Cuthbert's Bakehouse
Photograph: Pete Carr

The 10 best places for afternoon tea in Liverpool

Get your fill of cake and sarnies at the best afternoon tea spots in Liverpool, from Beatles-themed spreads to macarons with a view

Alice Porter
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Dismiss afternoon tea at your peril. Who doesn’t like tiny sandwiches and small cakes piled onto tiered plates, with a seemingly endless amount of tea and conversation on the side? No one, that is the answer. If afternoon tea is the suggestion, we are there with bells on.

Liverpool understands this, and the city has many great options for this most marvellous of social endeavours. From lavish luxury hotel restaurants to vegan-friendly cafes, afternoon tea in Liverpool is a delight. The Beatles? Of course, the Fab Four get plenty of attention here on the afternoon tea front. When in Liverpool, you know?

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Alice Porter is a writer based in Liverpool. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Best afternoon tea in Liverpool

1. The Art School Cellars

What is it? Totally indulgent afternoon tea in a magnificent setting.

Why go? If the setting doesn’t knock your socks off, then surely the three variations of afternoon tea will be enough to blow you away at the Art School Cellars. Choose between standard, prosecco and champagne to accompany the homemade sandwiches, cakes and scones, all artfully presented on a stainless-steel ferris wheel. 

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Huw Oliver
UK Editor

2. The Titanic

What is it? A luxurious setting with a view of Liverpool’s historic docks

Why go? If you’re looking for an afternoon tea location that really makes you feel like you're in Liverpool, then look no further than The Titanic. Located on Stanley Dock, with views of the River Mersey, the hotel restaurant where you'll be seated is just as good a spot to take in the history of the city, as it is for a photo op. Enjoy a range of teas and cakes created by The Titanic’s in-house pastry chef – Gin and Tonic macaroon anyone? – and it’s also worth having a look at their cocktail menu. Boozy afternoon tea is a thing, right?

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3. Oh Me Oh My

What is it? Understated opulence in the city’s historic downtown area.

Why go? Oh Me Oh My has built a reputation as a classy yet understated venue for weddings and other big events. If you’re not tying the knot in the near future, though, you can still head down to its café and teahouse for a relaxing bite, with a jazzy soundtrack that evokes the heyday of Parisian café culture. Its afternoon spread is also classically minded, with a French twist, throwing in dainty brioches and a white chocolate crème brûlée alongside finger sandwiches and almond cake.

4. Alma De Cuba

What is it? A Rio Carnival-inspired party

Why go? Located in what was once a catholic church, Alma De Cuba has long been a spot for debauchery and most people head there after dinner for a dance. But if you’re up for an all-day-party, their afternoon tea won't disappoint. The food’s traditional: finger sandwiches, scones and sweet treats, but the atmosphere is anything but. You’ll be entertained by samba dancers, inspired by Brazilian carnival culture. Plus, you can upgrade the experience to make it bottomless. When in Rio… or Liverpool!

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5. Panoramic 34

What is it? Breathtaking views and glorious dishes.

Why go? Bored of watching the world go by at same old street level? Why not go up several notches (90 metres up, in fact) to Panoramic 34, one of the UK’s highest restaurants. Its delightfully posh afternoon tea (including arancini, hot smoked salmon focaccia sandwiches and blood orange cheesecake) is served with unrivalled city views.

6. Municipal Hotel

What is it? Cakes and cocktails with a side of history

Why go? The tea rooms at the centrally located Municipal Hotel are a feast for the eyes, but their afternoon tea experience is far from prioritising style over substance. You'll be guided through the experience with a tea sommelier, who takes their job very seriously, providing an egg timer to ensure your tea is perfectly brewed and talking you through the notes. You can also opt for a tea-infused cocktail.

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7. Cuthbert’s Bakehouse

What is it? Veggie? Vegan? Cuthbert’s got you covered.

Why go? Delicious as the classic spread may be, it’s a proper minefield for those with more specific dietary requirements. Bread? Eggs? Butter? Ham? It’s all there. Except at Cuthbert’s Bakehouse, that is. Though the Bakehouse’s decor may be quaint and traditional (vintage china, pastel hues), its menu is impressively forward-thinking, offering up separate vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free selections.

  • British

What is it? An award-winning restaurant serving modern British dishes using local, fresh and seasonal produce.

Why go? TLCW, to give it its snappier title, is part of the Hope Street Hotel and, resident or not, its afternoon tea is a treat not to be missed. The setting is an 1860s warehouse of a coach and carriage builders – hence the name – but it’s the food that impresses even more, with an afternoon tea that’s as good as the city offers.

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What is it? Fancy taking tea with the Fab Four? Look no further.

Why go? Is a trip to Liverpool really a trip to Liverpool without some sort of Beatles pilgrimage? The Hard Day’s Night Hotel would argue it isn’t, and if a nice cuppa isn’t the first thing you associate with the band, then they’re quick to point out that the legendary quartet actually mention tea more than a dozen times in their lyrics so... there you go. Give them a toast at the hotel’s afternoon tea, where you can opt for ‘Traditional’ or ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ – the latter adding a glass of bubbly to the mix.

10. Dash

What is it? An pan-Asian-inspired afternoon tea

Why go? Not interested in cucumber sandwiches? Pan-Asian restaurant Dash offers a new take on the afternoon tea. It’s still finger food but options include crab rolls, coronation chicken and sushi. Pair it with prosecco, cocktails or even champagne if you’re feeling fancy.

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