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Best Cream Tea in Somerset [Tried & Tested]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

If you’re looking for the best cream tea in Somerset, you’ve come to the right place.

If there’s one thing I’ve got a soft spot for, it’s a cream tea. And when it comes to the best cream tea, Somerset’s got the cream of the crop. With its lush green landscapes and rich dairy heritage, it’s no wonder Somerset is a hotspot for cream tea enthusiasts like me.

I’ve been on a quest, scouring the county’s quaint tearooms and charming cafes, all in search of the ultimate cream tea experience. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! From the traditional to the unconventional, Somerset’s cream tea scene is as diverse as it is delicious.

History of Cream Tea

The origins of cream tea can be traced back to the 11th century. It’s tied so closely with the British identity, traditions, and customs. If you’ve ever wondered how cream tea became a part of Somerset’s landscape and people’s everyday lives, let’s sail down the memory lane together.

According to popular accounts, the tradition started in Devon and Cornwall counties, neighbours to Somerset. Legend has it, the humble cream tea was a quick refreshment for workers toiling in the fields and farms. Over time, it transitioned from this simple aid to becoming a delightful social event wherein people gathered to enjoy tea, scones, cream, and jam.

It’s no surprise that this tradition travelled to neighbouring Somerset. With its vast green pastures and excellent dairy heritage, the county embraced cream tea and made it its own. Somerset’s unique ingredient? Clotted cream. Uniquely produced in the county and holds a Protected Designation of Origin status.

This delicate accompaniment gives Somerset’s cream tea a distinctive character and a richer texture.

Beyond the delightful treat, the cream tea tradition serves as a testament to Somerset’s strong community spirit and a celebration of its lush landscapes that has nourished centuries-old dairy practices. Cream tea is more than just a mid-day snack; it’s Somerset’s culinary heritage and a welcoming gesture that makes Somerset’s tearooms more than just a place to eat but a soothing retreat. Let’s delve deeper and appreciate the diversity of this cream tea scene across the county.

As I continue my journey exploring Somerset’s cream tea scene, I believe that each tearoom and cafe has its charm and character that sets them apart. With each passing year, they add a new layer to the rich cream tea history, creating memorable experiences for the locals and visitors alike.

Traditional Cream Tea in Somerset

As my exploration of Somerset’s cream tea scene continues, I’m continually struck by the reverence for tradition that permeates every tearoom and café. Each establishment, often housed in quaint, historical buildings, proudly carries on the legacy of serving traditional cream tea. A cup of hot tea, freshly baked scones, Somerset’s famous clotted cream, and locally made jam – it’s a combination that never fails to make my heart sing.

You see, traditional cream tea in Somerset is not just about the clotted cream, though it’s undeniably the star of the show. Somerset’s clotted cream is a luscious, buttery cream that has a unique texture and depth of flavour. It’s made by gently heating rich cow’s milk until a thick layer of cream forms on the surface. The cream is then carefully scooped off and cooled, resulting in a clotted cream that is both decadent and hauntingly delicious.

But what truly sets Somerset’s cream tea apart is the warmth and hospitality of its people. Walk into any tearoom in Somerset, and you’ll be greeted with a friendly smile. The owners take pride in their product, making sure that the scones are warm, the clotted cream is fresh, and the tea is brewed to perfection. And they’re more than happy to share a tale or two about Somerset’s cream tea history.

The attention to detail here isn’t just commendable; it’s almost ceremonial. From the way the tea is brewed, to the texture of the scones, and the creamy goodness of the clotted cream. Each step in the cream tea preparation is executed with care and finesse. This dedication to preserving the art of a traditional cream tea is what makes Somerset a go-to destination for cream tea aficionados.

Visiting Somerset and indulging in a cream tea isn’t just about satisfying a sweet tooth. It’s about taking a step back in time and immersing oneself in a tradition that has been lovingly upheld for centuries. It’s about basking in the warm glow of Somerset’s community spirit while savouring the tastes and textures of its local produce. It truly is a feast for all senses – a testament to Somerset’s culinary heritage.

Unique Cream Tea Variations

Venturing further into Somerset’s cream tea scene, you’ll find a world of delightful variations that play on the traditional scone-clotted cream-tea triad. With a mindful nod to tradition, numerous teashops innovate and push boundaries without losing the essence of this time-honoured ritual.

You’ve likely savoured the basic cream tea – a warm, fluffy scone laden with indulgent clotted cream and strawberry jam, all perfectly paired with a hot brew. But Somerset takes this experience a notch higher, offering bespoke variations that will tantalise even the most discerning palates.

Among the notable highlights is a Lavender Earl Grey cream tea. This unique fusion perfectly combines the floral notes of lavender with the citrusy tang of the Earl Grey – a flavour combination that truly sings! An added dollop of clotted cream on a buttery scone takes this experience from good to unforgettable.

For those with a love for the whimsical, Somerset’s Chocolate Orange cream tea is a must-try. Imagine the warm fragrance of a chocolate scone studded with candied orange peel waiting to be slathered in clotted cream. The result – an explosion of flavours that make your taste buds sing. Pair it with a pot of strong Assam black tea, and you’ve got a cream tea experience that’s anything but typical.

And let’s not forget the non-conventional tea buffs. Somerset’s tearooms respect tea as a beverage with immense potential for variety. Hence, the tea selection spans from classic blends like English Breakfast and Darjeeling to more exotic options including Moroccan Mint and Turkish Apple.

Finally, in line with modern-day dietary preferences, Somerset also offers Vegan cream tea. Think vegan scones, dairy-free butter, vegan-friendly jam, all paired with a lavish pot of tea. Who said traditions couldn’t evolve?

As you delve deeper into Somerset’s cream tea journey, you’ll discover these variations are much more than simple culinary experimentation. They’re a testament to Somerset’s commitment towards blending classical rituals with contemporary tastes, without compromising the cherished legacy of this age-old tradition.

Top Tearooms and Cafes in Somerset

Dipping into Somerset’s cream tea scene is like opening a treasure chest. Walk into any town and you’re likely to find a teashop enticing you with the aroma of fresh scones and a wide range of cream teas. But if you’re looking for the best spot, there are a few standout places that take cream tea to a new level, blending unique flavour twists with the traditional Somerset scone-tea-and-clotted-cream combo.

To the heart of Glastonbury. At the foot of the famous Tor, you’ll find The Hundred Monkeys Café. Famous for their organic, locally sourced food and drinks, they offer a cream tea for every taste. Indulge in their fantastic classic cream tea or dive into one of the exotic cream tea options – the choice is yours.

These are just a taste of the gems in Somerset’s cream tea scene. Remember, it’s as much about the experience as it is about the tea and scones. Take your time, try something new, and enjoy the charming atmospheres of these top spots. You’ll find that the cream tea journey takes you to the heart of Somerset’s culinary tradition, blending old and new against a backdrop of remarkable English countryside and quaint, picturesque towns.

Remember: Somerset offers cream tea at its finest, whether you prefer the traditional scone-tea-clotted-cream trio or something more adventurous, you’re sure to find a perfect spot to indulge in this beloved tradition.

Making the Perfect Cream Tea at Home

Is it just me, or does the charm of Somerset’s unique cream tea make you wish you could recreate it at home sometimes? Don’t fret. I’m here to let you in on the secret to making the perfect mould of cream tea right in the comfort of your kitchen.

First thing’s first – Fresh Ingredients. You can’t skimp on quality when you’re seeking Somerset’s perfection. Get your scones fresh or, even better, bake them yourself. I’d recommend fine all-purpose flour, salted butter, and clotted cream from local dairy farms. And trust me, it’s worth investing in good quality tea leaves.

Choosing your tea is quite a personal matter. The classic choice is a strong brew like Assam or Darjeeling, but a unique twist such as Lavender Earl Grey or Moroccan Mint could make your cream tea stand out. Remember the art of tea brewing. You don’t want to over-boil your water or steep your tea for too long.

Next on the list – your star of the show – the clotted cream. It’s the soul of your cream tea and gets its signature rich, creamy texture from a process called “scalding”. Heating and cooling the cream intermittly gives it its thick texture. It’s a bit time-consuming, but hey, perfection demands patience.

And let’s not forget the jam. A tangy, homemade strawberry jam will add the right contrast to the creamy goodness of your clotted cream spread. I’d suggest going for a simple berry preserve or exploring options like marmalade or raspberry.

My Final Thoughts

I’ve taken you through the journey of making the perfect cream tea at home. It’s all about the fresh ingredients, the right brewing techniques, and the perfect pairing. Remember, sourcing local scones, clotted cream, and tea leaves can make all the difference. Whether it’s Assam, Darjeeling, Lavender Earl Grey, or Moroccan Mint, every tea has its unique charm. Don’t forget the art of scalding clotted cream for that rich texture. And when it comes to the final touch, nothing beats a dollop of homemade strawberry jam. So, go ahead, give it a try. Create your own Somerset cream tea experience at home and enjoy every sip and bite.


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