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Top tips on cream tea etiquette

PUBLISHED: 09:55 04 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:55 04 July 2016


Quintessentially British, the cream tea is as popular as ever. Often taken during a sunny afternoon and rarely alone, just the mention invokes the smell of freshly baked plain scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream and a pot of tea.

As with many foods, the cream tea definitely draws strong opinions - mostly regarding the order in which the jam and cream are spread onto the scone. Denizens of Devonshire will argue that jam tops the cream, whilst the Cornwall crowd would attest to the opposite; but are either of them correct?

Well, no… the differences are sparse, coming down to an aesthetic preference. Should your scone boast its sweetness, with jam spread across its top, or should it peek from beneath a dollop of cream?

More important is the jam that you use. The most popular and traditional are the strawberry and raspberry jams, which are almost universally chosen above more exotic preserves. If you make your own preserves, or know where to buy home-made jams, it can be worth your while to cook or buy a slightly tarter, tangier spread on occasion, as this will contrast to the sweetness of the clotted cream.

As for one of the key components, the tea in your cream tea, it’s up to you to decide. A medium-to-strong English tea with a little milk is often a good choice, balancing against the light, sweet scone.

In the end, whether you choose fruit scones with whipped cream and spiced apple preserve, or stick to the traditional cream tea – in the sunshine with loved ones, out in the countryside, a city park, or simply your garden, it’s important to remember that keeping good company will make those meals more memorable.

If all this talk of cream tea is making your taste buds tingle, you’re in luck. Baked by the Sea can deliver afternoon tea straight to your door (or desk). Freshly home-baked scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam and even a knife and napkin, beautifully packaged in a luxury gift box and posted to anywhere in the UK. Hurrah!



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