Estimated time to read: 3 minutes
Hele Bay in Devon is a stunning part of the world, with breath taking views of the coastline. Beach Cove Coastal Retreat is set on the stunning cliffside overlooking Hele bay, with one of a kind beach hut accommodation showcasing glorious views of the ocean. Ilfracombe has a lot to offer and I looked at some great hidden gems last year, including the wonderful Hele Corn Mill!
But let’s look a little closer…
The Hele Corn Mill dates back to around 1525 and was built by John Bourchier, the Earl of Bath. It is a unique, Grade II listed building and worked as a flour mill until about 1940, although production had dropped significantly by the 1920s. The mill fell into disrepair in the late 1960’s but was renovated in the 1970’s by a local man, Chris Lovell, who restored it all to working order. They also have a 1920’s National Diesel Engine, which is in full working order and is able to power the waterwheel if there is not enough water (this often happens during the summer). The current owners provide guided tours, as much as possible, around the mill and regale with hilarious mishaps that have befallen the millers over the years, as well as the interesting history of the mill itself. The little ones are sure to enjoy the tours too, with great games like ‘find the mice’ and ‘count the millstones’ keeping them entertained and intrigued throughout, as well as enjoying having a go at making flour using the hand quern too! They currently mill an organic heritage wheat from Dorset as well as wheat grown in Chittlehampton, Barnstaple. They do demonstration days to show how the mill worked, and they still use the 100 year old Blackstone Mill for the delicious homemade cakes at the Millers Wife Tea Room.
Here are Kathy and David, Kathy bakes all the delicious cakes on offer at the Tea Room from flour milled on site! A lovely couple, with a passion for history and everything about the mill, they will be able to tell you anything want to know about the history of this historic site.
The Miller’s Wife Tea Room has been named the winner of the North Devon Best Tea Room competition for the past three years. This consecutive run of excellence kind of speaks for itself! All the cakes are baked on the premises by the very talented Miller’s Wife, and the selection of cakes changes daily but always features a tempting selection of mill-made cakes. There is good range of cream teas on offer, with plain or fruit scones to choose from, and they serve delicious Devonshire splits for a truly traditional tea experience.
Try the speciality Thunder and Lightning tea which is a scone or split with cream and black treacle or syrup instead of strawberry jam, there is also savoury tea on offer, with cheese scones and onion marmalade, take your pick! Or if you wanted some lunch, the Tea Room has that to offer as well, with locally produced and prize winning pasties by Paul the Pieman (best name ever) and daily changing, homemade soup and crusty bread. The charming tea room can sit up to 25 people, and is perfect for a small party or bridal shower, along with the lovely garden area for extra seating on a sunny day, with beautiful views of the watermill.
Being only 5 minutes from the beach, why not drop in to the award winning Miller’s Wife Tea Room, marvel at the historic Corn Mill and Water Mill, and enjoy some cake! (it always comes down to cake…)
Happy Adventuring Ladies and Gents!
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