Norfolk Passport

Top 5 | Afternoon tea

A perfect pastime if rain stops outdoor play! Great locations coupled with rather unexpected ingredients (not always edible) here is Norfolk Passport's top-5 pick of where to enjoy afternoon tea in Norfolk, take a worthy friend and treat him/her as a thank you for all that friends are for.

The Tea House, Elm Hill, Norwich

Situated on Norwich’s oldest street, stroll the length of cobbled Elm Hill with its independent shops and glorious architecture before heading into Wrights Court and The Tea House (approx 1/2 way down Elm Hill, look out for a doorway and tunnel into its courtyard). Co-owner Peter will guide your nose through 30 different loose leaf teas that are on offer which you can try alongside a traditional fruit scone cream tea or other bakes such as white chocolate and raspberry muffins. Find out more on Facebook.

Byfords, Shirehall Plain, Holt

Believed to be the town’s oldest building, Byfords houses a store, posh B&B rooms and an all-day café. Rummage through the independent shops of Georgian Holt then sit down to tea, served between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. 

THE CLASSIC consists of finger sandwiches, scones, preserves, clotted cream, Byfords cakes, tea and coffee. 

Find out more on the Byfords website.

On the beach... Norfolk style!

Pack a rucksack with home-made goodies and pick a beach! This time, we go to Cley next the Sea. 

Visit the Cley Smokehouse shop for some salmon, park up at the Reserve (perhaps buy some yummy cakes inside before your walk) and find a good spot on the beach out of the wind. 

Don’t forget your hat, blanket and a flask! (This time of year is obviously cold but the sunset will be so romantic!) - Image: Editor Lesley and daughter.

Sandyhills Amusements and Café, Sea Palling

From the outside, the quintessential bucket and spade café with perhaps the highest concentration  of ‘A-sign’ ad boards in the county but don’t let that put you off!

Enjoy a stroll on the stunning beach then pop in for a proper cup of tea, some freshly baked doughnuts (the ones you get to shake in a paper bag full of sugar) and take some time to look round the walls of the café. 

The walls are covered in framed newspaper cuttings about the Great Flood of 1953 and more recent events. The personal accounts make interesting reading and the images remind us of our coastline’s sometime destructive nature. Out of season you may find their one-lane bowling alley free. Loser pays for refreshments?

Heydon Tea Rooms

The picturesque cul-de-sac village of Heydon provides perhaps the most lovely Norfolk village setting I’ve yet seen, complete with an idllic village green, church, Husk Bakery, Heydon Hall and The Earle Arms pub. The traditional Heydon Tea Rooms serves afternoon tea from a front room that overlooks the village green. The cake selection is beautifully displayed under glass domes. Mars bar shortbread and sticky gingerbread with Guinness are two I can recall. Mismatch china adds a quirky touch. Find out more on the Heydon Tea Rooms website.

A special mention...

The Assembly House, Georgian gem in Norwich

When you have the ultimate afternoon tea, in my view you would like it in a beautiful setting, delicious sandwiches and treats with high quality tea and coffee. Well, when in Norfolk, the Assembly House in Norwich is picture-perfect in its Georgian building with an award-winning food and drink badge! Now, I’m rather picky about my coffee and here it’s smooth and strong – just the way I like it. Also worth knowing is that you can request a gluten free, dairy free and vegan afternoon tea when you book.

Article by Editor Lesley van Dijk and former Editor Sarah Tribe

Heydon tea room image by Lesley van Dijk and others by names organisations.