Here at Dorset Tea HQ, we are obsessed with cream teas. We love eating them out, we love eating them in and sometimes we even make our own (okay, maybe once a year when we’re feeling inspired by the Great British Bake Off). We love them so much that we started to ask ourselves how could we get a quick cream tea fix? More on that later... It’s undeniable though; when it comes to cream tea chat, there are a lot of questions to ponder.
Firstly, there is the age-old dispute on how to pronounce scone. Whether you rhyme it with ‘bone’ or ‘gone’ it apparently doesn’t really dictate how posh you are, but gives more of an indication as to where you are from! There is even a ‘great scone map’ of the UK and Ireland, which has studied exactly this question (wow, and we thought we were cream tea fanatics)! Then of course, there is the big butter debate (personally we’re happy without it but we know plenty of people who slather their scones which is also cool with us)! And finally, almost as commonly discussed as the weather by all Great British folk… is it jam first or cream first?
This is possibly the biggest dispute between the neighbouring counties of Devon and Cornwall. According to Devonians it’s got to be cream first, then jam, but if eating in a Cornish setting you’re more likely to see the jam going on first! We’re not 100% sure this is a hard and fast rule and to be honest, here in Dorset we don’t really mind. Apparently bread being eaten with cream and jam dates back to the 11th century in Devon’s Tavistock Abbey so maybe they’ve got the upper hand when it comes to experience. Mind you, we’ve heard rumours they serve it the Cornish way at Buckingham Palace garden parties so maybe this is the true English cream tea etiquette - plus we do love a royal seal of approval!
Cream Teas in Dorset
For us, one of the things we enjoy the most is going out for a cream tea in our beautiful county – especially when it’s served with our very own Dorset Tea! Here are a couple of our favourite places to get a lovely Dorset cream tea!
The Castle Kitchen Tearooms are located within the beautiful grounds of Highcliffe Castle, which are free to stroll round. It’s also walking distance from Highcliffe beach, a gorgeous, lesser-visited stretch of Dorset’s coastline and perfect for working up an appetite! Their cream tea comes as you’d expect - with a large homemade scone, but you could upgrade and go for the Classic Afternoon Tea!
This lovely spot just outside Wareham is located on a working family farm and is the perfect place to experience Dorset life! The tearoom itself used to be a feed store for the cows and the garden was part of the milking yard! Luckily now the animals aren’t quite that close but you’ll still be able to make acquaintances with some of the farmyard residents. Their perfect cream tea comes with thick clotted cream and a pot of Dorset Tea – perfect!
Set within a Grade II listed building you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you make your way through the great halls to the terrace cafe. Sit and indulge in finger sandwiches and scones with a lovely cuppa overlooking Bournemouth’s sandy shores. What could be better?
Although this little spot isn’t quite within view of the gorgeous bay itself, there is something charming about grabbing one of the outdoor tables and soaking up the seaside vibe as families trundle off towards the beach laden with picnics and beach toys. Their cakes and cream teas are scrummy and there is a lovely seascape photography gallery upstairs.
Earl Grey Cream Tea Scone Recipe
Is your mouth watering yet from all this cream tea chat? The good news is that scones are pretty simple to make and you only need a few ingredients. But just when you thought we’d covered all the controversial cream tea chatter we thought we’d throw one last thing out there… earl grey scones! As tea lovers we were pretty excited when we saw this recipe - have a go at this twist on the classic by flavouring you scones with bergamot from earl grey tea.
- 250g self-raising flour
- Plain flour to dust work surface
- 55g butter
- 1 earl grey tea bag
- 25g sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 150ml milk
- Pre-heat the over to 200C/ 180C fan/ Gas 6. Grease a baking tray.
- Add the flour, the leaves from the tea bag, the salt and butter into a mixing bowl and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and pour in almost all of the milk, mixing until it forms a dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out. Cut into approximately 12 rounds using a scone cutter and place on the baking tray.
- Brush with a little of the remaining milk and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with Dorset clotted cream and some delicious strawberry jam – our favourite is made by award winning local company From Dorset With Love.
An instant cream tea fix
But what if you could get that delicious cream tea taste in just three minutes? That was the question we asked ourselves awhile back and the good news is – now you can! We wanted to show our love and dedication to the Great British cream tea by producing our very own ‘Cream Tea’ tea blend! Apparently it’s not the done thing to sit on a zoom call and eat a cream tea (although we wouldn’t judge you if you did) but now you can get your cream tea hit in one delicious cup! Combining indulgent cream and strawberry flavours, our limited edition blend brings you all the yummy tastes of the very best Dorset cream tea! The only question left to debate now is whether this satisfies your cream tea craving or is simply your new accompaniment to your favourite afternoon treat!
If you’d like to grab a box of Cream Tea blend, head over to our Tea Shop and keep an eye on our Instagram account too (@dorsetteauk) – we often post fun quizzes giving you the chance to win a free sample!