Not that I’m biased; but there is only one possible way to enjoy a cream tea. It has to be a Cornish cream tea, in Cornwall, and within sight and sound of the sea. Walk the circular coastal path of St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, take all day, and it’s possible to fit in at least three. With the ambience right, attention can then be turned to the secondary requirements: yes, you will be sat outside in tranquil gardens where “peace comes dropping slow,” yes there is enough thick yellow Cornish clotted to make you feel nauseous (after your third loaded scone), real jam, pretty crockery, and unlimited refills of tea with no stinting on the milk. I first did this cream tea crawl on my honeymoon in 1983 and I’ve been taking my husbands along ever since. Juliet’s Garden and Carn Vean Tea Gardens are highly recommended; but once back in Hugh Town, the crème of cream teas can be enjoyed on the ramparts of Star Castle Hotel, an Elizabethan castle in the shape of an eight pointed star, overlooking the harbour. (When the nausea passes off, you might feel like going down when the sun does, to the Dungeon bar below and ordering the best five course dinner on the island).
Cream teas are £5.00 per person and include 2 home-made
fruit scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam and a pot of tea.
Last year I took the Scillionian III Ferry from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly. The Scilly Isles are approximately twenty-eight miles from Cornwall, and the ferry journey is an eye-wateringly two-and-a-half hours long.
However, it is a wonderful journey. There is a restaurant inside the ferry and you can sit on the deck and breathe the sea air as you whizz past the spectacular coastline of South East Cornwall, including St. Michael's Mount, Landsend and (you can just about make it out) the legendary Minack Theatre. The Isles are a glorious sight to behold and it is a journey I will never forget.
Isles of Scilly Travel Centre
Cornwall TR18 4BZ
Within the UK: (local call rate) 0845 710 5555
International: +44 (0) 1736 334220
Facsimile +44 (0) 1736 334228
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