Friday, 22 October 2010

Best Cream Tea Ever




I'm a bit of a Cream Tea Connoisseur.  When my children were small and we ran a pub we used our precious Sunday afternoons off trying out the local teas in South Devon, and we all became quite expert, even marking the establishments out of ten. And then we got even more obsessive about it, and marked the scones, the jam and the cream separately, and eventually even the loos!

In recent times the best cream tea I knew of was to be had at the Corn Dolly  in South Molton in Devon. We went there last week during our week away in Cornwall, and very good it was. But I'm afraid it has had to be demoted to number two in my list, as we also found this lovely place, entirely by accident as we disembarked from  King Harry's Ferry on the Fal Estuary.

The Tea House at Tolverne is a pretty thatched cottage, where you can enjoy your tea overlooking the estuary, or on summer days, outside on the many tables in the gardens. From the number of tables I'd guess they must be pretty busy in the summer season, but when we visited it was a quiet October day so there were just a handful of customers. 

It was a bit chilly to sit outdoors, so we sat by the window and enjoyed the lovely view


The scones were fresh and warm, tea was loose leaf in a proper china tea pot, - no tea bags here - and the jam was as close to home made as I have found anywhere. It tasted like damson to me and when I asked the waitress she told me it was "Key plum" or maybe that was "Quay plum", I don't know, as she airily waived her arm in the general direction of an old plum orchard that "they are renovating and we get the plums". So, good for "them" whoever they are, and well done the jam maker, delicious.  We had to ask for more cream, and they were happy to bring us some, but that's probably because the scones were big, and we are greedy.

As we waddled off down the garden afterwards, to look at the beach and get a breath of fresh air,
I spotted this plaque commemmorating the departure of thousands of American soldiers from this beach for the D Day landings in 1944. And indeed, as you drive away, you can still see among the trees, numerous remains of places used by the American troops during the war. An interesting historical and poignant footnote to our visit.

13 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos and those scones sound wonderful. Diane

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  2. You've gone and made me want a cream tea now!

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  3. ah a woman after my own heart...forget brunch, lunch or dinner out, for me it HAS to be a cream tea!
    When we got married I even did a cream tea reception :)
    xx

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  4. A very lovely (and historical) place to visit! Now id only I knew what a scone tasted like and what a cream tea was, I would probably be even more impressed!

    ;-)

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  5. Hi diane, thanks, and the scones really were lovely

    Go on Rob, you deserve it!

    Hi Ted and Bunny, sounds like a perfect wedding reception to me!

    Hi sharon, I've put in an extra picture now of the cream tea, a scone is a bit like a cakey thing topped with jam and a special thick and rich "clotted" cream on top. Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn't thought of people who might not know what it is! Although like lots of things you have to have one to really appreciate it.

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  6. I lived in England for two years a long, long time ago. There are some things you never forget and scones with clotted cream and tea are some of them. As are the lovely country places where you can stop and have some. Thank you for this special trip back in time for me.--Inger

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  7. You're welcome Inger, glad to have led you along memory lane..

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  8. Dear Kathy, Ah, cream teas!! Just one look and the inches roll onto the hips as if by magic, but I do love them so. I do not often find myself in Devonshire these days, but I have noted your recommended tearoom in case I pass by one day. The scones do indeed look delicious.

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  9. Some of my fondest memories of the UK was having tea and scones.
    I tried making them when I returned home but it was not the same.

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  10. what a lovely post!
    my memory of a nice cream tea is from Betty's in York!
    oh and our local hall (Bodysgallen) does a wonderful cream tea!!!

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  11. Hi There. It's Kea Plums and you can read all about them at www.Tregothnan.co.uk. Yes, cream teas are the best, especially a Cornish Cream Tea. I've just had a trip to Cornwall as well and had a cream tea at Lanhydrock National Trust House in Bodmin. Yum. Ann x

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  12. Yes indeed Edith, not recommended for the calorie conscious days, happily i don't suffer from too many of those!

    Hello Peggy M, do have another go at the scones, they're not that difficult, the clotted cream my be a problem though... thanks for commenting

    Hi John, as we have to go to Harrogate every summer for an exhibition, it makes a perfect excuse for a visit to Betty's -as if I need an excuse!

    Hi Ann, thanks so much for that info, I've just been looking at the Tregothnan site and read all about the plums. If only I'd known how to spell it I could have put that info in the post!! We went to Lanhydrock a year or two ago and enjoyed it immensely too. Many thanks for your comment. Kathy

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  13. Thank you! That does look good, I can see why you love it so much! I would too!

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