Cream Teas

The combination of a scone, clotted cream, jam, and a pot of tea is a classic British food experience. Known as a cream tea, it is a luxurious indulgence enjoyed in homes, tea rooms and hotels all across the United Kingdom.

But like any classic the story is never quite as simple as it looks on the surface and cream tea’s and their construction sparks much debate and controversy. In the Southwest of England, especially Devon and Cornwall, there will be much consternation should you get the sequence of jam and cream the wrong way around !

Let me explain. Both Devon and Cornwall cream teas involve enjoying scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam, but the Cornish method is that the scone is cut in half horizontally, a good amount of jam is added first and then the cream is added on top. In Devon however the cream is added first and then a good amount of jam added on top.  It may seem like a small difference, but it does tend to get the blood pressure up by those of the opposite geography should you get the etiquette wrong.

Reubens Hotel Cream Teas - but is it in the Devon or Corwall style?

If there is a debate about jam first or cream first, there can be no debate as to what to enjoy when having your cream teas; They are always PMD Teas.

If you are looking to enjoy a tea with a splash of milk our Planters Afternoon Tea is blended to be enjoyed with sweet tasting foods. The high grown flavour was first enjoyed by tea planters who would come back to their bungalows after an afternoon's work. 

If you prefer no milk then the Orange Pekoe 1 from Inverness tea estate in Nuwara Eliya is a classic afternoon tea. Inverness teas grow at 6000ft in elevation and here the cool climate allows the leaf to grow slowly which helps build leaf flavour. Inverness has a medium bodied cup with a freshly baked biscuit note, ideal to be enjoyed with cream tea. 

For something completely different then how about trying Mattakele Golden Curl. The tea is cultivated in the heart of Dimbula District from a special tea plant. The natural floral aroma and medium bodied cup had judges stunned at the 2022 “Leafies” and saw the tea win Gold for the Black tea category. 

Executive Chef =Sarah Houghting

If you are looking to make your own homemade scones then Executive Pastry Chef Sarah Houghting from the Rubens at the Palace hotel, has shared her recipe - see below. You can enjoy all three teas and Sarah’s Scones at Afternoon Tea at the Rubens. 

Scones Rubens

550g Flour T55

150g Butter, soft, room temp

50g Sugar

28g Baking powder

1 tsp salt

50g Whole egg

200g Butter milk

70g Milk- depends on the flour

Mix dry ingredients with butter till crumbly texture

Mix wet ingredients together keep aside the extra milk in case you need it

Pour the liquid into dry mix till combined, approx. 5-8 mins but watch the dough as its all different texture should be tacky not sticking too much to the sides of the bowl

For fruit scones you add in 60g mixed soaked fruit mix, may need less milk as the soaked fruit has liquid content