Somerset Life|September 2020
Tea and walking are a perfect partnership, so SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE goes in search of the best Somerset cream teas

This year has been one of the most surreal years. The things we took for granted were denied us even access to our countryside was severely restricted.

But the human race is resilient; we have seen remarkable examples of resourcefulness. Now, gradually, by implementing new systems that demonstrate that resourcefulness, there is a glimmer of normality coming back into our lives.

Going for a walk and enjoying refreshments in a lovely outdoor setting is one of those treats that were denied us, but Somerset’s tea gardens are gradually reopening and, as they do, they richly deserve our support. The reopening of each will vary and is dependent on many factors. Please check with them before you plan your visit, but let’s get out there and enjoy what Somerset has on offer, raising a tea cup to those who provide us with the treats we no longer take for granted.


Can it get any better than three tea gardens all rolled into one walk on Exmoor?

This area of the moor is part of the National Trust’s 12,500 acre Holnicote Estate, donated by Sir Richard Acland in 1944. The estate encompasses villages, woodlands, coombes, expansive moorland and coastline.

Kitnors, in lovely Bossington village, has been serving tea to travellers for more than 50 years. One summer I had a memorable tea in their garden, sitting beneath a massive parasol which ably kept off the pouring rain; the staff drew lots to decide who should go and serve the four eccentrics who insisted on staying outside.

Just a mile along the road from here is historic Allerford, where tea and cakes are available in the lovely garden of the licensed Post Office. A further mile and a half brings you to Selworthy, home of the quintessentially English Periwinkle Tea Rooms and Gardens where the food is so good you may wish to order it twice. The cottage once served as almshouses for workers of the Holnicote Estate.


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September 2020