Down some twisting turning country lanes in the heart of Cornwall is something quite unexpected – a tea plantation, stretching over the rolling hills of this beautiful county.
England’s first commercial tea plantation, Tregothnan is a lovely place to visit and of course, enjoy a spot of tea!
Tregothnan lies 3 miles South East of Truro and snakes its way right down to Land’s End. Lying south of the Lizard it is protected from the worst of the harsh Cornish storms but benefits from the extra sunshine this southern location gets and so has managed to thrive.
The tea plantation was started by Evelyn Boscawen, the eldest son of the ninth Viscount Falmouth, whose family have owned the estate since the 14th century, together with his garden director Jonathan Jones.
It is perfectly possible to grow a tea bush in the UK but a viable, tea-producing crop is another matter! It takes around five years for a plant to mature and be ready to be picked. Fortnum and Mason stocked the first tea but now it is available in Waitrose too.
It is more expensive than tea grown abroad but it’s appeal is in much more than just as another cup of tea – the fact that it is produced in Cornwall is hugely exciting.
Visits to the garden can be arranged in advance and guided and the gardens really are something to behold in all seasons.
And it isn’t just tea they produce, but also sustainable coppiced charcoal, Cornish Manuka and wildflower honey, and something I’m going to have to return to taste – their rare Kea plum jam.
They have a delightful tea room which can be visited without appointment with cream teas, sandwiches, soups, cakes and lots of tea!
You can even buy some of the tea plants here.
It’s a gorgeous spot and as English as it gets!
Find out more about Tregothnan and its tea here – https://tregothnan.co.uk/