Traditional Afternoon Tea at the Alexandra This Summer

afternoon tea served at the alexandra

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

Henry James

Could there be a more quintessentially English pastime than a traditional afternoon tea? As summer continues to cast its golden glow over the stunning coastal town of Lyme Regis, Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant offers a classic culinary experience that will make your trip to the Jurassic Coast one to remember.

Whether enjoyed in our restaurant or outside on our beautifully cut lawns with breathtaking sea views, our delightful spread of home-cooked treats and hot beverages is the perfect way to spend a summer’s afternoon.

the garden at the alexandra in lyme regis

The origins of afternoon tea

While the history of tea drinking is deeply rooted in ancient China, the tradition of afternoon tea gained popularity in England in the 1660s, courtesy of King Charles II and his wife, Catherine de Braganza.

The idea of afternoon tea as a specific social occasion, however, emerged in the mid-19th century, thanks to Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. In 1840, the Duchess found herself feeling hungry in the late afternoon, as dinner was served as late as 8:00 pm. To curb her appetite, she began requesting a tray of tea, bread, butter, and cake. Eventually, she started inviting friends to join her, making it a social gathering; with finger sandwiches, inspired by the Earl of Sandwich, becoming a popular staple of the event.

The tradition of afternoon tea quickly caught on, established as a fashionable social occasion among upper-class and society women by the 1880s. Typically served in the drawing room between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, these gatherings saw guests dressed in elegant long gowns, gloves, and hats. Over time, afternoon tea evolved into a cherished practice embraced across the world. 

afternoon tea at the alexandra

An exquisite afternoon awaits at the Alexandra 

Fast forward to the present day, and the Alexandra proudly carries on this grand tradition—and we invite you to experience one of life’s simple pleasures here at the hotel. Served daily from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm, our afternoon tea menu will keep you fully refreshed after a day of exploring in Lyme Regis.

Start your afternoon tea experience with a steaming pot of tea – choose from India or Ceylon tea for a classic touch or explore their selection of speciality teas, herbal infusions, and fruit blends for a unique twist. 

Freshly-baked scones and sandwiches

The star of the show, perhaps, is the freshly baked scones, a mainstay of any traditional cream tea. Served with generous dollops of Dorset clotted cream and strawberry jam. Whether it’s cream or jam first, our scones are sure to hit the spot.

Alongside, you'll be treated to an assortment of dainty finger sandwiches, handmade by our kitchen team. The delicate balance of flavours, combined with the relaxing atmosphere of your coastal surroundings will make it a dining experience to remember.

the outdoor decking at the alexandra

Time for tea

The Dorset Cream Tea provides a great opportunity to sample the hotel's signature treats alongside your choice of leaf tea or Fair-trade coffee.

For a celebration fit for royalty, why not try the Alexandra Sparkling Tier Tea, where you'll find an exquisite selection of finger sandwiches and homemade cakes, accompanied by a glass of the award-winning Furleigh Estate Classic Cuvee—a sparkling toast to a truly special occasion.

Book your afternoon tea experience at the Alexandra

So, whether you're a devoted tea connoisseur or simply looking to enjoy a relaxing afternoon taking in the coastal scenery, accompanied by some delicious homemade culinary delights, why not book an afternoon tea at the Alexandria. It’s the perfect way to treat yourself on a summer’s day in Lyme Regis.


Posted on August 17th 2023

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