My love affair with clotted cream has been re-ignited over the last few weeks, what with our visit to Wiltshire and then a little trip down to Cornwall.
But it is interesting to see the difference between the value and price of cream teas in parts of the West Country.
In Lacock, no doubt because of the Cranford connection, the price of a couple of home made scones and a cuppa was absurdly expensive (at least, it was in the tea room we visited, the King John Hunting Lodge), obviously taking advantage of the American tourists in search of the ultimate quaint English atmosphere. They probably think this is where we all spend our afternoons when, in fact, most of the people I know would rather toddle along to their neighbourhood Starbucks.
After that we found a nice little bistro in Fowey, where lashings of cream and jam were plastered onto hot scones fresh from the oven. The scones were cheaper, tastier and altogether nicer at the Brown Sugar cafe.
Yesterday, though, Mrs Rippers and I found the ultimate cream tea experience much closer to home, in the Tiffin restaurant on Clevedon sea front. Fantastic. A pot of Assam tea which hot scones, oodles of jam and clotted cream, and all for the unbeatable price of £4.50. Well done, Clevedon.
Back in the smoke deputy boss Bob, who spent some of his formative journalistic years on the St Blazey beat, brought up the subject of which goes on first: Jam or cream. It's a question likely to cause more outrage and debate than the merits of the current coalition government
The much-travelled Critch got in on the act and it was established that Devon puts the cream on first, then the jam. Cornwall does it the other way around.
I don't really think there is a hard and fast rule.
I tried it both ways over the previous weeks and though I find putting the cream on first is easier as it acts like butter, putting jam on first enables you to pile the cream as high as you like.
Admittedly, it is a messy job, but someone has to do it.
Livvy update. Our darling daughter has now managed to roll over from her back to her front, much to the amusement of myself and Mrs Rippers. It means we have to keep a close eye on her these days, in case she sees the chance of a quick getaway.