1. Appearance – 6/10 although all the crockery was matching – it was not very inventive, just plain white. The tea came with a cookie on the side which some might find a pleasant extra .. but for me it instilled fear into my heart. If they are providing a free cookie with the tea then does this mean that they a) think the cream tea won’t fill me up (god forbid!) or b) that it won’t be tasty enough so I will need a backup biscuit to soften the blow!? My gut instinct was correct; they had served me an inferior cream tea and thought a biscuit offering would subdue me (it didn’t).
2. Quantity – 5/10 – distinct lack of clotted cream and jam. Just look at that picture, the cream and jam should be brimming over the sides of the ramekin but they are barely touching the sides. I had to really scrimp, and for me, cream tea is all about decadence and not rationing. It was obviously made up by some skinny little thing who thought any more cream would be just greedy (note to self - must hunt out cream tea establishments where all staff are slightly overweight).
3. Taste – 6/10 – The cream and jam, whilst small portions, tasted nice. The scones were a bit dense and doughy – not the best.
4. Price – 7/10 - The price was reasonable, about £5.50 which seems to be the going rate in Devon but for the quality it could be a better price.
5. Ambience – 7/10 – when we first walked into the place it smelt of bleach and cleaning products. When eating a cream tea my ideal smell would be another batch of scones on their way out the oven, not Dettol. So we sat outside as it was a sunny day and we had a good view of the cathedral. However if it had been rainy I would have had to go inside and have my nose hair singed by bleach on every breath.
6. 5/10 – I was suffering from a hangover on the day so wasn’t feeling my best.. a cream tea should put a spring in my step but instead this one just made me feel bloated.
Overall Score – 36/60
1. 9/10 – Cute spotty crockery - they went for the light hearted cream tea approach. I do enjoy traditional crockery but this was cute and suited the quirky nature of the place.
2. 10/10 – The scones were beautifully beige boulders. The ramekins were fit to burst with the amount of cream and jam. My first reaction was “I may struggle to eat this”. (Now, that isn’t something I would say lightly). My partner in crime that day did infact struggle to eat his and left half a scone. I was, of course, disgusted with his behaviour but let him off because men are often weak in the face of a cream tea. He got the scone sweats pretty early on. I soldiered on. It was lovely.
3. 9/10 – Scones were just sweet enough, good fruit to scone ratio, cream was thick, jam was fruity but not too tart. I’m not sure why I haven’t given 10/10, I think it’s because I didn’t collapse on the table and moan in pleasure (which I have done for other cream teas).
4. 10/10 – I believe it was £5.50 and for what you got this is incredible value. When a cream tea is this nice they could have easily charged up to £8 for it. On a side note I noticed they had some beautiful looking cakes on display for as little as 75p. Great value place.
5. 8/10 – The area the tearoom is situated in is beautiful and picturesque, there are plenty of places to stroll around afterwards to try and burn off the calories. The tearooms were decorated well outside but inside could have benefited from comfier seats and an upgrade on the sofa and wall decorations. The owner was lovely and even suggested to me a great book by Molly Wizenberg (who writes a food blog Orangette http://orangette.blogspot.com/). I am reading this book at the moment and it is great for those with a sweet tooth.
6. 10/10 – This cream tea made me feel great. Its setting meant I got some fresh air and a brisk walk after. The quantity meant I didn’t want for more. The owner obviously loved food and appreciated the fact I was a foodie also. I will be back.
Overall Score 56/60 – Current Leader!