The ultimate indulgence, afternoon tea was founded in the 1840s by Queen Victoria, meant as a royal mid-day lunch that would keep you full until dinner. Today, this extravagant luxury has not only taken off nationally, but globally too. In cities all across the UK and beyond, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, tea rooms and hotels offering tiers upon tiers of afternoon tea treats. And Leeds is no exception.
So, prepare to extend a pinkie, pour the perfect cup of Yorkshire’s finest tea and dine in absolute decadence with our guide to the best afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. Whether you’re looking to mark a special occasion, celebrate an achievement or just an excuse to eat some cake, we’ve included the best Leeds afternoon tea spots to suit all tastes. From the ultra luxurious to the traditional, you’re sure to find the ideal afternoon tea in Leeds for you and your companions.
So, go ahead and scroll through our pick of the best afternoon tea in Leeds centre and take a look at our guide to the best cheap afternoon tea in London for more inspiration!
9 Best Leeds Afternoon Tea 2023
Located on the fifth floor of the Trinity Centre, with fabulous views over the city, Crafthouse is certainly one of the best afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. This stunning sky-high Leeds afternoon tea spot is the perfect place to sample some fine dining treats with the bonus of floor-to-ceiling window views. The interior of Crafthouse is super modern and sophisticated, with an outside balcony, ideal for al fresco afternoon tea dining. Expect romantic mood lighting, dark wood and marble worktops, all of which set the scene for a Leeds afternoon tea never to forget.
On the menu, you can expect to find a twist on the famous finger food; think slow-cooked barbecued pork bun with pickled cucumber, Coronation cheese sandwich in raisin, Granny Smith and onion bread, and peas and ricotta tarts. When it comes to the sweet stuff, this afternoon tea in Leeds won’t disappoint either. Discover delights like strawberry, vanilla and tarragon tart, white chocolate and cognac Mont Blanc tart, and malt glazed Madeleine with buttermilk frosting. All this will of course come with plain and sultana scones with Devon clotted cream and raspberry jam.
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Nestled in the middle of the now pedestrianised Greek Street, Lost & Found is a Victorian-style hideaway that serves one of the best afternoon tea in Leeds centre. Inside, you’ll be welcomed by low-hung lighting, faux hedges around the balcony, little trinkets dotted about the place, and wall displays that really add to the atmosphere. This sophisticated cocktail bar has been a big hit amongst locals and visitors alike – so much so that a second venue has opened on Albion Street in the Grade II Listed building that was once The Leeds Club.
With this trendy bar’s forte being Victorian-themed cocktails, it might not be the first place that springs to mind when searching for an afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. But this Leeds afternoon tea spot gives the more traditional venues a run for their money. With an exclusive vibe, you can expect the afternoon tea at Lost & Found to be nothing but magnificent. The savoury selection features your traditional nibbles with a modern twist; truffle chicken brioche, smoked salmon, cucumber, lemon and dill cream cheese sandwich, and Coronation chicken sausage roll with curried mayo. There’s also a separate selection for the veggies, including more delightful goodies like truffle mushroom brioche and tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich. As for the sweet treats, espresso martini tiramisu and chocolate and praline torte are on the cards. And not forgetting the scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream!
Housed in the Granary Wharf, under the atmospheric railway arches and overlooking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Livin’ Italy is another one of the best afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. Bringing a new Italian take on this quintessentially British tradition, this Leeds afternoon tea spot showcases the finest ingredients with a unique spin on the usual finger food. From inherited family recipes to speciality ingredients sourced from Italian Artisan food makers, there’s no doubt this is one of the best afternoon teas in Leeds in 2023.
Serving all the very best Italian delights in their afternoon tea selection, you’ll never have had an afternoon snack like it. From mouth-wateringly good pizzette and slow-cooked short beef sliders to classic tiramisu and Italian chocolate cube cake, you certainly won’t leave still feeling hungry. Why not add a cocktail or a glass of fizz to your feast? If you’re looking for a Leeds afternoon tea with a difference, look no further than Livin’ Italy.
Set within one of the most luxurious hotels in the city lies one of the best afternoon teas in Leeds centre. The Dakota’s set up is super sleek and stylish, with dimmed lighting, eclectic artwork and sumptuous leather seats. It’s perhaps the most swanky spot to have afternoon tea in Leeds in 2023. While it might not be the most traditional choice for a Leeds afternoon tea, it guarantees to impress.
On the menu, you’ll find options that are slightly more traditional than the decor. Start with the savoury – a delightful selection of sandwiches, including the likes of cucumber and chive cream cheese and cheddar and onion chutney. There are also some luxury touches, such as the smoked salmon and caviar Vol-au-Vent, pork sausage roll, and crab and cheddar scone. Moving onto the next tier, you can enjoy an array of four sweet treats, including a white chocolate and hazelnut profiterole, a yuzu and cherru meringue tart, a spiced carrot and walnut cake, and a dark chocolate and coffee Mille-Feuille. Celebrating a special occasion? Add a glass of fizz or a cocktail too!
This colourful cafe, located inside The Light centre, serves up another one of the best afternoon teas in Leeds city centre. As you approach Fleur Cafe, you’ll instantly be hit by their distinctive floral decor which makes for a memorable first impression. In other words, this afternoon tea spot in Leeds is Instagram heaven! Created by award-winning chef, Bobby Geetha, this pretty Leeds afternoon tea fuses English traditions with Indian flavours to deliver a unique treat, perfect for celebrating any occasion.
When it comes to the food, you’ll enjoy some of the classics served just how you like them, along with some more playful and intriguing treats. Sweet brioche buns come jam-packed with fresh shrimp and avocado, while pink-coloured wraps are crammed with egg and cress. For something a little different, you’ll also find a fragrant cheese samosa on the savoury tier. Fruit scones are served with Cornish cream and strawberry jam, while the miniature chocolate selection and the pretty macaroons are what really calls your name. This Leeds afternoon tea spot is also open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert and coffee.
If traditional afternoon tea isn’t really your jam, why not try the Japanese inspired afternoon tea at Issho Rooftop Bar & Restaurant? Located on the top floor of the magnificent Victoria Gate Shopping Centre, Issho serves up one of the best afternoon teas in Leeds centre, offering an inventive take on the classic. Featuring a Sakura Secret Garden, is an oasis of lush greenery and plush seating, perfect for al fresco dining when the weather permits. But if the English weather decides to do what it does best, there’s always the covered and heated roof terrace to keep you warm and dry.
This Leeds afternoon tea spot serves up an eclectic spread of all your Japanese inspired favourites on tiered slate trays. Start with the bottom tray, adorned with sushi rolls, spicy pork bao buns and prawn water chestnut gyozas. Moving onto the sweet tier, find Japanese inspired delights like miso orange chocolate tart, matcha cheesecake, and matcha scone with yuzu clotted cream and strawberry jam. Wash down this creative afternoon tea with a selection of Japanese teas, such as Sencha, Konacha, and Hojicha.
If you’re looking for the best afternoon tea in Leeds for larger groups, The Ivy is an excellent choice. Open and spacious, this Leeds afternoon tea spot can cater for any group and any occasion, whether you’re just visiting with your mum and gran, or with a all your best girls. Located in the historic Victoria Quarter, the venue is stylish and sophisticated, with pastel paintings on the wall and grand banquet seating.
Although the menu changes seasonally, this afternoon tea in Leeds generally consists of three savoury sandwiches, such smoked salmon and cream cheese, grilled chicken and truffle mayo brioche roll, and pickled cucumber, courgette and basil double decker. Warm fruit scones come with lashings or clotted cream, fresh strawberries and strawberry jam, while dessert includes treats like chocolate and blueberry pot, red velvet raspberry cake, and a Madeleine with winter berry and red current compote. Alternatively, opt for the champagne afternoon tea if you’re got something to celebrate!
Served in the Chez Mal Brasserie Inside the Malmaison Hotel, there’s a twist to this afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. Presented on a neat slate stand and accompanied by the hotel’s bespoke crockery, this Leeds afternoon tea is the epitome of luxury. Portions are generous and there’s even the options of champagne or cocktail afternoon teas, too!
So, what’s on the menu? To start, you’ll be treated to a selection of wraps and sliders; think beef patties in a brioche bun, Thai sticky beef and sesame wrap, and a mini Cumberland sausage and apple roll. Moving onto the sweet treats, enjoy a classic Victoria sponge, as well as some more modern desserts like dark chocolate and salted caramel tart and raspberry ripple and white chocolate sundae. So, if you’re looking for an afternoon tea in Leeds that’s been reimagined, book the Malmaison today.
For stunning cityscape views, The Sky Lounge certainly offers the best afternoon tea in Leeds city centre. Situated in the Doubletree’s 13th floor bar, this Leeds centre afternoon tea spot serves finger food with a view. The interior decor is ‘hotel chic’, while the floor-to-ceiling windows and the rooftop location give this afternoon tea an edge.
Offering a modern twist on a timeless classic, this afternoon tea in Leeds takes bookings 7 days a week and won’t disappoint. The menu features the usual three tiers of savoury, sweet and scones. Start with the savoury: a selection of finger sandwiches, including the likes of roast ham and honey mustard mayo, prawn and avocado wrap, and BBQ pulled chicken in a toasted ciabatta. The sweet tier features delights like banana tea bread with cream cheese frosting, chocolate opera cake, and tarte au citron. Finish off with a freshly baked raisin scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
That rounds up our pick of the best afternoon tea in Leeds city centre in 2023. From the ultra-luxurious to the super modern, we’ve included Leeds afternoon tea spots to suit every taste and occasion. Be sure to check out our guide to the best afternoon tea in the Cotswolds, too!