The Best Afternoon Teas in Devon

Afternoon teas in Devon are like daffodils in Spring or boulevards in Paris. They just kind of belong together. Dainty cakes, home-baked scones and a potful of steaming hot tea? That's a little slice of paradise. Throw in Devon's delightfully lush landscape and you may as well buy a plot of land on Cloud Nine. Hungry yet? In this guide, we share our picks for the best afternoon teas in Devon. But first, let's explore why afternoon teas are such a big deal in our cosy corner of the country.

Why Afternoon Teas in Devon Are So Popular?

Well, see. Devon and afternoon teas have a bit of a history. It all starts with the cream tea. This simple treat – scones, jam and clotted cream – is particularly popular in Devon and has been since at least the 1850s.

Some reckon the tradition began even earlier – as early as the 11th century, according to a clutch of local historians.

Now, we're not going to enter into the fierce debate about the origins of the cream tea. Some say it was invented in Devon. Others claim Cornwall. Suffice it to say, the snack is woven into the cultural fabric of both counties.

And if you stop for afternoon tea in Devon or Cornwall, you can pretty much guarantee there'll be scones, cream and jam on the plates.

Now, Devon and Cornwall aren't unique in this regard. Cream teas are often served with afternoon teas in London, Loughborough and Lichtenstein (probably).

But there's something special about eating cream teas in their homeland – with, we'd bet, fresher-than-fresh clotted cream from a local dairy.

By now, you must be starving. Let's get to the list.


Taylors, Tavistock

This bistro is probably best known for its bottomless brunches and evening tapas platters. But it also serves a mean afternoon tea.

Available every afternoon, Taylors' tea includes a selection of sandwiches, savoury pastries and homemade cakes – as well as hearty helpings of scones and clotted cream.

And if you're feeling cheeky, you can enjoy a glass of chilled Prosecco on the side for a small additional fee.

With its blend of sweet and savoury options, Taylors' effort ranks among the best afternoon teas in Devon for those occasions when you want to feel well-looked-after and well-fed.


Exeter Golf and Country Club

You don't have to love golf to enjoy afternoon tea at Exeter Golf and Country Club. But if you fancy sinking a few birdies before your meal, this is the place to do it.

For golf fans, it's a shoo-in. And there's plenty to tempt the rest of us, with a lavish afternoon tea that showcases delicate patisserie, colossal cream teas and generously stuffed brioche rolls.

Love a lazy afternoon but not so keen on the tea? The club offers bottomless coffee and fizzy tipples too.


The Tudor Rose Tea Rooms and Garden, Plymouth

Some people choose afternoon teas in Devon because they want to calm their sweet tooth. Others enjoy the pomp, the ceremony and the sense of occasion. And then there are those who want to taste tradition – they delight in the sheer Englishness of it all.

If you fall into the third camp, you'll fall head over heels in love with The Tudor Rose Tea Rooms.

This vintage caff looks like it's tumbled out of the 17th century and landed neatly on a backstreet in Plymouth's Old Town. It thrums with old-world charm – right down to the dainty English garden in the back.

Of course, it wouldn't make our list without also serving a tasty afternoon tea. Oh, and it offers takeaway and local delivery too. Bonus.


The Fizz Boat, Dartmouth

Does The Fizz Boat dish up one of the finest afternoon teas in Devon? Well, it certainly serves one of the most unique.

The clue's in the name. If it's not docked in Dartmouth, you'll find The Fizz Boat floating up and down the river on one of its regular 'fizz and food' cruises.

It promises quite the experience: a one-and-a-half-hour cruise up the beautiful River Dart with exclusive use of the company's purpose-built motor cruiser. Sign up for the Fizzy Afternoon Tea and you can nibble on a selection of cakes, scones and sandwiches as you bob along.

Want to start a little earlier? Plump for the Sunrise Sharing Board, which includes pastries, granola and a sparkling cocktail for good measure.


Occombe Farm, Paignton

Sweet treats. Cute animals. What's not to love?

Occombe is a working farm and visitor attraction that also happens to serve one of the most delicious afternoon teas in Devon.

It's a recipe for a fantastic family day out. The kids will love brushing goats, cuddling guinea pigs and bouncing around the outdoor play area. Adults, meanwhile, can bounce between the well-stocked farm shop and the popular countryside cafe.

The cafe is also where you'll sit down for afternoon tea. On the menu are scones, cream and jam (naturally), along with treats like carrot cake, salmon sandwiches and panna cotta.

Kids can join in too. Occombe dishes up kiddie favourites like chicken nuggets and fish goujons alongside its usual fare. Go for the kid's picnic box and they'll feel like they've had their very own afternoon tea – just with less Prosecco and more crisps.


The Horn of Plenty, Tavistock

We couldn't talk about afternoon teas in Devon without mentioning our own, could we?

Seriously, though. We've worked hard to make our afternoon tea the best it can be – and we humbly believe that it ranks among the best in the county.

Join us for tea and you can expect all the trimmings. That includes freshly made sandwiches, dainty pastries and the all-important cream tea with homemade scones.

So far, so scrumptious. But we have an ace up our sleeves: our majestic, panoramic views.

Yes, our hotel is perched on a hillside overlooking the gorgeous Tamar Valley. This means sweeping countryside vistas as far as the eye can see.

If you want to see, taste and live the best that Devon has to offer, you can't beat it.

Fancy one of the best afternoon teas in Devon – with a view that's just as sweet? Book your table today.

Published on Wednesday 29th May 2024 / By Oliver Pyper