Thornton Hall Hotel: Enjoy A Very English Afternoon Tea On The Wirral

Thornton Hall Hotel: Enjoy A Very English Afternoon Tea On The Wirral
Sarah J
Sarah J 
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

The British are often said to be a nation of tea-lovers, with tea-drinking very popular around the British Isles for more than 350 years. Fierce debates may ensue between tea aficionados about the correct manner in which to enjoy tea, but almost every fan of tea enjoys a spot of quintessential afternoon tea every now and again.

There are many establishments around the UK that offer afternoon tea experiences, but if you find yourself on the Wirral Peninsula (often shortened to simply the Wirral) in the northwest of England, you can’t get much better than afternoon tea at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa. A sophisticated and elegant four-star hotel, you can look forward to decadent trappings, beautiful surroundings, an air of refinement, and scrumptiously mouth-watering delights.

Traditions of afternoon tea

thornton hall hotel: enjoy a very english afternoon tea on the wirral | traditions of afternoon tea

The concept of afternoon tea dates back to the 1840s, made popular by ladies in the elite echelons of society who didn’t like to feel hungry during the long hours between lunch and dinner. Evolving into a social event amongst high society, it became common for ladies to visit each other’s homes for afternoon tea, dressed in elegant finery and well-prepared for chatter.

Afternoon tea traditionally included, of course, some of the finest leaf teas, as well as an assortment of delicate and light sandwiches - another English-born culinary creation - cakes, and pastries.

Whilst afternoon tea and high tea are often used synonymously today, they were, in fact, very different in the past. With afternoon tea a privilege for the more affluent members of society, high tea was the substantial evening meal and mug of tea enjoyed by members of the working class after a long day out of the home. This is why you may still now hear some people, perhaps more commonly in the north of England, referring to their evening meal as tea!

A major exception is Scotland, where high tea was pretty much the same as afternoon tea, but with the addition of more savoury treats and some hot food.

Afternoon tea has seen a revival of sorts today, with many people seeing it as a special treat to enjoy on a day off work or on a special occasion. Or, perhaps, it’s just an excuse to eat lots of delicious cake! You’ll find places that still serve more traditional fare, along with establishments that are trying to add more modern twists to the concept, with items like mini burgers and pizzas in place of sandwiches.

Why Thornton Hall Hotel for afternoon tea?

thornton hall hotel: enjoy a very english afternoon tea on the wirral | why thornton hall hotel for afternoon tea?

The afternoon tea served at Thornton Hall Hotel is fairly traditional, allowing you to imagine what it was like to be in the upper class of the past. The members of staff pay lots of attention to detail, making you feel rather special and spoilt for a few hours. The atmosphere is relaxed whilst still being classy, the sweet and savoury treats are really tasty, and the surroundings are lovely.

Situated just around 30 minutes from both Chester and Liverpool, the hotel is in a convenient location for visitors to the northwest of England. Within the pretty village of Thornton Hough, you can also enjoy exploring the quaint village before or after afternoon tea.

Step into the beautiful Lawns Restaurant or onto the lawn

thornton hall hotel: enjoy a very english afternoon tea on the wirral | step into the beautiful lawns restaurant or onto the lawn

Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa has several attractive restaurants and bars, with afternoon tea served in the stunning Lawns Restaurant. The walls are decorated with interesting images of monkeys clambering over genteel balconies, making their way around grand columns, and scuttling in front of dainty archways. The lower wood-panelling has been intricately carved, its fine details including faces, flowers, and vegetables. A magnificent chandelier hangs from the ornate ceiling, and a carved wooden fireplace stands at one end of the room, perfect for chasing the chill away on cold winter days.

In the warmer months, afternoon tea may also be served outside on the verdant and well-manicured lawn.

A luxury afternoon tea to savour

thornton hall hotel: enjoy a very english afternoon tea on the wirral | a luxury afternoon tea to savour

Choose from an extensive selection of loose leaf teas (definitely no teabags here!) and enjoy the surroundings whilst you wait for your individual pot of tea to arrive. With black, white, and green teas to choose between, not to mention the interesting infusions, you may need some time deciding! The chocolate orange black tea might sound a bit strange, but it’s highly recommended! Don’t worry if tea isn’t really your thing though – there are also options for coffee and hot chocolate.

Each person will get their own three-tiered cake stand, with items arranged so as to be a visual treat as well as a yummy taste sensation! The individual selections also mean that there’s no arguing over the last sandwich or cake!

You’ll find your savoury finger sandwiches on the middle tier, stuffed with delights such as salmon and cucumber and cream cheese. Vegetarian options, such as egg and cress and cheese and cucumber, can be provided with advance notice.

The top tier has an assortment of small cakes, biscuits, and fancies. At the time of visit, these included a mince pie, a ginger snap, and a macaroon, although items do change regularly. And finally, the bottom tier has two large scones, one plain and one with sultanas. Complete with a pot of wonderfully thick Cornish clotted cream, chopped strawberries, and a choice of fruity jam or lemon curd, you’ll certainly be in taste heaven!

Afternoon tea at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa costs 19.95 GBP (approximately 28.50 USD) per person. Alternatively, treat yourself even more with a decadent glass of bubbly – for just 21.50 GBP (approximately 30.80 USD) you can enjoy a glass of Champagne or Prosecco with your afternoon tea.

You can enjoy afternoon tea at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa on any day of the year. Advance bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.

Other things to see and do on the Wirral

The Wirral is crammed with terrific attractions and activities. Visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery and admire the cute houses of Port Sunlight Village, stroll through the pleasant Eastham Ferry and Eastham Country Park, explore the vibrant red rocks at Thurstaston, and enjoy Ness Botanic Gardens. Walk across to Hilbre Island when the tide is out, see the historic coastal defences at New Brighton’s Fort Perch Rock, wander along Parkgate’s seafront, see Leasowe Lighthouse, and more!

Book your afternoon tea at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa and enjoy a little luxury on the Wirral.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Originally from the UK, Sarah has been mostly based in her second home of Thailand for the past five years. As well as exploring new places, learning about different cultures, and sampling lots of...Read more

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