Owners from around the country are settling into their Renaissance Retirement properties to enjoy a cup of tea with neighbours and friends in the communal lounges. Whether you prefer your clotted cream or your jam on top, there is one thing we can all agree on - a cream tea is simply delicious. Why not make more of an occasion by celebrating this beloved British tradition for National Cream Tea Day on Friday 28th June.
Freshly baked scones, strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream are an afternoon treat all year round. But, there is something quintessentially English about a cream tea, served outdoors on a summer afternoon.
Where it all began
We have the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, to thank for introducing the afternoon tea to Britain. Around 1840, she requested some light food and a pot of tea, usually Darjeeling, to be brought to her private living quarters to help ward off her mid-afternoon hunger.
The idea proved so successful that it soon became routine and the Duchess decided to invite a few of her friends to her country house for tea in the afternoon. A new social event was born.
The cream tea tradition flourished in the beautiful West Country following the tourism boom in the 1850s - after the Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway line was opened.
Holidaymakers fell in love with the area, returning every year to enjoy the stunning scenery. The delicious afternoon cream teas were made with the finest local ingredients and offered in tearooms, hotels, farmhouses and cafés.
National Cream Tea Day
Now you too can celebrate with National Cream Tea Day on Friday 28th June. Pull on a pinny, get out your baking trays and dig out your fine china! It is a great opportunity to host an afternoon cream tea that would leave the Royal Garden Parties in the shade - and raise all-important funds for good causes too.
Choose your favourite tea - try Tiptree’s Breakfast, Earl Grey, Assam or Darjeeling, for example, and use loose leaf rather than teabags if possible. Allow the tea to brew in your best china teapot for at least three minutes before pouring to let the full flavour infuse.
Scones should be made on the morning of your tea party and baked just before family and friends arrive ideally so that they are still warm, fresh from the oven. A perfect scone should break apart with a simple twist rather than cut with a knife. Rodda’s Clotted Cream and Tiptree Strawberry Jam will finish off your cream tea to perfection.
Alternatively, if baking really isn’t your thing, why not join Renaissance Retirement at one of our upcoming events for drinks and refreshments:
Wokingham Open House Event 27th June
Click here to read more
Wimborne Information Day 3rd July
Click here to read more
The Cream Tea Society’s scones recipe:
500g plain flour;
17g baking powder;
100g caster sugar;
Pinch of salt;
100g diced butter;
2 egg yolks,10ml milk, pinch of sugar.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it’s well combined. Add the milk and mix well.
Once it starts to come together, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it forms a soft, smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 2.5cm and cut into rounds with a 5cm cutter. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Now mix the egg wash ingredients together in a small bowl and brush the top of each scone, twice. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.