The North East is a beautifully bucolic region and afternoon tea in this region is a mix of local produce, traditional service and incomparable history. It’s like nothing you will find anywhere else in the country, which is why cream tea offerings in the North East consistently get top marks from us.
To see what this region has to offer, take a look at our separate lists below or keep reading for more information:
- Afternoon Tea in Newcastle
- Afternoon Tea in Northumberland
- Afternoon Tea in Sunderland
- Afternoon Tea in Teeside
Understanding the North East
The North East of England hasn’t had it easy over the years and the spotlight of the country’s prosperity has rarely shined on it. It was at the heart of the Miner’s Strike and it suffered under the weight of Maggie Thatcher’s reign, where the Iron Lady closed the mines and sent many North Eastern families into disarray.
In the decade leading up to the 70s and 80s, the North East was a region of tough, working class men and women, as well as upper class landowners. Hundreds of years before this it was those landowners who dominated the region. But after the mines closed it became the poor region in the country, with many working class families forced to reluctantly accept handouts from the state.
But despite this troubled recent past, there is still a gritty spirit here and it’s one of the friendliest regions in the country. If you’re used to the bright lights and the chaos of London, where you can be alone even in a horde of people, the North East makes you feel welcome. It’s friendly, it’s open—it’s the perfect place for social animals.
Afternoon Tea in the North East
Broadly speaking, there are three types of afternoon tearooms in the North East of England. On the one hand you have the countryside’s historic castles and manor houses that have cream tea in grand dining rooms decked with traditional decor. It’s not quite the Ritz, but it’s probably as close as you’re going to get outside of any major cities. These manor houses and castles are nearly always hotels and/or resorts, often with spas, golf courses and other facilities attached.
On the other hand you have the new hotels in the city. These are often big-named chains such as The Marriott and they can be found in cities like Newcastle and Sunderland. They don’t have the soul of the countryside venues, but they serve great food and are popular with guests staying at the hotels.
Finally you have the quirky little tearooms. This is the best way to immerse yourself in local culture as they are often frequented by locals. They tend to skip the dainty finger sandwiches and mini-scones and go for the super-sized offerings, with sweets and sandwiches that you can really get your teeth into.
The Running Fox is a great example of this. It’s a quaint little coffee shop, but it’s also one of the best places for afternoon tea in the North East thanks to its epic portions and fantastic fare.