When It's Scone ... Celebrating National Cream Tea Day
Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of tea with a sweet treat? And, without a doubt National Cream Tea Day is a firm British tradition that is celebrated every year on the last Friday in June. But where did this fondness for cream tea originate?
The tradition of cream with tea, (clotted mind!) and a scone, grew in popularity following the opening of railway lines in Victorian times. Londoners could catch a train to the southern coast of England, where the local restaurants and pubs catered for their weekend tourists by replacing ‘afternoon tea’ with ‘cream tea’.
Most definitely a West Country treat, and a subject of healthy debates over many years as to which popular West Country hot spot first invented the Cream Tea...
Where Made Cream Tea Famous, Cornwall, or Devon?According to Devonshire historians, the act of adding jam and cream to bread seems to have originated in Devon at Tavistock Abbey during the 11th century.1
However, the term Cream Tea, referring to a scone that is accompanied by tea, was first written about in a Cornish newspaper, The Cornishman in 1931.2
At Euronics, the team reached the unanimous decision that whoever came up with the tasty combo - we applaud them! However, the sticky situation still presents itself as to how we decide on whether it’s cream then jam, or jam then cream?
Cream Tea Etiquette, according to HRHIt’s no game of scones! As the ultimate exemplar of British traditions, Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II, we felt, could offer a traditionalists insight. And, according to Darren McGrady, a former chef to the Royal Family, working for them from 1982 to 1993, publicly stated on Twitter, “Jam first at Buckingham Palace Garden parties!”3
We didn’t want to let the buck stop there, so we turned to no other than the Queen of cooking herself. Mary Berry, who said to Good Housekeeping, “That depends on whether you live in Devon or Cornwall,’ However, she confessed to Varsity. ‘Personally, I would put jam on first, with cream on top. But do what you want.”
Well, there we have it, and we concurred at Euronics - just do whatever makes you feel jam-tastic at the time! But possibly following the tradition of either Devon or Cornwall, if tucking into some tasty treats whilst visiting!
Cream Tea EtiquetteWith over one hundred years of expertise, Rodda’s have cultivated the perfect steps for a successful Cream Tea occasion.
- Apply the correct etiquette. After all, it's a tradition!
- The perfect brew! Ideally loose leaf tea should be used and presented in a beautiful silver teapot, accompanied by a second pot with just hot water for diluting any over-brewed tea. If you’re the clumsy one, make sure not to sit next to the main teapot, as the person closest to it should be the one on pouring duties!
- Pinkies down! Correct handling of your crockery is an absolute must. Tea first please. Followed by your milk, then sugar last, your spoon should be delicately placed on your saucer.
- Now for the piece de resistance - the scone. It is tradition to break, rather than cut your scone in half. (A chance to coo at how light and fluffy your beautifully baked goods are). Then jam. Then a good dollop of clotted cream, Rodda’s preferably.
Disclaimer: If anyone ever tries to put whipped cream on their scone, make them leave the table. This is most definitely not proper!6
Recipe Inspiration from some of your favourite manufacturers.It seems quintessentially fitting to start with none other than a recipe for the Perfect British Scones, brought to you by our friends at Belling, who agree with us it doesn’t matter which way you prefer, “Whether you’re a jam cream or cream jam person, you can’t beat a good British scone.” (And for the cherry on top, or underneath, these also freeze beautifully too).
If you’d like to mix up your Cream Tea's scone accompaniment this year, we’ve found some delicious recipes from Ninja Kitchen for you to try. These Maple Pecan Scones, serving eight people and ready in under 30 minutes, are bound to be scone with the wind. Fancy something zestier? No problem! Try these Date and Orange Scones, full of uplifting citrus, spicy notes with agave nectar and ground cinnamon.
Feeling brave enough? NEFF's shaken, but also stirred, Earl Grey Mar-Tea-Ne & Vanilla Scones, are bound to delight your taste buds. We’re sure Her Majesty The Queen would approve of this recipe, after all, featuring alongside Daniel Craig in the video made for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- Visit South Devon - History of the Cream Tea.
- Food Tribe. History Of The Cream Tea, And The Birth Of One Of History's Greatest Arguments.
- The Independent. The Queen Settles Scone Debate On Whether Jam Or Cream Should Go First.
- Good Housekeeping. Mary Berry settles the scone debate – and reveals whether she puts jam or cream first.
- Rodda’s Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea.