With its savoury, sweet, tea and alcoholic flavours, afternoon tea is widely acknowledged by pastry chefs to be a great outlet for creativity and innovative takes on classic recipes. It can also be easily adapted to take inspiration from local surroundings or timely themes.
Seen as a bridge between lunch and dinner, a handy extra income stream, or a way to attract new and non-resident guests to a hotel, the much-loved option has myriad uses for many a hospitality business and with competition heating up as standards get ever higher, there's never a better time to turn attention to your afternoon tea offering.
From London hotels to zoos to seaside towns and plenty in between, here's our pick of the tasty, traditional and not-so-traditional bunch to provide you with some inspiration.
Afternoon teas in gallery order
1. Mad Hatter tea, The Sanderson hotel
2. ARTea, The Lancaster London hotel
3. The Candy tea, the Conrad St James London hotel
4. The Tea Fusion, the Conrad St James London hotel
5. Afternoon tea, the Down Hall hotel, Hertfordshire
6. Tea for Two, Hard Days Night hotel, Liverpool
7. The Glam Rock tea, the K West hotel and spa
8. The Royal Afternoon Tea, The Arch London hotel
9. Muriel's Kitchen afternoon tea, London
10. Afternoon tea, the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly
11. The 'seaside' afternoon tea, The Grand hotel, Eastbourne
12. The 'animals' afternoon tea, ZSL London Zoo
13. G+Tea, Mr Fogg's Tavern, London