Cream Tea

What could be more quintessentially British than the delightful Cream Tea? Be it a Devon Cream Tea or a Cornish Cream Tea. 


The dainty porcelain teacups, a pot of freshly brewed English Breakfast tea, fluffy scones so delicate that they crumble slightly as you take a delicious bite, and finished with a lavish dollop of clotted cream accompanied by some homemade strawberry jam. This, of course, is the magic of an English Cream Tea. A tradition observed for centuries that still makes its way into British culture today!


Cream Tea can be traced all the way back to the 11th century when tea was introduced to England by Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese queen of Charles II. However, the concept of Cream Tea as we know it today took root in the 19th century, during the Victorian era. It was a time when the idea of enjoying afternoon tea became an art form, and the practice of indulging in scones, clotted cream, and jam became the pinnacle of English sophistication. With its origins primarily in the southwestern counties of Cornwall and Devon, the Cream Tea tradition gradually spread across the United Kingdom, where it is still widely enjoyed today.

Devon cream tea

Now, you might wonder what sets apart a Cornish Cream Tea from its Devonshire counterpart. Simply, in Cornwall, tradition dictates that the jam is generously spread atop a scone, followed by a lavish dollop of clotted cream. On the other side of the debate, in Devon, the cream is what takes the lead. The clotted cream is generously slathered across the cone and the jam takes its rightful place on top. The origins of this delightful disagreement are shrouded in mystery, however, both versions are equally delicious. However, as a Devonshire hotel, we are biased that Devon cream teas are superior… Not that we’d turn down a Cornish one. 

The best cream tea in Devon at Burgh Island

For the best Cream Tea in Devon, you simply must visit Burgh Island. While the traditional tea of Devon is a cream tea, we at Burgh Island like to make a grand affair of our afternoon tea and snacks, and we recommend you do the same. Afterall, what occasion isn’t made better by traditional Afternoon Tea of delicious finger foods. 


Our Palm Court Lounge is wonderfully decorated in Art Deco theme throughout and provides a truly spectacular setting to enjoy a Devon Cream Tea. The scenic panoramas of the island provide a fantastic backdrop for your experience, sipping on tea and indulging in some fantastic treats. 


The menu often changes but you can always find a vast selection of delicious, freshly brewed teas on our menu, including Darjeeling, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Camomile, Green Tea and more. As well as a choice of coffee and hot chocolates. 


To eat, you’ll find an abundance of sweet and savoury treats, including plain scones, and fruit scones (with cream and jam of course!). As well as some tasty finger sandwiches, such as the classic flavours of Salmon and Dill, Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Honey Roast Ham and Egg Mayonnaise. 


You’ll be surrounded by the crashing waves and the historic elegance of our Art Deco theme, making for a truly spectacular Cream Tea in South Devon. With years of history within our walls, the previous party island of Burgh now serves as a truly elegant retreat with splendid Cream Teas, lavish parties and relaxing stays guaranteed. 


Join us on Burgh Island for a Devonshire cream tea, or a grand afternoon tea affair you will never forget.