As Mother’s Day approaches, we thought that afternoon tea is a great way of treating your mum to something special.
Afternoon tea is a big part of English culture but it actually only became a thing around 200 years ago. At that time, it was common to eat just two meals each day, one in the morning and one late in the evening. But Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, became fed up with her mid-afternoon slump and decided to start taking tea with a snack to fill the gap. This ritual was taken privately to begin with, before friends and family took it up too.
Read on to discover some of the best independent places to enjoy afternoon tea for Mother’s Day in Harrogate.
31-33 Cold Bath Rd. 01423 313282. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm
Among Harrogate’s most famous afternoon tea destinations, Mama Doreen’s has a lot of charm – and offers a lot of choice. There are cupcakes in almost every flavour you could imagine, and they’re also particularly good at catering for special diets.
Their afternoon teas are popular with couples, groups of friends, hen parties, baby showers… in fact, just about any occasion you could mention. Naturally, Mother’s Day is no different, and there are very few tables still available on the day itself. However, if you’re looking to treat your mum on another day, availability is better, so give them a call and book in.
Whichever day you choose, you’ll find your afternoon tea is beautifully presented on a delicate cake stand. With pretty table cloths, rustic bunting and colourful decor, the surroundings are as much a part of the experience as the food, so make sure you allow time for you and your mum to take it all in and relax.
Snooty Frox of Harrogate Ltd, 34-36 Hookstone Road. 01423 815320. Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm
The Wild Plum Coffee Shop is located on the first floor of the Snooty Frox women’s department store which sells occasion wear, evening wear, prom wear and casual clothing.
The coffee shop offers home cooked food using fresh local produce. Afternoon tea is served from Monday to Friday so will not be available on Mother’s Day but is a great option if you fancy treating your mum in the run-up to Sunday. If, however, you’d like to take Mum out on the day itself, the cafe is offering a special Mother’s Day brunch, with bookings being taken for tables of five or more only,
And you could make a morning or afternoon of it, combining your visit to The Wild Plum with a browse around the rest of the Snooty Frox store.
49 Cold Bath Road. 01423 524216. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm.
This warm and friendly café is a real family affair. It’s managed and run by sisters Tilly and Kitty Lewis, while their mum and dad undertake all the behind-the-scenes work.
Having celebrated Tilly Peppers’ second anniversary in February, the sisters are busier than ever as the business continues to grow. Cold Bath Road has become well-known for its indies, and Kitty says that between 70 and 80 per cent of their customers are from the immediate locality. Regular visitors of all ages love not just their independent spirit (they use produce from other local businesses) but also their family ethos, welcoming and chilled atmosphere and, of course, great food.
When it comes to afternoon tea, they’ll put together a bespoke selection of whatever takes your fancy, including a variety of homemade sandwiches, fresh scones and cakes, and a selection of teas or coffees. It’s available from Monday to Saturday and, as with the rest of their menu, can be adapted to suit different dietary requirements.
The café isn’t usually open on Sundays but Tilly and Kitty will be making an exception for Mother’s Day. However, instead of afternoon tea, they’ll be opening a pop-up restaurant, as they did last year to great success. They’ll be offering a set menu of rustic homemade, French-inspired food on a bookings-only basis from 12-2.30pm. For £30 per head (less for children) guests will enjoy a fantastic three-course lunch, which includes a bottle of wine and a gift for the mums. Space is still available but is booking up quickly. All the details are on their Facebook page or give them a call for more information.
7 Montpellier Mews. 01423 525 554.
If you’ve never noticed this quaint little tea rooms tucked away in the Montpellier Quarter, you’re missing a treat. With just seven tables inside and six on an outdoor courtyard, it can get quite crowded but the friendly staff maintain the warm and welcoming ambience even during busy times.
The business has been in existence for 20 years or so, located among a jewellery and antique shop, home and garden store, a vintage shop and other independents. Jenny’s was taken over three years ago by former air stewardess Louise Gonzalez, whose emphasis on great customer service combined with lovely food is certainly paying off. Customers return again and again, with many visitors from outside the area making sure they pop in whenever they’re in town.
The menu includes light hot dishes such as omelettes, soups and jacket potatoes, as well as sandwiches, quiches, and treats such as cakes and scones. All food is freshly made on the premises and local produce is used where possible.
Although Jenny’s is not open on Sunday and will not be doing anything special on Mother’s Day itself, afternoon tea can be ordered anytime from Monday to Saturday. The afternoon tea set menu is £21 for two people and comprises (for each person) a choice from a range of teas and coffees, two choices of sandwich, a fruit or cheese scone, piece of cake, and flapjack or brownie.
4 John St, Harrogate HG1 1JZ
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Harrogate town centre, LMDC’s fairly small size is not reflected in its popularity: it has a very loyal following of happy customers. As well as delicious food every day, it has built up a sense of community with special events like carol singing on Christmas Eve (pop that in your diary for December!).
We mentioned LMDC in our very first Locals’ Guide back in September 2014 (read it here) and we thought they deserved another mention as their menu may not include afternoon tea as such, but you’ll find everything you need to create your own. As well as sandwiches, quiches and other savoury delights, there are scones served with jam and cream. You’ll also find the more unusual combination of cheese scones with cream cheese and chilli jam – perfect for people who don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
Proving just how much they love their customers, the team at LMDC will be giving out free brownies to all mums who visit this Mother’s Day. Make sure you stop by early – we predict they’ll be snapped up long before the doors close!