Damien Ng, Head Chef at Lancaster House has been baking up a banquet for Lancashire Afternoon Tea at Lancaster House. Taking pride of place in the savoury section is our signature Cheese Scone.
We are delighted that Damien took 5 minutes to share his recipe with us. But first, we look at the fierce debates that surround this unassuming sweet or savoury delicacy…
There’s some uncertainty about the origin of the word scone. It could be derived from the Dutch word schoonbrood meaning fine bread. A more popular explanation is from the Gaelic word sgonn, meaning shapeless mass, or large mouthful. Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, was the first to mention it in writing in his 1513 translation of Virgil’s The Aeneid. Scone (pronounced sku:n) is also a medieval town in Scotland where Kings of Scotland were crowned.
Lancaster House Afternoon Tea Fruit Scone in the Sweet Selection
Today, there is much debate about how to dress a sweet scone – is it jam first, then cream as people from Cornwall would advocate, or is it always cream first, jam on top as they insist upon across the border in Devon? It is known that Queen Elizabeth II always goes with a layer of jam topped with cream, and that is how you will be served it if you are lucky enough to be invited along to one of her garden parties at Buckingham Palace.
The ‘jam or cream first’ debate is not the only thing divisive about scones. Arguments also rage over pronunciation: is it “skon” rhyming with shone or “skone” rhyming with cone? William Hanson, one the UK’s leading experts on etiquette insists that the correct pronunciation is ‘skon’ rhyming with shone. There’s even been a YouGov survey on the matter, and in 2016 it revealed that 51% of Brits pronounce it the way that William Hanson maintains is the right and proper way. Fear not, if you are one of the 49% that pronounce it differently, you will still be very welcome at Lancaster House for our Lancashire Afternoon Tea.
Whatever and wherever the origin of the scone, we are all truly happy that it has emerged from history in its current delightful form, and is a vital part of Cream Teas and Afternoon Teas across the United Kingdom.
Lancaster House Afternoon Tea Savoury Selection including our signature Cheese Scone
It’s easy to avoid the jam and cream debate by focusing on the savoury selection of our Lancashire Afternoon Tea. The Lancaster House kitchen team have created something very special with their signature cheese scone. It features handmade local cheese from Mrs Kirkham’s dairy in Goosenargh. Fresh milk from Mrs Kirkham’s herd of 100 happy Friesians is made into the only farmhouse Lancashire cheese made with unpasteurised milk. The result is a crumbly cheese with a creamy buttery flavour. Delicious!
We look forward to welcoming you to Lancaster House. You can book your Lancashire Afternoon Tea online, or by calling our friendly team on 01524 844822.