From chic and sleek to quaint and quirky, we reviewed the UK’s very best spots for afternoon tea in this week's Stylist magazine. If you can't grab a table at one of our tipped restaurants, below is our guide to creating a mouth-watering afternoon tea in your very own home.
Once you've got your food in order, take a look at our favourite cake stands to impress your guests.
Scones and cakes
TRADITIONAL: Genesis scones (available from Waitrose and Sainsburys for £1.49) taste just as good as home-baked alternatives. Go on, say you baked them yourself - we won't tell.
ALTERNATIVE: For those with a sweet tooth, Stylist favourite Le Pain Quotidien have a range of treats including individual carrot cakes, pavlovas and mixed berry tarts available to pick-up from any of their London stores. Or try Mr Kipling's recently launched Great British Puds (Rhubarb and Custard Pies, Spotted Dick Slices and Trifle Bakewells), a tasty option for those who don't live in London.
TRADITIONAL: For teas, look no further than Peyton & Byrne who offer everything from Builder's Tea (£3.90) to beautifully packaged Limited Production Loose Leaf tea in Breakfast or Earl Grey blends (£5.50).
ALTERNATIVE: Clipper offers the perfect caffiene-free option in the form of their White Tea and White Tea with Pepperment. Both are organic and available nationwide with prices starting from only £1.29.
TRADITIONAL: Well-known jam makers Wilkin & Sons have been making jam in their Essex factory in Tiptree for 125 years. We recommend their Little Scarlet Strawberry Conserve, available nationwide for £3.49. Don't forget your clotted cream - Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream is the best in our eyes, and available to buy online from £3.19.
ALTERNATIVE: If you're after for something a bit more adventurous, Baxters' Rhubarb & Ginger Conserve with Scottish Victoria Rhubarb should do the trick. The tasty jam is perfect on scones and available in your local supermarket for £1.79.
TRADITIONAL: For the proper afternoon tea experience, make some cheap, easy and tasty cucumber sandwiches. No supermarket required!
ALTERNATIVE: We can't get enough of Yorkshire Baker sausage rolls - handmade all-butter puff pastry sausage rolls which have just launched on Tesco’s deli counters. These tasty treats are available in three varieties (original pork, pork with bramley apple and caramelised onion and pork with sweet chilli and roasted peppers) and cost £1.50 each.
TRADITIONAL: You can't go wrong with 'The Best' champagne from Morrisons (£19.99). This budget bubbly was named Supermarket Champagne of the Year in the Which? blind taste test, beating the likes of Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon.
ALTERNATIVE: For the perfect start to afternoon tea, Lanson Rosé is an elegant wine with intense aromas of redcurrant and raspberry and delicate flavours of red fruit. Snap it up for £34.99 (75cl) at Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose.