Last updated: 12:00 PM ET, Tue May 12 2015

Opinion Home | Why Wales? Discover Britain's Road Less Traveled!

  • Visit Wales Staff Writer | May 12, 2015 12:00 PM ET

    Cozy Up With a Cup of Tea in Wales

    Cozy Up With a Cup of Tea in Wales

    PHOTO: Courtesy Visit Wales.

    Wales may not have invented the ritual of afternoon tea, but the tradition has certainly been perfected there. Across every region of Wales, charming and authentic tea rooms have trays piled high with scones and farm-fresh clotted cream to greet the hungry traveler. You can bet that wherever you have tea, stunning vistas and scenic walking trails wait beyond your window.

    Take tea at, Chateau Rhianfa, for instance. Whether you are a hotel guest or a day visitor, you'll never forget the experience of a full afternoon tea in this dreamlike mansion located on the windswept island of Anglesey. It's hard to look away from the Chateau's picture-perfect views of the Menai Straits and Mount Snowdon in the distance, but afternoon tea's silver caddies heaped with goodies such as Welsh cheddar and tomato chutney finger sandwiches and fruit scones with fresh clotted cream and homemade jam may do the trick. Finish off with a piece of Belgian chocolate fondue with homemade marshmallow, then sit back, relax and take some selfies with this once-in-a-lifetime view in the background.

    Another highlight of a full-day tea-centric experience in North Wales is the pleasure of visiting Bodnant Garden. Take in the property’s formal lawns and wild garden before making your way to nearby Bodnant Food Centre. This culinary haven offers the pleasure of its Furnace Tea Rooms, featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as baked scones served with the center's handmade salted butter, clotted cream and jam. After tea head to Bodnant Food Centre’s farm shop or wine store for some foodie-themed souvenirs.

    Intimate and charming is just one way the Welsh do tea; grand and glamorous is the other. For instance, The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, does white tablecloth teas in its Wedgwood Room where you can sample tea cakes made by the hotel’s in-house baker. The culinary delights are accompanied by a full list of expertly chosen teas served in porcelain cups. The hotel has been named a UK Tea Guild Award Winner – one of only a handful of properties outside of London to hold this prestigious accolade.

    Also on the posh side of things is tea at the St. Tudno Hotel. The property’s award-winning Terrace Restaurant is proudly situated with sea-front views of Llandudno's famous Victorian crescent. Tea at St. Tudno has a special historical treat in store: The hotel once hosted Alice, of Alice in Wonderland fame. Alice Liddell – the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s character who attended the world's most famous tea party – resided here when she was a child.

    Sip on sparkling wine made in Wales at Llanerch Vineyard's afternoon tea. Dine in the hotel’s Cariad Restaurant where the kitchen team prepares every ingredient that morning – be sure to book a day in advance. After tea, take a vineyard walk where you’ll enjoy views of the vines and surrounding Glamorganshire countryside.

    Finally, you can't get posher than tea at the Celtic Manor, which recently served President Barack Obama while he and other world leaders attended the 2014 NATO Summit at this world-renowned resort. The Celtic Manor and its famed golf course – the Ryder Cup was held here in 2010 – are known for doing everything "just so" and afternoon tea is no exception. Travelers will enjoy afternoon tea at the hotel's elegant Olive Tree Garden Room or they can order in advance and sample delectable treats such as cucumber sandwiches, clotted cream and Welsh brewed tea at the Manor's Newbridge Inn, located just a few miles upriver from the resort. The Newbridge Cream Tea is held in a 200-year-old country inn by the banks of the Usk River.

    “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea," novelist Henry James once wrote.

    We like to think that when he wrote it, he was thinking of tea in one of the many pleasurable refuges for this elegant past time in Wales.


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Visit Wales Staff Writer Why Wales? Discover Britain's Road Less Traveled!

Visit Wales Staff Writer Visit Wales is the New York-based government tourism office for Wales, one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom. A land with 641 castles, 870 miles of walkable coastline, three national parks and award-winning cuisine, Wales offers travelers a variety of activities and different landscapes to explore. The country's Celtic history and ancient language make it a distinctive British destination. For more information on Wales travel, trade can visit and consumers can visit
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