PICTURE GALLERY: 14 of the best places to indulge in afternoon tea in and around Northampton

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It may be a centuries-old tradition but afternoon tea is becoming more popular than ever.

From small and cosy cafes to garden centres to large scale country hotels, anyone and everyone seems to be serving afternoon tea to the masses these days.

Click here to see some of the best places in and around Northampton for afternoon tea

The custom began amongst the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s.

Her Grace Anna Maria, Duchess of Bedford, is credited for transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by delicate savouries (customarily cucumber sandwiches or egg and cress sandwiches), bread and butter, possibly scones (with clotted cream and jam, as for cream tea), and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg cake or Victoria sponge).

The sandwiches usually have the crusts removed, and are cut into small segments, either as triangles or fingers (also known as tea sandwiches). Biscuits are not usually served.

By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes.

Top venues in London are competing for the quirkiest afternoon tea which now includes the Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea, the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea or afternoon tea served on a double decker bus to name but a few.

We have plenty to choose from in and around Northampton too to suit all budgets and tastes.

For added indulgence many places also offer on a glass of fizz on the side for an additional cost.

So sit back and enjoy scrolling through the places we’ve picked and then all you have to do is decide who you’re to take.