Afternoon tea is a dining experience that is elegant, refined and quintessentially British. What could be more beautiful than enjoying this with your mum on the banks of stunning Windermere.

A perfect venue for a Mother's Day afternoon tea in the Lake District is The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa in Windermere. They have been serving Afternoon Tea now for 25 years and they originally took inspiration from the iconic Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford which has been serving Afternoon Tea since opening its doors in 1866.

The history of Afternoon Tea is said to have begun with Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, in around 1840. Anna was a very wealthy young lady but felt as if the wait between breakfast and dinner was simply far to long. She decided to quench her cravings by enjoying a pot a tea and a light snack. When Anna first began this practise, she took the snacks privately in her boudoir during the afternoon, but soon word had spread throughout her highly bred friends and ladies flocked to her town house during the afternoon to join her in the drawing room for tea and cakes.

As you look out over the lake at the Macdonald Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere you can enjoy a selection of homemade delicacies including traditional cakes and a delicate platter of finger sandwiches all piled on to an old fashioned tiered stand. 

It is not known exactly what cakes Anna enjoyed when she first came up with her idea of mid-afternoon treats but the cakes at the Macdonald Hotel in Windermere are so delectable they will have you dreaming about them all day long. There is everything from the traditional English scones, adorable mini versions of Victoria sponge, carrot cake and strawberry tart as well a a classic fruit cake.

The Afternoon Tea at the Macdonald Hotel in Windermere was created by Salon Manager Tony Sun. He said: "Personally, I would recommend starting with a crisp glass of champagne, then satisfy your hunger with sandwiches, whilst the tea brews to perfection. Then indulge in the scones - I personally eat my scones the Cornish way - smother the scone half with jam first then follow with a generous dollop of clotted cream. Finally, finish off with sweet mouthfuls of cake. What a great way to spend the afternoon.”

If you simply are not a tea person then you can indulge with a glass of prosecco or champagne which always makes afternoon tea extra special. A recent trend in Afternoon Tea has also seen venues stray from the standard English Breakfast tea that has so long been a favourite. If you are sampling Afternoon Tea this weekend then perhaps think about complementing your choice of sandwich which a more unusual tea. Earl Grey has a certain smoky quality to it that can go perfectly with your savoury choices. At the Macdonald in Windermere, even those who shy away from caffeine can find something to their taste with herbal teas such Rooibos, Camomile, Peppermint and green.

More venues for a Mother's Day Afternoon Tea include:

Clarence House Hotel in Dalton 

Lindeth Howe in Bowness

The White Water Hotel at Newby Bridge

The Beech Hill Hotel at Windermere

The Bay Horse in Ulverston

You could be in with the chance of winning a Prosecco Afternoon Tea for two at the opulent Macdonald Hotel in Windermere if you enter our Mother's Day competition. Simply share this article on Facebook or Twitter and tag us @NWEMlive or at the North West Evening Mail Facebook page.

To be in with a chance of winning a beautiful Mother's Day bouquet we would like to see your best photo or selfie with your Mum and we are receiving entries via Twitter, Facebook or email: