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Afternoon Tea: The Big Jam or Cream Debate


The age old question of whether jam or cream should be put on a scone first leaves the country divided over one of its favourite pastimes. The Devonshire method dictates that you should smother a scone in cream before adding jam, while the Cornish method suggests jam should be applied first.

Below, Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran, aims to help this debate by giving his top tips for how to serve, eat and enjoy your scones.

Little twists
While plain scones are delicious served simply with jam and cream, they can be made even better with some clever additions. A personal favourite that are perfect around Christmas time are cranberry & orange or gingerbread spiced scones.

The right balance in your scone is just as important as the order in which you apply the jam or cream. A ratio of 2:1:1 (scone:jam:cream) is the ideal way to ensure you have the most delicious scones.

Nice and toasty
To have your scones at their best, eat them while they are still warm. This ensures that they are still light and fluffy.

The perfect accompaniment
It is vital to consider what you wash the scones down with. There are so many delicious varieties of tea beyond the traditional English Breakfast that you may not have even tried before, such as Lapsang Souchong, Assam and Raspberry & Elderflower.

Tea Etiquette
As a favourite British pastime, afternoon tea is not without its traditions. Scones are to be eaten with your fingers, but should not be eaten like a sandwich – that is a big faux pas.

At Sopwell House, Afternoon Tea is served in the Cocktail Lounge, Conservatory and The Restaurant between 1pm and 5.30pm. Tiered stands are adorned with the finest treats including intricate pastries and cakes, freshly-baked scones and finger sandwiches. Guests are given the choice between the traditional accompaniment of Twining’s finest teas or for those special occasions, a glass of Taittinger champagne.

Throughout December 2016, Sopwell House is offering its Festive Afternoon Tea for £34.50. The suitably seasonal offerings include turkey and cranberry finger sandwiches, gingerbread spiced raisin scones, and mince pies, all of which are served with a glass of mulled wine.