If you’re looking for a great value afternoon tea in Plymouth, you can’t do better that the Flower Café, found in the city’s picturesque cobblestoned Barbican district.
Afternoon tea in Plymouth’s Barbican district
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Plymouth gin distillery and the waterfront, the Flower Café’s unassuming exterior belies its inward charm, from the bright décor and instaworthy flower wall through to its famous range of freaky shakes, pancakes, ice creams and hot chocolates. These are served with an explosion of colourful toppings themed around anything from mermaids and unicorns through to wizards.
Friendly staff welcomed us as we walked through the door and our first challenge was deciding where to sit. Although relatively small in size, they’ve made great use of the space they have, with two indoor areas, a small outdoor courtyard at the back and also a few tables placed out front. On one side of the main café space they’ve even made room for a small pop-up shop selling kitsch gifts and knickknacks.
We decided to take an inside window seat, perfectly placed for people watching, as this is a popular thoroughfare for visitors and locals alike.
Once we’d got over the shockingly good value prices – just £8.50 for their standard afternoon tea – we ordered a normal and gluten free version and were interested to see how the two would compare.
Afternoon tea at the Flower Café
Afternoon tea at the Flower café consists of a pot of tea for one, a choice of sandwich and two freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream. For a small supplement, you can upgrade to their deluxe afternoon tea, which comes with a slice of cake from the daily homemade selection.
Although the menu says you have a choice of two sandwiches – either cheese and cucumber and ham and tomato – they were happy for us to choose our filings, which I really appreciated as I’m a rather picky eater! At larger eateries the menu is often very set, so it was great to have the flexibility to choose something I was really in the mood for.
Our teas came out (very quickly and freshly made) on pretty three-tiered trays and so we tucked straight in. Rosie’s cheese and pickle came on delicious chunky white bread and went down a treat. Mine was rather average – but that’s nothing against the café. Unfortunately, shop-bought gluten free bread very rarely is the tastiest, although it wasn’t the worst I’ve had. Filling wise, the ham and cheese was tasty though, and we both thought the portions were generous.
Hearty, high-quality food
Once we worked our way through our hefty sandwiches we moved onto the scones, which did not disappoint! We were served two each – still warm from the oven with a dusting of icing sugar, just how I like them.
Rosie’s standard afternoon tea came with one fruit and one plain scone, while I had two freshly made plain gluten free scones. These were very impressive – particularly as the quality of gluten free scones can be quite hit and miss. These, however, were the same texture as a normal scone, a decent size, crisp outside while soft inside without being too crumbly. Scone perfection!
Famous freaky treats
Not often one to say no to cake, the reason we decided not to upgrade our afternoon tea was because we just *had* to try one of the Flower Café’s famous freaky treats.
After much deliberation, we ended up going with the Freaky Biscoff option. Our bases were cinnamon and vanilla milkshakes, and these were served loaded up with Lotus Biscoff biscuits and biscuit crumb, whipped cream, caramel sauce, Caramac pieces and marshmallows.
Neither shake was particularly cold, which was a little disappointing, but they were surprisingly un-sickly and well, absolutely awesome. So much so, that when Rosie moves down here for university this autumn, she plans to work her way through the freaky menu!
There’s an epic selection to choose from, included themed options like their unicorn, wizard, flamingo and mermaid offerings. These come with everything from love hearts and flamingo shaped sweets, matchstick wands and magical gold glitter.
Quirky afternoon tea in Plymouth
Although not on the main menu, since our visit we’ve discovered that the Flower Café also offers special afternoon teas around the same themes. Some of these can be seen on their Facebook and Instagram accounts, which should come with a warning for those with a sweet tooth!
Afternoon tea takeaway in Plymouth
I also have to note for those with limited time on their hands that the Flower Café also offers takeaway cream tea options. If you’re craving a cuppa and a scone, but don’t have time to sit and stop now you know the answer…
Visiting Plymouth? Make sure you include a trip to beautiful Dartmoor, which has so much to offer!
Discover five of the best Dartmoor attractions in this Ladies What Travel post!
Afternoon tea in Plymouth at The Flower Café
As you’ve probably worked out, after just one visit we’re big fans of the Flower Café and will most definitely be back when we’re in the city. If you’re after a great tasting afternoon tea at low cost in Plymouth, this is a great option.