Best Afternoon Teas In Devon

By Ellie Smith

8 months ago

The home of cream tea, Devon is a treasure trove for lovers of scones


Home to endless countryside hotels and cosy market town cafes, Devon has plenty of choice when it comes to afternoon tea. From the moody Dartmoor to beachy Salcombe, the charming county is renowned for its food – particularly its cream tea, a tradition which some believe actually originated at Tavistock Abbey in Devon. Whether you’re after simple scones and tea or a more elaborate affair complete with sandwiches and cakes, these are the best afternoon teas in Devon. Just remember: it’s cream before jam in Devon (and the opposite in Cornwall).

Best Afternoon Teas In Devon

Bovey Castle

Bovey Castle, Dartmoor

Perched beside Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is a prime example of a quintessential British hotel, housed in a grand baronial house with 275 acres of rolling greenery. Naturally, afternoon tea is a big deal here, served in the Great Western Restaurant. Tuck into an array of finger sandwiches (chicken and tarragon, smoked salmon, egg and cress), alongside pork sausage rolls and quiche, ahead of the traditional scones with Devonshire clotted cream. On the sweet treats side, expect pocket-sized bites of carrot and walnut cake, lemon tart, banoffee choux and more – with the option to add a glass (or bottle, for that matter) or Veuve Clicquot.

Price: From £45pp

Availability: Daily from 1 – 4pm

Address: Dartmoor National Park, North Bovey, Newton Abbot TQ13 8RE

BOOK: boveycastle.com

The Bakehouse Cullompton

Nestled within the countryside town of Cullompton you’ll find The Bakehouse, a long-standing local favourite with a rustic-chic feel. Run by Chris and Miranda Marklew, the friendly cafe has a few options for teas. There’s the classic Bakehouse Cream Tea complete with scones and a pot of tea, or the Bakehouse Cheese Tea, which offers a savoury twist on the tradition featuring cheese and chive scones. Fancy the whole hog? Go for the Bakehouse Afternoon Tea, an array of sweet and savoury treats including sandwiches, scones and cakes, paired with tea and/or prosecco.

Price: From £7.50pp

Availability: Daily from 9am – 4pm

Address: 3 High St, Cullompton EX15 1AB

BOOK: thebakehousecullompton.co.uk

Orestone Manor, Torquay

With its idyllic sea views and cosy bedrooms, the family-run Orestone Manor makes a lovely weekend away – but you can also pop there for an afternoon of tea and cake. The hotel is run by two chefs, so of course food is a highlight, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Afternoon tea is served in the cheery surroundings of The Orestone Manor Restaurant (which has 2 AA Rosettes), and includes the traditional combination of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea – all for just £22 a head. 

Price: £22pp or £28.50pp with a glass of prosecco

Availability: Every day from 2.30 – 4pm

Address: Rock House Ln, Maidencombe, Torquay TQ1 4SX

BOOK: orestonemanor.co.uk

Living room at Gidleigh Park

Gidleigh Park, Newton Abbot

With its dramatic location beside Dartmoor, black and white Tudor-style facade and old country manor interiors, this majestic hotel is quite the spectacle. It’s renowned for its food offering, which includes an impressive afternoon tea, served either in the grand Conservatory, in one of the lounges, or on the terrace, which overlooks the beautiful gardens. Sit down to a spread of freshly cut sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones, plus tea from the hotel’s collection – or upgrade your experience with a glass of champagne. Beforehand, why not build up an appetite with a stroll around the moors?

Price: From £52pp

Availability: Tuesday – Saturday 1pm – 5pm

Address: Gidleigh Park Hotel, Chagford, Newton Abbot TQ13 8HH

BOOK: gidleigh.co.uk

Bumble and Bee, Exmouth

 

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Devon knows its stuff when it comes to tea rooms, showcased to perfection at Bumble and Bee, set within the pretty Manor Gardens in Exmouth. Helmed by Debs and Toby Quine and their family, the cafe uses organic, locally sourced produce where possible, specialising in cream tea. Keep it classic with scones, cream, jam and tea (with options for solo diners as well as groups of two), or stick with savoury and tuck into a plate of cheesy scones paired with coffee. Heaven.

Price: From £5.95pp

Availability: Open April – September, 9am – 5pm (ring for opening hours outside these months)

Address: Manor Gardens, Alexandra Terrace, Exmouth EX8 1BB

BOOK: bumbleandbee.co.uk

Lympstone Manor - Exmouth, Devon

Lympstone Manor, Exmouth

Within just six months of opening, Lympstone Manor secured a Michelin star – a testament to its legendary chef patron, Michael Caines MBE. Head here to try one of the best afternoon teas in Devon, served amid its elegant dining rooms. Enjoy a stellar spread of sandwiches, scones with thick Devon clotted cream and local jams, and exquisite French patisseries, with vegan and vegetarian alternatives on offer.

Price: From £49.50pp

Availability: Every day from 3 – 4.30pm

Address: Courtlands Ln, Exmouth EX8 3NZ

BOOK: lympstonemanor.co.uk

Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa

Salcombe Harbour Hotel

The epitome of an English riviera town, Salcombe is one of Devon’s most popular seaside destinations. For some of the area’s best views, make a trip to the Harbour Hotel, a stylish spot on the South West Coastal Path surrounded by beaches. Its restaurant, The Jetty, overlooks the Salcombe Estuary, and offers an excellent afternoon tea. The current menu includes sandwiches of spicy prawn cocktail, truffled chicken mayonnaise, and smoked salmon and avocado, followed by sweet treats like custard filled chocolate eclairs, and pistachio macarons. 

Price: From £25pp

Availability: Every day from 12.30pm until 4.30pm

Address: Harbour Hotel Salcombe, Cliff Road, Salcombe, South Devon, TQ8 8JH 

BOOK: harbourhotels.co.uk