Adventures in Small Scale Farming in an English Cottage Garden with Seasonal Tips and Recipes
Friday, 22 October 2010
Best Cream Tea Ever
I'm a bit of a Cream Tea Connoisseur. When my children were small and we ran a pub we used our precious Sunday afternoons off trying out the local teas in South Devon, and we all became quite expert, even marking the establishments out of ten. And then we got even more obsessive about it, and marked the scones, the jam and the cream separately, and eventually even the loos!
In recent times the best cream tea I knew of was to be had at the Corn Dolly in South Molton in Devon. We went there last week during our week away in Cornwall, and very good it was. But I'm afraid it has had to be demoted to number two in my list, as we also found this lovely place, entirely by accident as we disembarked from King Harry's Ferry on the Fal Estuary.
The Tea House at Tolverne is a pretty thatched cottage, where you can enjoy your tea overlooking the estuary, or on summer days, outside on the many tables in the gardens. From the number of tables I'd guess they must be pretty busy in the summer season, but when we visited it was a quiet October day so there were just a handful of customers.
It was a bit chilly to sit outdoors, so we sat by the window and enjoyed the lovely view
The scones were fresh and warm, tea was loose leaf in a proper china tea pot, - no tea bags here - and the jam was as close to home made as I have found anywhere. It tasted like damson to me and when I asked the waitress she told me it was "Key plum" or maybe that was "Quay plum", I don't know, as she airily waived her arm in the general direction of an old plum orchard that "they are renovating and we get the plums". So, good for "them" whoever they are, and well done the jam maker, delicious. We had to ask for more cream, and they were happy to bring us some, but that's probably because the scones were big, and we are greedy.
As we waddled off down the garden afterwards, to look at the beach and get a breath of fresh air,
I spotted this plaque commemmorating the departure of thousands of American soldiers from this beach for the D Day landings in 1944. And indeed, as you drive away, you can still see among the trees, numerous remains of places used by the American troops during the war. An interesting historical and poignant footnote to our visit.