Afternoon Tea York at The Principal Hotel

Afternoon Tea York – It does not happen very often, but recently I went out without the kids! You can probably tell that I love my days out with the kids, but every so often it’s nice to go somewhere on my own. And what better place to go for a treat than for afternoon tea at The Principal York (what we locals call The Royal York Hotel).

**I have reviewed The Principal York Twilight Afternoon Tea more recently – so have a look at that for a more up-to-date idea!**

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Afternoon Tea in York

It was quite simply wonderful. So lovely to relax knowing that it is just you to take care of and no-one is going to start bickering or need the loo ten thousand times.

Stunning Décor

The Principal York has been refurbished recently and is stunning. Soft muted greys, plush carpets and comfortable but elegant looking furniture. Huge glass chandeliers twinkling above and just the hint of subtle music playing in the background.

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York Minster

Our table overlooked the gardens (and the car park, which is less poetic, but not too bad as car parks go – see the photo from our table below). Towering on the horizon was our lovely Minster.

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Earl Grey Tea

The waiter approached and asked in hushed reverential tones what variety of tea we would like today. I am an Earl Grey girl so that was my pot of choice.

Afternoon Tea York

Next came the savoury plates course, three items comprising of a salmon mousse, a ham and leek tart and a blue cheese scone.

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This was just the precursor to the main event though, the actual cream tea on its traditional three plate tier! Spectacular!

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First came the delicate finger sandwiches with the crusts removed. (And rightly so, who in their right mind likes crusts? I’m with the kids on this one.).

Scones, Jam and Clotted Cream

Then, and I suppose I didn’t have to proceed in this order, but then, I dove into the plain scone, smothered it with jam and clotted cream and wolfed it. I do not intend to reveal if I added the jam or the clotted cream first as I know this is a contentious subject and I don’t want to be banned from either Devon or Cornwall. Not that I have ever been, they are a very long way from Yorkshire, but I want to keep my options open…
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After a quick refresh of my tea pot, I moved on to the piece de resistance, the (quite literal) pinnacle of the afternoon tea – the cakes!

These included such delicacies as the passion fruit meringue, chocolate orange eclair, lemon sherbet macaron, strawberry and Pimm’s tart.

I loved the addition of the purple pansy atop the macaron, sooo pretty (and can you imagine a better Instagram shot?).

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It was, all in all, a lovely oasis of calm in my otherwise frenetic life. I think everyone should stop for afternoon tea occasionally!  Oh, and if you did want to sully share your experience with the children, they are welcome too with their own Afternoon Tea menu!

The Principal York Hotel Afternoon Tea Menu

It’s always nice to nosy at a menu I think!

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Website and prices

The Principal York Hotel (Royal York Hotel)

Prices start at £22.95 per person.


If you like Afternoon Tea, have a look at my round ups of the best afternoon teas in York.  Or look directly at my Afternoon Tea reviews of The Principal Hotel in York, The Ivy in York and the Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley.


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