As National Cream Tea Day falls on 25th June, we thought we’d delve into the history of the Cream Tea and brush up on our knowledge of everyone’s favourite West Country treat!
So, what is a cream tea?
Ok, so to start, let’s get one thing clear, a Cream Tea and an Afternoon Tea are not the same thing. While there might be cream, jam and scones present with an Afternoon Tea, this consists of a multi tiered tray that includes finger sandwiches, cakes and pasties alongside the tea (sometimes there is alcohol involved too!). A Cream Tea is just that, it is just a pot of tea, with some scones, some cream and some jam.
That’s not the only difference…
The Afternoon Tea originated in Bedford when the Duchess of Bedford decided there was too long a gap between lunch and dinner and so started requesting tea with cakes and sandwiches to be brought to her room in the afternoon. As she was often visited by the nobility and this happened frequently, it grew in popularity.
The Cream Tea on the other hand originated from the south west of England, though whether it was in our neighbour Devon or further along in Cornwall is still debated today. The earliest record of a cream tea or at least, some form of cream tea, dates back to Tavistock in the 11th century. Either way, the cream tea is West Country through and through and as Dorset, like our neighbours, is well known for having incredible local produce, the home made scones, locally produced jam and local clotted cream here means that a Cream Tea in Dorset is a real experience.
This National Cream Tea Day, there are a whole host of activities taking place online all over the country to celebrate this incredible West Country delicacy, so whether you’re in Dorset or not, you can join in the fun and treat yourself to a good old fashioned cream tea!