Thursday 19 April 2018

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas, High Spen

A few years ago my friend Lisa introduced me to VIP Teas in High Spen. We enjoyed the most wonderful morning of homemade cake and delicious scones and I vowed to one day return for their afternoon tea .. how on earth did it take me so long to keep my word?

Last weekend we had friends from the south visiting us and, eager to impress them with the finest North East food and hospitality, I remembered VIP Teas and how wonderful it was and decided now was the time to finally book in for the afternoon tea. If you're going to show off to visitors it's definitely best to do it surrounded by homemade cake that they can't get outside of the North East!

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas, High Spen

VIP Teas is in the little village of High Spen near Rowlands Gill (very conveniently close to two of our favourite places - Gibside and The Metrocentre!) A cute and friendly tea room run by locals and with the most amazing warm welcome from the second you stroll in. If you love tea rooms extra twee with brightly coloured table clothes, vintage china and bunting then this is your kind of place. It's also worth noting that the cake counter at VIP Teas is one of the most impressive in the North East, it is completely covered in cake, meaning that you're highly likely to end up going for several slices because it's impossible to choose just one.

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas has to be ordered in advance with a £10.00 per person deposit payable at the time of booking. Completely fair when you consider that all of their afternoon teas are made fresh to order. Our tea cost £15.95 per person which included a sandwich of our choice (we all really loved being able to choose exactly what we wanted), two sweet scones each and a selection of homemade minature cakes.

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas, High Spen - Scones

I really love the moment when your afternoon tea arrives at your table and your eyes bulge at the sight of it and VIP Teas really gave us that moment (and some!) the stand was completely covered in cakes, so much so that our sandwiches were delivered on a different plate. Our spread of food covered the table and being "that annoying person" I made everyone sit on their hands whilst I lovingly photographed it.

We'd each picked a different sandwich for our platter , a great idea if you're eating with fellow foodies who don't mind mixing and matching sandwiches so you get to try a few different fillings. I just about managed to convince Simon to swap one of my Tuna Mayonnaise and Cucumbers for one of his Chicken and Sweet Chilli.  The bread was fresh and squishy (heaven!) and the fillings so plentiful I accidentally dropped a rather huge chunk of chicken into my friend's handbag (sorry Jen!)

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas, High Spen - Cake Stand
It's not often that we have afternoon tea with another couple, and it was the perfect way to catch up and relax. We happily chatted between our tiers meaning that our afternoon tea lasted a good few hours - far more enjoyable than when Simon and I go alone and end up woolfing through an entire afternoon tea in around 30 minutes!

Next up, the mini scones! We had two each which were served with the largest dishes of jam and cream you've ever seen alongside some fresh strawberries which was a lovely added touch. Before our afternoon tea had arrived we'd had a rather long conversation about how annoying it is when places claim to serve "clotted cream" only for a dish of something suspiciously squirty looking arriving. The cream at VIP Teas was perfect! So thick that we could stand the spoon up in it, glooping it onto my scone involved expert afternoon tea skills and it was so good on the scones!

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas, High Spen - Jam and Cream

We paused a while before tackling the cakes, taking them in order of what looked the lightest first (a good afternoon tea tip if you don't want to get full too early!). We started off with a slice of moist ginger cake, before arriving at the most amazingly fluffy victoria sponge before ending our afternoon with caramel shortbread and gooey brownies.

Our afternoon tea at VIP Teas was faultless and one of the best I've ever had (and we all know how many I've indulged in over the years!)

Make sure you let me know your favourite afternoon tea!

Afternoon Tea at VIP Teas

Find VIP Teas at:

7 - 9 Ramsey Street
High Spen
Rowlands Gill
NE39 2EL

01207 545180



  1. OMG it looks delish - the caramel shortbread looks particularly lovely xx

  2. Ahh that looks so amazing - especially those mini scones! I haven't been for an afternoon tea in aaages but I really want to go now! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  3. I'm literally obsessed with Afternoon Tea and constantly on the hunt for new places to visit. This place has now shot up to be number one on my list, I'm almost drooling looking at these photos! I'm intrigued by the sandwiches too, never heard of chicken and sweet chilli and afternoon tea before but I think that would be the one I'd have to get!

    Abbey xx


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