Day 10: Devonshire Tea

NZ used to be a British colony and there is a huge British influence here. Kiwis use British spelling for some words such as favour instead of favor and capitalise instead of capitalize. And British slang is common including words like bloody, chuffed, loo, whinge, and bugger.

We have roundabouts rather than four-way stops. Four-way stops are so uncommon that my partner says he knows of only one in the entire country! And there is a lot of British influence in the food. Bangers and mash is common on menus and fish and chips is a mainstay.

What in America would be called dinner or supper is often called ‘tea’ here. It can be really confusing when someone asks if you want tea and you don’t know if they mean the beverage or the meal. A few of the cafes offer something called Devonshire Tea — I had seen it advertised but didn’t actually know what it was until a few weeks ago. We visited the Buried Village outside of Rotorua and ordered Devonshire Tea at the tea room afterward. I was expecting a special kind of tea (the beverage) but instead it was tea (a light meal) along with tea the beverage — see the picture below.

I was confused but delighted. Apparently Devonshire Tea is a common thing here and includes the tea you drink as well as a scone (what I would call a biscuit) and cream and jam!  Yum. And you feel so dang British pouring your tea and eating your scone. I’m not sure how most people pronounce scone, by the way, but where I’m from we would say scone like it rhymed with cone. Here in NZ, they say scone like it rhymes with con (as in con man).


5 September 2016 Addition:

We drove North over the weekend and wandered through the town of Puhoi and noticed a building on the roadside that advertised itself as the oldest tea rooms in NZ. It said they had been serving Devonshire cream teas and more since 1970! So of course we had to stop for tea. It was yum — a beautiful tea service with a variety of teas and the biggest scones I’ve seen in New Zealand so I had to share some pics:

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