Put the kettle on – or better yet, get someone else to. Afternoon tea is usually reserved for a special occasion, but there are plenty of places in Liverpool where you can find everything from a classic cream tea to a slap up smorgasbord celebration.
The British custom of tea and cakes in the afternoon is said to date back to the 1830s when Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, found herself a bit peckish in the gap between lunch and dinner. Anna began inviting her friends over to Woburn Abbey for a cheeky snack and then brought the habit back to London where it caught on with the upper class socialites.
Of course, us Scousers have since added the likes of cocktails and Prosecco to our afternoon teas, but most menus still have a dazzling variety of brews to choose. There’s definitely something for everyone and for any occasion; from cafes and coffee shops to the tallest restaurant in Liverpool.
This is our round-up of the best, independently reviewed places for tea, cake and afternoon delights in Liverpool. When it’s scone, it’s scone.
Here are our picks
Oh Me Oh My, West Africa House, 25 Water Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L2 0RG - Visit now
Oh Me Oh My occupies space in Liverpool’s Grade II-listed West Africa House and uses the building’s stunning features to full effect. Art Deco tiles and reclaimed furniture offer the perfect setting in which to enjoy Oh Me Oh My’s ‘delectable’ afternoon tea, a symphony in classic cakes, scones and finger sandwiches.
The London Carriage Works, 40 Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9DA - Visit now
The multi award-winning London Carriage Works on Hope Street serves up its traditional afternoon tea with fresh berries (a nice touch), delicately-cut sandwiches and cakes made by the in-house patisserie team.
The Art School Restaurant, 1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L7 7DX - Visit now
You can always count on Paul Askew to provide posh nosh and afternoon tea is no exception. Served in the Art School Cellars, this cheeky banquet features a sumptuous selection of sarnies (how does Loch Duart poached salmon with dill crème fraiche, cucumber and Keta caviar on rye bread sound?) and a mouthwatering selection of cakes and desserts including strawberry chouquette filled with Crème Diplomat. Bring. It. ON.
Stanley’s Bar & Grill, Stanley Dock, Regents Road, Liverpool, L3 0AN - Visit now
Set within the Titanic Hotel, the afternoon tea at Stanley’s Bar & Grill comes with a unique view overlooking the waters of Stanley Dock. These former warehouses were used as the backdrop to several major blockbusters and television series, including Captain America, Sherlock Holmes and Peaky Blinders. A must for film fans.
60 Hope Street, 60 Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9BZ - Visit now
60 Hope Street is the kind of restaurant Scousers in the know keep up their sleeve for special occasions. Situated in a gorgeous old Georgian house on one of Liverpool’s most picturesque thoroughfares, 60 Hope Street is a stalwart of the city’s fine dining scene. All of which means that you can rely on the restaurant’s afternoon tea being superlative; choose between a pot of tea, glass of fizz or champagne.
Baltic Social, 27 Parliament Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L8 5RN - Visit now
We couldn’t resist a bit of an alternative pick here – the Baltic Social serves a Punk Afternoon Tea, which is about as far away from carefully cut finger sandwiches as it’s possible to get. Instead, think a mini cheese burger with baconaisse, honey chorizo skewers, deep fried ham hock and mac and cheese balls. In place of Victoria sponge there’s red velvet cake, oreo sponge and bubblegum cake. The veggie alternative also looks suitably rock and roll.