The Bedford Hotel - where the Devon Cream Tea was invented!
The Bedford Hotel originally formed part of Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey. The Abbey was established in the 10th Century, but was badly damaged by Vikings in 997AD. Restoration of the Abbey was undertaken by local workers and monks, who were rewarded with bread, clotted cream and strawberry preserves. And so the Devon Cream Tea was born.
Tavistock’s afternoon teas are closely tied to the Earls of Bedford, and since 1694, the Dukes of Bedford who called The Bedford Hotel their home. Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford (3rd September 1788 – 3rd July 1861) is said to have created the “afternoon tea” whilst visiting the 5th Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle in the mid 1840’s. It is reported that dinner had come to be served later and later in the day, until an extra meal called luncheon had to be created to fill the gap between breakfast and dinner, but as this new meal was very light, the long afternoon left people feeling hungry. The Duchess found a light meal of tea (usually Darjeeling) and cakes or sandwiches was the perfect balance.
Afternoon Tea at The Bedford is a treat not to be missed. Enjoy a classic Devon Cream Tea, complete with local strawberry jam and rich clotted cream, or push the boat out and order our full Afternoon Tea (with a glass of Prosecco perhaps?).
We can also welcome large groups for a Devon Cream Tea or a full Afternoon Tea at The Bedford, and can cater for up to 120 guests in our stylish Gallery 26 function suite. If you’re planning a special occasion, a group visit, or just a well-deserved afternoon tea with your friends or family, call our Events team on 01822-613221 and we’ll be happy to make all the arrangements for you.
We also serve traditional afternoon teas at our sister hotel, the Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of Dartmoor National Park. You’ll find the same top-notch teatime treats, with breathtaking Dartmoor countryside in every direction.
We are pleased to cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice. If you need to know more about the ingredients we use, please ask a member of our team.