Savoring Summer: Hot British Weather and the Perfect Cream Tea

Savoring Summer: Hot British Weather and the Perfect Cream Tea

As the British summer swells, it brings with it a particular charm that is both unexpected and delightful. Though the UK isn’t typically known for its scorching heat, recent summers have seen temperatures soaring, prompting a national embrace of sunny afternoons and outdoor leisure. One quintessentially British way to enjoy this balmy weather is with a traditional cream tea.

The British Summer: A Delightful Surprise

When people think of British weather, images of grey skies and persistent drizzle often come to mind. However, summer can paint a very different picture. The usually temperate climate bursts into a celebration of warmth and sunshine, with temperatures sometimes reaching into the high 20s and low 30s Celsius (mid-70s to high 80s Fahrenheit). This sudden shift transforms the landscape and the mood of the country, inviting everyone to take full advantage of the pleasant conditions.

Parks and gardens become lively with picnics, beaches fill with sunbathers, and country walks become the favored pastime. The longer days mean more time for outdoor activities and social gatherings, fostering a unique sense of community and joy that is only heightened by the rarity of such weather.

Cream Tea: A Perfect Summer Treat

Amidst the buzz of a hot British summer, there is one tradition that stands out as both a cultural icon and a delightful indulgence: the cream tea. Consisting of freshly baked scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam, all accompanied by a pot of tea, cream tea is a simple yet luxurious treat that pairs perfectly with warm weather.

The Components of a Cream Tea:

1. Scones: These should be fresh and slightly warm, with a light, crumbly texture. Traditionalists argue over whether to add raisins or keep them plain, but both varieties have their merits.
2. Clotted Cream: This thick, rich cream is essential. Originating from Devon and Cornwall, clotted cream has a distinctive texture that is far superior to regular whipped cream or butter.

3. Strawberry Jam: The sweetness of the jam contrasts beautifully with the cream and scone, providing a burst of flavor that ties the whole experience together.
4. Tea: No cream tea is complete without a pot of freshly brewed tea. Whether you prefer Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or a robust English Breakfast, the tea acts as a refreshing counterpoint to the rich scones and cream.

The Perfect Setting

A cream tea is best enjoyed in a picturesque setting. During a hot British summer, this could be a quaint tearoom in a village, a picnic blanket spread out in a lush park, or even your own garden. The key is to find a serene spot where you can relax and savor each bite and sip. Many historic houses and gardens across the UK offer cream teas, providing a unique opportunity to soak in the history and beauty of the location while indulging in this delightful tradition.

The Debate: Jam or Cream First?

One of the most enduring debates in British culinary tradition is whether to spread the jam or the cream on the scone first. Devon tradition dictates cream first, followed by a dollop of jam on top. In Cornwall, it’s the opposite: jam first, then cream. Both methods have their ardent supporters and offer slightly different eating experiences. Why not try both and decide for yourself?


As temperatures rise and the sun shines brightly over the UK, there’s no better way to celebrate the season than with a leisurely cream tea. This beloved tradition, with its simple yet decadent components, encapsulates the very essence of British summertime. So, grab a scone, slather on the cream and jam, pour yourself a cup of tea, and bask in the warmth and beauty of a hot British summer day. Cheers to savoring the best of what Britain has to offer!

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