high tide afternoon tea in a boat

I’d seen the promotional photos for this afternoon tea and I absolutely loved the idea of having it all served in a wooden boat. I do love novelty things and all things nautical so this really appealed to me.

I asked my Mother in Law, Irene, if she would like to come with me as a pre-birthday celebration for her ( a great excuse for an afternoon tea) and she jumped at the chance. 

We booked a table at the Marine Hotel in Tankerton (one of my favourite hotels to eat and stay at in Kent). You do need to book and give them 48 hours notice for this afternoon tea. 

We arrived at The Marine in plenty of time and were warmly welcomed and taken over to our table which was really nicely laid out with a fresh white table cloth, polished cutlery and, for Irene, a lovely china cup and saucer for her tea. 

BaldHiker Retreats

The waiter came and took our drink orders. Irene had substituted her alcoholic drink for tea and I opted for the Beertini. 

What is a Beertini?

A beertini is a cocktail made up of spiced rum, raspberry liqueur, orange and passion fruit juice, fresh passion fruit and lime, topped up with Whitstable Bay organic ale. 

Irene and Beertini

The boat was then brought out to the surprised gasps of everyone in the orangery restaurant. It was simply magnificent. An afternoon tea in a boat. What a fabulous idea.

One of the ladies next to us commented that she’d like to swap her regular afternoon tea for one in a boat. It really did make us feel special. 

What is a High Tide Afternoon Tea?

Poster front

A high tide afternoon tea is a selection of handmade sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam and fresh cream and tempting cakes and fancies all served in a handcrafted Whitstable Bay wooden boat. It costs £49.99 for two people.

Side of boat

The selection of savory sandwiches are egg mayonnaise, honey roasted ham and tomato, chicken with lemon and tarragon mayonnaise and smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber open sandwiches served on sourdough bread. 

sandwiches boat

The freshly baked scones are made with raisins that have been soaked in earl grey tea and are served with strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream.

scones  with jam

The sweet treats include lemon posset choux, french macaroons ( we had coffee and pistachio), chocolate croustillant and pastel De Nata, which is a Portuguese egg custard tart. 

boat desserts

Drinks are “Whitstable Bay Beer Flight” which consists of a selection of three beers including Pale Ale, Organic Ale and Blonde Lager or a Beertini cocktail, per person.

Whitstable Bay Blonde Lager: “A contemporary lager featuring an intricate taste profile, distinguished by its unique hop character. Gaining its name from the golden hue of the beer, it boasts a floral aroma paired with a butter biscuit base notes,while avoiding the bitter aftertaste common with hoppy beers.”

Whitstable Bay Pale Ale: “Designed to suit all palates and offer a light refreshing taste. The sweet maltiness balances perfectly with the fresh pine notes provided by the hops added late in the process, to offer a light- coloured , thirst quenching ale”

Whitstable Bay Organic Ale: “A light coloured ale that is brewed using only organic ingredients, and the brewery’s own chalk-filtered mineral water. It combines delicate hints of fresh hops with the softer, buttery richness of pale and crystal malts to produce a delightful ale.”

This afternoon tea does come with alcohol but you can swap this for unlimited tea if you would prefer. 

I also swapped the earl grey soaked scone for a plain scone as I am caffeine intolerant. They always ask about allergies when you phone up to book. 

The food was simply delicious. The sandwiches were so tasty, light and soft. The scones were baked to perfection and the desserts were just divine. Such a taste sensation and beautifully presented.

Who is Shepherd Neame?

Shepherd Neame is a local Faversham based brewery that is said to be Britain’s oldest brewery. They were officially founded as a company in 1698.

Faversham’s first signs of brewing come from 1147 from the town’s Abbey where the local monks used to produce ale. By 1327 the brewing in Faversham was done by around 86 women known as ale wives. Some of them sold beer at their homes but others were innkeepers.

From 1525 William Castlock began exporting and importing beer and in 1550 his son John Castlock leased the abbey brewhouse. It was then passed between many different owners until in 1678 Richard Marsh leased the brewery and then purchased it in 1698. After his death it passed to his son who passed away a year after and the brewery was then passed to his wife Mary, who then married Samuel Shepherd in 1732. 

It was Samuel who took over the brewery and purchased 21 pubs. It was then passed down the family until in 1864 a hop farmer Percy Beale Neame joined the firm as a partner and Shepherd Neame and Company was born. 

In 1968 Shepherd Neame became the first brewery in the UK to brew lager. 

Today Shepherd Neame has an award winning visitor centre and over 300 pubs and hotels in London and the South East. It has won numerous awards including Brewer of the Year in 2021. 

Whitstable Bay Beer

Whitstable Bay Beer

Whitstable Bay is a range of beer named after the popular coastal town of Whitstable. It is a range of “fruity beers that are brewed with hops from across the world to give a true taste of 21st Century brewing at its best”.

The range includes:

  • Ruby Ale
  • Black Stout
  • Pale Ale
  • Organic Ale
  • Blonde Lager

Where can you have a High Tide Afternoon Tea?

  • Minnis Bay Bar and Brasserie
  • The Marine, Tankerton
  • The Spitfire, Kings Hill
  • The Bell Hotel, Sandwich
  • Botany Bay Hotel, Kingsgate
  • Royal Hotel, Deal
  • Ship and Trades, Chatham Maritime

Marine Hotel in Tankerton

Marine outside

The Marine Hotel is situated right on the promenade in Tankerton, near Whitstable in Kent. It has a wonderful vintage, Victorian era feel to it.

You feel like you are stepping back in time to a beautiful, old fashioned, luxury Victorian hotel with attentive staff, who cater to your every need and large comfy chairs. It has various places to dine including a restaurant, bar and orangery.

The menus cover all tastes from easy pub food to beautifully cooked, locally sourced produce including seafood, fresh meat from the butchers and vegetables. A true first class dining experience. 

Breakfast at The Marine is always one of my favourite meals. There’s so much choice. You can have a full English or something a bit lighter if you prefer from their extensive cooked breakfast menu. There’s a buffet too with cereals, cured meats, cheese and pastries.  

Marine Breakfast

The luxurious, boutique bedrooms are decorated in a vintage style with suitcases from a bygone era and they have a definite nautical feel to the furnishings.

They have family rooms and a fully adapted room and three accessible rooms for guests with disabilities. 

Do remember to book early as they are a very popular venue.

The Marine Hotel

There are some amazing sea views from the hotel and you can book rooms with balconies which are stunning.

We love nothing more than sitting on the balcony and watching the sun go down over the sea or wandering along the seafront at dusk to take a walk along “The Street” in Tankerton which is just opposite the hotel. 

Street and sunset view

Tankerton seafront is one of my favourites as it has a grassy area at the top to walk along or you can go down the steps to the sea front and walk along the promenade which is lined by beautifully painted, colourful beach huts. 

Beach huts and sunset

“The Street”

The misty street tankerton

At low tide you can see what is known locally as “The Street”.

This is a single shingle strip that is about a mile and a half long. You can walk right out into the sea on the strip and look back at the beach and surrounding shores.

It’s a totally unique stretch and a must see if you are staying at the hotel. It’s absolutely stunning at sundown and a great place to take some pictures.

The Street and sunset

Caution must be advised when walking along the street as it’s easy to be caught out by the advancing tide.

The Street Tankerton

Marine Hotel in Tankerton History

The Marine was one of the earliest sets of terraced houses built on Marine Drive dating back to the late 1800s. 

It served as a military hospital during World War 2.

It was bought by Shepherd Neame in 1949 who turned it into a luxury hotel with period details, modern comfort and a contemporary interior style. They even rebuilt and restored the original first-floor balustrade.


“Catman” is an award winning anonymous street artist based in Kent and London. You can see his artworks throughout Whitstable and now he has teamed up with Shepherd Neame for their creativity campaign.


The Whitstable High Tide afternoon tea was exclusively created to celebrate the “inspire by creativity” campaign. Whitstable Bay has teamed up with the anonymous local street artist known as “Catman”.

He has gained international acclaim with his bold thought provoking works of art. He has painted 5 characters that personify Whitstable for the Creativity campaign.

These artworks can be seen at 5 of their coastal pubs and hotels. 


Bench and sunset

This is possibly the best afternoon tea that we have ever had. It was so tasty with just a little bit of everything, but not too much.

The Marine Hotel is just a stunning venue and the staff were attentive, helpful and polite, making it an even better experience.

I loved the boat but you can still have a traditional afternoon tea there with or without alcohol.

The beertini was deliciously sweet too and not too strong to be had in the early afternoon. If you do decide to book in for an afternoon tea or a stay at the hotel, do take time to have a look around Tankerton town as there are some lovely shops to browse around.

Take a walk along the coast too as it’s such a lovely area. You simply can’t go wrong with a trip to Tankerton. 

boat and orangery

To book you afternoon tea you can contact The Marine Hotel, or Shepherd Neame.

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