How to eat a scone


This is serious business. It might sound trivial, but David Cameron would agree with me (on this at least). Eating a scone is not just a matter of picking up a crumbly bun and cavalierly slathering on jam and cream. Oh, no, no, no! There is a method! A method based on . geography. Whaaa?

Don’t worry, in 99.999% of the world’s countries, nobody will care how you eat your scone. Phew! But, and this is crucial, pay close attention if you find yourself in Devon and/or Cornwall. This is what you do:


When in Cornwall, put the jam on first and then the cream (see above left). In Devon, the cream goes first and then the jam (see above right).

It might sound silly, but a Devonian and Cornish person will know just by looking at you (okay maybe not quite) which way you “butter your bread” (aka cream and jam your scone). There is a never-ending scone war about which way is better. Yes, I said scone war.

What a wonderful thing to argue about! I wish all wars in the world were only fought in jam and cream. What a peaceful, delicious place it would be.

Here’s one last parting shot of our delicious cream tea in Devon:



I’m currently writing about this whilst sitting in an Airbnb flat in Split, Croatia. Very far from scone wars country. Matt and I have officially left the UK as UK residents (sob!) and are on our way back to the states (yea!) in a little over a week. We just had to make sure to get some Croatian sun first before we moved from one rainy place to another.

Cath and I will no longer be ‘twins blogging an ocean apart’ but ‘twins blogging a country apart’ — that’s a bit closer, right?

7 thoughts on “How to eat a scone”

  1. okay so now you have me hungry for a scone. wanna hear something crazy, i guess you can tell i’m american because i never had anything (cream or jam) on a scone. i just eat it as is. guess i’m crazy!
    how is croatia? i hear it is known to be amazing! enjoy that sun while ya can!

    1. Hahaha! I was the same way before I moved to Scotland, Diane! I just ate all scones plain. But in all of the UK you always slice it in the middle and use clotted cream (or butter if they don’t have cream) and jam. Making a delicious thing that much more delicious!
      Croatia is beautiful — you guys should go! You would love it! It’s beautiful and sunny and the food is yummy.

  2. OMG, I’m with Diane. Totally craving some proper english scones now! That looks so amazing.

    The scone wars reminds me of the milk-in-tea wars. Do you put the milk in before the tea (protecting the delicate china from the tea’s heat) or afterwards? I’ve always done it afterwards, but I know some people feel very strongly about pouring milk in first.

    I hope you and Matt are soaking up lots of sun. I can’t wait to see your tan selves in ATL in 9 days!!!

    xoxo, Cath

    1. I was always confused about the milk first too. And like the scone dispute, does it really effect the taste?

      And now it’s 8 DAYS!!!!

      Seee you soooooon!!!

      xoxoxoxxo, Lar

      1. I never believed that you could taste the difference, but I know several people who swear that you can. I almost always make my tea in a cup, so in order to keep the water hot enough to brew tea, I poor the milk in last. This article, about the scientifically proven best way to make tea, made me laugh and it gives an explanation as to why you can taste the difference:
        I love a cream tea, one of life’s great pleasures!!! I didn’t know the people of Devon and Cornwall took them so seriously though. To be honest I am a little skeptical about putting jam first, even if you are using high quality, home made jam, it’s never as thick as clotted cream, especially if the latter is cooled, so trying to spread the cream over the jam would just cause an uneven distribution (to my mind). Could you taste the difference between the two?

      2. I suspect the milk/tea issue is a thing. I remember some book (maybe by Margaret Drabble?) where a character is described as “the milk-in-first type.” But because I don’t understand the thing, I didn’t know how to read the sentence. With derision? Disdain? Affection? Pity?

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