National Cream Tea Day takes place on the last Friday of June and this year will be on 25th June – so before the big day, let’s make sure you know everything there is to know about this amazing Devonshire treat!
Did you know that Cream Tea has been enjoyed, in some form or another, since the 1660s? That’s a lot of cream teas that have been enjoyed by the British public! The whole concept of drinking tea in a social setting began during the reign of Charles II, when his wife moved to England from Portugal, making tea drinking popular across the world.
Some years later, in the 1700s, a Thomas Twining, who you’ve no doubt heard of, opened London’s first tearoom sparking yet another trend that made having a tea in the afternoon alongside sandwiches and treats popular.
This was when the idea of Afternoon Tea emerged, thanks to the Duchess of Bedford, who decided that there was simply too long between lunch and dinner, leading to her ordering tea and treats to her room for her and her friends. Her treats usually consisted of sandwiches, cakes, scones, cream and jam – making it a precursor to the Cream Tea that we know today! It is said that the Duchess enjoyed this treat every day – we’d love to be able to have a real Cream Tea every day!
The traditional cream tea really began thriving in the 1850s in the West Country following the opening of the railways bringing people from all over the UK to the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. This area makes the very best clotted cream and jam with west country berries and the region’s hotels, tearooms, cafes and more were more than happy to show off their local produce with a cream tea for the guests. The jam was almost always strawberry and the cream, clotted. It’s the only way! The only thing that there is some debate over is the order in which to layer the cream and jam – here in Devon it is always cream first. That’s the proper and only way to enjoy it!
Will you be enjoying a cream tea this National Cream Tea Day? Let us know, you can get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.