The Cream Tea may now be a British institution, but it began in the West Country. Historians believe they have traced the cream tea origin back to Tavistock in West Devon thanks to the monks of Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey over 1000 years ago. Despite the long history, the cream tea only ventured out of the South West after the 1800s as tourism reached Devon and Cornwall, and the tales of a scone full of strawberry jam and clotted cream spread.
They have since become a part of ‘the afternoon tea’, which has many incarnations, but a high-quality scone, rich clotted cream and sweet strawberry jam are popular additions. Cream tea has also been the centre of many debates. Scone pronunciation is always contentious, but then there is the order of the ingredients - jam then cream (Cornish) or cream then jam (Devon). Regardless of how people choose to devour their cream tea, the experience should be accessible to all.
While many venues offer cream teas, they are quaint and often not the most accessible. This is unsuitable for those with limited mobility who need home mobility aids like stair lifts. However, there are options available and we have found the most accessible places to eat cream teas in the UK.
The (disputed) home of the cream tea is a great place to find a top-notch experience. If you want to eat a Devon cream tea, there are plenty of accessible restaurants that you can visit.
An accessible place you can visit is The Watersmeet Hotel, as not only will you enjoy stunning views across Woolacombe Bay, but you can enjoy a delicious Devon cream tea at the same time. There is onsite parking available, and the hotel is wheelchair accessible.
Hartland Abbey’s tea rooms are situated in what was the heart of the house in years past, and visitors can enjoy a Devon cream tea either inside the old kitchen rooms or in the courtyard. Access by wheelchairs to the tea rooms, exhibition, museum, shop, documents and photographic exhibition are all on ground level and fully accessible.
Darts Farm stocks an array of locally grown produce, and you can enjoy fresh homemade Devon scones, local clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and a cup of brew tea during your visit. The restaurant, shop, and deli bar are all accessible to visitors with mobility issues and wheelchair users, as there are accessible parking, toilets and entrances.
Eating cream tea in Cornwall is a must-do activity, as the county is synonymous with this iconic treat, and there are lots of cafes and restaurants that you can visit. Here are some accessible places you can head to.
Pauline’s Creamery in Newquay is regarded by many as one of the best places to try cream teas in Cornwall. You can tuck into home-baked scones, Rodda’s clotted cream, local jam and a pot of tea, but there are plenty of other homemade cakes and pasties you can also enjoy. This family-run business is accessible to visitors with mobility issues, but you will need assistance if you want to eat the cream teas in the tearoom, as there are some steps you will need to scale.
The Camel Trail Tea Garden is located halfway between Wadebridge and Bodmin along the Camel Trail, and it is beautifully set within an apple orchard. Here you can enjoy oven-fresh scones, clotted cream and local jam, and a selection of hot and cold drinks. The orchard has paving laid so it is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors with mobility problems, and the building has accessible toilets and entrances as well. The Camel Trail can be accessed from the Tea Garden, and this trail can be used by walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users.
Kent is known as the garden of England and has some incredible produce all of its own. You can enjoy some delicious cream teas in the county, and we’ve listed some must-visit cafes below.
The Secret Garden offers a taste of Victorian splendour, and if the weather permits, there is a beautiful courtyard that is a wonderful place to enjoy their variety of afternoon teas. Many of these are accompanied by scones, clotted cream and tasty jam.
The Secret Garden is just outside Ashford and is wheelchair accessible, so it is perfect for a mid-afternoon stop-off or to celebrate an event.
For those who live or are visiting Herefordshire, there are some very special cream tea spots in the county.
In the town of Ledbury, there is a high-street hotel offering a top-of-the-range afternoon tea experience. Unfortunately, it is not a viable place to stay if you have limited mobility. However, it serves a sumptuous afternoon tea, and the Fuggles Brasserie is completely accessible.
At The Feathers Hotel, you can opt for either a Children’s Afternoon Tea Experience, a Classic Afternoon Tea Experience or a Sparkling Afternoon Tea Experience for special occasions. The prerequisite scone, jam and clotted cream accompany all of these.
Located where the A438, A417 and A4172 meet, the Trumpet Corner Tea Room serves freshly made tea and coffee and local cakes, but their cream teas are a main attraction for diners.
The tea room isn’t the only attraction, as there are art galleries where you can browse artworks from local artists and visit a collection of workshops. The venue is wheelchair-friendly, with accessible parking, entrances and toilets available.
Buckinghamshire is full of country parks and iconic houses, but it is also known for the cream teas you can get there. Here are some of the best places where you can eat cream tea in the county, which are also accessible to visitors with mobility issues.
For a taste of the English countryside, Missenden Abbey is a destination that is a great all-rounder. The 12th Century listed building offers an amazing façade, and the ground floor is accessible to boot. The village of Great Missenden provides a quintessentially British experience, as it was the home of Roald Dahl for 36 years. This translates into their well-thought-out afternoon tea menu that is as locally sourced (and even homegrown in places) as possible.
The afternoon tea offers tea infusions like fennel and, rosemary & honey alongside popular blends, and there is a choice of scones available.
You can enjoy a cream tea in the Dining Room at Bletchley Park, once used by the World War Two Codebreakers. Their classic afternoon tea served on vintage china, includes finely cut sandwiches and freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserves, followed by a delightful selection of delicate, homemade, sweet delights. Bletchley Park is fully accessible as there is accessible parking available, wheelchairs are available to hire, step-free access, and lifts can take you to all floors of the house.
Wales has as much focus on quality produce as the West Country, and they are kindred spirits in their journey towards the perfect cream tea. There are many unmissable spots to try the Welsh version of the cream tea and indulge in the famed hospitality.
The Falcondale is a country house in mid-Wales, just outside Lampeter, with a fully accessible restaurant. It offers a great opportunity for a tasty cream tea for those in the area, and whilst there is no need to call and book cream teas, it is a good idea to contact them before your visit to inform them of any troubles with your mobility.
The Celtic Manor Resort is famous for offering delicious and decadent cream teas, and their traditional Afternoon Tea includes speciality teas, freshly baked scones, home-made cakes and savoury treats. The Celtic Manor Resort’s restaurants are accessible as there are designated parking spaces for Blue Badge holders, accessible entrances, and wheelchair-friendly toilets.
Though we are getting further from the cream tea’s home county, there is no cut in quality up north.
For an unusual cream tea experience, head to Low Sizergh Barn for a taste of the county and everything it accessibly has to offer. Though hosted in an older utility building, the management has made serious headway toward making it accessible.
The afternoon teas include fruit scones with jam and cream, all of which are locally sourced or baked on-site. Being on a working farm, you know there are only a few miles between the source and your plate.
Cream teas are an incredibly popular treat across the UK, and this guide looks at some of the most accessible cafes, restaurants, and hotels where you can enjoy them.
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This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.