15 best afternoon tea spots in Cambridge 

Garden House Afternoon Tea at Graduate Hotel

Cambridge is a classic city famed for one of the world’s leading universities. So I can’t think of many places better in Britain to tuck into a delightful feast of scones, finger sandwiches, cakes and savouries.

If you want to enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea in Cambridge, look no further than the following hotspots.

This guide will help you find the most fabulous Cambridge afternoon tea. Whether you’d prefer to take afternoon tea in Cambridge by the famous river, in a historic train carriage or complete with Winnie the Pooh themed sweet treats.

You can also choose between traditional tea rooms, top Cambridge hotels and an old school city bakery.

I’ve combined all of the experiences I have visiting and staying in Cambridge, as well as some wonderful recommendations from locals. Here are 15 places serving the best afternoon tea in Cambridge. 

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

1. Parker’s Tavern at The University Arms Hotel 

Address: 52-42 Regent St, Cambridge CB2 1AD

Best for: Winnie the Pooh fans

Parkers Tavern Afternoon Tea

Literary types – or those with kids – need look no further than Parker’s Tavern at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge.

I love that the afternoon tea served here is inspired by Winnie the Pooh, writer A. A. Milne’s much-loved children’s character. 

In addition to a selection of delicious sandwiches and decadent, freshly baked scones piled high with jam and cream, you can expect some Winnie-themed delights at Parker’s Tavern.

These include a scrumptious Tigger swirl cake flavoured with chocolate and orange, and the sweetest Winnie the Pooh macarons.  

Book a stay at the University Arms Hotel.

2. Six Brasserie at The Varsity Hotel & Spa

Address: 24 Thompsons Ln, Cambridge CB5 8EQ

Best for: City views

Continuing with the college themed names here is The Varsity, a Cambridge hotel and spa that’s also home to the Six Brasserie.

This is so-called due to its commanding sixth floor position, which gives diners sweeping views over the city. In fact, it’s one of my favourite views in the city!

I love that the scones served here are so fresh that they’re often still just ever so slightly warm from the oven.

They’re accompanied by a selection of photogenic cakes and just-filled sandwiches, plus a choice of teas created by Master Blenders. 

Book a stay at The Varsity or discover more of the best spa breaks in Cambridge.

3. Clayton Hotel Cambridge

Address: 27-29 Station Rd, Cambridge CB1 2FB

Best for: Arriving by train

Clayton Hotel is ideally situated for ravenous arrivals to Cambridge, as it’s a mere minute’s walk from the main train station.

I like that some lighter options are also available here, including a children’s afternoon tea or a cream tea consisting of scones with clotted cream and jam plus tea to wash it all down with. 

For the complete package, I’d recommend opting for the Tamburlaine Afternoon Tea. This adds freshly made finger sandwiches and a choice of seasonal cakes to your spread. 

Book a stay at the Clayton Hotel.

4. Fitzbillies

Address: 51-52 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RG

Best for: Cinnamon buns

Fitzbillies Cambridge

If you really want to go old school, I’d suggest booking a table at Fitzbillies in Cambridge. It’s a traditional bakery and cafe on Trumpington Street in the centre of the city.

Here you can also sample authentic fare from East Anglia, or order artisan coffee instead of tea (although personally, I’m a dedicated tea drinker!).

The Trumpington Street branch of Fitzbillies dates back to 1920, and still uses stainless steel teapots and sugar bowls.

Tiled walls and practical tables provide a no-nonsense yet pleasing backdrop for mini cakes, finger sandwiches and fruit scones with raspberry jam and cream which I think adds additional charm.  

Fitzbillies is one of the best cafés in Cambridge. Plus, you cannot leave without sampling one of their iconic cinnamon buns. 

5. Graduate Hotel 

Address: Granta Pl, Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RT

Best for: Afternoon tea by the Cam

The grand Garden Room provides the setting for afternoon tea at The Graduate Hotel. This is located in central Cambridge and by the river on Mill Lane.

I think that you’ll struggle to find a better place in the city for afternoon tea than by the famous waterway. 

Watching people punting on by gives you a genuine sense of place, so I’m not surprised that it’s a top pick for visitors to the city.

It’s also pretty well priced, and a favourite among anyone who’s already sampled the fine afternoon tea served here. 

Book a stay at The Graduate Hotel.

6. Quy Mill Hotel 

Address: Church Rd, Cambridge CB25 9AF

Best for: Green space

With spacious grounds, Quy Mill Hotel & Spa in Cambridge provides a peaceful, relaxing setting for afternoon tea.

The four star property uses photogenic vintage china, and you can settle down to enjoy your feast on a velvet banquette the exact same shade as raspberry jam. 

You can order a lighter cream tea here instead if you like, or combine your visit with the spa for a full-on pampering session – I’ll take one of those!

The glorious grounds are also fabulous for working off some of those carbs afterwards. Or building up an appetite beforehand. 

Book a stay at Quy Mill Hotel.

7. Browns Brasserie & Bar

Address: 23 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1QA

Best for: Sweet desserts

I believe few traditions are as quintessentially British as afternoon tea – and Brown’s hotel is one of the best places to enjoy it.

This Cambridge institution can whip up a great G&T or serve a glass of chilled Moet & Chandon to go with your food. Alternatively, order from the list of Good Earth teas. 

The sandwich selection includes classics like egg mayo, ham and mustard, cheese and apple chutney or smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Scones can be scoffed with strawberry or blackcurrant jam, and cute miniature puddings round things off nicely. 

8. Carriages Tea Rooms

Address: Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire CB24 4SD

Best for: Tea on a train

You’ll have to venture outside Cambridge city centre to enjoy afternoon tea at Carriages – but I really think it’s worth it.

Here, afternoon tea is served aboard one of three train carriages: Oliver, Lancelot or Louis. These Pullman style carriages are housed at an authentic 1920s train station too.

The venue has its own Victorian Garden, where some of the ingredients you’ll be served are grown. Despite the classic setting, the spread itself includes some thoroughly modern twists. 

9. Flock Cafe at Burwash Manor

Address: Burwash manor Barns, New Rd, Barton CB23 7EY

Best for: Outdoor dining

Flock cafe at Burwash Manor Barns in Barton is also located outside Cambridge – but again, it’s well worth the trip in my opinion.

The fact that there’s more space here means there’s a large outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy your afternoon tea on a sunny day. 

The cakes served here are renowned locally, and made fresh on the premises daily.

I’m sure that even taking the briefest look at any of Flock’s social channels or review pages should be enough to make your mouth water. 

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10. Houghton Tea Rooms

Address: 1 Mill St, Huntingdon PE28 2AZ

Best for: Homemade cakes

Houghton Tea Rooms can be found close to Houghton Mill and Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

What this venue lacks in size, I can assure you that it more than makes up for with a warm welcome. Plus quite possibly the most moreish home baked cakes in the county. 

The tea room makes the ideal pit stop during a bike ride, and there’s a few tables outside for al fresco dining during fair weather.

Scones, cakes and sandwiches are all freshly made here by the helpful and friendly owner Lynn. 

11. Gonville Hotel

Address: Gonville Pl, Cambridge CB1 1LY

Best for: Loose leaf teas

Gonville Hotel can be found in central Cambridge. It’s a four star establishment where afternoon tea is served in the Terrace Restaurant.

You will need to book in advance here, but I think that it’s well worth it for an afternoon tea that’s special occasion worthy. 

British produce features heavily in the sandwich fillings. These include Norfolk chicken, Scottish salmon and Hereford beef as well as egg mayo and cucumber.

Sweet treats include fluffy fruit or plain scones, light-as-air macarons and miniature desserts served in shot glasses.

The tea selection offered here is also very impressive, and includes Japanese Cherry, Royal Scottish and Gunpowder. 

Book a stay at Gonville hotel.

12. The Orchard Tea Garden

Address: 47 Mill Way, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9ND

Best for: Timeless charm

The Orchard Tea Garden can be found outside the city in Grantchester. In summer, I love that you can enjoy afternoon tea outdoors, and there’s also a winter pavilion for use during the colder season.

Whenever you visit, little changes at The Orchard. It’s a timeless spot offering an afternoon tea named for a prominent English poet.

In addition to the usual finger sandwiches, cakes and scones, I recommend sampling the honey-soaked bread and butter here, the signature house speciality. 

13. The Ivy Cambridge  

Address: City Centre, 16 Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1TB

Best for: A dreamy afternoon

The Ivy Cambridge Afternoon Tea

The Ivy is a smart, colourful spot in central Cambridge. It’s got British brasserie stamped all over it, and afternoon tea is available here every day of the week.

Their Dream Afternoon Tea is served everyday from 3-5pm. It features a delectable selection of sandwiches followed by freshly baked fruit scones.

For the sweet offering, indulge in Black Bee honey and almond macaron, a dark chocolate and honeycomb dessert, and a fluffy red velvet raspberry cake.

If you fancy a glass of fizz rather than a herbal infusion, tea or coffee, it’s an English sparkler that’s served here. Nyetimber is produced in West Sussex. 

In my opinion, The Ivy is also one of the best places for breakfast and brunch in Cambridge.

14. Peacocks Teamroom, Ely 

Address: 65 Waterside, Ely CB7 4AU

Best for: River views

If you want to savour afternoon tea with views over the river, I’d really recommend visiting peaceful Ely. It’s not the River Cam, though: rather it’s the Great Ouse.

Peacocks Tearoom is also housed in an old stone cottage. Wisteria even adds to the postcard perfect charm during spring. 

Bookings aren’t taken at Peacocks, so I’d suggest simply turning up whenever you fancy a treat. The menu includes a couple of cream tea options.

One being the Chocolate Dream cream tea served with both a brownie and a chocolate scone, plus hot chocolate or tea.

You can also order classic or Pink Perfection afternoon teas: the latter includes smoked salmon sandwiches, pink fizz and rose petal tea. 

15. Hotel Du Vin 

Address: 15-19 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1QA

Best for: The wine list

Hotel du Vin on Trumpington Street in Cambridge pairs Bird and Blend Teas with an irresistible array of sweet and savoury treats.

As well as finger sandwiches, you can expect the likes of filled brioche and Scandi-style open salmon sandwiches here. 

Cake pops and classics such as Swiss roll ensure both classic and contemporary tastes are catered for here.

You can also, of course, order from one of the best wine lists in the city – I’ll have a Chablis please!

Book a stay at Hotel Du Vin.

Planning a trip to this pretty English city? Read my Cambridge travel guide or discover my pick of the best things to do in Cambridge

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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