A Mother’s Day advertisement in the UK set off a surprising bit of outrage this week after someone in Cornwall put the jam on upside-down.
According to Cornwall Live, the Lanhydrock estate, which is operated by the National Trust, encouraged recently posted an ad on Facebook to encourage people to bring their mothers to the mansion for an elegant cream tea for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, someone made a grave error, and the ad featured a picture of a scone covered with clotted cream and jam on top. Social media users in Cornwall immediately flipped out.
Some background information is essential to understanding the drama. A “cream tea” consists of tea served with scones with jam and clotted cream. It’s sometimes called Cornish cream tea, and sometimes called Devonshire cream tea. Both Devon and Cornwall counties claim it as a local specialty, and the main difference between them is that in Devon, the cream is applied to the scone first, then the jam. In Cornwall, the jam is applied first, then topped with cream.
Lanhydrock is in Cornwall, but the ad showed Devonshire cream tea. Horrified residents hurried into the comments of the Lanhydrock Facebook page to say the cream was on upside-down. Around 300 people commented to say the sight of jam on top of cream was “horrifying,” or that their mothers would disown them if they served them scones that way.
The National Trust apologized, and assured everyone that the mistake had been committed by a hapless staff member. They also assured potential customers that the scones were served with jam and tea in little pots, so they could apply it themselves in the proper order.
“We'd like to sincerely apologise for any offence caused by a recent scone-shot shown on the page. The member of staff responsible has been reprimanded and marched back over the Tamar," the site said. "We'd like to reassure our Cornish community that our catering team would never make such a heinous mistake and that our jam and cream are usually served in little pots so the order of their app lication is not subject to such appalling error. Rest assured, your mothers are safe here.”
The National Trust even had pins made saying #JamFirst for the occasion. For a bit of tea without the drama, here are eight of the best American hotels for afternoon tea.