A Heavenly Cream Tea

St Anne's Church Cream Tea, Kew

There’s nothing like homemade cakes and scones – and church tearooms in England are usually one of the best places to find them. Here at St. Anne’s Church (c.1714) in Kew, the ladies of the church prepare homemade tea food. The teas can be enjoyed outside amongst the gravestones  on the other side of the churchyard, which also provides a lovely view of Kew Green. This year (2012) teas will be served on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from May 6th to September 30th.

You will notice that these are “crusts on” tea sandwiches. One of the church ladies working on the day I was there told me that ever since the war, she just cannot bring herself to cut crusts off bread, that it just seems too wasteful.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is buried here at St. Anne’s, but unless The Blue Boy is hiding a teacup beneath that cloke, I cannot seem to find a Gainsborough tea connection.

However ….. the German artist Johan Zoffany is also buried at St. Anne’s, and his works include some rather lovely ones containing tea:

 The Garden of Hampton House with Mr and Mrs David Garrick Taking Tea by Johan Zoffany

John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and his Family by Johan Zoffany


 James Farrell Phillips by Johan Zoffany


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  1. I smiled when reading about the church lady who couldn’t bring herself to wastefully cut off the crusts. I made tea one afternoon for an elderly friend in her 90s who, having lived through the Great Depression, feels the same as the church lady. So I left the crusts on, and she found it amusing – she knows I’ve wasted tons of crusts!

    • Great story, Jean. I’m a de-cruster myself and have seen loads of suggestions on what to use them for but somehow or other mine just end up in the bin! I’m not very good at frugality.

  2. Hi Jennifer and thanks for visiting Tea in England. I really should take your suggestion on board re the breadcrumbs….

  3. What is the term “cream tea” referring to? Is it that there is milk in the tea or is it the cream on the scones? I’m new to this and so eager to learn the proper terms and traditions and methods….thanks!

    • Hi Karen, The ‘cream’ in the term ‘cream tea’ refers to the ‘clotted cream’ (as it is called – the word ‘clotted’ isn’t very appetising, is it, but it is appropriately used) that is used on the scones. I will be doing a special series of posts on just what Afternoon Tea, High Tea, Cream Tea, etc etc is all about. Stay tuned!

  4. Oh my! I wish churches here in the SW part of CA would take up this idea and have fund raisers every month doing this. A simple cream tea would do it.
    *Hmm, must keep that idea in my head*

    • Dear Val, It is a good idea, isn’t it. And as you and I both know, it wouldn’t take an extraordinary amount of effort to throw together a cream tea. Very, very normal over here for a church to have a ‘tearoom’. I’m sure there must be an interesting history behind that. Hmmm, I’ll have to do some research!

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