It’s Time for Tea & Cake!
Think of something quintessentially English and you might come up with a whole range of things from a summer spent at the seaside to donkey rides to Agatha Christie to the Queen to James Bond to picnics in the rain… and all the rest that goes with this sceptered isle of ours. Now imagine any of those things mentioned above, or that you came up with yourself, without the addition of tea and cake.
It can’t be done. As English as it gets, the tradition of tea and cake in the afternoon is one that dates back to the 1880s when Anna, seventh duchess of Bedford, fancied a snack between lunch and dinner. She chose sandwiches, cake, and a perfect pot of tea. She began to invite friends round to ‘take tea’ with her, and soon enough this practice became a well-loved tradition nationwide. Everyone wanted to be like the fashionable and beautiful duchess.
And now that you all fancy a slice of cake and a pot of tea, here are the best places across Kent to find them.
Biscuit’s Tearoom // Wye
The menu at Biscuit’s Tearoom has everything the hungry traveler might care for including, of course, some superb cakes and teas. Ingredients are fresh and local, and the love and care put into each creation is there for all to see.
Perry Court Farm, Canterbury Road, Wye TN25 4ES
The Twig & Spoon // Ash
The Twig and Spoon provides a friendly, clean, comfortable environment where customers can be assured of good quality, seasonal food, whether it’s homemade cakes with freshly ground coffee, or lunch with the family. They are proud to source quality ingredients from local farmers and merchants.
Ash Lane, Ash, Nr Sevenoaks TN15 7EG
The Orchards Café // East Malling
The Orchards Event Venue in East Malling is a great space to hold meetings and conferences, but the attached café is the real star, providing homemade, locally sourced treats to anyone who wants to try them.
New Road, East Malling ME19 6BJ
Berties of Saltwood // Hythe
Although Berties of Saltwood has only been open since March this year, it has already become a firm favourite and permanent fixture in the area where locals and visitors alike can enjoy all manner of excellent delicacies at affordable prices.
The Green, Saltwood, Hythe CT21 4PS
The Yarrow Hotel // Broadstairs
Mouthwateringly delicious scones, cakes and biscuits all served with a pot of scrumptious tea is what awaits you at the Yarrow Hotel in Broadstairs. Come in for a rest and enjoy the hospitality and great food.
Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs CT10 1PN
Orangery Tearooms // Whitstable
Every day there are freshly baked scones to whet your appetite, and if that doesn’t appeal (unlikely, but possible) then there are plenty of other cakes to choose from too. Take your scone, cake and pot of tea into the tearoom gardens that enjoy grand views over Whitstable Castle and out to see when the weather is good (the gardens are open from April to October).
15 Tower Hill, Whitstable CT5 2BW
Home Front Tearoom // Ramsgate
If you want to enjoy some delicious cake and a pot of the ‘cup that cheers’, but you want to do it in a 1940’s style tearoom, the Home Front Tearoom in Ramsgate is the place to go. Authentic and beautiful, this is a labour of love and well worth a visit.
13a King Street, Ramsgate CT11 8NN
The Cake Shed // Tunbridge Wells
The Cake Shed is a cake shop and café rolled into one, so not only can you enjoy some of the very best tasty creations in the county, you can take them home with you as well. There is a large range to choose from, all made in the open kitchen.
32 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TN
The Lavender House Café // Bromley
With handmade cakes and a delectable cream tea menu to choose from, all made fresh daily, it’s no wonder that the Lavender House Café in Bromley is such a popular spot to take tea in.
26 Plaistow Lane, Sundridge Park Village, Bromley BR1 3PA
Miss Mollett’s High Class Tea Room // Appledore
Known as ‘a little slice of paradise in Kent’, Miss Mollett’s High Class Tea Room is a sumptuous taste of how we used to live, but with all the modern conveniences (and some of the most wonderful cake concoctions) that anyone might want. There is even a picture gallery and gift shop, as well as outside seating, so that guests really can make the most of the place.
26 The Street, Appledore TN26 2BX
Priscilla’s Pantry // Gravesend
With its sleek counter, pretty flower wall and gorgeous looking (and tasting!) cakes, this mother and daughter run brunch spot really is ‘the most Instagramable place in Gravesend!’. Opt for their ‘morning’, ‘guilt free’, or ‘gluten free’ options for a delicious spin on their popular home-baked classic afternoon tea.
161 Parrock Street, Gravesend, DA12 1ER
Tiny Tim’s Tearoom // Canterbury
This small and charming independently run family tearoom is all about the baked goods. The owners pride themselves on providing hungry visitors with a wide range of superb cakes and scones. They’re so good, in fact, that Tiny Tim’s won Top Tearoom in Kent in 2015.
34 St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG
Riverside Tea Room // Eynsford
Now, Eynsford is a gorgeous little village anyway, with its river where children can be found paddling and fishing during the summer, and its pubs and village shops and churches and… the list goes on. Add to this chocolate box village the Riverside Tea Room and the cakes they serve there, all homemade, of course, and you’ve got it all.
2A Riverside, Eynsford DA4 0AE
The Daily Grind // Ramsgate
There are many different tea infusions to try at The Daily Grind, so if you’re looking for something special, this is the place to go. There is cake too, of course, and it goes perfectly with your hot beverage, no matter what kind you pick.
11 Harbour Street, Ramsgate CT11 8HA
The Wallflower Café // Herne Bay
The Wallflower Café is a vegan food spot, and although you may wonder how they manage to make excellent cakes, don’t worry; they’ve got this. In fact, their cakes aren’t only vegan, but gluten free too.
The Mall, 116 High Street, Herne Bay CT6 5JY
Steep Street Coffee House // Folkestone
Although the name suggests coffee (of course), there is tea available here too, and lots and lots of cake! There are other excellent dishes as well, and all are served amidst floor to ceiling rows of books – it’s a literature lover’s dream.
18-24 The Old High Street, Folkestone CT20 1RL
Browns of Bexley // Bexley
Great food, great service, a gorgeous location and fabulous interior, Browns is a lovely place to take the weight off your feet and indulge in something tempting and tasty. That something could well be one of the many cakes that are made onsite, and you can even eat them in the pretty courtyard outside.
2 Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1LD
The Moat Tea Rooms // Canterbury
The building that houses the Moat Tea Rooms is impressive in itself – half timbered and dating back many centuries. Within that, you have a cosy, friendly tearoom serving green, black and oolong teas as well as plenty of homebaked goodness.
67 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ
Where Memories Meet // Wateringbury
This tearoom is set in an antiques shop, so if that’s your thing then this will be the ideal location for you to enjoy some tea and cake. Even if you’re not into antiques, Where Memories Meet is interesting and different enough to still work for you; it even has its own spring-fed well!
188 Tonbridge Road, Wateringbury ME18 5NS
Fleur De The // Rochester
Homemade cakes and pastries, traditional teas and specialty coffees are what makes Fleur de The such a hotspot for people of all ages. Relax on Rochester’s pretty high street in the care of a great tearoom.
134 High Street, Rochester ME1 1JT
Hever Castle // Hever
Afternoon tea at Hever Castle & Gardens is served in the Anne Boleyn Wing with views across the orchard to the Castle. Traditional finger sandwiches and scones are accompanied by Pimm’s jelly and rich sausage rolls, ensuring those with a sweet or savoury tooth are satisfied. Afternoon tea, which costs £19.50 per person, must be pre-booked. Admission tickets are also required.
Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever TN8 7NG
Tea At Hilltop // East Malling
It was in the post-war period that the current owner’s father bought Hilltop Farm, and it has always been a place that welcomed strangers, gave them somewhere to stay and something good to eat. Not much has changed over the last few decades, except now there is a dedicated café on the site to keep visitors fed and watered.
Hilltop Farm, The Heath, East Malling ME19 6JL
Corby’s Tea Rooms // Ramsgate
Situated just a few metres from the Royal Harbour in Ramsgate, Corby’s Tea Rooms already has a great location going for it. But it also has some wonderful cakes and other treats, and a choice of different teas. For tea and cake with a view and some super friendly service, this little tearoom is a good choice. And if you’re feeling as though you would rather indulge at home, that’s not a problem; Corby’s offers a takeaway service too.
18-20 York Street, Ramsgate CT11 9DN
Juliets // Tunbridge Wells
Charming and friendly, Juliets is a stunning place in Tunbridge Wells with a real buzz about it. It also has a place in the heart of the community, and is well-loved by the locals. That’s not to say that newbies aren’t welcome, of course; they most definitely are, and the first time you pop in for some exquisite cake and a cuppa you’ll just know that you are already planning to go back.
54 High Street, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XF
Hamerton & Jones // Goudhurst
Everything about Hamerton & Jones is fresh, vibrant, classy and welcoming – now that’s quite a combination, but it works, especially since it has a little gift shop attached. The food here is simple and delicious, using locally sourced ingredients to make it a truly special treat.
West Road, Goudhurst TN17 1AB
Basil // Sevenoaks, Penshurst, Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
When eating cake and drinking tea (or any other combination of deliciousness from their menu) at Basil, you can rest assured that every ingredient has been sourced ethically and conscientiously. It’s organic, free range, and the cafés always support local farmers and growers.
56 St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9NY
1-3 Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1LJ
30 High Street, Tonbridge TN9 1EJ
Basil at Kingdom, Grove Road, Penshurst TN11 8DU
3-5 Bank Street, Sevenoaks TN13 1UW
Eat ‘n’ Mess // Sevenoaks
Tea and cake is all very well if you don’t have any dietary requirements to think about. Otherwise it can be a mission to find something that not only won’t make you unwell, but that tastes good too. Well, at Eat ‘n’ Mess in Sevenoaks, you can finally have both; everything made there is either gluten, dairy, or sugar free, and the good news is that it tastes just as amazing as its unhealthier counterparts.
67 London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1AU
The Secret Garden Café // Deal
When you go to an art gallery you should always expect surprises; that’s what art is all about. At the Joanne Harmer Gallery in Deal, however, that surprise is nothing to do with the fabulous art, but is actually a ‘secret garden’ café in the most stunning little courtyard. Freshly baked cakes and a wide range of teas (and coffees) can be yours, and you can enjoy them relaxing in a rocking chair, or perhaps a double swing seat whilst listening the music.
High Street, Deal CT14 6BE
Loaf // Sandgate
Loaf can be found a hop, skip and a jump from the beach at Sandgate, so not only do you get to enjoy the most delicious and freshly baked cakes, but you can enjoy a stunning location as well. It’s the ideal place to stop for refreshments after a bracing walk along the shore, or when the sun gets a little too much during the summer months.
61 Sandgate High Street, Sandgate CT50 1ZW
Café 1809 // Hildenborough
Although the main ethos of the Café 1809 is healthy eating and keeping fit (it’s owned by Dame Kelly Holmes – named, in fact, after the race number she wore during the Athens Olympics), there are some rather more naughty treats to be had too – never a bad thing when you’re in need of a cake based pick me up.
152-154 Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough TN11 9HW
Eleto Chocolate Café // Canterbury & Folkestone
At Eleto, the staff just want to make you smile, and since the main ingredient in most dishes is chocolate, that’s not such a difficult job – there is even chocolate porridge if you want to stop by for breakfast, and the chocolate-coated strawberries with a glass of Prosecco sound divine. The menu is different and exciting, featuring concoctions that will be new to you, and those that are more familiar (although often with a chocolatey twist). Cake, cake and more cake is the order of the day here.
12-14 Rendezvous Street, Folkestone CT20 1EZ
1 Guildhall Street, Canterbury CT1 2JQ
Weathered & Worn // Hadlow
Business should be all about doing something you love with like-minded people, and at Weathered & Worn that’s exactly what happened. The café is owned by a mother and daughter team who share the joy of discovering vintage items (it could be clothes, furniture, or knickknacks), as well as a love of baking fresh, delicious, moreish cakes. So not only can you indulge in some sweet treats as well as other goodies, you can browse the vintage items for sale too, and in the summer you can sit outside in the delightful garden.
High Street, Hadlow TN11 0EF
Shelley’s of Kent // Chilham & St Margaret’s Bay
When the owners of Shelley’s of Kent were looking for a business to start, they realised that if they wanted to make a name for themselves, it was tea and cake that they needed to focus on – after all, it’s what we all love, and there are many tea shops that just don’t measure up. So Shelley’s promises excellent quality, superb taste, and friendly service at all times. And they keep that promise perfectly in both of their locations.
2 The Square, Chilham CT4 8BY
3 The Droveway, St Margaret’s Bay CT15 6DH
The Tulip Tree Tea Rooms // Chiddingstone
Chiddingstone is the quintessential English village – it’s owned by the National Trust, and it doesn’t get much more traditional than that. So a tearoom within that village has to be something pretty special indeed; and it is. The Tulip Tree Tea Rooms is housed in an old converted coach house, and it is certainly lovely. The attached gift shop has a fantastic claim to fame as well – it is said to be the oldest working shop in the UK; someone has been selling something from that location since 1453!
3 The Village, Chiddingstone TN8 7AH
Alice’s Tea Shop // Sevenoaks
There are lots of options to choose from at Alice’s Tea Shop located in the St Johns Hill area of Sevenoaks – cakes and treats are made fresh and with a definite sprinkling of love, and there are gluten free options available too. What makes Alice’s extra special is that it is guaranteed to be child friendly; there are activities for the kiddies to enjoy, and mums, dads and grandparents can relax completely. During the holidays there are often craft days to enjoy too.
114 St. John’s Hill, Sevenoaks TN13 3PD
Cocolicious // Cranbrook
Owner Lucinda ‘Loulou’ Hamilton grew up making memories with her family over a shared love of food, so when it came to opening her own business, she knew a patisserie had to be the way to go. She learned her trade at The Ritz under Anton Mosimann, and now brings that superb style and taste to Cranbrook with Cocolicious. Friendly service, a comfortable setting, fantastic food made with carefully sourced ingredients…what’s not to love?
Stone Street, Cranbrook TN17 3HF
Mulberry’s Tea Room // Charing
Cosy is the ideal word to describe this delightful, traditional tearoom on Charing High Street. The homebaked goodies are wonderful, and this is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and have a break from the world for a little bit.
42 The High Street, Charing TN27 0HX
The Vinery Café // Hawkhurst
The location of the Vinery Café is absolutely stunning – it’s to be found in a gorgeous nursery called The Walled Garden, and it serves some truly lovely cakes that can be enjoyed Tuesday to Sunday each week. The menu changes weekly, so you can always find something new to try.
Water Lane, Hawkhurst TN18 5DH
Rafferty’s // Sevenoaks
The Holly Bush area of Sevenoaks has traditionally been what might be termed the ‘creative quarter’, and Rafferty’s fits in perfectly. The menu is imaginative and delectable in equal measure, and since all the cakes and treats are baked in-house, you know you’re getting fresh and wholesome too. Ingredients are sourced locally where possible, to make things even better.
54 Holly Bush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3TL
The Tudor Rose // Westerham
The Tudor Rose is the oldest tearoom in gorgeous Westerham, having been on the same spot for the last 100 years – it has aged extremely well, and serves superb tea and cake overlooking the green with its statue of Churchill.
8 The Green, Westerham TN16 1AS