15 Places for the Best Afternoon Tea in York (with photos!)

Afternoon tea in York – I love afternoon tea, and living near York I am lucky enough to have lots of places to choose from.  Here are some of my favourites and some places I have yet to try. 

You can go for traditional afternoon tea in York’s plush hotels, like The Grand or The Principal.  Or at the lovely Betty’s Cafe right in the centre of York. 

You could also choose something a little different like an afternoon tea river cruise, Yorkshire picnic or dining on board a high class railway carriage. 


afternoon tea in york
Lady Bettys Afternoon Tea


Afternoon Tea at Principal, York

The afternoon tea at Principal, York has recently been reimagined as a Chocolate afternoon tea in homage to York’s chocolate history.   Served in the Garden Room, the decor in the hotel is wonderfully calming and the service is excellent.  Ask for a window table to gaze at the magnificent Minster as you dine. 

The Principal is one of my favourite afternoon teas in York.

Have a look at my review of our new review of the Afternoon Tea at Principal, York (on our sister site Best Things to do in York)

york's best afternoon tea



No.1 York

1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA

You can experience afternoon tea in The Marmalade Lounge at No.1 York.   It’s a gorgeous, relaxing spot to while away the afternoon and indulge in this very British afternoon tea.

“The perfect afternoon tea combines savoury and sweet treats. Ours honours that noble tradition but brings playful flavours together to give it a twist for today.

Served in The Marmalade Lounge at No.1, our dainty sandwiches, canapés, scones and cakes are all made using fine British ingredients. And a glass of English fizz goes just as well as a pot of tea.”

We have visited and reviewed the Afternoon Tea at No.1 York on our sister site here.


afternoon tea at No 1 York



Café 21 York

Fenwick Department Store. 2 St. Marys Square, Coppergate Centre Yorkshire, York YO1 9WY

Café 21 York is a stylish and contemporary place to eat within Fenwick in the Coppergate Arcade. 

Afternoon tea is served daily from 2pm and includes a selection of traditional sandwiches, raisin and plain scones (with clotted cream and strawberry jam!) and an assortment of handmade pastries.  You have a choice of English Breakfast, Earl Grey or Darjeeling tea and can upgrade to include a glass of Champagne!

“A home from home where hospitality comes first. Café 21 is a sociable and effortlessly stylish space, serving crafted comforts, lunch bites and sweet treats.

This breakfast, lunch and early evening venue is the place for a mid-shopping trip lunch, business meeting, afternoon tea, or a quiet cup of the good stuff. A place where ‘me time’ matters.”


afternoon tea york



Champagne Afternoon Tea at Middlethorpe Hall in York

If you like the idea of taking Champagne Afternoon Tea in a stately home hotel that was featured as a location in Downton Abbey, then Middlethorpe Hall is the destination for you. 

Take your time sipping tea in their elegant drawing room, gazing out over the manicured grounds.  They have a spa too if you want to combine the two (and why wouldn’t you!).

Have a look at the full review of Champagne Afternoon Tea at Middlethorpe Hall, York.


Best Afternoon tea in York
Champagne Afternoon Tea at Middlethorpe Hall, York


The Countess of York – a beautifully restored Rail Carriage in York

Take afternoon tea in York at the National Railway Museum.  Travel back in time to the era of high-class railway dining with a luxury afternoon tea experience aboard our beautifully restored rail carriage, the Countess of York. Our sophisticated afternoon tea menu features delicious sandwiches, homemade cakes and fancies and a wide selection of loose leaf teas, with ingredients changing seasonally. 

See our review of the Countess of York.


best high tea in york
The table setting on The Countess of York


City Cruises York Afternoon Tea Cruise

For something a little different why not take afternoon tea as you cruise the River Ouse taking in the sights of York?  A delightful cruise aboard the Captain James Cook, with delicious food, sailing regularly from April to September. 

Join us for a delightful 1 hour and 45 minute cruise with a selection of dainty home-made sandwiches, fruit scone with preserve & cream and delicious finger deserts. All served with freshly brewed tea and coffee. This cruise sails from our King’s Staith Landing only.

Have a look at my review of Afternoon tea on City Cruises York.


York Afternoon Tea Cruise
Afternoon tea on City Cruises


Yorkshire Picnic at the Doubletree by Hilton York – A Quirky Alternative Afternoon Tea 

For something a bit different you could try the Yorkshire Picnic at the Doubletree by Hilton York. 

It includes Yorkshire ham-hock sandwiches, buns stuffed with Yorkshire goat’s cheese, Yorkshire curd tarts and bite-size cakes.  I absolutely loved this afternoon tea and heartily recommend it for something different.

Have a look at my review of the Yorkshire Picnic at the Doubletree by Hilton, York.


Afternoon tea york
Yorkshire Afternoon Tea at Doubletree by Hilton


Leetham’s Brasserie in Elmbank Hotel

The Mount, York YO24 1GE

Leetham’s Brasserie in Elmbank Hotel do three different options for a delicious Afternoon Tea with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and homemade scone!

Bookings can be made at Leethams Restaurant York City Centre, Place to Eat in York (elmbankhotel.com)


gin afternoon tea york


The Grand Afternoon Tea in York

The Grand Hotel in York do a variety of Afternoon Teas, including the Grand Afternoon Tea, Hendrick’s Tipsy Afternoon Tea, a Children’s Afternoon Tea and a Spa Afternoon tea.  On one occasion I had a lovely day visiting the Spa and then sharing a Grand Afternoon Tea with friends. 

On another occasion I sampled the silver service afternoon tea.  You can find both reviews below.

I have reviewed two different styles of afternoon tea at The Grand, York.  Afternoon Tea in The Rise Restaurant at The Grand, York


Grand Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea in The Rise Restaurant


and the luxury Silver Service Afternoon Tea in Hudson’s at The Grand, York.


Afternoon Tea York
Luxury Silver Service Afternoon Tea in Hudson’s at The Grand, York.


Lady Betty Afternoon Tea York

People flock from all around the world for Bettys afternoon tea. The Traditional Afternoon tea can be taken at any time in the cafe.  Afternoon tea at Betty’s York is perennially popular, so expect to queue, especially during the day.  If you would prefer more luxury (and I would definitely recommend this) then go for Lady Betty Afternoon Tea, which must be booked ahead of time and can only be taken in York and Harrogate.  

Lady Betty Afternoon Tea is served in their beautiful Imperial and Belmont Rooms. Take time to soak up the unique atmosphere of these historic rooms.  If you are looking for the best afternoon tea in York then this is certainly a contender.

Have a look at my review of Lady Betty Afternoon Tea, York.


best afternoon tea in york
Afternoon Tea in Betty’s




The Hilton York – Opposite Clifford’s Tower

Regular or vegetarian afternoon tea.  Very centrally located, just opposite Clifford’s Tower, the Hilton York do afternoon tea.  Very central and ideally placed after a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Dungeon or The Castle Museum. 


Hilton York Afternoon Tea


The Ivy Afternoon Tea York

Afternoon Tea is served at The Ivy in York from 3pm til 5pm daily.  Make it a little more decadent by adding a glass of Champagne too!  The Ivy’s afternoon tea is set in lovely 1920’s opulence in the centre of York.

Have a look at my review of Afternoon Tea at The Ivy, York.


Afternoon Tea York
The Ivy Afternoon Tea York


Afternoon Tea in the Shadow of York Minster – the Dean Court Hotel, York

Experience the quintessential English traditional Afternoon Tea in either the restaurant D.C.H or The Lounge-Bar a more relaxed area with comfy sofas and chairs. Or why not try our newly launched Tea by Gum! – Afternoon Tea with a Yorkshire Twist!  Afternoon tea York city centre.


Afternoon Tea Yorkshire – Afternoon Tea near York


Afternoon Tea at Castle Howard, Malton, North Yorkshire

Castle Howard run seasonal Afternoon Teas at times like Christmas and Mother’s Day.  Do check their website to see when they are available as it’s a beautiful setting to take afternoon tea.



Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Black Swan in Helmsley, North Yorkshire

On my birthday a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to visit the Black Swan in Helmsley for a cosy Champagne Afternoon Tea.  Have a look at my full review here.


afternoon tea york
Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Black Swan in Helmsley, North Yorkshire


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Afternoon tea york


Also have a look at my round up of the best afternoon teas in Yorkshire, London, Cambridge and Stratford upon Avon.