Any self respecting visitor to Cornwall needs to sample at least one traditional cream tea. To this end, after pottering around and an admittedly less than strenuous walk along Padstow beach, we strolled to the top of town to Prideaux Place - a beautiful Elizabethan manor house which has been the home of the Prideaux-Brune family since the 16th century. Prideaux Place offers a peaceful haven just minutes from the bustle of Padstow, but more importantly serves cream teas out on the terrace.
We ordered one apiece and were warned that each cream tea was served with two large scones. That was lucky as we hadn't had any lunch and it was after 3pm.
Expectations duly heightened, we were not disappointed. Our cream teas arrived, complete with 2 large soft fresh scones - slightly warm - a pot of deliciously fruity local strawberry jam and a very generous portion of Rodda’s clotted cream. There was also a huge pot of tea per person.
Of course the question is, should the scone first be spread with strawberry jam and then topped with a spoonful of the clotted cream, or vice versa? I believe the difference may lie in whether it is a Devonian or Cornish cream tea but ultimately the choice comes down to personal taste and I am not sure that either method is better or more acceptable than the other. Besides, we all opted for the jam followed by cream method.
The challenge then is to perfectly judge the application of jam and cream, ensuring that equal amounts can be dolloped on to each scone. It wouldn't do to be left with scone and no adornments. The size of the scone, jam and cream made it tricky to eat but we persisted and piled on as much as was possible.
It was the perfect combination of quality and quantity and we declared it one of the best cream teas we've ever had!
Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8RP
This post forms part of a series about our 2010 gastro camping trip in Cornwall.