What Is Cream Tea?

Cream Tea Explained, Cream Tea Origin & More!

cream tea at villiers hotel which consists of scones, strawberry jam and cream

Cream tea as we know it today consists of freshly baked scones filled with fruity jam and thick clotted cream.

At Villiers Hotel we have a deep appreciation for cream tea, and our scones are well-loved throughout Buckingham. 

Keep reading to discover more on the topic "What Is Cream Tea?”.

What Does An English Cream Tea Consist Of?

A classic English cream tea is a lovely treat usually consisting of freshly baked scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam, all served alongside a hot pot of loose-leaf tea.

Cream tea is commonly served in southwest England, especially in the Cornwall and Devon areas. But it's also available in many other parts of the country.

Just remember, a cream tea is different from the old English tradition of afternoon tea that Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford popularised.

Afternoon tea is more like a full meal with finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of sweet treats. 

scones at villiers hotel in buckingham

Cream Tea History

The history of cream tea is unclear as both Devon and Cornwall claim it as their own invention.  

Some local historians think the idea of adding jam and cream to bread originated in Devon at Tavistock Abbey during the 11th century. 

But the cream tea we enjoy today is different from the original version. Nowadays, it's a simple combination of a freshly baked scone, rich clotted cream, tangy fruity jam, and a hot pot of tea. 

One fun debate in these West Country holiday spots is whether you should put the cream or jam on your scone first, and it's been a topic of discussion for years.

If you ask a Devonshire person, they'll always say that the cream goes first. 

We hope you enjoyed our article on “What Is Cream Tea?”. 

For more food-related reads check out “Where In England Did Fish And Chips Originate?” and “Yorkshire Pudding History”.

And if you’re searching for a place to savour fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, check out our fantastic Afternoon Tea in Buckingham

traditional afternoon tea at villiers hotel in buckingham

Frequently Asked Questions Related To: What Is Cream Tea?

Q: What is a cream tea?
A: A cream tea is a delightful British tradition that typically consists of a freshly baked scone served with Cornish clotted cream and fruity jam. This delightful treat is accompanied by a steaming brew of tea.

Q: Is cream tea the same as high tea?
A: Cream tea and high tea are not the same. Cream tea is a lighter snack that consists of warm scones served with clotted cream, fruity jam, and a pot of tea. On the other hand, high tea is more of an evening meal which traditionally includes foods like cheeses, meats and pies. 

Q: Is cream tea a thing?
A: If you're in the UK you'll find that cream tea is readily available in many locations, especially in the southwestern part of England.