Angels Tea Room in Babbacombe Downs (an area of Torquay – aka, The English Riviera) is somewhere that I have been going for years with my dad and his partner. Until now, however, I never thought to write a review of it – no idea why!
Located along the seafront, overlooking the cliffs, Angels Tea Room is nestled amongst various pubs and cafes. This cafe stands out from the rest for many reasons – it’s locally sourced food, freshly made scones, and beautiful decor, but mainly because of how busy it always is. From when the doors open at breakfast time to when they close in the evening, this place is constantly packed.
To get to the tearoom itself, you have to walk through the small courtyard and outdoor seating area. Complete with marble tables, bunting, wind chimes, and flowers everywhere, if the sun’s out and you aren’t scared of the wasps, this is a beautiful place to sit. However, as I am allergic to wasps, and terrified of them – I am one of those people who jumps up, runs, and screams, we booked our table for the inside area.
With blue and white walls, and angels and cherubs hung around the room, there is definitely an angel-theme to the interior decor. Each of the tables has a beautiful lace tablecloth draped over it – a nice touch, I must say, and four bone china tea cups stacked in the middle. (I LOVE THESE CUPS, THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL!) While well decorated, I have to admit that the inside of the tea room is somewhat dated.
I recently visited Angels with my mum – she had heard me raving about it but had never been herself, so I couldn’t wait to take her. (My fiance also came along, as he’s a real fan of the delicious prawn sandwiches that they serve!)
We had booked our table for 2pm – if you want to get a table you have to book. (Yes, it’s THAT popular!) However, due to being stuck in the worst traffic jam ever, we ended up arriving around 45 minutes late. Luckily, as my fiance called to explain the situation, they held our table for us. Although we were late, when we arrived, our server couldn’t have been more gracious. He got us quickly seated and comfortable, and within seconds, we had our menus in our hands.
As always, the fiance and I decided to share the famous, Angelic Tea. (A sandwich each of our choice, a piece of cinnamon toast each, a homemade scone each complete with cream and jam, and a piece of homemade cake to share. Oh, and of course, the choice of a pot of loose leaf tea or coffee.) My mum, who is gluten-free, opted for the gluten-free afternoon tea. (This comes with a sandwich, scone, piece of cinnamon toast, and a piece of cake, all of which are gluten-free.)
I always struggle when it comes to picking my sandwich filling, as there are over 20 to choose from. From basics like cheddar and red onion chutney, and ham and mustard, to more exciting options like coronation chicken, and crab, there are so many to choose from. In the end, I opted for my favourite, brie and grapes on granary bread.
The heart-shaped scones that come with the afternoon tea are freshly made on site, and come in lots of yummy flavours. My favourite is the plain scone with chocolate chips, the fiance however, always opts for the cheese scone – instead of cream and jam, this comes with chutney and chilli jam. The other flavours include; plain, fruit, cherry, white chocolate chip, and ginger. For gluten free customers, like my mum, there are plain or fruit scones to choose from.
The cakes are homemade and change on a daily basis, but no matter what you choose, it’s always delicious. This time, all three of us opted for the gluten-free chocolate and almond tart. However, we chose to take this home with us, instead of eating it there and then.
As usual, I went for loose leaf breakfast tea, as did mum, and the fiance went for coffee. I love the fact that they serve loose leaf tea here, so few places do nowadays. As well as breakfast tea, there are also an array of other teas to choose from – I can’t actually, remember them all.
After 10 minutes of our order being taken, our food arrived as if by magic. As always, when the beautiful three-tier cake stand was placed on the table, I was in awe. I just love how pretty these vintage cake stands look, especially when piled high with lots of food.
Sliced into four triangles, the first thing I started with were my sandwiches. As always, the soft, fresh bread was full to the brim with filling – something that my fiance absolutely loves about this place. I must admit, after finishing my sandwiches off, I was already feeling a little full. (It happens every time we eat here.)
However, as soon as the deliciously warm and sweet cinnamon toast touched my lips, I knew I could keep going. The only downside to the cinnamon toast is the fact that while you are eating your sandwiches, it goes a little cold. (It’s still warm, but is not as hot as it should be.)
After I had munched my way through my cinnamon toast, I was then ready for the finale – my scone. I am a real cream tea lover – being a Devon girl, I guess it’s to be expected. What I like about Angel’s cream teas is the fact that not only are the scones homemade, but the jams – strawberry and mixed berry, are also made locally, as is the clotted cream.
As I mentioned above, we chose to take our cake home with us, as it’s just too much to eat in one sitting.
Priced at just under £20 for afternoon tea for two (sandwiches, scones, cinnamon toast, a piece of cake to share, and a pot of tea or coffee), it’s worth every penny. Well, I think so anyway. If you’re down in Devon, Angels Tea Room in Babbacombe is one place that you just have to try – you’ll regret it if you don’t!