Tea for Two

Could there be a better way of treating your Mum on Mother’s Day than taking her to afternoon tea at one of our much-loved local spots?

The quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea, served between 4 and 5pm and consisting of delicate sandwich quarters, tea, cakes and scones with clotted cream and preserves, dates back to the 19th Century. The 7th Duchess of Bedford found that dining at the fashionably late hour of 8pm left her peckish in the mid-afternoon, and requested these snacks to be brought to her. She was so pleased with the venture that she began inviting friends; and thus the British love for afternoon tea began. As novelist Henry James put it,

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

So, where better to take your mum this Mother’s Day than for a spot of afternoon tea at a lovely destination? Here are our local favourites:

Hotel Du Vin, Wimbledon

After a walk around Wimbledon Common, stop off at Hotel Du Vin and give your feet a rest in the gorgeous Orangerie, overlooking Cannizaro Park. Afternoon tea is served daily 12pm-6pm, prices start at £8.50. www.hotelduvin.com/locations/wimbledon

Drawing Room Café

Hop across the river to Fulham Palace and enjoy the cosy haven known as the Drawing Room Café. Treat yourself to delicious cakes, buns, pastries and artisan sandwiches. Sit by the window overlooking the royal gardens and relax with a hot drink. www.fulhampalace.org/visiting/drawing-room-cafe/

Smuggler’s Café

Discover a touch of Cornwall in London at the Smuggler’s Café in Putney. This friendly cafe serves Tregothnan tea grown in Cornwall (the first tea grown in England) alongside breakfast bites and warming snacks. There are also gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free options. www.smugglerscafeputney.co.uk

Painshill Park

Treat your mum to something special on Mother’s Day, with a day out at Painshill. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the landscape and finish at Mr Hamilton’s Tea Room where you can enjoy cream tea and Painshill Sparkling Wine. Free entry for Mothers, when accompanied by their children. http://www.painshill.co.uk/mothers-day/

Pembroke Lodge

Treat your mother to a lovely afternoon tea in the elegant Georgian Tea Rooms of the Grade-II listed Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. www.pembroke-lodge.co.uk/the-butlers-pantry

The Butler’s Pantry, Pembroke Lodge

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