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6 of the best English sparkling afternoon teas

Enjoy this quintessentially British tradition accompanied by a glass of bubbles from Kent, Surrey or Sussex

Image: sebastian-coman-photography

The tradition of afternoon tea evolved in England in the early 1840s and gained popularity throughout the early 19th century. It only seems right then that it is served with a glass of English sparkling wine.

Here are six venues in the South East where you can stop for afternoon tea, accompanied by bubbles from Kent, Surrey or Sussex.

Pennyhill Park, Surrey

The luxury afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park has been designed by Sarah Franklin who started her career with Michelin starred Angela Hartnett at The Connaught and then went on to work with four times best British chocolatier William Curley.

The traditional tea is served in The Ascot Bar accompanied by a glass of Sussex Sparkling. Diners can choose from a glass of Ridgeview Blanc or Rosé de Noirs. Prices start from £48 per person.

South Lodge, West Sussex

The traditional afternoon tea at South Lodge can be taken in The Camellia restaurant, outside on the terrace, overlooking the grounds, or snuggled on a sofa in The Drawing Room.

Washed down with a glass of Sussex Sparkling – this time Ridgeview Bloomsbury Brut – the tea costs £47 per person.

Eastwell Manor, Kent

Steeped in royal heritage and surrounded by elegant scenery, Eastwell Manor has a wide selection of teas to sip with your scones and finger sandwiches, including the hotel’s own English Breakfast Tea.

When it comes to the bubbles only Gusbourne Estate’s sparkling wine, from nearby Appledore, will do. Price from £32 per person.

The Tearoom at St Paul’s Cathedral, London

For a unique afternoon tea experience, head to The Tearoom under St. Paul’s Cathedral. The historic crypt is centuries old and features beautiful stone pillars, vaulted ceilings and majestic stained-glass windows.

Tea is served with a glass of Greyfriars Cuvée Brut NV, from Surrey, for £28.50 per person.

National Portrait Gallery, London

Not only is afternoon tea at the National Portrait Gallery served with a glass of Chapel Down English Sparkling Rosé, from Tenterden in Kent, but it comes with some of the best views in London.

Operated by Searcy’s, The Portrait Restaurant sits above some of the world’s finest paintings and has a wall of windows overlooking Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Prices start from £29.50 per person.

The Soho Hotel, London

Celebrating the best seasonal produce from the British Isles, The Soho Hotel’s afternoon tea includes delights such as heritage carrot and walnut cake and Yorkshire rhubarb and lemon meringue pie, as well as a twist on the classic after dinner mint, an ‘After 8’ lollipop.

Served with a glass of Chapel Down’s Three Graces Brut 2015, which has complex aromas of baked apple, fresh strawberry and shortcrust pastry. £36 per person

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