Did you know you can enjoy an afternoon tea underneath the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is one of the main vocal points of Greenwich which many people gaze upon and even board. However did you know that you can enjoy an afternoon tea under her?

I had the pleasure of being invited on a complimentary basis to take a tour of the Cutty Sark before enjoying an afternoon tea under her belly.

The Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship and was built back in 1869 to challenge the best tea clippers on the China tea run.

Built on the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland for Jock Willis Shipping Line, the Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest.

For her first few years the Cutty Sark was used to transport tea back and forth from England to China before turning to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years.

In 1895 the Cutty Sark was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. and renamed Ferreira. She continued as a cargo ship until purchased in 1922 by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth in Cornwall. After his death, Cutty Sark was transferred to the Thames Nautical Training College in Greenhithe in 1938 where she became an auxiliary cadet training ship alongside HMS Worcester. By 1954, she had ceased to be useful as a cadet ship and was transferred to here in Greenwich within a permanent dry dock for the public to enjoy.

The Cutty Sark is listed by National Historic Ships as part of the National Historic Fleet (the nautical equivalent of a Grade 1 Listed Building). She is one of only three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century in part or whole, the others being the City of Adelaide which is in South Australia and the beached skeleton of Ambassador which is in Chile.

Discover and learn more about the Cutty Sark via their new audio tour.

Also whilst at the Cutty Sark be sure to check out the World’s largest Merchant Navy figurehead collection which can be found underneath her. Learn all about the man behind the collection, and how he earned his nickname Spot.

An afternoon tea underneath the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark may of stopped bringing the finest and freshest teas back to London over high seas but her tradition continues under it’s copper hull of bringing a tea experience to visitors instead.

For afternoon tea visitors are served what we were served:

  • A selection of finger sandwiches
  • Homemade traditional raisin scone with Devon clotted cream and strawberry jam
  • A selection of mini cakes
  • A pot of English breakfast tea

See the full Afternoon Tea menu here.

Pre-booking is essential. Book online for £28.35pp. Please note this price includes admission to the ship. Email bookings@rmg.co.uk at least 3 days ahead of your visit. 

Please note we will request your visit time and your dining time. Allow 1 hour for your visit to Cutty Sark before enjoying your afternoon tea.

Exploring the Cutty Sark

The last time I boarded the Cutty Sark was when I was a teenager since then it has been hoisted up in the air rather than sitting on her belly and now has a free audio guide which you can listen to at your pleasure whilst walking the decks of the Cutty Sark.

On the 15th of February 1870 the Cutty Sark left London on her maiden voyage, bound for Shanghai and eight months later she returned with more than 600,000kg of Chinese tea on board (enough to make more than 200 million cups of tea). Even today, when tea is more commonly available, a cargo of this size would be worth more than £1 million. This was the first of eight voyages the ship successfully made to China in pursuit of tea.

Learn about the romance, adventure and danger of life at sea. The exhibits on board the ship bring to life the challenges faced by Captain and crew.

Touch the original structure of the ship which dates over 90% of the hull dates back to 1869.

Smell and touch samples of the original cargo in the lower hold including tea, wool and whisky

I highly recommend to anyone who loves history and ships as she is beautiful inside and out.

After getting a taste of life of what it might of been like on the ocean waves, including the chance to take the ship’s wheel and how to steer a 963 ton Victorian tea clipper through storms and high seas it was now time for me to enjoy some tea.

Food glorious food and tea of course

The afternoon tea can be found underneath the Cutty Sark the belly of the ship where you can enjoy a selection of sandwiches, cakes and Twinings Tea. Did you know that Twinings has two special Cutty Sark blends:

The sandwiches were dainty and beautifully cut into rectangles using the finest ingredients from ham to egg.

The cakes were all so fresh, sweet and very moorish. I particularly loved the lemon drizzle cake which was very lemony.

The scones were lovely and fluffy not doughy at all and were served with a jar of Wilkin & Sons Tiptree strawberry Jam . Tiptree a Royal Warrant award which is only granted to fantastic companies or individuals who supply top-notch goods. Tiptree jams are always indulgent and very fruity.

The tea was by tea makers Twinings. I had an English Twinings Tea which has a great tea taste full of richness and light floral undertones when blended with milk, it produces an aroma similar to warm toast. No wonder


I highly recommend visiting Greenwich and stepping on board the Cutty Sark as there is so much to learn and plenty of things for children and adults to interact with from sniffing to making a knot in a rope.

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I also loved looking at the world’s largest collection of figureheads which are all so stunning. The main central white lady known as a white witch holding a horses tail in her hand is the figurehead which used to be sat at the front of the Cutty Sark luring away evil. All the figureheads are very colourful.

The afternoon tea underneath the Cutty Sark was tasty and not too heavy.

I highly recommend to anyone.


Cutty Sark

Book to visit and board the award winning Cutty Sark which is the most celebrated historic sailing ship ever and fastest by clicking here.

Afternoon Tea underneath the Cutty Sark

Opening times: 10:00 – 17:00

Afternoon Tea (Adult) with entrance to Cutty Sark – £28.35pp
Afternoon Tea with Prosecco (Adult) with entrance to Cutty Sark – £33.75
Afternoon Tea with English sparkling wine (Adult) with entrance to Cutty Sark – £37.35

Pre-book via online or email bookings@rmg.co.uk at least 3 days ahead of your visit.

Thank you to Cutty Sark for letting me take a journey through the Cutty Sark and the afternoon tea. This experience was complimentary to celebrate National Cream Day but all views are my own honest opinion.

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