Here in Britain we've always been famous for our love of a good cuppa. But, have you noticed that this trait has gone rather upmarket of late? We're certainly not complaining! But once we may have expected to be asked if we took sugar in our tea, these days there are a whole host of options for the tea connoisseur.
Indeed, supermarket shelves are filled with herbal tea professing to cure our ailments, fruit teas to be drunk black for those avoiding lactose, caffeine free alternatives for those that don't want to be up all night...the list goes on. Of course, tea rooms have upped their game too. With all this choice available, and savouring the experience of afternoon tea once again becoming fashionable, the best tea rooms are those in which the whole ritual is observed with aplomb. Authentic ingredients, a great choice of accompanying options to suit every taste and a beautiful environment are the aspects that turn a good afternoon tea into a great one.
And where better to find such a place than in Devon? Traditional Devon Tea Rooms have been serving cream tea for years! Our tea rooms have a wealth of experience and are often steeped in heritage, with links to the best local producers for their fresh ingredients. But which Traditional Devon Tea Rooms are the best to visit to enjoy a good cream tea?
The Cottage Tea Rooms, Clovelly
The stunning setting of Clovelly is the ideal place to enjoy a cream tea. You will feel as though you have been whisked backwards i time with the traditional atmosphere of the cobbled streets and the sign outside proudly exclaiming that scones are '...fresh from the oven, as they should be...'
The Corn Dolly, South Molton
The corn dolly is decorated with scatterings of its namesake, making it a traditional find. It has won a Tea Guild Award of Excellence every year since 2006, and offers multiple options for all tastes (including venison paté and toasted crumpets with stilton) as well as glorious homemade cakes.
Combe House, Exeter
If you are looking for a little more 'luxe' with your beverage, Combe House is the place to go. Elegant surrondings complete with crisp linens and log fires. With all the ingredients either grown fresh in the garden or sourced from local suppliers and prepared by their fine chefs, this is a decadent afternoon tea experience.
Vintage Tea, Totnes
An oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of the centre of Totnes, this tea room prides itself on being the alternative to loud and busy modern coffee shops. Homemade cakes and freshly baked scones are served on vintage carousels in serene and comfortable surroundings.
Strand Tea Rooms, Plymouth
Set on the cobbled streets of the Barbican, overlooking Sutton Harbour and barely 50 yards from the Mayflower Steps, The Strand Tea Rooms is an experience not to be missed. The interior is kitsch and traditional in the extreme. Expect bone china cups, the pot nestled in a tea cosy and cushions scattered across the chairs.
We hope we've inspired you to seek out beautiful tea rooms to allow you to take the time to experience afternoon tea here in Devon. And if not, we can deliver you everything you need to enjoy it at home! Our cream tea hampers are filled with the finest ingredients, to make your cream tea perfect wherever you are. With the warm weather on the horizon, it would make a delightful picnic in the garden, especially if delivered in one of our real wicker hampers! Or why not set it all out on the table with your finest china and create the traditional afternoon tea ritual within your own home?
We'd love to hear or see how you take your afternoon tea! Why not let us know by leaving us a comment below, or send us a picture on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest