There are underground tea rooms where you can gorge on exquisite baking both sweet and savoury, a selection of teas, often on vintage china, in other words a full British afternoon tea. Having recently spent over £40 on a shoddy afternoon tea in a London hotel, with stale cakes, unimaginative sandwiches and no toasted teacakes, crumpets or anything yummy, believe me you will get a better experience at any of the tea rooms below.
My book MsMarmitelover's Secret Tea Party will be out end of August 2014 which will have a list of UK Secret Tea Rooms.
Please contact me or leave a message below if you would like your Secret Tea Party to be included.
@msmarmitelover / Kerstin Rodgers
Secret Tea Rooms in England
The Secret Tea Party
Mrs Stokes does pop up vintage teas around Bath (also in Bristol, Cheltenham, Oxford or the Cotswolds). She does a very moist carrot cake and makes mini versions of large cakes, for instance mini Victoria sponges.
BRISTOL AND SURROUNDING AREA
Bishopston Supper Club
Danielle Coombs is the chef and hostess of the Bishopston Supper Club: she also does quarterly secret tea parties in her living room. Children are welcome. Her signature cake is probably a “boozy chocolate, cherry and cream sponge” or perhaps “a spiced orange and almond cake”.
Rickford, Yeo Valley
Anna Brooman, the real name of Peachie Vintage, does secret teas at her home in Rickford, Yeo Valley, and elsewhere, every 6 weeks. She changes her menu at each tea party, but her salted caramel and apple macarons are always popular.
Pretty Little Trio’s Secret Vintage Tea Party (pop up)
Stockton Heath, Cheshire
Rebecca Jenkinson runs bi-monthly secret teas, which is incredible considering she is also bringing up young triplets. So the ‘pretty little trio’ has two meanings: her triplets and also a teacup/saucer/teaplate set is known to vintage china collectors as a ‘trio’. Rebecca has a passion for vintage china.
Violet’s Vintage Teas
Named after a great grandmother, these ladies host regular mid-week afternoon tea parties at their homes. They loan vintage hats, gloves and bags for guests to wear.
Nina runs a vintage-style afternoon tea catering and styling business in Grappenhall, Cheshire, hosting pop up tea parties, secret afternoon teas, afternoon tea parties in people's homes, as well as full stand alone catering.
Rachael’s Secret Tea Room
Rachael’s secret teas are held in a quiet setting on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire. She is open on the last Saturday of every month, but can also do bookings on Friday and Saturday afternoons. She can host up to 8 guests. On a cake level, Rachael loves anything lemony.
Vintage Rose Tea Party
Victoria Almarresh hosts regular pop up secret vintage tea parties, but is looking for premises to expand her small business. Her signature cake is a rose water cake.
Alice’s Tea Garden
Chorleywood, South West London
Kristie hosts secret tea parties at her home in Chorleywood but will also go to your own home to create your afternoon tea or tea tasting.
Malaysian food blogger and patisserie chef, Jaim hosts secret teas at her house in South London. She makes a “mean genoise sponge with different fillings” and a highly praised “chocolate, pear and salted caramel cake”.
La Sagra Secret Tea
Angie is a former sound engineer who has spent many years in Italy. She’s also a keen baker and, tired of the anonymity and high prices of London hotel afternoon teas, has opened up her home for secret teas. Freshly baked scones are always on the menu.
Hostess Helena Appio creates pop up afternoon teas both in her 1930s house and quirky venues around South London. Her teas are themed upon the 1930s to the 1960s eras and she specialises in cake decoration, especially delicate sugar flowers.
The Hidden Tea Room
Putney, South West London
Milli and Vic share a passion for cooking and baking and have started a monthly tea room in their sitting room. They have an open kitchen so are looking forward to nattering with their guests as they prepare the tea. Their favourite cake is “chocolate and boozy”.
The Underground Restaurant
Run by MsMarmitelover; occasional secret teas as well as her ground-breaking supper club. Her signature bake is pavlovas.
Book via her blog: www.msmarmitelover.com
Croydon, South London
Selina Periampillai does afternoon teas at her supper club ‘Yummy Choos’ in Croydon. She will sometimes bake classic Mauritian cakes such as purine mais (polenta cake), gateaux palate (sweet potato dough filled with coconut) and napolitaines (shortbread biscuits, filled with jam and covered in pink icing).
The Gourmand’s Secret Vintage Afternoon Tea Party
Laura hosts secret teas once every 6 weeks at secret locations in Manchester.
Vintage Afternoon Teas
Bowdon, Manchester suburbs
Gwyneth Brock welcomes you to her monthly secret tea room at her home, an 18th century former farmhouse. (She also ‘pops up’ around Cheshire.) She sometimes collaborates with others such as veggie/vegan chefs or with a local crafter Jo to run secret crafternoon tea parties.
Lotties Secret Tea Room
Nottingham Lottie welcomes guests to her secret tea room at her home. Her speciality is themed cupcakes.
The Secret Teapot
Vicky Sponge, the pseudonym of retired professional chef Ann Parsons, saw a secret tea room as an enjoyable way to carry on with her first love of baking. “Baking is for sharing,” she says. Her conservatory dining/tea room is open most Saturday afternoons, so do check out her website to pre-book. She can fit in 10 guests. Everything is served on vintage china.
Tea Time Treats
Jane Cakelady runs monthly afternoon teas from her dining room. She uses vintage china. Her customers really love her scones and her award-winning ‘Best in Show’ Victoria sponge. She can fit up to 12 people. She can also bring her afternoon tea to your place.
The lightest baking from Marie-Claire Micuta at her home. Secret teas are held monthly with up to 8 guests. Her signature cake is her peach and blueberry cake.
Shirley Quarmby runs a regular secret tea room. She also does gluten-free baking.
The Utterly Sexy Cafe
Amanda Baird does beautifully decorated cakes along with her exquisite vintage tea sets and cake plates at her home in Tisbury, Wiltshire. Her signature cake is earl grey tea and cardamom cake with whisky icing.
Secret Tea Rooms in Scotland
DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY
Carolyn Richardson is a famed poet and secret tea hostess. She also does tea events combined with writers and poets speaking.
EAST LOTHIAN AND EDINBURGH
Jan Ogilvie hosts monthly pop up teas around her area, sometimes in her garden, often in country houses and garden centres. She even does funeral teas! Some of her grieving customers, widowers, ask for cakes that their wives baked when they were alive. “One gentleman asked me for a cherry cake, as that was what his wife made”, Jan told me.
The Queen of Tarts
Angela Dolan runs a pop up tea room at various locations in Edinburgh. Her light-as-air shortbread towers are celebrated.
Secret Tea Rooms Abroad
Eclaire-El arte de té at Casa Munet
Tea expert Pedro and pastry chef Virginia Rinaldi host a weekly private afternoon tea.
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