivities, many establishments offer gluten-free options, allowing everyone to partake in this treasured tradition.
  • Champagne Afternoon Tea: Add a touch of luxury to your afternoon tea experience with a glass of bubbly. Perfect for celebrating a special occasion or indulging in a touch of elegance.
  • Themed Afternoon Tea: Several venues offer themed afternoon teas catering to specific interests or seasonal celebrations. These can range from chocolate-themed delights to festive Christmas afternoon teas.

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III. Afternoon Tea with a View

If you’re looking for an afternoon tea experience combining delicious food with stunning views, Windsor has several options. The Castle Hotel Windsor offers a majestic setting directly opposite Windsor Castle. Imagine enjoying your Tea with the iconic castle walls and towers as your backdrop. You might even see the Royal Standard flying on a clear day, indicating the Queen’s presence.

For a different perspective, Browns Windsor boasts riverside views of the River Thames. Sip your tea and savour delectable treats while watching boats cruise down the river or spot swans gliding on the water. This ever-changing panorama provides a sense of serenity and escapes from the everyday.

Venturing slightly outside Windsor, Coworth Park offers a luxurious afternoon tea experience with breathtaking views of the Berkshire countryside. Imagine indulging in a delightful spread surrounded by lush green meadows, quaint villages, and rolling hills. This picturesque setting promises an afternoon tea filled with peace and tranquillity.

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IV. Planning Your Afternoon Tea

A. Choosing the Right Venue

With so many delightful afternoon tea options near Windsor Castle, choosing the right venue can feel overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Budget: Afternoon tea prices can vary depending on the venue, the type of Tea offered, and the inclusion of extras like Champagne. Establish your budget beforehand and choose a venue that aligns with it.
  • Preferences: Consider your taste preferences. Do you prefer a classic afternoon tea experience or something more unique, like a savoury option? Some venues offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, so ensure they cater to any dietary restrictions.
  • Ambience: Think about the atmosphere you desire. Do you crave a luxurious setting with breathtaking views or a more relaxed and casual environment? Consider the venue’s décor and overall vibe when making your decision.
  • Occasion: Are you celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a delightful afternoon treat? Some venues offer themed afternoon teas perfect for specific celebrations, while others provide a more classic experience.

B. Dietary Restrictions

Many venues cater to various dietary needs. If you have vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free requirements, consider their options beforehand. Most establishments will happily accommodate your needs with alternative fillings for sandwiches and pastries, ensuring a delightful and inclusive experience for everyone.

C. Booking Your Reservation

Afternoon tea, especially during peak season and weekends, can be popular. Booking your reservation in advance is highly recommended, especially for larger groups. Most venues allow online reservations or booking via phone call.

D. Dress Code

While there’s no strict dress code for afternoon tea, most venues have a smart casual approach. Think sundresses, tailored trousers, or collared shirts. A touch of elegance is always appreciated, but comfort is key. If you need more clarification, you should check with the venue beforehand for their specific dress code recommendations.

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V. Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Afternoon tea, though a delightful indulgence, involves a few basic etiquette guidelines:

A. Order of Consumption

Tradition dictates a specific order for enjoying the afternoon tea treats. Start with the savoury offerings on the bottom tier, indulging in finger sandwiches. Next, move on to the middle tier, savouring the warm scones with clotted cream and jam. Finally, conclude your delightful journey with the sweet treats on the top tier.

B. Tea Etiquette

  • Holding the cup and saucer: Hold the teacup by the handle, gently balancing it on a saucer held by your other hand.
  • Adding milk and sugar: If adding milk, pour it into the cup first, followed by sugar. This helps avoid curdling the milk.
  • Stirring: Stir gently with your teaspoon in a back-and-forth motion. Avoid clinking the spoon against the cup.
  • Drinking: Lift the cup and saucer together, taking small sips.

C. Finger Food Etiquette

  • Finger sandwiches and pastries: These are typically eaten with your fingers. Use a separate hand for savoury and sweet items to avoid mixing flavours.
  • Scones: Break the scone into manageable pieces and spread clotted cream and jam on each bite.

Remember, these are just some basic guidelines. Stay calm about strict rules. Relax, enjoy the conversation, and savour the delightful afternoon tea experience.

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VI. Conclusion

This comprehensive guide explored the delightful afternoon tea world near Windsor Castle. Unveiling the rich history of this cherished tradition, we delved into the different types of afternoon tea experiences available, catering to diverse preferences and dietary needs.

We journeyed through some top picks for afternoon tea near Windsor Castle, highlighting their unique offerings and stunning settings. Whether you yearn for a luxurious afternoon tea with breathtaking views of the castle, a charming experience overlooking the River Thames, or a delightful escape amidst the picturesque Berkshire countryside, there’s a perfect venue waiting to be discovered.

Embrace the quintessential English experience of afternoon tea. Savour exquisite finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and jam, and decadent sweet treats. Indulge in a pot of your chosen Tea, the gentle clinking of china, and engaging conversation.

Afternoon tea near Windsor Castle offers more than just a culinary treat; it’s a delightful ritual steeped in history and a chance to create lasting memories in a truly enchanting location. So, book your reservation, embrace the etiquette, and embark on a delightful afternoon tea experience fit for royalty.


J. Shaw

Joseph Shaw is a renowned expert with two decades of experience in historic travel, and tourism in the United Kingdom. His multifaceted expertise and commitment to excellence have made him a highly respected professional in U.K. tourism.

J. Shaw has 91 posts and counting. See all posts by J. Shaw

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