14 cream teas in Devon for the best afternoon treat
One of the things that Devon is famous for is the traditional cream tea – a delicious, freshly-baked, warm scone cut in half, and topped with clotted cream followed by strawberry jam, and served with a drink of tea.
Across the county, there are plenty of tearooms, cafes, restaurants and hotels offering a cream tea, or a more filling afternoon tea. An afternoon tea usually includes dainty sandwiches, show-stopping cakes and sweet pastries in addition to scones.
A cream tea is sure to keep hunger at bay until dinnertime. Go where the setting and service is as good as the food and drink, and the memories are sure to last much, much longer.
Read more: Pubs and bars with the best views in Devon
Here are 14 of the most highly-regarded places to enjoy a cream tea in Devon, in no particular order. Each has something slightly different to offer. Prices are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
1. Angels, Torquay
49 Babbacombe Downs Rd, Babbacombe, Torquay TQ1 3LP | 01803 324477
Angels tea room, overlooking Babbacombe Downs in Torquay, has a wide range of afternoon teas so you’re sure to find one suitable for your mood, taste and budget. You can see the options on the website. Even when it comes to the scones themselves, there’s a lot to choose from: Plain, Fruit, Cherry, Ginger, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Cheese, Dairy Free Or Gluten Free. You could even have crumpets if scones aren’t your thing.
2. The Primrose Tearooms, Lustleigh
Lustleigh, Newton Abbot TQ13 9TJ | 01647 277365
Facebook page here.
This idyllic thatched tearoom on Dartmoor closes over the winter. This year, it reopens on Thursday, March 30, when it will be open Thursday to Sunday. It doesn’t take bookings so just pop in – dogs are also very welcome. It has a “china service” menu which is available inside the tearoom and a “takeaway” menu for you to enjoy in the garden or elsewhere. You’ll find a good range of cakes and jams.
3. Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth
Boringdon Hall Hotel, Boringdon Hill, Colebrook, Plymouth PL7 4DP | 01752 344455
If you’re after a luxurious experience, go for afternoon tea in the grand surroundings of this five-star hotel in Plymouth. Afternoon tea is served daily between 1pm and 4pm. The traditional afternoon tea costs £32 per person and features items including triple chocolate opera cake, vanilla macaron, banana and passion fruit delice, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, roast beef sandwich, sausage roll and Mediterranean tart. There are vegan and gluten free afternoon teas for the same price. For an extra £20, you can upgrade to a Laurent-Perrier Champagne afternoon tea, which is served with the added luxury of a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Rose Champagne.
4. Hele Corn Mill and Tea Room, Ilfracombe
Corn Mill Cl, Ilfracombe EX34 9QY | 01271 863185
This 16th-century water mill in Ilfracombe is just 300m from Hele Bay Beach, making a great family day out. The tearoom is closed over the winter and while a reopening date for 2023 has not yet been announced, it is expected to be just before Easter. It has a range of cream teas available, as well as fruit or plain scones or Devonshire splits. If you fancy something a bit different, try the thunder and lightning (scones with clotted cream and golden syrup) or savoury cream tea (cheese scones with cream cheese and caramelised onion marmalade). It also offers afternoon tea for couples or groups.
5. Bovey Castle, North Bovey, Dartmoor
Dartmoor National Park, North Bovey, Newton Abbot TQ13 8RE | 01647 445000
Afternoon tea is a Bovey Castle speciality. It is served every day between 1pm and 4pm, and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dietary requirements can be catered for. It includes freshly baked scones, delicate sandwiches, homemade cakes and pastries, served alongside fine teas poured in china cups. Sample menus for the traditional afternoon tea (£45 per person), Champagne afternoon tea (£60 per person) and children’s afternoon tea (£15) can be seen on the website. Afternoon teas can be enjoyed while seated in the Great Western Restaurant.
6. DillyDally Tearoom, Brixham
1 King St, Brixham TQ5 9TF | 01803 431151
Facebook page here.
This small tearoom very close to Brixham’s picturesque harbour is dog-friendly and has an outdoor seating area for use in good weather. Its cream teas include Prosecco and Gin Teas. Booking is required for its afternoon teas. It also offers a range of homemade cakes.
7. Lympstone Manor, Exmouth
Courtlands Ln, Exmouth EX8 3NZ | 01395 202040
If you want afternoon tea somewhere with a Michelin star, this is the place for you. It is served between 3pm and 4.30pm, with a traditional afternoon tea at £49.50 per person and Champagne afternoon tea at £70 per person. The chefs will prepare freshly made sandwiches, scones just out of the oven to be spread with thick Devon clotted cream, local jams and preserves and a selection of cakes and French patisseries made daily in its kitchens. A reservation is required in advance and it should be noted that it operates a cancellation policy.
8. Someday Something, Sidmouth
14 Church St, Sidmouth EX10 8LZ | 01395 515829
This small tearoom in Sidmouth is full of character and warmth and it takes its cream teas seriously. Its scones are baked fresh on the premises every day and served in the cafe, boxed for takeaway or packaged up for mail order. It offers gluten-free fruit or cheese scones, and while these are baked in the same kitchen as the gluten scones and it is not certified gluten-free, the utmost care is taken to ensure no cross contamination. Loyal customers are greeted like long-lost friends and new visitors will feel right at home thanks to the friendly service.
9. Otterton Mill, Budleigh Salterton
Fore St, Otterton, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7HG | 01395 568521
Otterton Mill offers visitors the chance to experience the ancient traditions of flour milling, bread baking and more. The award-winning restaurant is open daily and is famous for its cream teas and homemade cakes. You can enjoy the food shop, gift and craft shop, art gallery, live music and other events – as well as the stunning surrounding countryside – while you’re there.
10. Two Bridges Hotel, Princetown, Dartmoor
Two Bridges, Dartmoor PL20 6SW | 01822 892300
Cream teas are available daily between 11am and 4pm, and booking is recommended. The scones are made every day to a tried and trusted recipe. The strawberry jam comes from Hogs Bottom Preserves in Lifton while the clotted cream is from Langage Farm in Plymouth. You can enjoy your cream tea in one of the comfy lounges – by the fire when there’s a chill in the Dartmoor air – or al fresco in the riverside gardens. A cream tea including a large, warm, homemade scone with jam and clotted cream, and a choice of tea or coffee, costs £7.50 per person.
11. Salcombe Harbour Hotel, Salcombe
Cliff Rd, Salcombe TQ8 8JH | 01548 844444
This hotel offers a cream tea (£10), afternoon tea (£25), sparkling afternoon tea with a glass of Prosecco (£33) and a Champagne afternoon tea with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label (£39). Savoury items include a spiced prawn cocktail brioche roll and truffled chicken mayonnaise malt bloomer. Sweet items include pistachio macarons and winter berry tart. The full list can be seen on the website. It is served daily between 12.30pm and 4.30pm.
12. Tea by the Taw, Barnstaple
The Strand, Barnstaple EX31 1EU | 01271 370032
This is a fully licensed vintage tea room sitting alongside a beautiful view of the River Taw. It has been serving cream teas and traditional Vintage High Teas, as well as lunches and a selection of homemade cakes, since 2014. All ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible.
13. Indulgence, Newton Abbot
40 Devon Square, Newton Abbot TQ12 2HH | 07743 852010
Facebook page here.
This small, independent tearoom in Newton Abbot draws customers from far and wide for its food and drink which looks and tastes amazing. Its homemade cheese and fruit scones melt in the mouth and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the cakes. The tearoom is also known for its friendliness.
14. The Cream Tea Cafe, Barnstaple
Church Ln, Barnstaple EX31 1DE | 01271 325727
Facebook page here.
This cafe in the heart of Barnstaple has been serving up freshly made, delicious food for 12 years. It’s known for its friendliness and decent value for money. It offers a choice of homemade jams which, along with the cream, come in generous portions, and its scones are not only a good size but some of the lightest you’ll find.