For what is fast approaching more years than we care to remember we have been reviewing afternoon tearooms across the UK, from trains to treehouses, from Land’s End to John O’Groats, from terrifically good to just terrific. We rate all establishments using our uniquely developed ‘Noveltea Teapot Rating’ system from 1 to 5 but It was put to us recently by the good ladies of the Chester Ladies’ Cycling Club that we have never formally published the criteria upon which we base our judgements… Until now.
Teapot Rating1


Roughly how far
would you travel?

One pot

Dreadful. This is reserved for when somewhere is unhygienic or dangerous about the place.

Would travel >100 miles to avoid.

Two pots

A notch below the average UK tearoom. Something wrong here.

Would to travel >50 miles to avoid.

Two and a half

Your average UK tearoom, that is: squirty cream, butter and jam from small plastic containers, microwaved scones, stale or mass produced cake, cheap tea bags etc.

If there were only two tearooms in town we’d pick the other one.

Three pots

A notch above the average tearoom but again nothing too special. The majority or the places we visit seem to achieve 3 – 3.5 pots.

If there were only two tearooms in town we’d pick this one.

Four pots

Now we’re talking. A great tearoom with no signs of any of the faux pas present in their poorer 2.5 pot relatives.

Would travel >50
miles just to visit.

Five pots

Five potters are few and far between and we reserve the honour for the very best of the best. All the above is taken as read; it must possess something genuinely unique to well and truly blow your socks off.

Would travel >100 miles just to visit.


1. These ratings are subjective and depend on many factors, not least how we’re feeling at the time. We attempt to be honest and accurate above all things; some ratings are based on a single visit, however, so may be artifactually high or low. If you own a tearoom and find fault with our review then we would encourage you to get in touch with a view to us revisiting your establishment or removing it entirely and forthwith.


So there we have it. A list of tearooms in each category is available at our website and new ones are being added all the time. If there’s something special about your favourite tearoom, be it crisp linen napkins, fresh-from-the-oven cakes and scones, or the genuine smiles then please do get in touch.