Tea and Britain go hand-in-hand and the café scene in Britain, although little known outside of London, really is second to none. The quality of produce available in many of the UK’s cafes is top notch and no road trip around Britain would be complete without a spot of cream tea and a good brew. Whether tea or coffee is your drink of choice, we’ve compiled a list of the best cafes for you to try around Britain
Image courtesy of Brian CK
Brighton is usually known for its seemingly unending collection of the weird and the wonderful: from the traditional pub restyled as a French jazz bar to the quirky collection of vintage stores the city is an eclectic and vibrant place to find yourself. Amidst these wonders you can find the odd traditional gem however and The Mock Turtle on the small Pool Valley street definitely ticks that box. Serving sweet and savoury delights, the desserts are definitely enough to stop you in your tracks and feature old favourites like coconut sponge and Eton mess. We recommend the coffee meringue (pictured above).
4 Pool Valley, Brighton BN1 1NJ
Image courtesy of Craig Moray
The old world feel of Cambridge comes to life in Harriet’s café. A visit here is almost like a trip back in time. The staff are impeccably uniformed while the décor is very much in keeping with the old-world feel. In spite of the plush settings, the prices are surprisingly reasonable and it's definitely a spot to hit up for lunch. The selection of teas on offer is also worth looking at.
16-17 Green Street, Cambridge CB2 3JU
Image courtesy of Aoife Crowley
Located at the top of Broad Street on Saville Row, Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms is a trip back in time. The tea rooms have a wartime, 1940s feel to them. The breakfasts here are particularly good, as are the large cafetières of coffee on offer. The tea rooms are bright and are a great place to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee. As they are only minutes from the famous Circus in Bath, you can ease your way back into the modern world.
6-8 Saville Row, Bath, BA1 2QP
Right image courtesy of Sam Saunders.
If ever there was a place you could follow your nose to, Hart’s Bakery is it. Tucked away in the arches of the main railway station of Bristol, Bristol Temple Meads, the delicious smells that waft from Hart’s Bakery every morning always draw in the crowds. The café is small and quaint and the staff are exceptionally friendly. While the cakes at the counter will definitely make your mouth water, the bakery’s speciality is actually their sourdough bread. Stock up on some to take home or grab a filled baguette for lunch and watch the world go by.
Arch 35 Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads, BS1 6QS
Image couresty of mira66
London is a fast-paced city, but thankfully there are pockets of calm. Pâtisserie Deux Amis is one such oasis. Located only a stone’s throw from King’s Cross and the British Library, this tiny café is the perfect escape from the masses. The coffee is good and the pastries are even better. If you can’t afford a ticket on the Eurostar to France, this cosy café is definitely your next best option.
63 Judd Street, London WC1H 9QT
The Tate galleries are located in London, Liverpool and St. Ives in Cornwall, and all of them have really great cafes. What separates the Tate in St Ives, however, is the stunning views: the gallery is located next to the Porthmeor Beach and has stunning views of St Ives town and the beach. Get a window seat, grab a book from their shop and enjoy the view.
Porthmeor Beach, Saint Ives, Cornwall TR26 1TG
With a beautiful courtyard for you to sit out and enjoy the sun, Steam Yard has a bright, modern vibe with some really great coffee. With bagels and doughnuts on the menu, the place has a distinctly American vibe but the selection definitely shows off British produce at it’s best. Drop in early to get the doughnuts while they're hot.
Unit 1-2 Aberdeen Court, 97 Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE
Image courtesy of Alejandro Erickson.
Manchester is a great place to go grab a tea or a coffee on the go, and North Tea Power in the Norther Quarter of the city is just one of the many great places that has sprung up in recent years. The salads here are particularly great, and with the café open until 7pm on weeknights, it’s a great place for an evening stop off.
36 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LA
Image courtesy of gordonplant.
While many of the cafes featured here have a more modern feel, Waterloo Gardens in Cardiff is more in keeping with the traditional. Tea is unsurprisingly the main draw here with loose leaf available to take home as well as brewed in store. The brunch menu here is also delicious and very reasonably priced for such a lovely location. They also have a branch more centrally located in Wyndham Arcade that features an in-store bakery and seating for larger groups.
5 Waterloo Gardens, Penylan, Cardiff CF23 5AA
Working with local suppliers of organic produce, The Edinburgh Larder is a tucked away café that is boasts some great Scottish food. The more upmarket Bistro is located on Alva Street but the café on Blackfriars Street just off the Royal Mile is a great place to grab breakfast or to indulge in some really brilliant brownies. They’re even gluten free which is another reason to love this place.
15 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh EH1 1NB
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