Sunday

A Summer Guide to Afternoon Tea in Devon

It may be the last day of National Afternoon Tea week but the pleasure of afternoon tea with a Devonshire scone and some clotted cream on a lovely sunny day is still for the taking.

Nicky Primavesi at Visit Devon, is in the business of knowing what's what and where's how and that sort razzamatazz regarding all that's best about Devon.  Here's a few suggestions of some lovely spots to go to for the best afternoon tea down south.

Angels in Babbacombe is a wonderful little surprise. This tea room and daytime restaurant bustles from the moment the doors open. Fine bone china and loose leaf tea with home made scones, local jams and Devonshire cream make this a must stop for cream tea lovers every where. Locals rave about the breakfast and visitors jostle for a seat in the delightful garden courtyard for lunch. Fresh local produce is used to great effect and there's a stunning view of Lyme Bay thrown in for free.


Royal William Yard in Plymouth is an ex navy victualling yard that has been lovingly restored by Urban Splash over the past 10 years. It is now one of Plymouth's most popular days out and one of their greatest foodie hubs. Surrounded by water, the views are exceptional and each building is full of history. The newest addition is Will's at One, Royal William Yard. This very elegant tea room offers first class service at its core with a choice of sipping tea in a beautifully decorated interior, with crisp white linen tablecloths and sumptuous decor, or in a magical ‘secret garden’ where there is a raised decking area providing spectacular views over Firestone Bay.

Originally a Salt House used by the Benedictine Monks who traded Salt at Exeter Cathedral. The Salty Monk ensure their scones are fresh by baking them to order for every customer and offer a selection of 22 loose leaf teas to accompany this. Scones are made on the premises as are the preserves, while the clotted cream is sourced locally from the nearby Yarty Valley. They offer a Champagne tea which includes a glass of pink bubbles and meringues with fresh berries alongside the traditional cream tea. They also have award winning gardens in which to enjoy them or a gallery room showcasing local artists work.


Gidleigh Park sits majestically on the bubbling upper reaches of the River Teign within 107 acres of mature grounds featuring an acclaimed kitchen garden, croquet lawns and putting course. The house has an air of tranquillity and romance and you will enjoy a genuinely warm welcome. Afternoon tea at Gidleigh Park is a sumptuous affair; the full afternoon tea features a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit tartlets, cakes and scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and the finest teas from the hotel’s in-house selection (£30 per person). Champagnes are also available by the glass for that extra indulgence.

Powderham Castle, the 600 year old home of the Earl and Countess of Devon near Exeter, makes an ideal place to visit for people of all ages during the summer holidays. Families are invited to picnic in the beautiful grounds, enjoy a guided tour of the Castle and spend time in their walled garden play area and pets corner, home to many friendly Powderham pets. Afternoon tea is served daily from 3 - 5:30 pm in the Courtenay Café, which serves up a range of freshly baked cakes and cream teas. Cakes on offer include lemon drizzle, coffee and walnut, Victoria sponge and the ever popular almond cake, as well as a wide range of biscuits and pastries to suit all ages. Gluten free chocolate brownies, fruit cake, macaroons and scones are also available. Up to 25 can be seated inside the Courtenay Cafe with additional seating in the Coach House as well as outdoor seating so that visitors can enjoy the West Country sunshine. The Cafe inside is cosy and has a ramp to make it accessible to wheelchair users.


Otterton Mill, Budleigh Salterton in the heart of Devon is a glorious setting to sit down and relax with a cream tea or two. Their scones are made fresh every day using their finest flour milled on site, with the all important accompaniments sourced only 30 miles away. They also bake speciality breads such as, granary, spelt and rye, so whether you are walking, cycling or riding along the river Otter, go wend your way to Otterton Mill for some freshly baked refreshment.

Finally, The Venus Café in South Devon, overlooks the clear turquoise waters of the secluded ‘Blue Flag’ awarded Blackpool Sands beach. One of only ten companies throughout the UK to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development in 2010, it is renowned for serving organic, fresh produce. In addition to a mouthwatering cream tea, The Venus Café also offers seafood specials, organic beef burgers, scrumptious sandwiches and a wide selection of child friendly favourites.

If you can’t make it to Devon, there's another solution to getting your cream tea fix without even leaving home. Delimann Hampers can send an authentic afternoon cream tea direct to your door. Delivered anywhere in the UK from their Dartmoor base; freshly baked scones, Devonshire clotted cream, award winning strawberry jam with tea blended in the West Country are accompanied by a selection of other Devon treats, all sent beautifully packaged on a next day courier service. Go to Delimann's or call them on 01626 830372.
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