To mark National Cream Tea Day, I want to share my top tips on good scone and tea manners - Pinkies up (or down, ahem)!Learn how to be both the perfect cream tea guest and the scone-wielding hostess with the mostess. It's such a sophisticated tradition you deserve to do it properly. If you would rather learn from my latest YouTube Video, feel free to sit back, make yourself a cuppa and enjoy this mini (tongue-in-cheek I might add!) tutorial: [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhO3q7G-6-Q[/youtube]
Be the dream cream tea guest...Pinkies away! Hold your teacup with all fingers on the handle, but don't loop your fingers through or cradle your teacup. Always serve your neighbour before yourself - pour the person next to you a cup of tea, pass the scones or offer the Cornish clotted cream before you take for your own dollop of jam. Elbows off the table... This goes without saying. There's a great phrase; "All joints on the table must be carved"... When food is present at the cream tea table, your elbows must be off and your hands in your lap when not eating or drinking. Don't send the tea into a spin... Stir your tea in a "6-12" motion on a clock, don't "whirlpool" it round and round. Tapping your spoon or "chinking" it on the side of your teacup is simply not good manners, no matter how tempting it may be. Drip dry your teaspoon over your cup and place gently behind the cup on your saucer when finished stirring. Never wipe... Dab your mouth with your napkin, do not wipe! Place the napkin with the fold away from your body to avoid throwing crumbs over yourself. Break your scone with your fingers... You'll find a natural crease within any freshly baked scone, so you shouldn't need to saw it open with a knife.
And the most charming host...Be ready for your guests - it's very easy to get swept away with the organising and forget to get yourself ready. To avoid being in a fluster when you greet your guests, get dressed and have yourself presentable before your table and treats. Starched napkins please... The correct size napkin for your Cream Tea is 12 inches, although a lunch napkin folded in half will do just as nicely. You can find some beautiful tea napkins in antique shops. And remember - Napkin, never a 'serviette'! Serve scones warm... Cover them or wrap them in a clean linen napkin to help preserve the heat until guests are ready to eat them. Offer separate spoons for jam and clotted cream to avoid any double dipping or germ sharing. The Great Cream Debate... Something that always gets people talking around the table is the Great Cream Debate. The Cornish love to show off their clotted cream on top, whereas the Devonshire way is to enjoy jam on top. My vote always goes to cream on top - and this is not just a personal preference, it's a science… the silky dairy notes of the clotted cream coat your palate first, acting as a buffer against the sweetness of the jam and dryness of the scone beneath – creating the perfect, balanced taste sensation. Table talk... Polite table talk is something we Brits do very well, talk about the weather, table decor, music. Don't talk about money, religion or other people's bad manners – this is bad manners in itself! Keep calm and carry on... Don't ask your guests for help, stay calm and even if stressed, a good host won't show it. Allow your guests to relax and enjoy their Cream Tea with you – they should never help clear away or wash up, don't allow it if you can help it! Give yourself a pat on the back... Enjoy and reward yourself - make sure you eat the treats and have a hot bath waiting for you after all the baking is done and the washing up put away. You've been a fabulous host - you deserve it! Fancy seeing a sneaky "behind-the-scenes" tour of Rodda's Clotted Cream factory in Cornwall? Well, I was lucky enough to join Nicholas Rodda and his fantastic team quite recently to do just that! Watch my Cornish adventure here (read the blog post here): [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgwRfNPrNyE[/youtube] It's Cream Tea Day on 24th June 2016. To find out more visit The Cream Tea Society webiste on www.creamteasociety.co.uk Read my "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I am in no means obliged to blog or write about this event, brands associated to it or their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I wish to do so. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:firstname.lastname@example.org All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.