The Corn Dolly Tea Shop – Cafe Review

A teashop worth making a special journey for can be found in the North Devon market town of South Molton – the food at The Corn Dolly Tea Shop is fit for a king!

Why it’s on my list

The Corn Dolly Tea Shop in South Molton has long been a favourite with my mum, but as I don’t often visit South Molton, I have never been. Bank Holiday Monday has just come and gone, and with good friends, fantastic weather and yet another recommendation for The Corn Dolly from a friend, I decided to pay them a visit.

Cafe Information


Location: 115a East Street, South Molton

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-5pm (except Wednesdays, 8.30am-5pm); Sunday 11am-5pm

To book: Bookings for parties of six or more only, call 01769 574249. They can also do private parties.

Overall verdict

I love a tea shop, something I must have inherited from my mum, and I can see why this one is a favourite with her. The food is generous and oh-so tasty, and reminds me of all the great British classics. I felt quite patriotic! A must if you’re in South Molton, and worth the journey if that’s what it takes to taste The Corn Dolly’s menu.

What I had

I went for the Farmhouse Tea, which is two large free-range boiled eggs with buttered soldiers (choose from white, wholemeal and granary) and a slice of cake – the selection in the cabinet was impressive, I went for the raspberry sponge.

Farmhouse Tea from The Corn Dolly South Molton - egg and soldiers

And to make me feel better about the sweltering heat, I had a mint choc chip milkshake to drink, my other half had a vanilla milkshake.

Milkshakes from The Corn Dolly South Molton

My companions went for the King’s Ransom, which is a toasted teacake covered with Stilton cheese, grilled and served with salad and chutney, and the Corn Dolly Tea, which is their cream tea special and a generous beast! Two scones (in a wedge shape, one fruit and one plain), large pots of Devon clotted cream and strawberry jam, and house tea – you can have unlimited refills of this. I must try this cream tea sometime so I can review it.

The Corn Dolly cream tea

The best

I am torn between my own choice and my husband’s, he kindly let me have some very large bites of his toasted teacake covered in Stilton. I love Stilton, and who knew it could go so well on top of a toasted teacake! You also have the option to have it on a crumpet, but it was an eye-opening pleasure to have gooey Stilton cheese on a toasted teacake. It certainly felt fit for a king.

A King’s Ransom Stilton on Toasted Teacake from The Corn Dolly South Molton

My raspberry cake was also fantastic, with a good balance of sponge, buttercream icing, raspberry jam (which had proper looking bits of berry in it) and some good old white icing on top. And just look at how golden yellow that sponge is #nofilter.

Raspberry sponge cake from The Corn Dolly South Molton

Not the best

I’m struggling here… not a criticism in any way, but some outside seating would have been amazing, it was such a lovely, sunny day. Not sure if that’s possible with the building it’s in, which I wouldn’t swap in favour of outdoor seating, but maybe something I would love to see in the future, somehow!

The venue

The Corn Dolly Tea Shop is very cute inside, but not so cute that it becomes a bit too much. There are nice slate floors, a wood burner, which I am sure would be great when lit in winter, and decorative teapots and nice pictures of Devon scattered around the room.

Inside The Corn Dolly South MoltonTeapots at The Corn Dolly South Molton

The teashop is separated into three separate rooms, which is actually quite nice as it never feels like it gets so loud that you can’t hear other people speaking. Lovely relaxing atmosphere, great staff.

I love the cake cabinet!

Cake cabinet in The Corn Dolly South Molton

Top tip

If you want to earn your cake, consider making The Corn Dolly the endpoint of a walk around the area. If you’re up for a pretty 4-hour walk, I can recommend a great circular walk between South Molton and North Molton.


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