June 25 marks National Cream Tea Day on the UK calendar. Below, we dish out all you need to know about this celebration.
What’s National Cream Tea Day?
Glad you asked! In a nutshell, it is a celebration of one of the most quintessential British traditions there are: high tea! You know the one: a nice cup of tea surrounded by cucumber sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and the unmissable scones, with jam and clotted cream -- possibly served on a fancy tiered stand. The stuff of posh hotels, social occasions and lovely tea rooms across the country, this afternoon break is one of the most decadent and delicious ways to press pause on life’s hustle and bustle.
How did the idea of afternoon tea come about?
The custom of taking afternoon tea is thought to have been created by a Duchess of Bedford in the 18th century. It is believed the duchess used to complain of a "sinking feeling" in late afternoon, so would have a pot of tea and a snack. She began inviting her friends to join her between 3pm and 5pm. An iconic meal was born.
But what’s with the ‘cream’ in the tea?
Cream tea is just a variation of ‘afternoon tea.’ The main thing being celebrated here is the combination of scones, jam and clotted cream that come with your cuppa -- all the more so if it’s thick Devonshire or Cornwall clotted cream. National Cream Tea Day is organised by the Cream Tea Society, founded by Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream and Wilkin and Son Tiptree, and honours this particular version of afternoon tea.
Interesting... How can I celebrate?
You can replicate afternoon tea at home with a selection of our pastries, and join the online event the Cream Tea Society is putting together. Check their website for more information.