It's National Cream Tea Day, and Devon and Cornwall are celebrating their own traditions. Is it jam on cream or cream on jam? It's a dispute that divides our region.
David Cameron got it wrong when visiting Devon earlier this year - he guessed jam first, and was quickly put right.
The Cream Tea Society believes it has settled the issue with these tips on correct cream tea etiquette... but what do you think?
- Loose-leaf is best. Brew loose leaves in a cup, but remember to serve a second pot of hot water – just in case you’ve over-brewed.
- If you don’t want to pour, don’t sit near the pot. The person nearest the pot should pour for everyone (if you’re clumsy, best make sure it’s not you).
- Make the perfect brew. Allow the tea to brew for at least three minutes before pouring – time enough for the full flavour to infuse.
- Tea before milk. Pour the tea first, followed by milk (so you can accurately judge the required strength) and then sugar.
- Spoons on saucers, please. Once you’ve stirred, place your spoon on your saucer (think of the table cloth).
- No outstretched pinkies! Always hold the cup between your thumb and forefinger. Contrary to popular opinion, sticking your little finger out does not a lady/gentleman make.
- No knives needed. The perfect scone should break apart with a simple twist. Just make sure you’ve got your saucer to catch the crumbs.
- Spoon then spread. If the table is laden with bowls of jam and cream, spoon your desired amount onto your plate first, before spreading them thick on your scone.
- Jam before cream. While there’s much debate around which goes first (a dispute dividing Cornwall and Devon), etiquette gurus DeBretts say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top.
- A final word. Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper.