Talk:Cream tea

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Cream tea or Devonshire tea?[edit]

Am I the only one who has a problem with the main entry for Cream Tea being at Devonshire tea? If no one objects I'm going to reverse this; Devonshire Tea should redirect to Cream tea, not the other way around. It's always called Devonshire tea in Australia, but it's English, after all and that's not what it's called in England! Quill 07:41, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree, lived in Devon for 15 years and never heard it referred to as "Devonshire tea", always "cream tea". (anonymous)
agreed. I got into a minor war with some Australian/NZ editors on this a year or so ago, but I am clearer now about the rules - where a topic has a definite geographical locus, the local name should take priority. seglea 04:22, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Cream Tea is International[edit]

The idea that Cream Tea indicates British culture or British pretensions is not true in many parts of the Commonwealth. Although its origins are generally identified with Britain, in places such as Australia, it is thought of as a pastoral Commonwealth tradition, not a specifically British one.

It is more accurate, therefore, to identify Cream Tea with the Commonwealth than GB in particular.
Seconded, cream tea's a concept more reminiscent of britishness, rather than britain. Tomythius 22:00, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Cornish cream teas are NOT served on a bread roll. And they are referred to as simply a "cream tea" among locals. A "Cornish" cream tea appears on menus in tourist towns to promote the idea of authentic "Cornish-ness". The same thing occurs with the Cornish pasty, locally it is just a pasty.

As someone who grew up in rural Cornwall and frequently worked on a farm as a kid, I can confirm that they are indeed traditionally served with splits (soft rolls). Cornish farm teas (the huge spreads served by the farmer's wife to the workers at the end of a hard day, not the overpriced fare marketed to tourists, which do come with scones) invariably came with splits filled with cream and jam (along with pasties and many other things). -- Necrothesp 17:26, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I'll add my name to the list of people who can confirm that cream teas in Cornwall are traditionally served with splits, i.e. soft-ish bread rolls, not scones. Scones are really a cream-tea-shop-tourist affectation. Bretonbanquet 20:42, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Scones are pretty much the norm, at least outside of cornwall. I think "cream-tea-shop-tourist affectation" is an exaggeration - while in tourism hotspots, as may be found in cornwall, scones are served because tourists want them, this does not make the traditional serving of scones in the rest of the country simply a tourist pleasing scheme. Tomythius 22:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
As you can appreciate, I was only referring to Cornwall - and in Cornwall the serving of scones in tourist tea shops is entirely for the benefit of tourists. What people do in the rest of the country is something again, and I know little about it. Bretonbanquet 23:21, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Requested image[edit]

I just came to add a picture I took for this page as it was listed on the requested images category. However, it appears this has already been done. If the person who added the image sees this, please remove the image from the request list if this has been filled. Thanks for your time. --Xyrael T 09:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Other regional variations[edit]

I know in Bath (and surrounding area) a cream tea is often served with a sally lunn and there are probably countless other variations. Would it not be better, therefore, to reorganise the page to give the norm first, and the variations (regional and otherwise) after? At present it doesn't flow well. Tomythius 23:03, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Cucumber Sandwiches part of a cream tea?[edit]

Can someone tell me where in the world Cucumber Sandwiches are part of a cream tea? Is someone confused with Afternoon Tea or is it a specific regional variation that I have never heard of, or something that may have fallen out of fashion in many a household? I'm English, have eaten a lot cream teas in many a home and have never heard of a cucumber sandwich being part of it. I'm not saying its wrong, I'd just like an explanation or elaboration, Thanks GQsm Talk | c 22:55, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


Would a sentence or two on the subject of the order controversy be relevant. I was always taught that jam then cream was the 'correct' was to take low tea. If that is the case I would suggest a more accurate photo. MHDIV ɪŋglɪʃnɜː(r)d(Suggestion?|wanna chat?) 20:38, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Jam first[edit]

I'm Devon born and bred, and I have never had it cream first. I was at the Annual Cream Tea Fair, and after asking one of the established Cream Tea makers, found out that the proper Devonian way was jam first, and Cornish was cream first. I strongly suggest what is written in the article should be more revised, especially as what I believe to be a correction has been reverted by a "vurriner"... Craitman H. Pellegrino (talk) 11:03, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, this is very odd. I lived in Devon for 15 years, and my circle of friends and in-laws were very insistent that the correct Devon way was cream first, then jam - any other technique betrayed that they were not local. Makes sense, as the cream is there in place of the butter, and prevents the jam soaking into the scone. If there are other views - as obviously there are - the article should make clear that the issue is disputed, not that one view is "right" and the other is "wrong". I've raised the issue at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Devon#How to eat a cream tea. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:17, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Jam first. Spread the jam with a knife, then dollop the cream on with spoon or a clean knife. Doing it the other way it likely to get cream on the implement you're using for the jam, which is not nice and therefore poor table manners. Jooler (talk) 21:44, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Cream first. It's in place of the butter, so I agree with Ghmyrtle, it makes sense. And the idea of poor table manners isn't a problem, as it's a spoon for cream, knife for jam. It seems to be a matter of preference though, as my uncle has jam first yet my aunt has cream first (both from and live in Cornwall). There's no 'proper' way, it's more geographical/upbringing. (talk) 23:19, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. I was brought up in Devon, and in no tea room did I ever see anyone local putting the jam on first. It just doesn't make sense. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:18, 15 November 2013
Being Devon born and bred myself i'm confused to find that other people who live in the county do it differently.-- I was always taught from a nipper that Cream first was the right way as it takes the place of the butter. Maybe it's even more specifically geographical than which county you're from. I'm from North/West Devon, maybe it's different in the South/East? Where is everyone else from? Could be fun to plot a map of the two separate areas.Heliotic (talk) 19:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Also Devon born and bred and in my experience the only people who ever put the jam on first were what we lovingly referred to as "Grockles" (tourists!)... As others have said, the cream replaces the butter so should go on first!

621PWC (talk) 01:04, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm from Cornwall, and we all joke that you lot from the other side of the Tamar apply cream first then jam simply to hide your inferior-quality cream! We're proud of the cream and so we want to apply as much as possible and then see it in all it's glory. Arnie Side (talk) 16:13, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

997 A.D.?[edit]

Tea didn't come to europe till the 1600s, so while they might have enjoyed scones, clotted cream and jam in 997 A.D. Tavistock, it should be pointed out that the delicacies weren't being washed down with tea.Meltyman 05:22, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Never heard of "thunder and lightning" and I'm British[edit]

"Another variation to a cream tea is called "Thunder and Lightning" which consists of a round of bread, topped with clotted cream and golden syrup.[1]" Are you sure this isnt just some American fantasy? 22:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

It's a Cornish thing, and delicious. DuncanHill 22:29, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
American?? Absolutely not. Cornish all day long. I don't think it's spread beyond the Tamar though... Bretonbanquet 22:35, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
We have "thunder and lightning" as desert after roast beef. Thing is we use the yorkshire puddings for it. I suspect that it, like the tea itself, is subject to local (family level) traditions. (talk) 19:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Until recently I hadn't come across the term either, however it's in one of Nigella Lawsons cookbooks... what's interesting is she states that it's clotted cream topped with black treacle, not golden syrup... Crydwyn (talk) 19:46, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Thunder and Lightning is cos cream = white for the lightening and the black treacle is like the night sky. When you spred the treacle over the cream you get white streaks appear in the treacle and hence the name thunder and lightening. I don't know how or where the american writer gets honey and golden syrup from. They taste good with cream, but have nothing to do with thunder and lightening. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:50, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the term 'thunder and lightning' suggests that black treacle would be more appropriate, but personally I have never heard of anything other than golden syrup being used. That's not to say that at some time in the past, black treacle hasn't been used by some people - I'm not sure when golden syrup appeared on the market, maybe black treacle was an earlier version. Re the cream or jam first argument, speaking as a Cornish woman born and bred, I've seen it done both ways. I'm not sure which is the Devon way or which is the Cornwall way - surely it's a matter of taste? Personally, I put jam first because if I put cream first, I find it tricky to spread the jam on top. When I was a child, we used to put butter first, then jam and then cream. When I grew older and began to consider my waistline, I left out the butter! (Maryjane22 (talk) 09:08, 22 April 2013 (UTC))

Use of w*';!"d (expletives deleted) cream[edit]

IP has twice inserted a reference to cream teas being sometimes served with whipped cream, rather than clotted cream. I'm prepared to believe that in some places that is indeed the case - but we need to be more specific about where this deplorable practice happens. It doesn't happen, so far as I know, in Devon or Cornwall where cream teas originate. We need to name and shame, or at least be more specific. Are we talking about cream teas being served with w*';!"d cream in cafes in other parts of Britain, or in other parts of the world? How common is this practice? Should it be stamped out? (OK, not really...) But, seriously, a "proper" cream tea, in my view, requires clotted cream, and this article needs to make that clear - with whipped cream being a (clearly inferior) substitute. What do others think? Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:50, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Forgive them Ghmyrtle, for they know not what they do - some wretched backwaters don't have easy access to clotted cream so can't make a proper cream tea, but we shouldn't knock them for wanting to make belief with whatever comes to hand. I don't think these children pose any threat to the true cream tea. After all, whipped cream is not an "inferior" substitute - it's no substitute at all. Traveller palm (talk) 22:29, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I've often had, or made, cream teas with whipped cream in England outside of Cornwall and Devonshire, since clotted cream is not readily available and it is still good though not as good. I had a cream tea in Australia recently and it was that gas whipped catering cream! Disgusting and certainly nothing you would get in Devon despite them calling it a Devonshire tea. (talk) 03:15, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

To suggest that whipped cream can be used in a Devonshire cream tea is equivalent to suggesting that cricket without stumps can still be cricket. It's not.

621PWC (talk) 01:09, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Mistake corrected[edit]

The picture box of scones with jam over cream is captioned "Cornish cream tea" despite the fact that the passage right next to it explains that jam on top is the devonshire method. I've corrected this minor mistake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but if you look at the description on the image page itself, the photo was actually taken in Cornwall - so I've clarified the caption. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:20, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Availability of Cornish splits[edit]

Just wanted to add that, while I can't speak for the whole of Cornwall, splits are certainly not 'rare' in Redruth. I regularly buy half a dozen, especially if friends are coming for tea; they are readily available in Redruth and Camborne and, I suspect, in many other Cornish towns. I would never use scones; when we were children, if there were no splits in the house, we had our cream and jam (or golden syrup) on slices of white bread. (Maryjane22 (talk) 10:45, 17 April 2013 (UTC))

Would changing "..even in Cornwall..." to "...except in Cornwall..." be accurate and helpful? Neither wording is referenced, so we are probably largely dependent on local knowledge! Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:07, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that seems sensible. I'm not sure how readily available Cornish splits would ever have been in the rest of the country, but certainly you can still get them quite easily down here I'm glad to say! (Maryjane22 (talk)) —Preceding undated comment added 15:56, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I'll check it out next time I'm in Port Isaac.  :-) Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:58, 17 April 2013 (UTC)