The Best Afternoon Teas in Cornwall

The Best Afternoon Teas in Cornwall

Treat yourself to a quintessential English classic made all the more divine by a spectacular Cornish backdrop. From historic riverside castles to spellbinding clifftop venues to Michelin acclaimed restaurants, a range of beautiful settings await to host the finest afternoon teas in Cornwall. Reserve a place at your favourite and look forward to the delicious delights of this afternoon avocation. Complete with sweet and savoury treats alongside hot cups and cool flutes, there is no dreamier way to while away the hours. 

Housel Bay Hotel, Lizard

A view of Housel Bay from adjacent clifftops overlooking the Lizard's rugged coastline

The home of the Michelin recommended Fallowfields restaurant, Housel Bay Hotel enjoys one of the most jaw-dropping locations on the Lizard Peninsula. Residing on a cliffside throne overlooking one of the county’s most idyllic hidden beaches, its unrivalled setting next to the Lizard village promises to vie for attention and set a magnificent backdrop for a heavenly afternoon tea in Cornwall. Voted as one of the best waterside restaurants in Cornwall 2024 by the Michelin Guide, it is particularly special in summer when moreish medleys can be enjoyed on the sunny seaview terrace. Peruse Housel’s menus of Cornish cream teas, afternoon teas and prosecco afternoon teas and savour the finest flavours next to the otherworldly vistas of the country’s most southerly point.

Ugly Butterfly, St Ives

Taking pride of place overlooking one of the world’s most enchanting stretches of coastline, the exotic paradise of Carbis Bay, Ugly Butterfly is a real gem. The creation of Michelin star chef Adam Handling, it is only a mile from St Ives and offers a portal into another realm where white sands blend with turquoise waters. Take a seat next to the sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows and bask in the surroundings as you anticipate the arrival of your afternoon tea. Expertly curated from seasonal Cornish produce, each afternoon tea experience encourages a celebration of the county and features a range of perfectly presented treats. Enjoy bites of savoury temptations such as hog’s pudding sausage roll and crab doughnut, sandwiches filled with St Ives smokehouse salmon and St Ewe eggs, and Cornish scones thick with Trewithen cream and strawberry jam.

Meudon, Falmouth

Secure a reservation at the Michelin recommended Meudon restaurant in Mawnan Smith near the Helford and relish one of the best afternoon teas in Cornwall. Explore the surrounding countryside and coast before making your way over and taking a seat overlooking Meudon’s subtropical valley gardens. Capturing heritage, provenance and seasonality in every bite, the restaurant’s afternoon teas comprise of local ingredients wherever possible and evolve throughout the year to include themed treats – from Cornish gins infused with spring botanicals to festive teas and cakes. Embodying traditional charm and modern sophistication, options include the Full Meudon Afternoon Tea and the Afternoon Tea with Fizz. With advance notice, menus can also be adapted to suit dietary requirements for ultimate enjoyment.

The Idle Rocks, St Mawes

The Idle Rocks restaurant in St Mawes enjoys a wonderful position overlooking the glittering waters of the Percuil River and open ocean beyond. Set at the tip of the Roseland Peninsula, its close proximity to unforgettable attractions and sublime beaches makes it a dream destination throughout the year. Follow the coastal walk from St Just in Roseland to St Mawes to work up an appetite or simply park in one of the village’s car parks and secure a spot at the Michelin recommended Idle Rocks to skip to the main course. On the menu, a traditional cream tea with added sparkle is served up for indulgence, composed of freshly baked scones with homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. Complementing the flavourscapes is a glass of Classic Cuvée from local vineyard, Knightor.

Driftwood, Portscatho

Another gorgeous destination on the Roseland Peninsula, Driftwood in Portscatho tempts with one of the top afternoon teas in Cornwall. Affording uninterrupted views over the English Channel, it also boasts one of the county’s coveted Michelin recommended restaurants. Step into the light-filled New England-style restaurant warmed by an open fire in winter or head outside to the gardens for alfresco tea by the sea in summer. Freshly made each day by the restaurant’s dedicated pastry chef, Driftwood’s afternoon teas harmonise local ingredients with expert culinary talent to create fabulous repasts. Think: dainty finger sandwiches layered with seasonal fillings, fluffy fruit and plain scones and handcrafted cakes, all served with tea or Champagne.

Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Lostwithiel

With a history dating back to the early fourteenth century, the Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate renowned for its Royal heritage. Today, the Duchy’s Nursery gardens near Restormel are home to some of the most varied species of flora in the county and beyond and can be visited throughout the year. Follow the network of paths between petalled blooms and breathe in the aromatic perfume of fresh flowers before making way to The Orangery to reward yourself with a dreamy afternoon tea. Presented on classic three-tiered stands in a picturesque setting, each masterfully prepared offering is adorned with flavourful fancies with ingredients sourced from the Nursery and nearby farms. To lend even more ceremony, you can also add a wine tasting experience with a bottle of Cornish Camel Valley Brut.

The Alverton, Truro

Located in the centre of the county’s cathedral city of Truro, The Alverton beckons for slow moments and treasured memories overlooking manicured gardens. Only a short distance from a wealth of activities and attractions, such as shops and galleries, gardens and woodland idylls, visits can easily be combined with hours of leisurely exploration. Soak up the laidback atmosphere of the county’s only city and adventure at your own pace, before arriving for your afternoon tea in Cornwall to satiate your palate. In summer, you are invited to take high tea on the suntrap terrace and experience seasonal, fruit-filled flavours. Meanwhile in winter, you are treated to festive-inspired delicacies served by roaring fires for utmost comfort and ambience.

Talland Bay Hotel, Looe

Offering a luxury experience on the peaceful south Cornish coast, the dog-friendly Talland Bay Hotel in Porthallow awaits with sea-view afternoon teas. Set within two acres of grounds, it has a two AA Rosette award-winning restaurant and is but a stone’s throw from the winding South West Coast Path. Thrill the taste buds with one of the top afternoon teas in Cornwall, admiring views over rolling oceans in the distance. Encouraging quality time with loved ones throughout the year, the menus propose both traditional and ‘tipsy’ options, with lovingly crafted collections of fresh homemade sandwiches, scones, cakes and amuse-bouches. For a sense of occasion, afternoon teas can be paired with tea, coffee, ice-filled G&Ts, or a glass of something bubbly.

Scarlet Hotel, Newquay

If you are looking for a unique experience in Cornwall, head over to the Scarlet in Newquay for a rejuvenating spa followed by one of the best afternoon teas in Cornwall. Home to an eco spa overlooking the golden sands of Mawgan Porth, it features a tranquil sauna, steam room, indoor swimming pool and natural outdoor pool. Treat yourself to a soothing treatment before relaxing with an afternoon tea with sweet patisserie treats and savoury bites in the adults-only restaurant and bar. If you are visiting with your dog, you can also enjoy the local beaches, including the miles-long stretch of nearby Watergate Bay, before taking a seat on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace or retreat lounge.

Pentillie Castle, Saltash

The Grade II* listed Pentillie Castle is an award-winning country house situated close to the Cornwall and Devon border in Saltash. Framed by landscapes woven with tangled woodland and etched with the flowing waterways of the River Tamar, it enjoys a magical setting in the heart of the Tamar Valley. Add to your day with a gentle bike ride or walk along the nearby Tamar Trails, or meander through the estate’s fifty-five acres of historic woodland gardens before settling in for a delightful dining experience. Serving a seasonal selection of sweets and savouries on select days throughout the year, the restaurant’s team propose monthly dates for afternoon teas in Cornwall. Book a place in advance and look forward to afternoons of pure indulgence.

Seeking a heavenly afternoon tea experience? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall.


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