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Afternoon Tea Sussex Guide | Best in 2023

Three tiers of afternoon tea on a white tablecloth with dark wood wall paneling in the background. Cream tea at Mannings Heath.

A unique experience in Sussex, this nostalgia-rich afternoon tea is served on the restored decks of the RML 2333. Although the Brighton Regency Routemaster afternoon tea tour picks up guests in central Brighton, it takes them out to see the local countryside, so we’ve included it here. Taking in a host of historic local attractions you’re sure to be charmed by the vintage beauty of the transport. Sussex Afternoon tea is a lovely assortment of sweet and savoury patisseries, cakes and sandwiches with tea, gin cocktails or prosecco. Watch the world go by as you’re serenaded by the sounds of the 1960s. 

The Vineyard Kitchen at Mannings Heath Wine Estate and Golf Club serves Sussex afternoon tea every day of the week. In the summertime,  the sun-drenched terrace is the perfect spot, boasting beautiful views over the estate. In the cooler months, the wood-panelled comfort of the Tudor dining room, with its blazing log fire, makes for a suitably special setting. Mannings Heath offers both a savoury and a classic tea, with free-flowing beverages or cocktails and wine for an extra treat. Mannings Heath’s Vineyard Kitchen is also a great Sussex restaurant.

Wingrove House is a historic villa set on the outskirts of Alfriston, one of Sussex’s most idyllic villages. The romantic setting, pretty English garden and traditional service make this an ideal place to enjoy Sussex afternoon tea. Wingrove House offers a beautifully simple cream tea or the classic tiers of delicate cakes and pastries, finger sandwiches and fluffy scones with cream and strawberry jam. The Sparkling Afternoon Tea is served with a flute of English sparkling wine from the beautiful vineyard at the nearby Rathfinny Estate. Not to be missed!

An afternoon tea at Leonardslee House is the epitome of luxury and decadence. Served in the drawing-room of this impressive two-storey Italianate mansion, you’ll be treated to the very finest food while you enjoy the spectacular views of Leonardslee’s famous gardens and the beautiful South Downs beyond. The Sussex afternoon tea menu is brought to you by Head Chef Jean Delport, of Michelin star Sussex Restaurant Interlude, also at Leonardslee. There are three menus to choose from including a thoughtful and fun version for kids. Garden entry is also included. 

Image credit: The Cobblestone Tea House

Nestled within the charming town of Steyning, steeped in history and situated in West Sussex, Cobblestone Tea House has origins dating back to the 15th Century. Tucked away from the bustling high street, this teahouse offers a sanctuary for tea enthusiasts, inviting visitors to indulge in delightful cream teas along with sumptuous breakfasts, and delectable lunches.

Image credit: The Old Tollgate Hotel

On the doorstep of the South Downs you’ll find the sleepy village of Bramber, where the idyllic Old Tollgate Hotel is located. At the hotel’s restaurant, a delightful treat awaits in the form of daily cream teas from 3-5pm. Guests can savour the experience of a pot of their preferred tea, accompanied by two freshly baked scones served with generous dollops of clotted cream and luscious jam.

Image credit: Tottington Manor

Toddington Manor in Henfield, serves an afternoon tea in their restaurant. Guests can experience a classic afternoon tea which includes freshly made finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, a platter of savoury bites, and sweet treats, accompanied with a pot of loose leaf tea, or a glass of English bubbly for an extra treat!

Image credit: The Nutmeg Tree

The Nutmeg Tree is a quaint 1930/40s era tearoom in the historic town of Ditchling. Their afternoon tea menu gives you the choice of a simple cream tea, a sandwich cream tea or the full afternoon tea with all of the trimmings. There’s a ‘Maltby’ tea too which includes Welsh Rarebit, cake and tea. Take a seat in the enclosed garden on a sunny day with views of the South Downs, what more could you want from an afternoon tea experience!