As a lover of afternoon tea I have been making it my mission in the last year of living in the New Forest to get round as many locations as possible. There are a wealth of gorgeous hotels that offer a variation of afternoon tea and many of them are located in the middle of the New Forest. That means picture perfect views as well as yummy cake, what’s more the prices are a lot more friendly than London.
Shall we get started?
Where to go for Afternoon Tea in the New Forest
This hotel happens to also happens to have been the location of our wedding. I’ve had afternoon tea here a few times, one was gluten free and the second was gluten and dairy free. Both were great, especially the scones but I’d say the latter choice was slightly limited. The afternoon tea menu here changes with the season and we were lucky enough to try their gorgeous summer menu twice while basking in the sunlight of the conservatory.
The afternoon tea itself had the typical sandwich fillings you expect with an afternoon tea, warm, delicious scones and a range of colourful cakes. I loved the edition of flowers on the top for photo purposes but I’m afraid to say they weren’t edible. This is certainly a hotel to try in the summer too as they serve afternoon tea in the conservatory which is also a sun trap!
Limewood Hotel is a fancy affair just from parking in the car park, we felt a little out of place with our small car. The afternoon tea is served in a gorgeous part of the hotel that has a sun roof making it super light and airy. The decor is something else and we sat on comfy sofas while we ate.
The afternoon tea was quite different to most I’ve had with sushi rolls and wraps as part of the sandwiches. The cake was also quite different as none were sponge based. Again the scones came up tops. The uniqueness of this afternoon tea may have been due to my gluten and dairy free request but I certainly won’t complain.
Rhinefield House Hotel
Again Rhinefield House Hotel was a fancy affair with the same car park saga but once inside it was a lot more relaxed. The service was professional from the minute we walked in and staff were super friendly throughout.
Once inside we were guided by a host downstairs to our table, the room was a huge laid back lobby area which from one side had stunning views of the hotel gardens. The gardens are certainly worth a wonder to walk off the food you’ll consume. The cakes were quite unique with a light moose, cheesecake and cookie. This time I opted for a gluten free only tea as there seems to be more variety with these. The sandwiches were your typical British fillings and the scones came out still warm. All in all it was great afternoon tea in a beautiful setting.
It has been a few years since I’ve been to Carey’s Manor for afternoon tea but this hotel is one of the most iconic in the New Forest. Carey’s Manor is most well known for it’s Sen Spa, however, their afternoon tea is also something to be noted. The last time I was here I combined both of these options for a spa and afternoon tea package.
These days it seems they don’t have that package anymore but they do seem to cater very well for different diets listing both a gluten free menu and a vegan friendly menu on top of their standard menu. Carey’s Manor is located in Brockenhurst in the heart of the New Forest and I’d highly recommend a visit.
And one that isn’t quite in the New Forest
Sometimes it’s nice to head a little further afield than the New Forest towards the seaside and that is exactly where this next place will take you.
Hotel du Vin, Poole
I was blown away by this afternoon tea both the price (it was so affordable for the standard you got) and their gluten free selection. It was located near the quay in Poole and the hotel seemed very quiet on arrival, we admired the beautiful decor as we followed signs to the bar and restaurant where a much livelier atmosphere unfolded. The room was gorgeous although a little on the dark side – hence the lack of photos.
The afternoon tea itself was brilliant. The sandwiches came separately to the cake which I’m never a fan of because I don’t like to over each on sandwiches. However, I’ll let them off on this occasion because when the sweets did arrive we were in for a huge treat. There were two levels of alternative sweet treats including candy floss and ice cream.
Where is your favourite place to go for afternoon tea?
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