Britain’s best tearooms and country cafés

From a lonely lighthouse to a moored barge, here are some of the best places in the UK to order a cuppa

Three Roofs Cafe, Cafe Castleton, Peak District Derbyshire

Guide to Britain’s best tearooms and cafés, including a lonely Lincolnshire lighthouse and and a railway line waiting room.

1

The Barge Tearooms, Maldon, Essex

The Barge Tearooms, Maldon, Essex

Celebrate British maritime history with tea on a traditional Thames barge on the Blackwater estuary in Essex. The Barge Tearooms is moored at Cooks Yard on Maldon’s Hythe Quay and serves a scrumptious selection of meals and cakes. top-sail.co.uk/barge-tea-rooms  

Advertisement
2

Miller’s House Tearoom, Lincolnshire

Miller’s House TeaRoom, Lincolnshire

Built in 1830, Heckington Windmill is the last operational eight-sail windmill in the world. Repaired in 1891 using sails and bricks from a windmill in Boston, today it mills flour for its own tearoom using grain from local farmers. Take tea in the garden room or Edwardian parlour. heckingtonwindmill.org.uk 

Gower lighthouse

3

Mrs Jackson’s Victorian Tearooms, Porlock, Exmoor

Mrs Jackson’s Victorian Tearooms, Porlock, Exmoor

Step back in time at Mrs Jackson’s Victorian Tearooms in the coastal village of Porlock. You can sit by the log burner and soak up the quaint atmosphere as you enjoy homemade crumpets, scones, cakes and hearty meals in Victorian-styled rooms.

4

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse café, Fort William 

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Cafe, Fort William

Built in 1849 using granite from the Isle of Mull, Ardnamurchan lighthouse sits west of Fort William. Housed in the original stable block, the atmospheric café offers a good selection of cakes. ardnamurchanlighthouse.com

5

Three Roofs Café, Castleton

Three Roofs Cafe, Cafe Castleton, Peak District Derbyshire

After a long hike, nothing tastes better than a slab of homemade cake and a warming pot of tea. Set in the attractive village of Castleton in the heart of the Hope Valley, the rustic-looking Three Roofs café serves hearty meals and a tempting selection of teas and cakes. threeroofscafe.com 

6

The Jam Pot café, Gwithian

The Jam Pot cafe, Cornwall

This former coastguard lookout on the Cornish coast has spectacular views of St Ives Bay and Godrevy. Now a dinky tearoom and shop serving Cornish cream teas (jam first) and local food and drink, this is a popular spot with locals and visitors. facebook.com/thejampotcafe

7

Warmley Waiting Room, Bristol

Warmley Waiting Room

Just off the Bristol to Bath Railway path, old Warmley train station is now a tiny tearoom, serving meals, cakes and ice creams. The Waiting Room is the perfect pitstop on this 15-mile path, part of the National Cycle Network. facebook.com/WarmleyWaitingRoom

8

Docton Mill, Devon

Docton Mill, Devon

Wander through the grounds of an old mill, discovering flowering trees, herbaceous borders and a tearoom that warms the soul. doctonmill.co.uk

Recipe ideas for a homemade afternoon tea

Crumpets

9

Ramblers’ Retreat, Alton, Staffordshire

Ramblers' Retreat, Alton, Staffordshire

At Dimmingsdale (Dimmings Dale) near Alton, set between woodland-fringed ponds and nearby Lord’s Bridge across the Churnet, stands the Ramblers’ Retreat tearoom, a long-established favourite with walkers and cyclists. It’s an architectural flight-of-fancy that was formerly a towered lodge house on the vast Alton Abbey Estate owned by the Earls of Shrewsbury. ramblersretreat.co.uk

10

The Orchard Tea Garden, Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

The Orchard Tea Garden, Cambridgeshire

Sit back and relax in the dappled sunlight of an aged orchard, in the comforting company of delicious cakes, wholesome scones and intriguing tales of old. theorchardteagarden.co.uk

11

The Pier, Stronachlachar, Loch Katrine, Stirlingshire

The Pier Cafe, Loch Katrine, Stronachlachar, Scotland

Sheltered among deep-green forest and the peaks of the Highlands is The Pier Café – the perfect waterside retreat for coffee and cake after a ramble through the hills. facebook.com/thepiercafestronachlachar

12

Tŷ Hyll, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy

Ty Hyll (The Ugly House), Snowdonia
Advertisement

Tŷ Hyll, or ‘the Ugly House’, is named for its colossal, crudely cut yet lovely stones. It’s a place of uncertain origin – a brigand’s hide-out, duke’s folly, or maybe a tŷ unnos (a home built in a day to secure ownership of land). What is certain is that it’s now a cosy tearoom selling fresh-baked delights and very, very good tea. visitllandudno.org.uk/ty-hyll-the-ugly-house