Dartmoor Cream Tea Trail
A British food institution
The cream tea is a British institution that is loved everywhere in the UK, but perhaps no two counties love it more than Devon and Cornwall. Arguments abound as to which location is the real home of the cream tea, with minor differences in each tea service.
Warm fresh scones, homemade jam and thick clotted cream; for anyone visiting Devon a cream tea should be an essential part of the trip!
On Dartmoor we like to take our cream teas in the same way we always have, since their origin in Tavistock Abbey in the 11th century – with the jam on top!
There is surely nowhere more beautiful to enjoy a cream tea than in the very Heart of Devon – on our beautiful and imposing Dartmoor. Spectacular scenery, beautiful ancient buildings, imposing granite tors and quaint, historic villages and hamlets.
What is a Devon Cream Tea?
A cream tea is a delicious meal consisting of scones, fruit jam, clotted cream, and traditionally served with a freshly-brewed pot of tea. To add to the experience, the scone is often served warm and, when possible, freshly-baked, and the cream is always clotted.
Clotted cream is somewhere in between whipped cream and butter, pale yellow and thick like butter but rich and creamy like whipped cream. It is made by heating unpasteurized cow’s milk in a shallow pan for many hours which causes the cream to rise to the surface and “clot.” The rich grass eaten by the cows gives clotted cream its trademark yellow colour.
Jam can be any fruit, but strawberry is by far the most popular used. It’s commonly served in southwest England (where Devon and Cornwall are located) but can also be found throughout the country. It’s most often enjoyed in the afternoon but can be served anytime in between meals.
A cream tea should not be confused with the very old English custom of afternoon tea which is more of a meal. Afternoon tea typically involves more than simply scones, with little sandwiches and other bites and desserts served, and is eaten specifically after lunch and before dinner. A Devon Cream Tea is a rather more relaxed and informal affair.
The route on our Cream Tea Trail map captures some of Dartmoor’s best tearooms, cafes, farm-shops and hotels serving Devon cream teas.
Please let us know when you enjoy a Cream Tea at one of the listed places – post your photos on social media tagging @visitdartmoor and using the hashtag #creamteatrail