How to Eat a Cream Tea | Cream or Jam First? | Places for a Good Cream Tea

Sam Edwards - cream tea

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david mckeown

david mckeown

A warm freshly baked scone, proper clotted cream, tasty jam, a pot of tea and a little sunshine. Although almost everyone can agree that this is a true delight, there are many who disagree about how it should be made and how certain words are said.

Traditionally in Devon you put the clotted cream on the scone first then add the jam, whereas in Cornwall you put the jam on first and then the clotted cream on top. Which way do you think it should be done?  If you’re unsure, we’ve done a little research to help you decide.

A Local Cream Tea Legend, A Famous Hotel and A Famous Chef

One of the best cream teas you could have ever gotten in Croyde was from the famous Polly’s on Baggy Point. For 20 years Dave and his family ran the cafe serving walkers, holiday makers and cream tea lovers alike. We asked how he would advise on the infamous scone debate and he said “The jam should go on first and then the cream on top, this is because of the freshness of my scones, if the scones are hot then hot scones and cream do not mix, runny cream and doughy scone. The jam protects the glorious clotted cream from the heat.”

We then came across an article in The Standard where The Ritz, famous for their afternoon tea, were asked which way then would do it, to which they replied ‘jam then cream.’

Nigella Lawson seems to disagree telling The Times that “I must confess I eat my scones the Devonian way, which is to say, cream first, then jam” then adding jam related curve ball into the debate “And speaking of the latter, do use any jam you like, though I love these with cherry.”

A Special Society and A Special Lady

The Cream Tea Society (I know, I didn’t realise this was a thing either) say this; “Jam before cream. While there’s much debate around which goes first, etiquette gurus Debrett’s say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top.”

Though apparently The Queen puts clotted cream on before jam….

So that’s it, we’ll let you decide.

Great Places in North Devon for A Cream Tea
Sandleigh Tea Rooms– located just before the National Trust car park on Baggy Point, this is our favourite Croyde stop for a Cream Tea.
Corn Dolly– South Molton’s long running local favourite, seems busy anytime you go and I have always had top food there.
Tea on the Taw– A fairly new addition to the North Devon Cream Tea scene, has been incredibly popular since opening and we weren’t disappointed when we recently visited them in Barnstaple

Another Controversy

Is it scone as in cone or scone as in gone? No, this isn’t the start of a Dr.Seuss poem, it’s the subject of another lively debate, but we’ll leave this for another time!

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