Date visited: Saturday 13th April 2019
Dr Fox’s Tea Room on Knightstone Island is named after Dr Edward Long Fox who bought the island and in the 1830s developed it as a health spa. By the early 20th century the island was home to a swimming pool, a theatre pavilion, and a baths which later served as a sauna and solarium, all of which are now Grade II listed buildings. The island was redeveloped just over ten years ago and the tea room now occupies a small building adjoining the former baths.
Dr Fox’s Tea Room has space for up to forty people to take tea in a single room, plus a few tables outside for those that wish to enjoy their tea whilst taking the sea air. The room doesn’t have many windows, but is lit through its clerestory roof. There are three menus: breakfast, served until 11.30 am; lunch, served from midday until 3 pm; and afternoon tea, served during all opening hours. The menus are reasonably extensive, and there is also a specials board, though on the day I visited it only had one item on it. The beverage menu is deceptively brief, seemingly offering a wider range of coffees than teas, with no detail beyond ‘speciality teas’. However, the full range of teas is revealed at the counter, where there is a wide range of jars containing an extensive range of leaf teas. At the counter there is also a range of cakes on offer.
A substantial and filing Wiltshire ham sandwich, Somerset apple cake with cream, and a pot of jasmine green tea, came to £12.60. The Somerset apple cake, which is somewhat lighter than a Dorset apple cake, definitely benefited from the addition of cream, and was thoroughly enjoyable.