Afternoon tea reviews

A Casual Afternoon Tea in Bristol

Looking for an afternoon tea in Bristol that has a relaxed setting and won’t break the bank? Then we recommend the Keepers Kitchen & Bar in the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. 

A lot of afternoon teas are held in upmarket hotels, where they’re considered quite posh affairs and you’re most likely expected to spend the entire afternoon sipping fresh tea and eating cake there. However, if you’re after something a little more casual and a little less time consuming, then Bristol has several more casual afternoon tea venues. 

Afternoon tea in Bristol

Many cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels offer afternoon tea in Bristol – and we’ve visited several of them. Highlights have included the Ivy Clifton Brasserie Bristol, Hotel du Vin Bristol and The Bristol Hotel and we recently added the Keepers Kitchen & Bar to our list.

Keepers’ is set in the city’s iconic Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, just a hop, skip and a jump from the epic St Nicholas Market in the centre of the city. The hotel recently underwent and refurbishment, where the historic Grade II Victorian building was stylishly updated whilst keeping all its classic charm and features.

Introducing the Keepers Kitchen & Bar 

The Keepers Kitchen & Bar was part of this refurbishment, offering both locals and visitors a relaxed atmosphere to stop for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. The restaurant’s style is drawn from a range of salvaged items, which brought together with chunky wood and metal fittings creates a rather elegant, if still casual setting. 

The chain (there are also Keepers’ found in London and Oxford) is known as a ‘champion of urban honey’ as many of the dishes on its menu includes its in-house honey. So, if like Winnie the Pooh you enjoy the sweet sticky stuff, this place will be right up your street. They even offer a funky G and Tea afternoon tea, which includes some honey-themed gin and tonics, but we decided to go a bit more classic during our recent visit with a sparkling afternoon tea. 

G and T or a glass of fizz? 

And so, after being seated, our waitress came over with a lovely glass of Prosecco, which was sweet, crisp and topped off with a fresh raspberry. This was followed a little later with a jug of fruit-infused iced water and our tea; which in line with the casual setting, was a bit less refined than other afternoon teas I’d recently had. 

More relaxed and rustic than I’ve become accustomed to recently, our tea (bags, not fresh leaves) was served in a chunky, retro teapot like you’d see at your grandmas. This was paired with vintage mismatched crockery – which is not a bad thing, can I just add, I love it!

Afternoon tea at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

Our afternoon tea, served on a classic three tier tray, came out quickly and we dived straight in. We started with the finger sandwiches, which I have to say reminded me of school packed lunches, with their thick-cut white bread. One was ham, cheese and mustard (which I sadly found overpowering) and the next a veggie option, which I believe was aubergine. Neither of us particular enjoyed this – or the couple at the table next to ours – but we perked up when we tried the salmon sandwich. Paired with capers and red onion, a combination I’d not had before, the flavours really complemented each other and went down a treat. We could have easily gone for a second round of those bad boys. 

Next were the freshly baked fruit scones  – we were served one each, but these were chunky and filling. They were very well cooked, with a crunchy crust but soft centre and still warm so the clotted cream and strawberry jam melted onto them when spread. 

afternoon tea in bristol Keepers Kitchen & Bar

Finally we moved onto the sweets, made up of a small selection of cakes including their take on a chocolate brownie, cherry bakewell and vanilla slice. These were enjoyable but lacking a wow factor, which is also how I’d describe this afternoon tea. 

What we thought of afternoon tea at the Keepers Kitchen and Bar 

Afternoon tea at the Keepers Kitchen and Bar is essentially a great introduction to the world of afternoon tea; it has all the key elements of a quintessentially British, traditional afternoon tea, but without the razzmatazz that the more high end restaurants and hotels have introduced. Here you may have less refinery and a smaller selection than the Ritz-Carltons and Peninsulas of the world, but this is also reflected in the price. Oh, and even though the afternoon tea looked smaller than many others I’ve had, it still felt as filling! 

If you’re after an extravagant event, something for a special occasion, this might not be the venue for you. But if you’re looking for a nice spot to grab a light meal, to spend an hour or so chatting with a friend or loved one or to stop during a shopping trip or a wander around St Nicholas’ Market then you can’t go wrong with afternoon tea at the Keepers Kitchen and Bar. 

Afternoon tea at the Keepers Kitchen & Bar, Bristol, starts from £19.95. 

Afternoon tea in Bristol – pin for later! 

afternoon tea in bristol Keepers Kitchen & Bar

More Bristol afternoon tea options

Interested in finding out where else you can enjoy afternoon tea in Bristol? Here’s some of our recommendations…

My afternoon tea was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own.

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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