Best places for afternoon tea in Cardiff and beyond

This is an update of an old post about afternoon tea in Cardiff, which was far and away the most popular post on the blog. Which proves just how much people like afternoon tea. Here are my favourites.

Pettigrew Tea Rooms

Pettigrew Tearooms in Bute Park opened in the spring of 2012 and has quickly become a one of Cardiff City centre’s most popular places. Set inside the West Lodge in the Castle Walls, at the entrance to Bute Park, it’s a unique setting.

The interior has been cleverly designed too, with authentic tiling on the floor and lovely mismatched vintage china.

A friend and I booked for their festive afternoon tea (£15pp) at Christmas and it was such a treat.

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Owner David greeted us with a teacup of non-alcoholic mulled wine and a mini mince pie each on arrival and we were then treated to endless pots of tea (we went for the Christmas blend, a black tea very similar to Chai with warming Christmas spices) finger sandwiches, cranberry scones and a slab of cake of our choice. Luckily they are equipped with plenty of cake boxes for you to take home whatever you can’t manage!

Their regular afternoon tea is £13.95 and I’d really recommend the lavender Earl Grey tea and a slice of classic victoria sponge. This place is a must-visit in Cardiff.

www.pettigrew-tearooms.com

Waterloo Gardens Teahouse

Readers of the blog already know how much I love this funky suburban tea room.

If you’re looking for an afternoon tea with a difference, this is your place. With over 50 teas to choose from – they also serve coffee if you need a caffeine fix – you really are spoilt for choice.

Afternoon Tea at Waterloo Gardens Teahouse
Afternoon Tea at Waterloo Gardens Teahouse

As for the food, it’s the usual finger sandwiches (tuna, smoked salmon, roasted peppers and hummus for example) although they will cater to dietary requirements (including gluten-free). It’s the cakes that really excel though – the freshly mades scones with cream and jam are melt-in-the-mouth delicious and you’re also able to choose a huge wedge of one of the many cakes on offer too. The courgette & lime and white chocolate & raspberry cakes are my personal favourite.

Cost; £13.50 per person.

Washington Tea in Penarth is their recently opened new branch, which is also worth a visit.

www.waterlootea.com

St David’s Hotel

Afternoon Tea at St David's Hotel, Cardiff
Afternoon Tea at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff

What a treat the afternoon tea at St David’s Hotel is! My friend and I pushed the boat out on this occasion and opted for the champagne afternoon tea (£26pp). We were shown to the a window table at Tempus restaurant with a wonderful view of Cardiff Bay and Penarth Marina. The bubbles (Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne) were brought over as soon as we sat down and we were also given a choice of teas, served in gorgeous vintage china cups.

The cake tier was out of this world! Scones with jam and cream (of course), delicious mini pastries and exquisite cupcakes (on this occasion one blueberry and one carrot flavour). Their taste definitely lived up to presentation. It really was a lovely experience and I would highly recommend Afternoon Tea at St David’s Hotel, particularly for a special occasion or treat.

Traditional afternoon tea costs £18.95 per person.

www.thestdavidshotel.com

Park Plaza Cardiff

The Park Plaza offers both traditional (£15pp) and champagne (£25pp) Afternoon Tea at its Laguna restaurant. My companion and I had afternoon tea there during December and the Christmassy touches (mince pies, a big slab of Christmas cake) were a lovely addition. A special mention has to go to the teeny blackcurrant macaron placed on the top tier. Perfectly formed and full of flavour, I’ve never seen macaron included in an afternoon tea before and it was an unexpected treat.

Afternoon tea at Park Plaza Cardiff
Afternoon tea at Park Plaza Cardiff

I opted for the cinnamon tea which was deliciously warming and perfectly complimented the seasonal cakes on the menu.

www.lagunakitchenandbar.com

Further afield

If you’re looking for a good afternoon tea outside of Cardiff, these are my favourites.

Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

The Angel Hotel’s afternoon tea is award winning and you can see why. Traditional, without being stuffy, it’s a really great experience in stunning surroundings. And the mini trifles were delicious!

Afternoon tea £19.80 per person.

Angel Hotel afternoon tea
Angel Hotel afternoon tea

The Celtic Manor, Newport

I love The Celtic Manor, it’s a real treat. Lovely surroundings and gorgeous facilities. And the afternoon tea doesn’t disappoint. The sandwiches were more than just your standard finger fare, including prawn cocktail brioche buns, pesto bread and mini smoked salmon bagels. Tea also contained the best lemon meringue tart I’ve ever had!

Celtic Manor afternoon tea
Celtic Manor afternoon tea

Afternoon tea for two was £32 when we visited, although prices depend on the day and time of year.

Have you tried afternoon tea at another Cardiff location? What did you think? And do you agree with my experiences? Let me know!

I paid in full for each afternoon tea mentioned here and none of the restaurants were made aware I would be blogging about them.

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31 thoughts on “Best places for afternoon tea in Cardiff and beyond

  1. Emma White May 3, 2012 / 10:08 pm

    Hey, i was looking for somewhere different to take my friends, who are visiting Cardiff this weekend. So now thanks to your blog I will be taking them to Waterloo Tea Gardens. Can’t wait it looks yum! Em

    • Cardiff Girl May 4, 2012 / 9:32 am

      Glad I could help – enjoy! Waterloo takes bookings for afternoon tea, which might be worth considering as it gets busy there.

  2. Chris Williams June 4, 2012 / 2:56 pm

    Never done afternoon tea and needed advice for a present. So your blog has been a god-send. Waterloo Tea Gardens it is! Thanks very much 🙂

  3. Penny Lewis August 9, 2012 / 11:11 am

    I see you are interested in food, I am organizing a cookery course for Bloggers like yourself on 5th September from 4 – 7pm to give you a chance to meet me and see what we do here. please contact me if you would like to come along.

    • Cardiff Girl August 9, 2012 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks for thinking of me, but I’ll be on holiday on the 5th September. Please let me know if there’s anything else coming up in the future though. All the best.

  4. Cochdrwyn August 30, 2012 / 8:17 am

    We were treated to an afternoon tea at the Park House (near the Nat Museum of Wales)by a friend recently. The building is amazing and very interesting with quite a history to it. The tea was very nice but you are only allowed one teapotful. There are no second helpings of tea and I didn’t have enough to drink. I would have liked more tea!The sandwiches were fresh and pleasant though rather mean for 3 people (two of them men with good appetites!!) The cakes were nice and dainty as well as tasty. Would I recommend it? Yes it was nice but not the best I’ve ever had. I think it’s worth going there for the lovely building.

  5. Swansea Boy September 20, 2012 / 3:46 am

    This blog is fantastic. I am visiting Cardiff again in November and now have a good idea of where to visit for afternoon tea. I will let you know how my experience goes.

    • Cardiff Girl September 20, 2012 / 8:56 am

      Wow – thanks, that is a really kind comment. I need to do an updated version of this post soon and add in Pettigrew Tea Rooms. It’s a fantastic classic-style tea room which has recently opened in the walls surrounding Cardiff Castle – opposite the Angel Hotel. Their lavender early grey tea is AMAZING!

  6. Charles Five November 10, 2012 / 8:54 pm

    Try the Afternoon Tea at the Celtic, to die for

    • Wendy November 10, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      I had afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor yesterday. I booked two months ago, and gave my dietary requirements over the phone, and was assured that they could cater for me. However, on the day, they served me a very poor salad and fruit – which I waited 40 minutes for, during which my pot of tea went cold. I would never recommend Afternoon Tea here.

      • Cardiff Girl November 10, 2014 / 7:22 pm

        Hi Wendy, I’m disappointed to hear that and sorry if you went on my recommendation. We had s vegetarian afternoon tea when we went and it was fine, but what you had sounds awful! You should try Waterloo gardens (or their other sites in Penarth or Cardiff City Centre) they are great at catering for vegetarians, coeliacs etc.

  7. Megan Brooks November 23, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    hi which was your favorutie afternoon tea you did have then the park plaza or the waterloo te gardens as want to take my nan for a treat for christmas

    • Cardiff Girl November 26, 2012 / 11:00 pm

      Go for Waterloo Gardens Teahouse – definitely my favourite.

  8. Cheryl Hill January 29, 2013 / 10:56 pm

    Jaspers in Llandaff village is very nice too and you can have top ups!

  9. Dorine April 24, 2013 / 10:26 am

    I went to Truffles in Church Street for dinner not long ago and I am very tempted to try their afternoon tea- have you ever been there?

    • Cardiff Girl April 27, 2013 / 6:36 am

      I’ve been there for breakfast but never afternoon tea. Let me know if its any good.

  10. shaun April 26, 2013 / 11:24 am

    Visited Waterloo Gardens Teahouse on your recommendation,when my Mom came to visit, wow I never realised there were so many different teas! Well worth a visit and they have great cakes too!

  11. Elaine Dean December 8, 2013 / 9:35 pm

    Ive been to Hilton Cardiff twice and both times it has been fabulous. I went recently (November 2013) and it was a glorious feed for £15. A buffet of sandwiches and cakes which were beautiful and constantly topped up and we had 2 pots of coffee and 2 pots of tea! Magnificent value and I could hardly walk out as I was so stuffed. I would recommend the Hilton Cardiff with no hesitation.

    • Cardiff Girl December 9, 2013 / 11:42 am

      Thanks for your recommendation Elaine. I have only been to the Hilton for afternoon tea once, and we did not have a particularly good experience. However, that was a few years ago and I hear it’s had an overhaul since then. I’ll have to give it a go in the new year!

  12. Viccy Stone January 25, 2014 / 3:52 pm

    I love the range of teas and cakes at the Waterloo gardens but find the surroundings can be noisy, it’s great for a casual afternoon tea/tea and cake after a walk round Roath park but I’d probably pick one of the quieter locations for a special treat. We are trying the afternoon tea at the park house (near the musum) next weekend, we booked it as a treat for my dad’s birthday so I’m hoping it’s as good as it looks! Did the Celtic manor a few weeks ago and that got a thumbs up, although it is further afield. If you’re ever Bridgend direction I recommend the coed y mwster hotel, and it’s under £13 a person. I also haven’t had a great experience at the Hilton, food was all fine but the atmosphere and service were lacking and I wouldn’t recommend it as I’ve definitely had better. Love this blog 🙂

    • Cardiff Girl January 27, 2014 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I’m going to the Celtic Manor for afternoon tea in a few weeks. Can’t wait!

  13. Rachael Netherway February 21, 2014 / 11:07 pm

    Thanks so much for this blog.I live in Newport but have been looking for somewhere to take my mum & her friend for a birthday treat in Cardiff.Think I’m going to go for the Pettigrew Tea Rooms-thanks for the info!

  14. myfanwy September 11, 2014 / 10:35 pm

    Quarter Penny Cafe in cowbridge is also lovely! A dainty between lunch and dinner treat but only £7.95, I went yesterday it was great, if small.

    • Cardiff Girl September 20, 2014 / 6:42 pm

      Hi, thanks for the recommendation. I visited the Quarter Penny Cafe for Afternoon Tea around a year ago and wasn’t really impressed, which is why it hasn’t made it into the blog. I agree, it was small. But the cafe itself was lovely. I do love Cowbridge!

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