Life around the world

Wednesday, 25 March, 2015 - 14:18

Cream tea, don’t mind if I do!

by AnneS

One of my favourite treats from the UK is a cream tea. It’s not, as its name might suggest, tea with cream in it! It is a sort of English snack which is made up of a few essential things:

These are something between cake and bread; they are round and usually about the size of a tennis ball. You can choose to have plain scones or fruit scones; this just means that there will be raisins or similar dried fruit in the scone.

Clotted cream
An extremely thick cream which is very bad for you but tastes very nice!

The classic cream tea is served with strawberry jam, but other jams such as raspberry, black current, blueberry, red current or blackberry could be a good substitute.

All of this bready creamy jammy goodness is washed down with a cup or two of English black tea. This is normally taken with milk and can be taken with sugar. A proper Cream Tea is served with tea in a teapot with cups and saucers (in my professional opinion!)

The cream tea is traditionally a specialty of Cornwall and Devon, but cream teas are served in tea rooms up and down the country. I had a cream tea with some friends before leaving the UK and some controversy arose over the order of spreading. Personally, I have always split the scone in two halves, then spread on a thick layer of clotted cream on each half, then added a blob of jam on the top. However, my friend has always split the scone in two, buttered each half, spread jam on the scones and then added the cream. We were both convinced the other one was wrong, but after some research I have discovered we simply have different ‘cream tea methods’. It transpires that my method is from Devon and hers is the way they do it in Cornwall.

There is no specific time to have a cream tea, but it is usually an afternoon snack. The only thing I would say is that tea rooms tend to close at about 4 o’clock pm, so make sure you’re not too late! For me, there is nothing more English than a cream tea and I would advise any one visiting the country to try it out for themselves!

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