Top 6 English cream teas in the Cotswolds

Food and Drink

Posted by Clare Willcocks on 20th April 2022

Cream teas in the Cotswolds

It wasn’t until 1662 that Britain began its love affair with the classic cream tea. Tired of waiting between lunch and dinner, cream teas became an afternoon staple with the first tearoom being opened in 1706 and it has since become a fashionable social event.

The South West is famous for its crumbly fruit scones, served with lashings of strawberry jam and smothered in copious amounts of clotted cream. This quintessential afternoon delight fits in perfectly with the leisurely pace of the Cotswolds, with a tearoom on nearly every corner. Nowadays, afternoon teas, with their dainty sandwiches and bite-sized cakes are also popular, so there are plenty of options for satisfying that mid-afternoon hunger!

If the thought of freshly baked scones has got your mouth watering, take a look below at where you can find the best cream teas and afternoon teas in the Cotswolds – and if you need somewhere to stay, click the button below to browse our cosy cottages in the Cotswolds.

Cottages in the Cotswolds

Afternoon tea in Stow on the Wold

Lucy’s Tearoom, Stow-on-the-Wold

With its honey-hued stone walls and quaint bowed window, Lucy's Tearoom is an attractive little cafe with a warm welcome. Inside, its feature beams, wooden furniture, stone floor and inglenook fireplace make you feel right at home as you tuck into some of the most delectable sweet and savoury treats imaginable. There's also a gorgeous leafy garden where you can while away the afternoon watching life go by in popular Stow-on-the-Wold

Sup on perfectly brewed loose-leaf tea, slice into a still-warm scone, slather with a generous portion of clotted cream and delicious homemade jam, and then sit back in a heavenly haze of home-baked goodness.

If you're after something a little more filling, their full afternoon tea is simply divine, served up on a tiered cake stand with your choice of sandwich, cake, and plain or fruit scone. A range of other meals are also available, including breakfast and light bites.

  • Dine in the sunny courtyard or cosy up by the inglenook fireplace inside
  • All members of the family are welcome, including dogs
  • For special occasions, celebrate with a ‘Stow Special’ afternoon tea
  • Stay nearby: Crumble Cottage, sleeps 3 + 2 dogs

Stow-on-the-Wold cottages

Bakery in Bourton on the Water

Bakery on the Water, Bourton-on-the-Water

Bursting with character, find this little gem of a bakery at the start of your holiday and we defy you not to pop back every day to try all their freshly baked delights. Bakery on the Water is a family-run, artisan bakery and cafe, with space to eat inside, or outside in the beautiful riverside garden. 

Head over in the morning to feast on warm croissants and pastries, washed down with freshly brewed coffee, or breakfast delights such as eggs on freshly toasted bread. At lunchtime, attentions turn to sandwiches, quiches and pasties, or picnic lunches to enjoy on your day out, or locally along the River Windrush. 

What we're really interested in though, is their afternoon tea, with its freshly baked scones, still warm from the oven. Rustic, light and melt-in-your-mouth, they're certain to keep you going until dinner time. For more places to eat and drink in Bourton-on-the-Water, check out our guide.

  • Stock up on treats to take home from their bakery shop
  • Dogs are welcome
  • Order ahead for special celebration cakes and bakes
  • Stay nearby: Vine Cottage Bourton on the Water, sleeps 5 + 1 dog

Bourton-on-the-Water Cottages

Abbey Tearooms, Tewkesbury

The Abbey Tea Rooms, Tewkesbury

Built in circa 1470 and once belonging to the famous John Moore, the Abbey Tea Rooms really does take you back in time with its nostalgia-inspired teashop. Looking out onto the ruins of Tewkesbury Abbey, the tearoom sits just opposite giving a fantastic view whilst serving tasty treats. Popular with many locals and visitors, the tearoom is a well-loved institution in the town.

While you're waiting for your cream tea, take a look around the walls, laden with memorabilia, and drift back to the past. Spot Drumstick tubes, McDougalls flour, Bisto tins, Colman’s mustard tins, Dandy magazines and many more items full of nostalgia, and read a few of the snippets from old newspapers.

Their tasty cream tea comes with all the trimmings including the added extra of fresh strawberries and a humongous portion of Rodda’s clotted cream. Served in dainty china, it's a feast for the eyes as well as a treat for the taste buds. If it's a special occasion or if you're feeling more than a little peckish, opt for their sumptuous high tea with sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries, served with fresh strawberries and garnished with salad.

  • The oldest Tea House in Tewkesbury (established 1950)
  • Sip a warm brew with a view of the magnificent Tewkesbury Abbey
  • In the summer, relax in the tea garden surrounded by flowers
  • Stay nearby: 9 Mill Bank, sleeps 2

Tewkesbury cottages

Afternoon tea in Broadway, Cotswolds

Tisanes Tearooms, Broadway

Oozing elegant charm from each stone of its olde-worlde building, Tisanes Tearoom sits next to the War Memorial on Broadway's lower high street. Choose from a lovely selection of light lunches, or go straight for their piece de resistance, the Tisanes Afternoon Tea, with sandwiches, a scone with jam and cream, a slice of cake, and coffee or tea. 

The delicious range of homemade cakes will have your mouth watering, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. On warm days, you can tuck into your choice of treat in their attractive garden, or in winter, hunker down in their cosy interior cradling your cup of coffee or loose-leaf tea to warm the cockles! Rumour has it there are also dog-friendly treats available!

  • Loose-leaf teas, coffees and cakes (with lots of gluten-free and vegan options)
  • Tisanes Tearooms is licensed, perfect for special occasions
  • Dogs welcome
  • Stay nearby: Broadway Cottage, sleeps 2

Broadway cottages

Afternoon tea at the Orangery, Blenheim Palace

The Orangery - Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

For a decadent afternoon tea fit for a king, head for The Orangery at Blenheim Palace. Set in the most magnificent surroundings, indulge in a beautifully presented afternoon tea. Feast on finger sandwiches with luxurious fillings such as devilled egg and mustard, and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Follow those up with scones covered in cream and jam, or a treat from their wonderful selection of cakes. 

Wash it all down with your choice of loose-leaf tea, or treat yourself to a glass of bubbly. After your meal, enjoy exploring the palace and its grounds, the birthplace and home of former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (additional ticket required).

  • Sit in the stunning atrium, overlooking the historic parkland
  • Drop in for other meals, including elevenses and lunch
  • Pair your visit with a walk around the beautiful grounds
  • Stay nearby: Harvest Barn - Witney, sleeps 12 + 2 dogs

Woodstock cottages

Afternoon tea in Minchinhampton, Cotswolds

The Kitchen, Minchinhampton

Another little tearoom in a golden stone building with a bay window, The Kitchen in Minchinhampton is full of the charms of the Cotswolds. Fresh food is prepared daily, lovingly created from local produce where possible - and it's also full of the flavours of the Cotswolds!

Perfect for a special celebration, The Kitchen offers afternoon tea with the added option of Prosecco or Champagne. Enjoy dainty sandwiches, scones, homemade cakes and pastries, all prepared in-house. They also serve a mean cream tea, with fruit scone, clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea. At other times of day, dig into a tasty breakfast, lunch, or coffee and cake. 

  • Enjoy people watching through the bay window - watch out for the occasional horse rider or heard of cattle!
  • Food prepared from fine quality local produce
  • Dogs welcome
  • Stay nearby: Weavers Cottage - West End, sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Minchinhampton cottages

Enjoy a getaway to the Cotswolds

If the idea of squirrelling yourself away in a charming tearoom in the Cotswolds sounds like your idea of heaven, then why not have a browse of our cottages in the Cotswolds? Whether you’d like to treat your other half to a romantic cream tea with a glass of fizz during a stay in one of our cosy chocolate-box cottages for two, or a celebratory spread for all your friends and family whilst staying in one of our family-sized boltholes, you’ll find the perfect getaway in our collection. Just click the button below!

Cottages in the Cotswolds

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.