Five luxe alfresco afternoon teas
Picnics are all very well, but for true indulgence, enjoy an upmarket afternoon tea with a breathtaking beach or garden view at these luxe Sussex hotspots.
And the great news is, most open THIS WEEK! Just cross your fingers for good weather and be sure to book ahead.
Blakes Bar & Beach Terrace at the Beachcroft Hotel, Felpham
Enjoy alfresco dining, beach style, at this brand new bar and beach terrace serving light bites, sandwiches and traditional English afternoon tea. Finger sandwiches include smoked salmon and prawns, very appropriate for beachside eating, and come with a range of sweet treats. For an extra special experience, book the outdoor Pod with three of your favourites and add a bottle of English sparkling Rose. Opens April 15.
Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead
The Flower Garden at the uber-luxe country house Gravetye Manor is a joy to behold in Spring, so enjoy it with a delicious picnic box afternoon tea from the Michelin-starred restaurant, packed full of Sussex goodies and produce from the kitchen garden. We love the sound of the rhubarb and lemon verbena Battenberg! Full drinks service to your table. It’s all served in a compostable box, so you can take your leftovers home – hah, like there’ll be any. From April 14.
Alexander House, East Grinstead
Enjoy a full al fresco menu at this stunning country house hotel and spa and tuck into a delicious afternoon tea, from the Spring Afternoon Tea to the Nyetimber experience, perfectly paired with the best of Sussex wine. You can even order a doggy version for Fido. While you’re there, indulge at the Utopia Spa, it’s open from April 12.
Leonardslee House, Lower Beeding
Gaze over the glorious Grade I listed gardens of Leonardslee as you enjoy a deliciously dainty dish of delicacies within the drawing room of the Italianate mansion. The menu from head chef Jean Delaport of onsite Restaurant Interlude, awarded a Michelin star in 2020, features locally-sourced and seasonal delicacies and celebrates special occasions throughout the year too. Combine with a walk around the 240-acre estate to work up an appetite (or work off the scones) and you have all the ingredients for a perfect romantic afternoon, girlie get-together or family treat. Serving from May 19.
The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne
England’s only 5* seaside resort hotel will be serving afternoon teas on the Prince’s Lawn from April 12. As well as a traditional menu there’s a kids option which includes chocolate spread sandwiches. There’s also a full afresco menu including Sunday roasts to be served on the Chatsworth Terrace, which is covered in case (or rather, when) the weather doesn’t play ball.