Afternoon Tea Week

14th August 2019

From 12th to 18th August, it is Afternoon Tea Week. It’s the time to celebrate this quintessentially British tradition with a host of events around the UK, new launches, themed teas, offers, tea tastings and much more.

Jam or Cream First?

Afternoon Tea Week is the perfect opportunity to pose the age-old question – ‘jam or cream first’? According to a survey by the world’s leading afternoon tea booking site,, 60% of us prefer to spread jam on our scones first, then the cream, revealing how the majority of us will be enjoying our scones this Afternoon Tea Week.

Across the country, jam-first leads the way, with northerners much more likely to spread their jam before their cream, in fact the further north you go the more people go for jam first, 82% in Yorkshire, down to Londoners being the least divided, with 51% choosing jam first.

But the experts are still divided! also put the question to some of the country’s leading bakers and chefs, including Rosemary Shrager who has a cookery school based in The Pantiles. Rosemary says: “Take a spoonful of jam and spread, then spread the clotted cream on top – better to spread the jam first – as it allows more control to spread the cream over the jam.”

Conversely, Edd Kimber says: “Definitely cream first! It’s easier to do and you get more clotted cream, definitely the best bit about scones!”

Keith Newton, founder of Afternoon Tea Week, concludes: “Afternoon Tea Week is all about celebrating one of the most quintessentially British dining traditions. For years the jam/scone debate has raged but it’s always been associated with Devon and Cornwall. We’re glad to shed light on the rest of the country’s perspective but we don’t expect this will end the debate!”

Scones, Sandwiches and Something Special

The same survey of 5,000 people, also revealed:

  • Smoked salmon is the favourite afternoon tea sandwich filling – chosen by 39% of respondents, beating egg mayonnaise (18%), ham & mustard (8%), cheese & chutney (10%), Coronation chicken (10%) and with the classic cucumber sandwich (8%) coming bottom of the table
  • Our favourite part of afternoon tea is the scones (45%)
  • When considering where to go for afternoon tea, the menu is the most important factor (35%), beating specific venues, location and price
  • While many people go for afternoon tea for a special occasion, more of us (43%) go simply to “meet up with friends”

The Pantiles

However you choose to spend Afternoon Tea Week, there are plenty of opportunities to tickle the taste buds at The Pantiles’ various cafes, eateries and bars! A full list can be found here.