It’s not a trip to Devon without stuffing your face with a cream tea. But remember, in Devon you put the cream on first and spread it over your scone like you would butter, with a healthy dollop of the finest and sweetest jam available. Here’s our pick of the best places to indulge when in Devonshire.
Docton Mill & Gardens
As an RHS Partner garden, Docton Mill & Gardens is a beautiful place in which to roam and wander. The cafe itself is a pretty little thing which nestles perfectly in the crook of the arm of the mill house. All food is freshly prepared in the small garden kitchen. Docton Mill was voted best cream tea in Devon at the North Devon Food & Drink Awards.
Nelly May’s Parlour
Nelly May’s in Ilfracombe is something of a food institution. This little tearoom opened in 2015, and its reputation for a cracking cream tea built quickly. Folks from all over the land travel to Ilfracombe just for a sweet treat on weekends.
On the banks of the river Avon, and in the grounds of a former mill near Kingsbridge, this cafe makes for a lovely day out all by itself. There is a gorgeous garden centre at the mill too, plus a couple of boutique art and ceramic shops. If you feel the need to work off some calories before munching down on a cream tea, follow the river through thick woodlands for a peaceful, albeit fairly long, circular walk.
The Singing Kettle Tearoom
This family-run tearoom, just a few strides from the seafront in Torquay, is one not to be missed on a visit to Devon. Produce is either local or fair trade where possible, and the scones are hand made with love. Lunch is also available here, so you can keep coming back time and time again.
This farm shop in Topsham should be visited not only for its cream tea but also for its fresh produce on offer. This is still a working farm, so the goods here are as home-grown as home-grown gets. There are also a great many shopping options (cider and ale house, home and interiors, children’s clothing, etc.), but shopping is hard work though – a cream tea break will eventually be necessary.
Seaton Tramway Cafe
The Seaton Tramway runs heritage trains through East Devon’s luscious Axe Valley; through nature reserves and with uninterrupted views of birds and wildlife. The Garden room at the Colyton stop is a great place to jump off for a calorific snack.
The art deco Saunton Sands has a spectacular setting looking out over Saunton beach; one of the finest stretches of sand in the whole of Devon. This three-mile beach is golden sand at its best and is popular with SUPers, surfers and families. You can enjoy a cream tea on the terrace of the hotel while soaking up the rays and watching summer play out across the beach.
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