“Scones and Cream Tea: A Delightful Journey Through Time and Tradition”



In the realm of baked treats, few things evoke the feeling of comfort and elegance quite like a scone paired with clotted cream and jam. But did you ever wonder where these delectable delights come from? Join us on a journey through history as we explore the origins of scones and the cherished tradition of cream tea.


The Humble Beginnings of Scones


The origin of scones can be traced back to Scotland during the early 16th century. The term “scone” itself is believed to have come from the Dutch word “schoonbrot,” meaning “beautiful bread.” Originally, scones were made with oats and griddled over an open fire. These early versions were quite different from the scones we know today, which are often made with wheat flour and baked in ovens.


Rising to Prominence


Scones gained popularity across the British Isles, evolving into a versatile treat that could be sweet or savory. By the 19th century, baking powder was introduced, leading to the creation of the light, fluffy scones we adore. Queen Victoria’s fondness for scones helped elevate their status, solidifying them as a staple in British afternoon tea.


Cream Tea Traditions


The pairing of scones with clotted cream and jam evolved into what we now call “cream tea.” This tradition hails from the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England, where the order of cream and jam atop the scone is a subject of friendly debate. In Devon, it’s customary to spread clotted cream first, followed by jam, while in Cornwall, the order is reversed. Regardless of the order, the combination of buttery scones, rich cream, and sweet jam remains a quintessential indulgence.


Cream Tea’s Elegance and Charm


Cream tea became synonymous with elegance and leisure during the Victorian era. The tradition of enjoying afternoon tea, complete with delicate cups, saucers, and dainty pastries, captured the essence of refined leisure. Cream tea was often served as a bridge between lunch and dinner, offering a moment of respite and social interaction.


Continuing the Tradition


Fast forward to the present day, and the allure of cream tea remains as captivating as ever. People around the world indulge in this time-honored ritual, whether in quaint tearooms, charming cafes, or the comfort of their own homes. The simplicity of scones, clotted cream, and jam creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that transcend cultural boundaries.




The history of scones and the cream tea tradition encapsulates the charm and timelessness of British culinary culture. From their humble origins to their role in shaping afternoon tea traditions, scones have carved a special place in our hearts and palates. So, the next time you savor a freshly baked scone topped with velvety clotted cream and luscious jam, remember that you’re not just enjoying a treat—you’re partaking in a centuries-old journey filled with history, culture, and the joy of simple pleasures.

Back to blog