Mothering Sunday Afternoon Tea

The Best British Hospitality experiences in the UK

Looking for a taste of classic British hospitality? These iconic experiences are well worth splashing out on. From Perthshire to Devon with a long stay in London, we’ve rounded up some of the best British experiences to enjoy. Revel in the glitz and glamour of The Ritz, immerse yourself in the Gleneagles estate, take in picturesque coastal views of the Hotel Riviera, there’s something for everyone.

A Very Brief History of British Hospitality

The hospitality industry naturally sprang up in response to travellers need for food and shelter. Since the Romans introduced the concept of inns to Britain, hospitality has evolved and adapted to the most common means of transport throughout the ages.

When horses (and your own feet) were the only way to get around, commercial inns, galleried around courtyards, became commonplace. When regular stagecoach services were introduced, coaching inns provided a social centre to many towns, adopting an elegant style of their own. And when the railways took over, larger hotels rose up next to major train stations. Purpose-built “end of the line” hotels were also established to accommodate holidaymakers at tourist destinations.

London’s grand hotels started making an appearance in the late 1800s. Many of the household names in luxury hospitality made their mark by bringing together impeccable service, high quality cuisine and the finest decor. This lap of luxury and sophistication spread across the country, becoming synonymous with quintessential British hospitality.

Seven of the best British hospitality experiences

Afternoon Tea by the Sea at the Hotel Riveria

Tucked away among the rolling green hills of Devon, the Hotel Riviera offers quintessential British hospitality with far-reaching sea views. Those same sea views made the area a fashionable British seaside getaway ever since Victorian times. Capturing all the elegance and allure of Regency times, afternoon tea by the sea is an iconic British experience.

Breakfast at The Wolseley

A relative newcomer on the scene, The Wolseley only opened in London’s Piccadilly in 2003 but has quickly become a mainstay. Famous for a sense of British hospitality that never feels too stiff or formal, the cafe-restaurant is open all day. However, the breakfast menu with options ranging from stacked pancakes to dainty pastries is a triumph.

Lunch at The Ritz

If there is one name that evokes all the glamour and extravagance of luxury hotels, it’s The Ritz. Stepping into London’s most famous place to stay is to enter a bygone era where gold leaf and Louis XVI furnishing are in abundance. Today, it remains full of character. The lavish Long Gallery leads to the gilded and garlanded restaurant where the classic fine dining experience is simply sumptuous.

Champagne Afternoon Tea at Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms

Hidden away in the elegant spa town of Harrogate, Betty’s delivers a sense of a Britain of times gone by. Vintage crockery, a live piano and sparkling champagne set the scene for one of the UK’s most famous genteel occasions: afternoon tea. To escape the hustle and bustle of the street, book into the Imperial Rooms and indulge in petite cakes, scones and clotted cream.

Dinner at the Savoy

It would be impossible to skip London’s original grande dame hotel. Overlooking the hotel’s iconic entrance is the Michelin-starred restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay. The 26-seat fine dining experience pays homage to culinary legend Auguste Escoffier, who joined The Savoy in (you guessed it) 1890. The nine-course taster menu is a moment of true British hospitality.

Overnight at Claridge’s

Follow in the footsteps of famous Brits including Winston Churchill, Cary Grant and Queen Victoria herself, with a stay at Claridge’s. A place certain to instill a sense of glamour to your night with marble bathrooms and 1920s Art Deco style throughout. Spring for a suite and you’ll get a personal butler, fresh flowers and champagne as standard. Or go for a Penthouse and find amazing roof-top views over Mayfair, classic furniture and maybe even a grand piano.

A stay at Gleneagles

Gleneagles is a destination as much as a hotel. Nestled in Scotland’s Perthshire, it’s a luxurious grande dame hotel, spa resort and championship golf venue rolled into one incredible institution. It also happens to be the home of British falconry and boasts the only Scottish restaurant with two Michelin stars. Yet despite its size, Gleneagles manages to wrap guests up in a cosy and intimate atmosphere. Every element of a classic British hospitality experience in one place.

British hospitality at its finest

For the best of British, you can’t go wrong with any of these amazing experiences. But if you’re looking for something quintessential British with far-reaching sea views, make for the Hotel Riviera. A warm welcome, impeccable service and sparkly of regal glamour awaits.