Monday, 27 June 2011

Who Serves the Best Cream Tea in Devon?

NB - 
Update Summer 2013
Dartmoor Tearooms is now for sale!  I visited Angels in Torquay the other day and stand by what I said a year ago - fabulous cream tea!

Update Summer 2012
Dartmoor Tearooms are not opening this year due to refurbishment.  They will re-open in Spring 2013.  In the meantime try Angels, Babbacombe, Torquay for an amazing cream tea.  You won't be disappointed!

A cream tea with thick clotted cream and deep red jam served atop plump doughy scones is one of the delights of going out in the afternoon in Devon and Cornwall.  In my time, I have had many a cream tea, a surprising number of which have proved disappointing.  All too often, there is insufficient cream, average jam or a tiny two day old scone.  I have been hearing great things about the Dartmoor Tea Rooms in Moretonhampstead, Devon (longest unhyphenated place name in England I believe).  It was lunchtime, but we all decided to have sweet stuff instead.  Daughter had a chocolate brownie with ice cream and raspberry sauce which she said was delicious.  Husband and I shared a Classic Cream Tea (two scones) plus an in-house homemade toasted teacake.  The tea cake was absolutely wonderful – slathered in butter, just the right amount of dried fruit and peel and a lovely sweet sugar crust on the top.  Divine. 

Tea was of high quality.  I love the ‘FORLIFE’ tea pots that they and lots of cafes are using at the moment (e.g Twenty Six in Teignmouth).  They have an inbuilt strainer inside the main body, so the brew is perfect, no fiddly strainer and presumably easier to clean up afterwards.  They are for sale in the cafe at a good price of £20 – I have seen them for sale online for £22-£25.  Looking forward to receiving one for my birthday (hint, hint).

Everything in the cafe was so clean – I loved the way the crockery, the milk jug, the tray and the cutlery were all so gleaming.  It was a very welcoming environment, friendly waiting staff, fresh flowers on the tables and lots of bits and bobs to look at and admire.

But the burning question - was this the Best Cream Tea in Devon?

Well, I give Dartmoor Tea Rooms a resounding ten out of ten for the fabulous teacake and for the fine pot of tea.  The cream and jam were very good and were just about the right quantity.  The scones were large, just warm (felt very 'fresh' warm rather than re-heated warm) homemade, light and tasty and certainly enjoyable.  But......I have such high standards as I have my own resident scone-maker in my home, and hers are perfection, and have a slightly more buttery golden texture (secret ingredient being yoghurt).  So, outside of my own home, this is probably as near as dammit, one of the Best Cream Teas in Devon.  But of course the quest is ceaseless and I must carry on in my search to find the Ultimate Devon Cream Tea.  This one is jolly good and is definitely on the short list.

NB I think Dartmoor Tea Rooms may be shutting at the beginning of July for a week or two, so do check before going there; but DO go there, it's a great place.  Open Weds-Sundays from April - November.


Liz said...

My other half is the cream tea expert having spent all his school holidays in Devon. I'm sorry to say that apart from the scones I make ( also with yoghurt and definitely no egg) and my Mum's scones, I've never had one that's other than disappointing. Unless they're really fresh why do all cafes seem to think you want them steamed in a microwave....? Must go now - strawberry picking tomorrow to make jam for all our Sunday afternoon winter cream teas round the fire..

Grazing Kate said...

Glad we're not the only yoghurt ones! Yes, putting any baked goods in the microwave is unforgivable - especially for pasties (although 10 seconds for a mince pie is OK, if you're REALLY desperate!)

Our local strawberry farm on one side of the river has really suffered this year due to drought conditions, but over the river, they've got masses. Have a great pick - I'm planning to do the same this weekend - raspberries too.

Matthew Critchlow said...

Hey :),

You need to try "Angels" in Torquay, they so some AMAZING cream teas. Home made scones which are still warm from the oven and over 12 different flavours with loads of local jams.

Its on the Babacombe Downs your need to try it!!! however be warned do not try to eat a sandwich AND scone..... you will roll out of there :).

Northern Snippet said...

I like the Fentimans lemonade bottle used as a vase.A bit of Northumberland in devon:)

Marcus said...

Agree with Matthew above about Angels
Cream and then Jam? or Jam then Cream
I'm the former my wife is the latter, but i'm from somerset and she's from devon.....can't work it out!


Grazing Kate said...

Yes, NS, hadn't noticed the Fentiman's bottle - and they could have bought the lovely Luscombe Lemonade from down these parts.

Matthew - maybe we should have our next get together at Angels?

Marcus, thanks for popping by. I must look at your blog. I always do the Cornish way on one half of the scone and the Devon way on the other - they both have their merits!

Grazing Kate said...

Dartmoor Tea Rooms is not opening this year due to extensive refurbishment. I believe they will open in Spring 2013.

My top tip is to go to Angels in Babbacombe, torquay. They have a stunning array of freshly made scones in all different flavours. They are large, delicious and the jam and cream is great too. Highly recommended!

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