Ice cream & country views (with safe outdoor space to play) at Diamond's Tea Room, near Axminster
Post updated June 2020: COVID-19
This lovely, hidden Devon tea room/ice cream parlour has changed hands since our visit last summer, and it's now called Diamond's Tea Room - still serving that pretty special ice cream made at the dairy farm below, along with light lunches, cakes, milkshakes and cream teas!
It's currently open for takeaway only with no indoor or outdoor seating (June 2020) or toilet facilities due to Coronavirus-related restrictions, but we were able to sit on the grass for a while to scoff our caramelised fig ice creams and enjoy the views.
I had a chat with the manager and, newsflash, there are some exciting things to come at Diamond's for families, as soon as circumstances allow! Apart from the obvious return of seating, they plan to have all sorts on offer for children - a slide, frisbees, balls, a toybox etc, so that the lovely outdoor space can be thoroughly enjoyed; but I've also heard rumours of some council-installed playground equipment on the grass just behind the tearoom coming next summer (possibly...maybe.) It's already a great place to visit with young children, but that would be the icing on the cake.
Opening hours: 10-evening, daily. Follow Diamond's' Facebook page for updates as they sometimes remain closed in poor weather.
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Original post: August 2019
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 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 daily in high season 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.
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 Tea Room – it’s worth it once you get there.