Traditional afternoon tea at Orestone Manor

Late-summer and autumn are glorious times to visit South Devon. As the holiday crowds return home for another year and the last of fine weather leaves its golden residual glow over the region, now is a wonderful opportunity to explore the stunning beaches and coastal towns of Devon at your leisure. 

While we enjoy the last trace of late-summer sunshine here in South Devon, why not treat yourself to one of life’s simple pleasures. A traditional afternoon tea at Orestone Manor is a quintessentially English affair; a showcase of local Devon ingredients, all enjoyed against the backdrop of our boutique country house hotel. Whether it’s in the comfort of our award-winning restaurant, or sitting on the outdoor terrace savouring the late-summer sun, an afternoon tea is a truly charming culinary experience. 

The history of afternoon tea

The tradition of afternoon tea is steeped in history, dating back to the early 19th century when Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, introduced the practice of having a light meal between lunch and dinner. At a time when society often adhered to strict meal schedules, the hours between noon and the late evening could feel impossibly long. Anna, looking for a remedy for her afternoon appetite, began to enjoy tea and a light snack in her private chambers.

The afternoon respite soon became a habit, and Anna began to invite friends to join her. The gathering of friends over tea and small, delectable treats quickly gained popularity among the British aristocracy, and it wasn't long before the custom spread across the country, marking the birth of what we now know as afternoon tea.

traditional devon scones
traditional english tea

The unmistakable taste of Devon

Orestone Manor serves afternoon tea between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m, from Wednesday to Saturday. Open to both hotel guests and locals, our selection of homemade delights–both savoury and sweet—are a love letter to age-old dining traditions and the fresh local ingredients found in South Devon.  

If you’re looking for a light dining experience, a freshly brewed pot of tea or coffee might be a good place to start, accompanied by a delicious homemade cake. For something a little more substantial, our Devon Cream Tea is a must-try. Two homemade scones, finished generously with strawberry preserve, local Devon clotted cream, and fresh fruit; the perfect companion for your tea or coffee.

If you're in the mood for the complete afternoon tea experience, the Orestone Full Afternoon Tea is the ultimate in culinary indulgence; a wonderful way to spend a late-summer’s afternoon—complete with a medley of finger sandwiches, homemade scones, strawberry preserve, Devon clotted cream, homemade cakes, fresh fruit, and your choice of tea or coffee. 

For an added touch of luxury, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion, why not try The Orestone Sparkle, which includes all the show-stopping elements found in our Full Afternoon Tea, along with a glass of chilled Prosecco. A truly memorable late-summer treat. 

scones devon clotted cream and jam

Treat a friend or loved one?

Looking to spread the joy of a delightful afternoon tea experience with a friend or loved one? Our gift vouchers are the perfect way to do just that. Whether it's a special occasion or a simple gesture to show your appreciation to a family member, consider gifting them the true taste of Devon with our carefully curated selection of afternoon tea vouchers.

From Devon Cream Tea for Two to the full Prosecco Afternoon tea experience, you’ll find that perfect gift for that special person in your life. 

Why not stay a little longer?

There’s no reason to limit your experience at Orestone Manor to just an afternoon of tea and delicious homemade cakes. With autumn on the way, why turn your memorable afternoon tea experience into a longer stay at our beautiful boutique country house hotel.

Wake up to the serene beauty of South Devon; enjoy the comfort of our well-appointed rooms, each with its unique character and charm–and, of course, your stay can always include another indulgent afternoon tea or any of our other culinary delights from our award-winning restaurant, recently shortlisted for the Food Drink Devon awards. So, why not start planning your South Devon getaway today?

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Posted on September 11th 2023

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