Living dangerously: the Cornish cream tea goes nationwide

The U.K. coffee chain Costa is boldly going where no sensible business wanted to go before.

What are they doing? Selling cream tea the Cornish way, not the Devon way.

Background break: What’s a cream tea? Two plain scones, strawberry (or sometimes blackcurrant, but they’re going with the more popular strawberry) jam, and clotted cream, which is cream that’s been beatified. I’ve made that joke before. My apologies if you remember it, but I couldn’t think of a better explanation. Plus tea, of course, except that Costa will substitute coffee, which will piss off the purists in both counties.

What’s the difference between the Cornish and the Devon cream tea? In Cornwall, you put the jam on the scone first. In Devon, you start with the cream.

Nations have gone to war over less.

Nobody asked for my advice, but I’d have suggested giving people the fixings and letting them figure out what to do. That would let Costa smile serenely and claim nothing is their fault. Because there’ll be hell to pay over this in Devon.


And a quick note: It’s summer, apparently, because the first cygnets—baby swans, to those of you not in the know—have been born at the Abbotsbury Swannery, in Dorset.. The Western Morning News (which I can’t find online, so no link, which is a shame because they had a great photo) reports that this is the traditional signal. Here in Cornwall, it’s gray and I’m wearing two sweatshirts, but who am I to argue with tradition?

A rare relevant photo: Swan with cygnets, from Pixabay.