6 of Devon’s grandest afternoon tea venues

Indulge your inner posh with dainty sandwiches and teeny tiny pastries at our pick of some of Devon’s grandest afternoon tea venues

1. The Bedford Hotel

This place has the ultimate claim to afternoon tea fame, as the Bedford Hotel in Tavistock originally formed part of Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey. It was built in the 10th century but was badly damaged by Vikings in 997AD. Restoration of the abbey was done by local workers and monks, who were rewarded with bread, clotted cream and strawberry preserves – and so the Devon cream tea was born! Enjoy a taste of its history with a classic Devon cream tea (£6) or a sparkling afternoon tea (£19); bedford-hotel.co.uk

2. Boringdon Hall

This a place that’s serious about afternoon tea, so much so that they’ve even got a loyalty club where, if you visit nine times, you get a limited edition Boringdon Hall teacup and saucer. Boringdon Hall, near Plymouth, is also famed for its themed teas, such as the recent Winnie the Pooh tea, complete with Tigger macaroons. For traditionalists, the standard afternoon tea comes with crab blinis as well as cucumber sandwiches, and there are gluten-free and vegan options available too. Priced £27; boringdonhall.co.uk

3. Paschoe House

Going for afternoon tea is a proper treat, the type of thing we do on a special occasion, like going on a hen do. Paschoe House, just outside Exeter, are on to this and have come up with the ingenious idea of tea-infused cocktails, served from a teapot. Clever, huh? Or, if you’re not feeling too wild, stick to the traditional offering with unlimited tea and coffee. Expect exquisite pastries and those all-important scones with jam and clotted cream. Priced £29.50, or £44.50 for the cocktail version; paschoehouse.co.uk

4. Moorland Garden Hotel

Nestled on the edge of Dartmoor, between Tavistock and Plymouth, Moorland Garden Hotel offer your quintessentially British afternoon tea. As you indulge with a selection of savoury and sweet treats, you can sip on a cup of glorious loose-leaf tea, blended especially by Devon brand Teas Me. Choose from the unique Moorland Garden Hotel blend, Earl Grey or Dartmoor Caravan. Priced £24.95 with a glass of Champagne; Moorlandgardenhotel.co.uk

5. Thomas Carr Seafood and Grill

Okay, so technically this isn’t your standard afternoon tea, but boy, does it deserve a mention. Thomas Carr Seafood and Grill in Ilfracombe are knocking out the tastiest savoury afternoon teas. Gone are the sweet scones and fiddly pastries and in their place comes homemade mini cheese and herb scones with smoked mackerel pâté, red pepper jam and pickled lemon. But be
warned – they don’t serve this every day, it’s on the specials board, so ring ahead to avoid disappointment. Priced £8 with drinks charged separately; thomascarrdining.co.uk

6. Lifton Hall

This popular hotel in Lifton, on the Devon/Cornwall border, is known for its afternoon tea, serving up freshly-made warm, fluffy scones and sticky sweet jam. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available. Enjoy your tea in the luxurious surroundings of this 17th-century building, which retains much of its original period character. Priced £24.95, but currently running a special offer of £25 for two; liftonhall.co.uk