Best local afternoon teas
More scones, madam? Nibble your way through petit fours and finger sandwiches with our round up of the best afternoon teas in the area - Jam first obvs!
It’s indulgent, soothing, often better value than lunch or dinner and involves a LOT of cake. From ocean-view hotels with glam tiers of treats, to classic cream teas served on rustic picnic tables – you don’t have to travel far to find a corking afternoon tea around the Duchy.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourites for your delectation.
Woods Café, Cardinham Woods, nr Bodmin (Muddy fave, great for families + dog owners)
Where better to take your time over tea than a rustic, fairy-tale café in the woods? Woods Café, in Cardinham Woods, near Bodmin, is my scone-scoffing destination of choice and perfect, for those with kids and dogs in tow. There are beautiful woodland walks if you feel the need to earn your treats or you can make a beeline straight for the café’s impressive cake counter. In addition to a proper Cornish Cream Tea, with plenty of jam and cream and a pot of Tregothnan’s finest, there is a savoury option with cheese scones, cream cheese, chutney and Davidstow cheddar. Cornish Cream Tea £6.75/ Savoury Cream Tea £7.25.
Carnewas Tea Room, Bedruthan Steps (Muddy fave – dramatic cliff walk nearby)
A traditional tea room at the start (or end) of the stunning Bedruthan Steps walk, the distinctly low-fi tea room at Carnewas at Bedruthan Steps serves up scones and jam to rival any fancy hotel. This big claim is firmly backed up by the gushing cream tea reviews on their Facebook page – outside only at present, so either pick a sunny day or pack a coat.
Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Lostwithiel (Muddy fave, overlooking Fowey & Restormel Castle)
Another Muddy favourite is the cafe at Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, with views down to Fowey and Restormel Castle. It’s is one of the largest and most well-respected nurseries in the South West and a perfect place to come for a few special plants in the spring time. Cream tea is a speciality at the cafe or choose, the fancier afternoon tea for a special occasion, with optional prosecco, both options served up on traditional striped Cornishware crockery with a Duchy red twist.
Rosemergy Farmhouse & Tea Room, Morvah (a remote spot in West Penwith)
A bit of a pilgrimage for most – but we’re reliably informed it is well worth the journey. A cream tea garden on a farm, overlooking the ocean, just off the road from St Ives to St Just. For just £5 you will be treated to a pot of tea, warm scones, fresh from the aga, Cornish clotted cream, strawberry jam and a West Penwith location that’s hard to beat.
POSH AFTERNOON TEAS
Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth (Adults only)
If you fancy escaping the kids and washing down beautiful little cakes with a glass of fizz, you can’t beat Champagne Tea at luxe, eco hotel The Scarlet. Grab a ocean-view table in the restaurant or out on the terrace and take your time over delicately prepared morsels, such as smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive choux buns, lemon curd and rhubarb tartlets and of course, warm scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream (in that order, it’s important). I don’t mind if I do!
Idle Rocks, St Mawes (harbour-view restaurant)
What could be more Cornish than scones overlooking the harbour in St Mawes? Idle Rocks takes its afternoon tea seriously, with pretty little plates of treats, silver tea pots and mini Kilner jars for the condiments. £10pp for an ordinary cream tea, full afternoon tea is £30pp, afternoon tea with fizz is £40pp.
Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes (Muddy fave, chic harbour-view terrace)
Find a pocket of 1930s French Riveria at the sophisticated Hotel Tresanton, also in St Mawes and add a Cornish twist by taking afternoon tea on the sun terrace looking out over the smart navy and white striped sun umbrellas of the beach club below to the crystal clear waters and sailing yachts on the Carrick Roads (above). Cream tea from £10pp, add finger sandwiches and pastries for £21pp and all options can have optional fizz added.
OR, GET YOUR CREAM TEA DELIVERED
Don’t miss out if you’re either not in Cornwall or you’re not eating inside at the moment – you can get some of Kernow’s finest delivered to your home (or holiday cottage) and take it to the beach or garden. Add your own sarnies and fizz and that’s your afternoon sorted.
A true luxury favourite, with Tregothnan‘s own Kea Plum Jam (a large 227g jar), Rodda’s Clotted Cream (a large 227g tub) and scones from Muddy fav Cornish bakery Lady Vale Bakery – plus, a selection of Tregothnan’s tea, grown in Cornwall. £25
This slimline package from The Cornish Hamper Store fits right through your letterbox, and perfect for taking straight out on a picnic as each serving is in individual pots. Tea is from the Cornish tea company, Cornish Rodda’s cream and then cute individual pots of Boddington’s Berries Strawberry jam. £11.95
Chough Bakery, Padstow
Pretend you’re harbour side with this postal option from Padstow’s Chough Bakery – includes 8 of their scones plus a Cornish saffron cake, as well as Boddington’s jam and Rodda’s cream and butter. £35