Afternoon Tea in Kampala

Afternoon Tea in Kampala

Ok, yes, you may have guessed it I am in fact English and, inline with all stereotypes, I do love a good afternoon tea. Despite Uganda’s colonial British past it is surprisingly hard to find a good cuppa and some cakes (preferably scones and preferably with clotted cream…) however, I refuse to be discouraged by early results and have soldiered on with some success.

Below are a list of places that offer a version of afternoon/high tea or at least all the necessary ingredients to allow you to create your own DIY version… sadly the finger cucumber sandwiches continue to elude me but I haven’t given up hope yet…

Rocks and Roses

If you’re looking for the traditional British setting in which to sip your tea and butter your scones then you won’t find better than Rocks and Roses. Afternoon tea here includes tea/coffee, scones, butter jam and cream and will only set you back 10,000 UGX and I can personally vouch for the great quality scones. They also do a range of other pastries/deserts (around the 4-7,000 mark) if you want to supplement and a selection of main meal sandwiches (with real authentic chutney). Coffees include lattes, cappuccinos, freshly ground cafetiere coffees and there are a range of teas including Ugandan, earl grey and herbal teas. Keep in mind – this is only a weekday option as it is closed on the weekends.

Hours: 9:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 0752 445 257

The Serena Hotel (Bambara Lounge)

Probably hands down the swankiest hotel in Kampala and as a result the afternoon/high tea here is probably also the fanciest and most elaborate of all the teas. As a result it is also the second most expensive – coming in at 40,000 UGX (45,000 UGX with a glass of bubbly) and includes pastries and a variety of cakes as well as probably the most comprehensive selection of savouries including samosas, mini quiches, chicken pies amongst others. The high tea can be found in the Bambara Residents’ Lounge on the first floor of the hotel.

Hours: Afternoon tea is served daily between 3-6pm.
Phone: 0414 309 000
Website: http://www.serenahotels.com/serenakampala/default-en.html

The Sheraton Hotel (Parksquare Café)

Although no longer on their menu staff at the Sheraton assure me that ‘high tea’ is still available on request. It costs 31,500 UGX and includes tea/coffee and a selection of pastries (which you are allowed to pick and choose yourself) and include danish pastries and donuts. It is served in the Parksquare Cafe which is the cafe immediately on your right as you enter.

Phone: 0414 420 000
Website: http://www.sheratonkampala.com

The Lawns

The Lawns is another place that offers a ‘high tea’ package and one that also includes the savoury element. It has perhaps the most ‘interesting’ interpretation on the traditional afternoon tea concept and includes coffee/tea, either a chicken or beef sandwich with accompanying vegetables, potato wedges and a muffin and biscuits as the sweets. It does, however, cost a rather bargainous 14,000 UGX.

Hours: Afternoon tea is available Monday – Saturday from 3pm – 6pm.
Phone: (041) 425 0337
Website: http://www.thelawns.co.ug/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelawns.kampala

Soho Café

This is an example of somewhere where you will have to ‘do it yourself’ in order to create the high tea experience. Soho thankfully has all the ingredients, but hangs on the cusp of greatness by not offering them all packaged together. They offer fruit scones for 3,000 UGX and cakes for around 7-10,000 UGX. Coffee is 5-8,000 UGX and teas are 5-8,000 UGX and include pots of black tea, herbal masala and habesha spiced. They also have smoked salmon sandwiches to complete the full sweet-savoury medley for 19,000 UGX. Therefore, a deluxe afternoon tea of scones, cake, smoked salmon sandwich and tea/coffee it will set you back around 37,000 UGX.

Hours: 7am-midnight (Mon – Fri) and 8.30am – 11pm (Sat & Sun)
Website: http://www.sohocafe.co.ug

Tamarai

This new Thai restaurant and tearoom holds intermittent ‘high tea’ events in its snazzy tea bar. Its probably also up there with the Serena for the fanciest and most comprehensive of afternoon teas in Kampala and costs quite a hefty 55,000 UGX for the experience. In terms of the types of different teas on offer, however, they are second to none with a range of fruit, green and black teas, which are accompanied by cocktail snacks and pastries including egg and cress finger sandwiches, donuts and cakes.

Hours: Tues – Sun: 10am – 3pm and 6pm – 10.30pm
Phone: 0712 744 883 / 0755 794 958
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamarai/130194887124989

About Lucy

A Kampalite as of the start of 2012 - I'm really loving my time here and planning to stay for a while. I’m originally from London where I’ve worked for a range of NGOs and am now hoping to try my hand overseas, plus London is way too cold and grey and full of pigeons. I’m currently in search of interesting job opportunities and experiences here and elsewhere – until global warming kicks in that is and then I can head back to the UK as it should have removed the pigeons. Get in touch at lucy@livinginkampala.com.