There are plenty of beautiful places in the Duchy to indulge in finger sandwiches, scones and patisserie treats, so let us help whittle down the options by sharing a few of our favourite spots for afternoon tea in Cornwall
The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth
With wraparound glass windows revealing panoramic views of the harbour below, the Water’s Edge restaurant at The Greenbank is an idyllic setting at which to enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea in Cornwall. It’s a popular pastime at the historic Falmouth hotel, served every day of the week and attracting both hotel guests and day visitors.
Given the hotel’s one-of-a-kind location, there’s a nautical leaning to afternoon tea here. Plump for the Afternoon Sea experience to feast on locally caught lobster, juicy prawns and colourful zingy salads, before delighting in sweet fancies and warm-from-the-oven scones with all the trimmings. Traditionalists needn’t fret as there’s also a classic offering available.
Whichever you go for, toast the occasion with a glass of chilled Champagne and then tuck in while watching boats glide through the water just beyond the window.
Afternoon tea from £22 per person. Book here.
Ugly Butterfly Restaurant and Bar, Carbis Bay
A new addition to Adam Handling‘s Cornish restaurant and bar, afternoon tea at Ugly Butterfly is a not-so-traditional experience. The Great British Menu Champion of Champions is serious about cutting food waste, so many of the delicious morsels on his afternoon tea offering are crafted from ingredients that are usually discarded. For example, crab doughnuts are filled with a lemon-peel puree, and black pudding sausage rolls served with waste courgette piccalilli.
The afternoon tea menu is split into four parts (savouries, sandwiches, sweets and scones) and takes guests on a culinary tour of Cornwall’s coast and countryside. The smoked salmon paired with cream cheese and rye bread is sourced from St Ives Smokehouse a few miles from the restaurant, while the tea leaves are grown on the Tregothnan Estate in Tresillian.
Upgrade the experience by adding a glass of Champagne, or go the whole hog and book free-flowing bubbles for 90 minutes.
Afternoon from £45 per person. Book here.
Penventon Park Hotel, Redruth
Afternoon tea at this family-owned hotel is a rather decadent affair. Every last bite is made from scratch in the Penventon kitchen, with patisserie chef Karen crafting the inventive cakes and founding-owner Mrs P making the seasonal selection of jams.
The line-up of savouries and bakes changes all the time, so no two visits are ever quite the same. Expect the likes of smoked salmon and cream cheese, hand-carved gammon and mustard, and free-range egg, cress and mayo sandwiches followed by banoffee tea cakes, blackcurrant and pistachio frangipane, mini pavlovas and key lime pies. The finale is fluffy cloud-like scones smothered in Mrs P’s homemade jam and crowned with a golden-crusted scoop of Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream.
There’s a children’s afternoon tea for little ones who want to take part in the tradition, and a G&Tea option for grown-ups featuring gin-infused cakes and A Royal Tea cocktail.
Classic afternoon tea from £22 per person. Book here.
Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Lostwithiel
Duchy of Cornwall Nursery‘s beautiful Orangery is a charming setting for afternoon tea. A glass roof-lantern bathes the space in natural light while french doors treat guests to views of the greenery that surrounds the restaurant.
The Orangery’s afternoon tea is inspired by this beautiful backdrop, with each course of the three-tiered line-up infused with flavours from the nursery, such as the ‘Old Cornish’ Duchy scotch egg and Duchy rose macaron with raspberry ganache. There are gluten-free and vegetarian menus available, as well as the opportunity to add a glass of chilled Prosecco (minimum three people) or Camel Valley Brut (minimum four people).
Tip: Duchy of Cornwall Nursery sells afternoon tea gift cards on its website – the perfect gift for that friend who ‘doesn’t need anything’.
Afternoon tea from £30 per person. Book here.
Hotel Meudon, near Falmouth
This hidden-gem hotel tucked away in nine acres of subtropical gardens on the south Cornwall coast is a favourite with staycationers who want to dip their toes in Falmouth’s culinary hubbub but also crave the quiet of an out-of-town destination.
Escape the crowds for a sumptuous afternoon tea experience in Hotel Meudon‘s beautiful glass-fronted restaurant. Head chef David Waters and team craft an elegant line-up of sweet and savoury treats, which extend further than the standard sandwich and scone selection. Start with bite-size lettuce cups stuffed with chicken salad, and a slice of clotted cream, spinach and broad bean quiche, before moving on to chocolate orange tart and raspberry opera cake.
Afternoon tea from £25 per person. Book here.
Like 5 of the best afternoon teas in Cornwall? Check out our fave coffee shops in the county.
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