The Devon Cream Tea is a delightful English afternoon tradition, originating from the county of Devon (and we like to believe on the very edge of Dartmoor!). The cream tea consists of freshly brewed tea, scones, clotted cream, and jam which is usually strawberry or raspberry.
There is much discussion on whether the scones should be spread with jam or cream first …normally Devon tradition dictates cream first but in Cornwall you’ll usually see the jam go on first!
The exact origin of the Devon Cream Tea is a little uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the early 11th century when monks at the Benedictine Abbey in Tavistock would serve bread, cream, and jam to their guests. The practice of serving cream tea eventually spread throughout Devon and Cornwall.
In the 19th century, cream tea became a popular social activity among the upper classes. The Devon Cream Tea began to take on its current form with the use of freshly baked scones, clotted cream, and jam.
Clotted cream is a thick, silky cream that is made by slowly heating unpasteurized cow’s milk until a layer of cream forms on the surface. The cream is then skimmed off and allowed to cool until a thick layer forms on top. This cream is then served with scones and jam as part of the traditional cream tea.
The Devon Cream Tea is still a popular tradition in the region today, with many tea rooms and cafes serving this delicious treat to locals and tourists alike. In 2010, the Devon Cream Tea was awarded protected status by the European Union, recognizing its cultural significance and ensuring that it can only be made in Devon using authentic ingredients.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy your cream tea, you’ll find that many wonderful tea-rooms, cafés, restaurants and pubs serve their own delicious version and we’ve listed lots of them here!