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“A welcome oasis”

Lee Abbey Tea Cottage
Ranked #2 of 2 Coffee & Tea in Lynton
Restaurant details
Reviewed 23 June 2012

I was walking a 5 mile route following a guide that said there were no facilities on route.

I was aching from the previous days walk, and was getting hungry. Imagine my joy when I found this little oasis at Lee Bay.

It was like a secret house, that appeared as you walked up the path through the stunning gardens. It's magical.

There were a few people there on my visit, but certainly not packed. On this visit the staff were friendly, charming and efficient. Some of the other reviews state that the service is poor and slow, but I think you need to take this tea room for what it is. Relax, enjoy the gardens, and enjoy the slightly slower pace.

If you're a fan of Costa, rather than small independently run places with character, then this is not for you! I personally like to support local businesses and initiatives rather than impersonal coffee giants.

I thoroughly enjoyed a [large] piece of coffee and walnut cake that was fresh from the oven. A pot of earl grey came with an additional pot of hot water (I had several pots of earl grey over my stay in the area, and this was the first place that provided hot water). Beautiful bone china added to the experience. After about 20 minutes, a lady came round everyone to see if they wanted more hot water.

The surroundings are truly stunning. A selection of small and larger tables, some with parasols, are on offer, scattered around the garden with lots of space between you and your neighbouring diners.

I can not fault this visit. Relax, take your time, and soak up the atmosphere. If you want to be part of conveyor belt service then by all means head to the nearest 'everyone looks the same'-Costa.

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2  Thank v28kab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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56 - 60 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2011

I took my god daughters and son for a coffee at the Tea Cottage and had a lovely time.

It doesnt have a barista and if that's what you are looking for head back to civilisation. Its pretty and functional.

The staff are volunteers from the community nearby, and all in all its lovely.

If youre looking for Costas keep going, if you fancy sitting in someone's garden with a nice coffee stop in.

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Thank JollyJak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2011

A fabulous place on the coast path - lovely cakes, salads and paninis etc. We had both tea and cakes on the wall to Woody Bay, then lunch on the way back. The staff are absolutely lovely. One of the highlights of our stay in lovely Lynton.

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Thank nessie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

We stopped off here to re-fuel towards the end of a 12 mile walk, before heading back to Lynton. The tables are all set out nicely in a very pretty garden, with small bunches of flowers on each. The service came with a smile and the cream tea was lovely, with plenty of jam and cream for the homemade scones. It was very busy but we didn't have to wait very long at all. Very nice.

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Thank suewright1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2011

I popped into the tea-rooms with some family and friends on a Saturday lunchtime and was initially impressed by the planting in the gardens (I have a garden business) We ordered food and drinks and waited... Some of the drinks came out quickly, as you'd expect. My wife and I were still waiting for a drink half an hour after ordering. She asked the staff where they were, as it was a hot day and to be fair, they brought some iced water to the table (with 3 glasses, for 6), but our drinks didn't come until after the food had arrived. We also had to ask where the food was, as after 45 minutes, we were getting pushed for time and were in danger of missing an appointment. The food arrived not too long after reminding them, but we needed to keep reminding staff that food was missing. We'd only ordered ploughmans, nothing needed making, only assembly on a plate, so it was hard to see why everything took so long. The excuse of being understaffed didn't wash. There were at least five staff on, serving approx 30 covers. The girls waiting on were in no rush to do much.

The shame of it was that most of the food was of very good quality, very tasty and would have seemed reasonable value had the consistency of portion sizes, or content not been so laughable. Where some ploughmans lacked fruit, it seemed they'd been compensated with extra pickled onions, for example! The bread rolls were frozen inside and needed to be sent back. Some plates were overflowing, some seemed like starters.

The whole set up seemed to be run by well meaning amateurs, who were perhaps handy at home, but utterly lacked the knowledge, experience or flexibility to run a cafe for paying customers. Our complaint to the staff, eventually brought a manager out, who after an initially confrontational approach, was very nice and offered us all a slice of home-made cake to apologise. We were happy with this, as a gesture and it seemed they'd listened to our comments. It seemed we might part as friends, until the manager was deliberatelyrude to my wife on leaving!

Perhaps in time this place will be worth returning to, but with availability of other tea-rooms in the area, I'd not rush back.

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6  Thank skootx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
enderley, Leadership at Lee Abbey Tea Cottage, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2016

Hi many thanks for your honest and valued feedback. Firstly please do let myself offer you an unreserved apology for the service and interaction you received from us. We are as you may have guessed not a professional catering establishment but a group of volunteers living together in a Christian Community. As such we are disappointed in how your complaint came into being and also more importantly for us dealt with! We have taken steps this summer to ensure instances of this nature are hopefully eradicated. We hope to see you next season to make emends. Blessings

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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