Each of the counties that make up the West Country in Southern England lay fervent claim to being the official ‘home of cream tea’. Quintessentially British, the scrumptious combination of tea served with clotted cream, scones and jam is a centuries-old treat that remains a true favourite with natives and visitors alike.

Strawberry or raspberry jam, buttered scone or plain scone, there are a variety of cream teas. Regardless of your preference, there are a few steps you should take to stay true to tradition and ensure you satisfy even the sweetest tooth:

– Afternoon tea is typically enjoyed between 3-4pm to satisfy the gap between lunch and dinner. Whatever time you serve cream tea, consider reserving a quiet, pleasant area in which to serve.

– With a whole host of establishments offering traditional afternoon cream, from cafes to restaurants, bars and hotels, competition is rife, so be sure to pay attention to even the smallest of details. Well presented staff and warm hospitality are all part of the experience.

– Use of quaint tiered cake displays and delicate fine china cups and saucers help to evoke the taste and tradition of the West Country.

– A good tea is essential to producing the perfect cream tea. The world renowned loose leaf black teas of Assam, Darjeeling and Ceylon are all worthy choices – just be sure not to take the easy route and use a teabag!