Passford House was home to Lord and Lady Cecil, the private secretary to Queen Victoria, who is credited with creating the afternoon tea ritual.  Anna Maria Stanhope, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, was lady in waiting for the Queen.  According to legend in the 1840’s, Anna, who was too hungry to wait for dinner, that was not scheduled to be served until 8.30 or 9pm, requested a small meal comprising of bread and butter with ‘petites’ like biscuits, cakes and other niceties to be brought up to her boudoir. This is also where the name Victoria sponge came from and there is no more quintessentially British place to enjoy an afternoon tea than Passford House!

The Passford House Full Afternoon Tea (served daily between 2.00pm and 5.30pm) offers a sumptuous spread of sugary treats. With a selection of freshly-cut cucumber and smoked salmon finger sandwiches, selection of cakes, homemade fruit and plain scones served warm with clotted cream and jam  – all washed down with your choice of tea.

Full afternoon tea is available in the courtyard, on the terrace or in any one of our relaxing lounges.

To make a booking please contact reservations on 01590 682398 or email for up to nine guests.

For group bookings of ten or more please email

Afternoon tea Menu