Countryside views and ice cream (plus a garden play area) at The Crafty Tea Room, nr Axminster
What’s the best way to recover a day of ratty behaviour and classic sibling bickering on a hot, August bank-holiday? Flee to the nearest peaceful retreat where you can distract the children with an ice cream in a safe open space (with beautiful views) and set them free to run around and ride their bikes.
That’s just what was called for today and The Crafty Tea Room at Furzeleigh Down Dairy on Cooks Lane – in between Axminster and Raymonds Hill (just off the A35 near the junction for Lyme Regis) – was my temporary oasis of calm.
The tea room is open every day of the week in the school summer holidays from 10.30 – 17.00 (closed on Mondays in term-time) and serves a selection of delicious Furzeleigh Down Dairy ice cream, made from milk from the cows grazing in the neighbouring fields. They also serve cream teas – I did share a sneaky, warm scone with the girls and it was perfection – as well as well-priced light lunches, cakes, snacks and drinks.
If I remember rightly they also open early for an amazing-looking breakfast from time to time, so do give their Facebook page a follow to keep tabs on that.
There’s some cosy seating inside alongside a range of local crafty giftware, but for me the jewel in this venue’s crown is its lovely outdoor seating area, with green open space and
views over the valley. Even better, there’s a slide, ride-on cars and a large toy box for the kids to rummage in when they’ve tired of running around the grassy verges.
Families with babies and young children are well catered for with high chairs and a thoughtfully stocked baby changing unit in the accessible toilet. Aside from that, children and families of all ages will surely enjoy this peaceful spot, so close to Lyme Regis but so far from the Bank Holiday madness!
There’s plenty of parking alongside the tearoom. Access to the tearoom is via a narrow, country lane called Cooks Lane, which runs parallel with the nearby busy A35 between the small village of Raymonds Hill and Axminster – beware of tractors and other road users as the lane gets pretty tight in places! Once on Cooks Lane, look out for signage to Furzeleigh Down Dairy and The Crafty Tea Room – it’s worth it once you get there.