You cannot visit Bude or Cornwall without sampling the sheer delight of a traditional Cream Tea! Never mind about the long-standing debates over whether the cream should go on under (Devon style) or above the jam (the Cornish way) – our view is the cream should be fresh and clotted and there should be lots of it!
You should expect one or two freshly baked scones, traditionally these are plain scones but you might find some places serve them fruited or spiced or offer a gluten-free option. Alongside will be jam (traditionally strawberry), a pot of steaming hot tea, cold milk and fresh clotted cream.
Clotted cream is full dairy milk that has been heated by steam or in a water bath and then left to cool in shallow pans… it is absolutely delicious and, while we are on the subject, can we recommend to you a ‘Daddy Special’, which is a slice of fresh white bread spread thickly with clotted cream and then sprinkled liberally with crunchy brown sugar… out of this world!!
Anyway, the good news is that you will find no shortage of places where you can buy the famous Cornish Cream Tea in Bude and the surrounding area.
Our idea of a perfect afternoon involves a shortish walk to a destination where one can partake of a proper Cream Tea… The Bude Tourist Information Centre, located next to the Canal in the Crescent Car Park, is a great starting place for such a stroll.
Follow the canal towpath inland along the valley enjoying the bird life, farm animals grazing in the fields adjacent, flowers and unspoilt rural scenes along the way. At the end of the canal, approximately two miles or roughly 40-minutes walk from the TIC, is The Weir where you can enjoy a spectacular Cream Tea. Take a seat in the sunshine in the garden that overlooks their fishing lake or beside the wood burner in the café/wildlife centre which has great displays and interactive games for children based on the nature in the area. There is a large outside play area and The Weir is very dog-friendly… just don’t let them near your scones!
If you follow the canal in the other direction, from the Tourist Information Centre towards the sea along the Lower Wharf, you will experience a shorter walk but excellent Cream Tea opportunities at The Barge, moored on the canal Itself and with super sea views from it’s summer location next to the canal lock gates.
The Olive Tree, which has a pretty canal-side seating area outside is another perfect spot for a Cream Tea al fresco and is well-known locally for the size of the scones!
Café Limelight, situated at the back of Bude Castle with beautiful views over the bay, is another super choice for a cream tea and you can combine with a browse around our Heritage Centre and Art Galleries which are free entry.
For something a bit special why not take a short drive to the hamlet of Morwenstow, just 12 miles north of Bude, to visit the Rectory Farm Tearooms. This 13th century farmhouse is an award-winning tearoom with tremendous Cream Teas, an excellent range of gluten-free options and a wonderful afternoon tea which includes savoury and sweet-treats all homemade in the Farmhouse kitchen.
If you like the idea of a special treat, the Falcon Hotel, located next to the Bude Canal also offers a pre-bookable High Tea with cakes, glasses of fizz, sandwiches and, of course, scones with clotted cream!
Of course, a picnic might be more your style, especially when the weathers lovely and you are heading to the beach or Downs. Many of the bakeries in town sell scones and stock jam and cream for the exact purpose of a DIY Cream Tea! You could even pick one up for your journey back home so that you can take the Cornish Cream Tea experience with you!