We’re not sure about you, but once the lockdown is over and we’re able to head back into Devon’s cafes, restaurants and hotels, we’ll be ordering a cream tea to enjoy in the sunshine. Until then though, we thought we’d tell you a bit more about our favourite Devon treat, which we hope will make the whole thing taste all the sweeter!
If you’ve never had a cream tea before, it is a delight. Comprising of warm scones, fruity jam (preferably homemade) and clotted cream, created from the very best Devon cream and served with a freshly brewed cup of tea, it is truly one of the greatest things to experience, whatever the weather.
Firstly, let’s address the claim that cream tea is Cornish. While our neighbours are also known for the quality of the cream tea, it has been proven that cream teas in some form or another were being consumed at Tavistock Abbey during the 11th century and we can be certain that Tavistock is in Devon.
Evidence suggestions that the monks and workers at Tavistock Abbey had a tradition of eating bread with cream and jam which seems to have developed into the cream tea we know and love today. Back then it wasn’t quite as much of a delight though, it was used to feed up the workers who were helping to restore the abbey. They weren’t the ones who popularised it through, that is down to the Duchess of Bedford who, in 1840, decided to ask for a pot of tea and snacks of bread, cakes, jam and cream to see her through until dinner time. These became social events and the cream tea as we know it was born.
Secondly, let’s talk about how you’re supposed to eat one, over the border they put jam first but in Devon, it’s all about cream first, then jam on top. Remember that for when you come back to the county once the lockdown has been lifted! There is a historical reason for this too, back when Tavistock Abbey was being renovated, jam was much more expensive than cream, hence why you would put on a hearty dollop of cream and a small spoonful of jam. Of course, you are welcome to use as much jam as you like, as long as it goes on last!
National Cream Tea Day takes place in June this year, so fingers crossed the lockdown has been lifted by then so we can all enjoy one whilst looking over the incredible views that Devon has to offer.