We try some of the tastiest afternoon teas from hotels around the county in search of a true taste of Devon
The Hartnoll Hotel
Bolham, Nr. Tiverton, EX16 7RA | £14pp
Nestled on the edge of Exmoor, this boutique country house hotel, set in beautiful landscaped gardens, makes for a perfect relaxing escape for a delightful afternoon tea. Sit back, relax and take your pick from an assortment of delicious home-made cakes, scones and sandwiches as you take in the gardens and surrounding countryside from inside of the cosy conservatory. With warm, friendly and attentive staff we found ourselves enjoying a pot of tea in no time, shortly followed by our attractive selection of treats – the indulgent chocolate brownie a personal favourite! Finish this one with a few laps of the garden to burn off a few of those extra calories before exploring the area further.
Visit the Hartnoll Hotel online at: www.hartnollhotel.co.uk
The Ilsington Hotel
Ilsington Village, Nr Newton Abbot, TQ13 9RR | £12.50pp
Within a stone’s throw from Hay Tor, the family-run Ilsington Country Hotel sits proudly on the edge of Dartmoor and on a sunny day it looks particularly beautiful with its white walls swathed in glorious sunshine. We were given the warmest of welcomes and shown to our table, positioned so that we could take in the beautiful gardens and patio outside. Our afternoon tea here was the only one to stray from the three tier platter, instead served on a large slate which offered a welcome change to the usual serving style. The smoke salmon sandwiches we chose were mouth-watering, as were the warm scones with jam and cream and an exquisite flapjack to top it off – an irresistible combination of country charm and delicious Devon produce.
Visit the Ilsington Hotel online at: www.ilsington.co.uk
Woodbury, Exeter, EX5 1JJ | £16.95pp
There’s not many ways that I can think of to make an afternoon tea better, but by combining this absolute classic with the addition of a beautifully decorated glass of gin; Woodbury Park have certainly managed it. A delectable arrangement of scones with jam and cream, triple chocolate cake, millionaires shortbread and macaroons, plus a choice of sandwich were beautifully presented and the attention to detail on the decoration using freshly sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries gave it a real touch of class. Helpful staff were willing to go out of their way to ensure complete satisfaction and with a range of facilities including swimming pool and spa, why not treat yourself to a full day of pampering finished with this take on a very British tradition.
Visit Woodbury Park online at: www.woodburypark.co.uk
The Rougemont Hotel
Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SP | £13.50pp
Step off of the busy streets of Exeter into the traditional setting of Nelsons Lounge for an afternoon tea complimented by a cosy, intimate ambience. The grand marble fireplace, the tall bookshelves and the beautiful chandelier hanging above makes for a truly traditional afternoon tea experience. Our pot of tea brought to us by our friendly waitress was classic in its taste, and our scones were served with more than enough cream and jam to avoid fear of running out – never a good feeling. A choice of handmade sandwiches, served on your choice of brown or white bread, as well as huge chunks of the selection of cakes on offer at the time were all nicely presented and tasted delicious.
Visit the Rougemont Hotel online at: http://bit.ly/2e7oIPt
Sidmouth Harbour Hotel
The Westcliff, Manor Rd, Sidmouth, EX10 8RU | £16.50pp
From its elevated position above Sidmouth’s seafront, the Harbour Hotel boasts unrivalled views of Sidmouth’s cliffs and across Lyme bay, giving you the chance to enjoy an afternoon tea with a view! With a fresh and contemporary feel, both hotel and restaurant offer a large, light environment with carefully chosen vintage decoration and furniture to create a chic, nautical them, including an enormous 24-seater canary-yellow Chesterfield sofa. The afternoon tea stayed in keeping with the hotel’s overall style, served on characterful Cornishware and included four delicious varieties of sandwich, a selection of delicate cakes and pastries and finished with irresistibly tempting warm scones with jam and clotted cream – all freshly made. There’s also the choice of a champagne option if you really fancy pushing the boat out!
Visit The Sidmouth Harbour Hotel online at: www.sidmouth-harbour-hotel.co.uk