It’s a timeless debate in the South West that will likely never have a definitive answer; when having a cream tea, do you put on the jam on the scone first, or do you go cream first? If you’re Cornish, the answer is definitely jam first!
No matter how you take it though, one thing that people living in the region will agree on is that on a relaxing afternoon there are few simple joys better than a delicious cream tea eaten in a wonderful location. If you’re a visitor to the area, taking a pit stop to enjoy a cream tea is an absolute must.
There are so many wonderful places to visit for afternoon tea, but we’ve picked ten of our favourites, based not just on how delicious their cream teas are, but the location and experience you’ll have when you’re there. Here’s our list of ten of the best places for a cream tea in Cornwall.
Lakeside Cabin Café, near St Ives
The team running the Lakeside Cabin — which has been in the same family for more than 20 years — have done everything to make sure this café is far removed from your archetypal coffee house, with its welcoming décor and relaxed vibe. The café overlooks the beautiful Nance fishing lakes and you’ll find few more tranquil spots to stop for an hour or two and watch the world go by.
Woods Café, Cardinham Woods
Having been set up as a wonderful place for family walks and getting some fresh air by Forestry England, it only seems fitting that after exploring one of the trails at Cardinham Woods, you reward that hard work with a cream tea at Woods Café, a beautiful building set in the middle of the woodland by the main car park. The menu is small but all the ingredients are local and fresh, with scones baked every morning — perfect with a pot of Cornish Tregothnan tea.
Healey’s Farm, Penhallow
So this farm is better known for its cider — Healey’s make the popular Rattler range of ciders and have been making ciders, wines, preserves and juices for almost 40 years — but the farm is really worth a visit. Their Mowhay Tearoom serves a scrumptious cream tea and cakes, while the tours of the farm and distillery, plus chances to press your own apples make this a great family day out.
Lewinnick Lodge, Newquay
Fancy some stunning views while you tuck into your cream tea? There can’t be many better locations than Lewinnick Lodge, a hotel right on the edge of the ocean at Newquay, looking out over cliffs to the sea. The hotel restaurant is well known for its great view, including the cream tea, which also comes in vegan friendly and gluten free options too.
Fowey Hall Hotel, Fowey
This luxury retreat is a decadent and truly luxurious place to stop for afternoon tea, with its beautiful house and spectacular views over the Fowey estuary. Their afternoon teas take inspiration from Beatrix Potter’s stories, with an ‘edible garden’ and ‘miniature eggs’ reminiscent of the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends.
Margaret’s Rustic Tea Room, Northcott Mouth
This may well be the most unusual entry on this list; the tea room is nothing more than a static caravan surrounded by picnic benches, but for location alone by the river, a short stroll from the beautiful Northcott Mouth beach, this is tough to top. Add to the tea room’s growing reputation as one of the best spots to get cream tea; the owner has been baking scones for more than 50 years, it’ll be a definite hit with the family.
Trevaskis Farm, Hayle
This farm is set admist 28 acres of beautiful countryside, guaranteeing fresh air and a peaceful atmosphere when you arrive. The restaurant serves cream teas throughout the lunch sitting and there’s a menu with plenty of produce grown on the farm to try out. The farm shop here has been trading for more than 30 years, so you’ll find a tasty treat to take home with you too.
Apple Tree Café, Sennen
Paying a trip to Land’s End for the day? This café is just one mile away and offers teas as well as lunches, cakes and light snacks. They have their own hand roasted coffee, which you can buy bags of to take home with you, while you’ll be spreading clotted cream from Trewithen Dairy on those freshly baked scones.
Camel Trail Tea Garden, near Bodmin
If your family like to get active, why not try a cycle on the Camel Trail followed by a visit to the Camel Trail Tea Garden? Set in a beautiful apple orchard with a tranquil terrace, the café has direct access from the cycle trail for that lunchtime break! The café prides itself on its cream teas, served with generous dollops of jam and clotted cream.
Pauline’s Creamery, Newquay
Just walking past the window of Pauline’s without being tempted in is difficult, with its appetising array of cakes calling out for you to come and buy a slice! You’ll get iconic Rodda’s clotted cream with your scones here and the team is always happy to bring you more jam, tea or cream should you need it!
That’s our list – did we miss out any of your favourite places for a cream tea? Let us know your favourites in the comments section below!