The 16 best afternoon and cream teas in Cornwall

Just remember: it's jam first, then cream!

Updated on • Written By Holly Butterfield

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The 16 best afternoon and cream teas in Cornwall

Hungry for scones and sarnies? You've come to the right place! We've rounded-up all the best afternoon and cream teas in Cornwall to help you do just that. 

When one thinks of Cornwall, the images that come to mind are typically of stunning coastlines, peaceful woodlands and sandy beaches. Needless to say, Cornish gastronomy is not far behind; flaky pasties, mouth-watering fudge and of course iconic cream teas. Home of Roddas clotted cream, Cornwall offers an abundance of excellent afternoon and cream teas, with everything from refined hotels to rustic tearooms. But if you're not sure where to begin on your search, then look no further than this handy guide.


The tradition of pairing scones with jam and cream dates all the way back to the 1840s, when the Duchess of Bedford asked for a mid-afternoon snack that would get her through to dinner. Throughout the rest of the 1800s this genius idea quickly caught on, and by the early 1900s it became a quintessential feature of the west country, particularly popular with holidaymakers wanting to sample local treats. The nature of afternoon tea has evolved over time to what we now recognise as a delicious combination of sweet and savoury with petit fours and scones paired with neat finger sandwiches.

Aside from the culinary delicacies on offer, the unbeatable setting of Cornish afternoon or cream tea can’t be forgotten, with 12 areas of outstanding beauty spanning the county from the westernmost town of Penzance to the eastern boundary on the river Tamar. So, relax and take in these stunning views whatever the weather, as this is also a great rainy-day activity for those infamously drizzly Cornish days. Whether you’re a local looking for inspiration, or on a weekend away with the family, this list of Cornwall's best afternoon and cream teas is all you need. 


Best cream teas in Cornwall

For those not in the know, a cream tea is a slightly more traditional offering of scones (with cream and jam, of course) served alongside fresh brews, often found in charming little tea rooms. Simple, yet effective, read on for our favourite places to get a classic Cornish cream tea.

The Royal Duchy, Falmouth

cream tea at the royal duchy

What: Cream tea at The Royal Duchy is served on the terrace, making it the perfect destination for a sunny summer's day. Enjoy breath-taking sea views while you feast on homemade fruit or plain scones with strawberry jam and locally made Cornish cream. Alongside its traditional offering, there is the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon tea, or upgrade to a Champagne option for that little bit of extra indulgence.
Where: Cliff Road, TR11 4NX
Book now: The Royal Duchy Hotel 

The Alverton Hotel, Truro

hand spreading cream and jam on a scone

What: Whatever time of year you are visiting, the cream tea at the Alverton will not disappoint. Boasting views across the Hotel’s lush grounds, in summer you can expect an indulgent afternoon treat whilst you catch some rays on the terrace, or you can cosy up by the fire on those cold, wintry days. Home-made scones come served alongside strawberry jam and clotted cream if you’re looking for the classic cream tea options, with afternoon tea menus also on offer alongside impressive gluten free and vegan options too.
Where: Tregolls Road, TR1 1ZQ
Book now: The Alverton Hotel 

Carnewas Tea Room, St Eval

scones and a cup of tea

What: Just a short walk from the Bedruthan Steps, Carnewas Tea Rooms offers picturesque views of the Cornish coast that serve to elevate your experience even further. Starting off life as an old mining stable, nowadays this family-run tearoom is better known for its cream teas. Scones are made fresh every morning, using the same family recipe for the last 30 years! Locally sourced jam and cream are spread on the scones with freshly brewed pots of tea on hand to help to wash everything down. 
Where: Bedruthan Steps, PL27 7UW
Book now: Carnewas Tea Room

Rectory Farm Tea Rooms, Bude

cream tea at rectory farm tea rooms

This family-run tearoom set in a charming country cottage is consistently listed as one of the best tea rooms in the country. The cream tea is served on vintage china and includes freshly made scones with a choice of locally made jams such as strawberry, bumbleberry, gooseberry or rhubarb and ginger. Large and small cream teas are on offer, making Rectory Farm an ideal pit stop to refuel on your coastal walk.
Where: Morwenstow, EX23 9SR
Book now: Rectory Farm Tearooms

Miss V's Tea Room, Bodmin

a glass display of cakes and scones

What: Cutesy cakes, lace doilies and floral crockery are all part of the package at Miss V’s Tea Room. This cosy little spot is decked out in pastels and serves freshly made cakes and teas six days a week. Cream teas here are a must, with homemade scones smothered in strawberry jam and clotted cream. A hefty selection of teas are on hand too, keeping the whole affair pretty traditional. Or, get a homemade cake or two instead - we won't judge. 
Where: 14 Honey Street, PL31 2DN
Book now: Miss V's Tea Room 

The Weir, Bude

scone covered in jam and cream

What: Coffee house, bistro and wildlife centre, there's lots of interesting stuff going on at The Weir. Picturesque views and waterside dining are guaranteed, with indoor and outdoor seats both available. Classic options are on offer for those cream tea purists but if you like to go slightly outside of the box, then The Weir also has cheese scones with chutney or ginger scones with honey and cream. Don’t worry though, each option comes with its own freshly brewed pot of tea. 
Where: Whalesborough Farm, EX23 0JD
Book now: The Weir 

Linden Hey Garden Tea Room, Truro

teapots and scones

What: If you, like us, believe that vintage china crockery just makes the whole spectacle of cream tea all even better, then Linden Hey Garden Tea Room could be just what you're after. Home-baked scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream come served with a pot of Westcountry tea or a cup of Lavazza coffee which can be enjoyed at the tea room's delightful outdoor picnic area. Perfect if you prefer your scones and brews al fresco. 
Where: Penelewey, TR3 6QU
Book now: Linden Hey Garden Tea Room 

Best afternoon teas in Cornwall

If you like your afternoon treats to be a bit more substantial then check out our selection of the best Cornish afternoon teas, offering stands packed full of petit fours, finger sandwiches and not forgetting the scones.

The Headland Hotel, Newquay

scones and sandwiches on bright green patterned china

Set just above the iconic Fistral beach, this luxurious hotel is renowned for its exquisite seasonal afternoon tea. The monthly-changing menu also has a vegetarian and vegan counterpart, so this is a great option to treat a veggie loved one. Pair it with a pot of loose-leaf tea or treat yourself to a glass of fizz. You’ll also find the option of hosting a vintage afternoon tea party, keeping things classic with bone china crockery and silver cutlery to accompany your traditional afternoon tea offerings.
Where: Headland Road, TR7 1EW
Book now: The Headland Hotel

Ugly Butterfly, St Ives

afternoon tea stands of sandwiches and scones

What: Found on the idyllic Carbis Bay Estate just outside of St Ives, Adam Handling’s Ugly Butterfly offers an array of inventive menus, including a particularly eye-catching afternoon tea. Petit fours and finger sandwiches are stacked on an eccentric three tiered stand, with dainty and colourful treats that celebrate the very best of Cornish produce. All of this comes washed down with tea that’s grown on the Cornish Tregothnan Estate, for a truly traditional experience. 
Where: Carbis Bay Estate, TR26 2NP
Book now: Ugly Butterfly

Polurrian on the Lizard, Mullion

afternoon tea stands and glasses of fizz

What: If you are voyaging all the way to the west of Cornwall, you must make time for the award-winning afternoon tea at Polurrian on the Lizard. Alongside its traditional offering, you can also opt for savoury and vegan versions of the British pastime. Finally, its prime location offers unbeatable views across Mount’s Bay and the Atlantic ocean, so be sure to visit.
Where: Polurrian Road, TR12 7EN
Book now: Polurrian on the Lizard 

Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Lostwithiel

stands of cakes from Duchy of Cornwall Nursery

What: Set in the heart of the Duchy estate, prepare for stunning views of Restormel Castle and the gorgeous greenery of the surrounding plant nursery as you enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at the site’s idyllic Orangery. This tranquil space pairs modern treats with familiar classics, from scotch eggs to classic cucumber finger sandwiches. In terms of sweet items, look out for the likes of rose and raspberry macarons, and a blackberry and vanilla cream fool.
Where: Cott Road, PL22 0HW
Book now: Duchy of Cornwall Nursery

Fowey Hall, Fowey

stands of cakes, scones and sandwiches for afternoon tea

What: Located on the Cornish coast, you can get the whole family involved with afternoon tea at Fowey Hall. Here, you’ll find a selection of menus catering to adults, children and even your four-legged friends. The traditional afternoon tea menu includes indulgent sweet treats alongside bite-sized sandwiches and homemade scones all washed down with loose-leaf tea or coffee. The kids’ menu, meanwhile, features sarnies, cupcakes and vegetable crudites with options for fruit juice or a hot drink.
Where: Hanson Drive, PL23 1ET
Book now: Fowey Hall Hotel

The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth

someone picking cakes from a stand

What: Located in the award-winning The Water’s Edge restaurant, this afternoon tea is not to be missed. You're sure to find something for everyone here, with gluten free, vegetarian and vegan menus available, including an option with bottomless fizz! Served seven days a week, look out for delights such as smoked salmon and chive quiche, followed by tiramisu and vanilla panna cotta.
Where: Harbourside, TR11 2SR
Book now: The Greenbank Hotel

Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow

afternoon tea stands of cakes and scones

What: Tucked away in the Looe countryside, Talland Bay hotel offers a beautiful afternoon tea complete with delicate delights such as petit fours, scrumptious finger sandwiches and scones with lashings of clotted cream and seasonal jams. Accompany this veritable feast with a pot of tea, or opt for a Talland Bay gin and tonic to make for a decadent afternoon. This is a truly Cornish experience.
Where: Porthallow Lodge, PL13 2JB
Book now: Talland Bay Hotel

Scarlet Hotel, Newquay

afternoon tea stands of cakes and scones

What: Nestled on the cliff line with an unbeatable sea view, this eco spa hotel is adults only, making it the perfect location for a luxurious (and peaceful) afternoon tea. Retreat from the chaos and enjoy the sublime scenery while tucking into finger sandwiches, scones and impeccable patisseries. Choose to add a glass of Champagne for an extra special touch, and simply ask the team for its vegan and gluten-free menus if you prefer.
Where: Tredragon Road, TR8 4DQ
Book now: The Scarlet Hotel

Boscundle Manor, St Austell

afternoon tea at Boscundle Manor

What: This adult-only vintage themed afternoon tea is set to make your taste buds tingle. Beautifully set in a grade II-listed manor house, get ready to be served up creative petit fours and sweet and savoury treats, finished off with scones, cream and homemade jam. The inventive presentation of all these elements along with the gorgeous setting certainly makes Boscundle Manor worth a visit.
Where: Boscundle, PL25 3RL
Book now: Boscundle Manor 

On the hunt for more places to scoff scones and sandwiches? Check out our guide to the best afternoon tea in London.

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