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It’s one of life’s little luxuries, and a typically British thing to do on holiday, there’s nothing quite like treating yourself to an indulgent afternoon tea or two. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to find tea rooms, cafes and hotels serving up the most delicious afternoon tea and cream teas, and we have the insider knowledge to guide you to some of the very best afternoon tea spots in Dorset. We’re talking cafes with character, tearoom views to die for and luxury hotels that offer the ultimate treat, and all with one thing in common, delectable afternoon tea menus!
Surrounded by an assortment of eclectic shops, this traditional tearoom is a gem of a find in the coastal village of Westbourne, on the fringes of Bournemouth. Specialising in vintage-themed afternoon teas, it’s the kind of place you’ll receive the warmest of welcomes, sip from mismatched china mugs and relax on pre-loved shabby-chic chairs. There is also a selection of homeware and vintage furniture for you to snap up a holiday memento too.
Dog-friendly: Dogs welcome
First built in 1935, this nostalgic teahouse is a popular refreshment stop for those visiting the iconic Blue Pool beauty spot near Wareham. Serving homemade, traditional cream teas overlooking the beautiful ever-changing waters of the blue pool, it’s certainly somewhere to consider during your trip – not just for the delicious cream tea, but also for the scenery and surrounding walks through 20 acres of woods and heathland.
Dog-friendly: Dogs on leads are welcome inside the teahouse.
This quirky tearoom is very much at the heat of the rural village of Worth Matravers, popular with locals and visitors alike. Its exquisite afternoon teas definitely catch people's attention, serving savoury teas alongside traditional afternoon teas and Dorset cream teas. If you really fancy treating yourself while you are on holiday though, we recommend the less conventional Prohibition Tea with gin and tonic served in a teapot!
Dog friendly: Yes
When a lazy afternoon calls for a gentle stroll and a bite to eat, Upwey Wishing Well and Ornamental Gardens provides a beautiful day out. Start by exploring the winding paths that meander around the intriguing water gardens, not forgetting to make a wish when you reach the well. When the hunger pangs kick-in, seek out the tearoom and choose from the full, local menu, including traditional afternoon tea, high tea, or cream tea.
Price: From £2.55 to £7.15 (cream tea/scone options only)
Dogs: Dogs are welcome into the garden and café.
If you’re looking for an afternoon tea with a view, you can’t get much more impressive than the Lobster Pot on Portland Bill. Located right beside the iconic lighthouse, this is a favourite for coastal walkers and keen bird watchers making the most of the stunning Portland scenery and wildlife. Family-run since 1952, the restaurant is famed for its Dorset cream tea and its scone recipe which has remained the same since the business began.
Price: £6.20 (cream tea only)
Dogs: Allowed outside only, and there is an external kiosk for making orders without going inside.
Al fresco dining at its very best, this unique garden café is a real gem in the Dorset countryside. Sitting high up on a hill with views of Lyme Bay, here you can enjoy fresh cream teas with scones that are baked on the premises every day. In addition to a traditional sweet treat, there’s an impressive menu served here too, featuring as much as possible that has been grown, reared, and made on site and if there’s anything that isn’t, it comes from a local supplier.
Renowned for having the best afternoon tea in Weymouth, the aptly named Good Life Café overlooks the golden sands of Weymouth beach. Serving the full works complete with freshly baked scones, delicate finger sandwiches and small cakes, it’s the perfect seaside holiday treat. While delectable afternoon teas in Weymouth are top of our list, the Good Life Café is a popular spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too.
Price: £17.50 per person
Luxury afternoon tea in Dorset
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or you’re treating yourself to the finer things while on holiday, these luxury afternoon teas in Dorset will be a pretty memorable addition to your stay.
One of the finest venues in Dorset, The Priory Hotel on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck really is a special occasion kind of place, and definitely home to a posh cream tea. Independently owned, the grand boutique hotel is a real treat. The extensive afternoon tea menu offers everything from biscuits and tea to the ‘Priory Ritzy Tea’ which can be enjoyed with a glass of prosecco too – the perfect posh afternoon tea in Dorset. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you can take your tea on The River Terrace, in the dining room or enjoy a unique experience in the Riverside Pod.
Price: From £7.25 to £34.50 per person
Dogs: No dogs
Positioned right on the water’s edge of Christchurch Harbour, this luxury afternoon tea spot not only has fabulous food but amazing views too. If there’s something that makes a treat extra special, it’s enjoying its incredible surroundings like this. The luxury hotel serves a variety of afternoon teas daily from 3.30pm – 4.30pm in the Upper Deck restaurant or out on the terrace. There are even options to add prosecco, cocktails and a ‘tea for kids’ family-friendly option.
Price: From £9.95 to £36 per person
Dogs: No dogs
Hotel Alexandra – Lyme Regis
Self-described as an ‘oasis of calm’ this five-star venue promises a memorable experience. With a grandstand view of Lyme Regis, it’ll be hard to tear yourself away from that view. Enjoy the views while you relax in the Orangery or during warmer months, outside on the terrace. Choose from a variety of teas, sandwiches, and tasty treats before heading back out to explore Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
Price: From £10 to £31 per person
Dogs: Dogs are welcome.
Start planning your holiday in Dorset
Have we set your taste buds tingling? Whether enjoyed at a characterful vintage tearoom or in the dining room of a grand venue, enjoying an afternoon tea is one of life’s little luxuries, and if you can’t treat yourself while you’re on holiday, when can you? To start planning your break to Dorset, you might find our guide to the Dorset Coast to be a good place to start.
Go in search of the best afternoon tea in Dorset and let us know which one(s) you choose.