Afternoon tea is quintessentially British. And where better to experience this teatime treat than in Devon? We have some of the finest fine dining establishments who excel in tea, cake and delicate sandwiches and scones, homemade with love from local produce, served in cafes with stunning views. Here are five of our favourite places to take time out for tea.
Lavender is known for its healing and relaxation properties; so how about lavender-flavoured scones for soothe the stomach, ease the mind and give your skin a healthy glow? Cheristow is a family-run tearoom in Hartlands that specialises in organic foods.
Homemade with love on the Heard’s estate, the cream tea served there is the ideal refreshment after viewing the stunning “secret” gardens. Rows of lavender and fragrant roses are mixed with plants that encourage wildlife and polytunnels for plants. A wildflower meadow, pond, orchard, geese and beehives are also available to explore for the £2.50 admission fee.
As well as amazing cakes, gluten-free options, salads, soups and sandwiches are available.
Prices cost from £16pp based on groups of four plus.
For more information, see www.cheristow.co.uk
Roses and Jazz
The Rose Cottage Tea Gardens in Cockington Village, near Torquay, are a haven of tranquillity.
All senses are covered here – enjoyed the taste of fresh, homemade scones from the owner’s own secret recipe; soak up the ambience, backed by live piano jazz; drink in the sight of gorgeous seasonal blooms and wander around gorgeous ornamental ponds filled with friendly ducks; and, as the name suggest, the scent of rose blossoms is everywhere, from the second you arrive.
Scones are served with a generous helping of cream and jam. Hot and cold lunch items are also available.
Walk off your meal at the nearby Cockington Country Park, which features stunning ornamental gardens, lakes and sprawling woodlands.
For more information, see www.cockingtoncarriages.co.uk/the-rose-cottage.html
Castle and Cake
Bovey Castle is the jewel in Dartmoor’s crown: and afternoon tea in the Great Western restaurant is the highlight of a day out or overnight stay there.
Scones, sandwiches, homemade cakes and pastries and teas served in fine china – it’s luxurious, it’s tasty, it’s quintessentially English. In summer, grab a table on the terrace and enjoy views of the hotel gardens.
Price start at £17 for a traditional cream tea with scones, Devon clotted cream and jam. Or pay £40 for the extensive Champagne afternoon tea, which includes a glass of fizz to wash down a sweet and savoury spread. Gluten free, vegetarian or vegan selections are available on request.
To find out more, see http://www.boveycastle.com/food/afternoon-tea.html
Tea on the Tram
The Seaton Tramway runs between Seaton and Colyton in East Devon. Carriages have been lovingly restored and you can enjoy views of the Jurassic Coast through nature reserves and the stunning Axe Valley estuary.
Cream tea at the Tramstop café is a MUST. The Garden Room at Colyton Station is recently refurbed and can seat up to 80 people for lunch. Homemade cakes, scones and pastries await you, with lashings of Devon clotted cream and jam, too.
You can even take your tea onto the platform terrace to soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. Truly authentic and glamorous.
To find out more, see www.tram.co.uk/tramstop-cafe
Not naughty, just Nice!
What is a Spatisserie, I hear you ask? The Spatisserie at the brand new Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall serves a selection of tempting treats with a twist. The emphasis is on wellness, from the unique ‘Elixir’ salad dressing to a menu based on Awakening, Balancing and/or Calm ing. All served with a smile with views across Dartmoor. Sheer bliss.
Their afternoon tea offering is a twist of the traditional – scones and sandwiches using artisan breads including sourdough and brioche; the cake selection changes daily; and tea from a JING menu that is truly special. Travelling thousands of miles each year, JING sources definitive examples of Asia’s finest teas for the most sophisticated and discerning guests in the region. Prepare to be impressed! For contact phone number and email, plus directions, see http://www.gaiaboringdon.co.uk/contact