As soon as I pull up outside the white cottage and leafy garden of Stonestead, I know the Devonshire Tea is going to be a winner. Owner, baker and host, Kevin Bold has been pumping out top quality DTs from the converted garage at the 150 plus year-old property since 2007. We arrive just as he’s popping a tray of date scones in to the oven, to add to the cheese (there they are again New Zealand), plain and sultana he already has available today. There’s nothing flash about his workspace in the garage, and you only want to sit in here if the weather is bad. Instead, head around the back of the house and take tea in the wonderfully lush garden. Huge scones resembling mini dampers seem to be the norm in NZ, and I opt for a plain one. Although it’s slightly salty, it is superb: crispy on the outside and all warm and fluffy on the inside. Kevin makes the blackberry, apricot and strawberry jams on site. Can you get any more housemade than this? And the thickly whipped cream complements the spread perfectly. I am so excited that I only read the notice regarding the clotted cream when I look back at my photos after I had left. We weren’t given that option so I’m not sure whether clotted cream is always available, so check. Before you leave stock up on t-leaf T and Stonestead housemade jams, and add a vintage teacup or two to your shopping basket. Open Thursday to Sunday or by arrangement for groups.
Tea: A good choice of New Zealand’s own loose-leaf t-leaf T served in a good-sized pot.
Overall: A sensational Devonshire Tea at a bargain price!
Location: 3 Plateau Rd, Te Marua, Upper Hutt 5018
Reviewed in December, 2014