Buddha Tea Barn, Saltford

Date visited: Monday 26th June 2023

The Buddha Tea Barn in Saltford is an outbuilding of The Crown public house in Saltford, a small settlement to the west of the City of Bath. At the time of visiting, the tea barn was marketed online as offering a small selection of light meals as well as cakes, scones and a choice of twelve different teas and tisanes. Within the pub, there were also marketing materials appearing to encourage passing trade to the tea barn. Alas, the marketing was out-of-date.

The Buddha Tea Barn is an adjunct to The Crown public house, Saltford

On arrival, the tea barn was empty, with the tables unlaid and numerous tiered cake stands to one side. On enquiring at the pub bar, I was told that a separate menu for the tea barn was no longer offered, but food could be ordered from the pub menu and served in the tea barn. Thus all that was available was typical pub food including pies and pizzas, with a selection of six teas, as well as coffees and, of course, beers and other alcoholic drinks.

Ham, egg and chips, with peas, and a pot of Dorset green tea

I chose ham, egg and chips from the main pub menu and a pot of Dorset green tea. The ham, egg and chips appeared on both the main and lunchtime menus, with the difference appearing to be the addition of a second egg and £3.50 for the one on the main menu. Ham, egg and chips appeared to be a popular lunchtime choice, and were served with noticeable speed, but was nothing remarkable. I’ve had much better for less as a pub lunch in recent months. The teapot was pleasing large, sufficient to fill the large teacup provided twice.

A slice of Victoria sandwich and a half pint of Greene King IPA

Although there were no cakes on the pub menu, I saw cakes being served to another customer. When I asked one of the bar staff, a selection of three cakes were offered and I chose a slice of Victoria sandwich. As I hadn’t anticipated cake being available, I’d already finished the green tea, so ordered half a pint of Greene King IPA as well. The cake appeared to have come straight from a fridge, so was rather cold, but was of a pleasant consistency – not too dry, but not that moist either – with plenty of jam and cream in the sandwich.

In total, this came to £23.20. Without the beer and with the smaller main course from the lunchtime menu it would have been £17.50, which would have felt a more reasonable price. On a more positive note, the service was good and the venue very pleasant, with the pub having a well lit dining area and extensive gardens. The tea barn also looked like a fine venue, with two distinct areas inside for those taking tea, and it’s unfortunate that a proper tearoom service now only appears to be offered there for pre-booked groups.

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