It’s been a week since I went over to York and had possibly the best afternoon tea of my life (bold statement I know but wait until you see the pictures) and here I am still raving about it to anyone that will listen. If you’re familiar with the city, The Principal York Hotel is directly next to the train station and used to be called The Royal York. I actually stayed there years ago with my grandparents – 25 years to be exact – and even then I remembered it being such a grand space, with beautiful grounds.

Cut to last Sunday and I entered a very different hotel all together. It was still a grand space, and it still had beautiful grounds, but long gone was the dark furniture and the dated decor. This place was an interior lovers dream. As soon as I entered the reception I knew we were in for a treat – just look at the photographs of the Garden Room where we were seated. Overlooking York Minister, it was such a dreamy place to enjoy our planned afternoon tea.

Designed by interior architects Goddard Littlefair, each part of the hotel is perfectly in line with the feel of the dramatic building, whilst offering that modern design twist it was lacking before. We were seated by the window and before long our starters appeared. I’ve never had a starter with an afternoon tea before but the availability of more food is never, ever going to be a problem. I enjoyed sweet potato and chorizo soup, mini Welsh rarebit and mackerel pate on toast, which all tasted delicious.

The afternoon tea itself was a classic mix of finger sandwiches, three mini scones each (plain, fruit and almond) and a selection of beautiful cakes and pastries. The salted caramel pot had to be a winner, although the parkin, raspberry éclair and the passion fruit macaroon – OK basically everything – came a close second.

In terms of a pot of tea I went with a peppermint blend, which has become a staple in my diet after reading about it helping to settle digestive problems and let me tell you, this stuff really works. I have five to six cups a day now and it’s much better for me than my old caffeine addiction. And of course, we couldn’t forget the champagne could we – a glass of bubblyu Lanson went down a treat.

 If you’re looking for somewhere a little different to visit this Valentines day, or even for Mother’s day next month, I’d really recommend considering The Principal Hotel. It’s super easy to find (just turn left after the station) and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful.

 Afternoon tea is priced at £22.95 or £29.95 with a glass of champagne, but so worth the money when you consider how beautiful your surroundings are. Thank you to The Principal Hotel for inviting me to review the afternoon tea, and of course as usual, thoughts and views are my own. You know I don’t lie when it comes to food.

About the author
Victoria Jackson is the editor of multi-award winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. Designed to help you create a beautiful home on a budget, Victoria edits the inspirational and showcases the affordable.


  1. That looks incredible and such fantastic price for afternoon tea with champagne. I am hoping to go to York at some point this year so I'll keep it on my list xx

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