Did you know that the last Friday in June is National Cream Tea Day? An annual celebration of all things cream tea? It is a staple of British tradition, so we thought we’d make sure you are prepared by giving you a quick lesson in how to best enjoy a Cream Tea.

According to the day’s organisers, we Brits have been enjoying cream tea since 1662. Tea started to become much more popular in that year as Catherine de Braganza, who was Portuguese and where they had been drinking tea already, married the newly instated king, Charles II. She brought the custom of having tea at court with her, something that the royals and the general public have been enjoying ever since.

Later in 1706, the first ever tearoom was opened in London by a certain Thomas Twining, whose name is still synonymous with a good cup of tea. He sparked a trend that saw tea rooms popping up all over the city and across the nation. These tea rooms were seen as being much more appropriate for the ladies of the time, which helped with their popularity.

Now you might have heard that Devon and Cornwall in the south west like to claim ownership of the cream tea. There are historical records that show that monks in Tavistock, which is in Devon, were eating a basic version of a cream tea long before it appeared to make its way over the border. The cream tea did flourish in these months in the 1800s, particularly after London’s high society started making their way there on the railways.

Here are some tips to help you with your cream tea etiquette.

1 – While you can swap your tea for any beverage you like, if you are going for tea, make sure to choose loose-leaf over tea bags. That way you can brew it in a tea pot, just as the ancestors intended. You should let it brew for around 3 minutes before pouring.

2 – The person nearest the pot should pour for everyone, so there is no need to all reach for the tea pot at once.

3 – Now your drink is ready, prepare your scones. A well baked scone should just cleanly come apart when twisted. Set the two halves aside and then spoon the required amount of cream and jam onto your plate.

4 – Now for the construction. There is some debate over the correct way to construct your scones, in Devon, they require cream first always, while in Cornwall and in the Queen’s presence, they go jam first. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to go for, just be sure to spread thickly and generously.

5 – Enjoy.




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