National Cream Tea Day

Group of people sipping tea and enjoying scones on a sunny garden, wearing fancy hats, elegant vintage fashion, English countryside setting..
National cream tea day illustration

Can you smell that? It’s the delicate aroma of scones baking in the oven, and yes, they’re for National Cream Tea Day. A ceremony so definitively British we should all doff our top hats to celebrate and indulge in the scrumptious delicacy known as cream tea. Now let's embark on a culinary journey to explore the history of how this lip-smacking tradition became a national day.

When is Cream Tea Day?

It's national cream tea day on the 24th June.

Eye-opening History of National Cream Tea Day

While the creamy delights of a cream tea have been gracing palates for centuries, National Cream Tea Day is a relatively new phenomenon. Noted its first surge on our radar in 24 Jun 2016, when it had a whopping 4854 online mentions!

The cream tea tradition is a specialty in Devon and Cornwall regions in England, dating back as far as the 11th century. It was then popularized in the 1850s by the Duchess of Bedford who would regularly invite her friends for an afternoon tea. It's no wonder this delicious gastronomic delight gets its own special day!

What does a proper cream tea look like?

Imagine this, two warm, heavenly scones split open, smothered in a swath of jam and a dollop of clotted cream. Accompanied by a steaming pot of tea, served in quaint English crockery. But hold on! There's a long-standing debate over whether the cream or the jam should go on first. While folks in Cornwall prefer jam first, Devon loyalists stand by cream first. No matter the order, it’s still yum-yum-yum!

Celebrating the National Cream Tea Day

From office parties to garden get-togethers, everyone has their own special way of marking this treasured day and taking a little 'me' time to enjoy a cream tea. Some folks will go to their local tea house, while others will bake at home. Each celebration adds another layer to the rich, creamy history of this day.


Without a doubt, National Cream Tea Day is much more than just a day to enjoy a delicious meal; it's an opportunity to indulge in a bite of history. So, grab your apron, put the kettle on, let’s honor this cherished tradition together!

History behind the term 'Cream Tea'


Introduction of tea to England

Tea was introduced to England by Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese queen consort of King Charles II. She brought her tea-drinking customs to the English court, and the trend quickly spread among the elite.


Introduction of cream to tea

The practice of adding cream to tea began to gain popularity in the early 18th century. Cream was added to tea as a way to cool the hot beverage and make it more enjoyable to drink. It also added a richness and smoothness to the flavor.


Anna, the Duchess of Bedford

Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, is credited with popularizing the tradition of afternoon tea, which included the serving of cream tea. Feeling hungry in the late afternoon, she started having tea and a light snack to satisfy her hunger. This practice soon became a fashionable social event.


The modern cream tea

By the 20th century, cream tea had become a quintessential part of British culture. Served with scones, clotted cream, and jam, it became a traditional, indulgent treat enjoyed during afternoon tea or as a standalone snack. The combination of warm scones, luscious cream, and fruity jam continues to be beloved by tea enthusiasts around the world.

Did you know?

Did you know that the tradition of consuming tea with a light meal in the afternoon was introduced in England by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840?


awareness food fun loved ones British history

First identified

14th June 2015

Most mentioned on

24th June 2016

Total mentions


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