Scones take the biscuit: classic afternoon tea treat remains the UK favourite

Tea for Trussell afternoon tea parties, in aid of The Trussell Trust, will help stop UK hunger.

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Despite the rise of alternative afternoon teas Brits just can’t live without scones with clotted cream and jam. In a poll commissioned by The Trussell Trust, ahead of Afternoon Tea Week (8-14 August), over half (51%) of people picked the traditional sweet treat as a must-have however cucumber sandwiches just scraped into the top 10, with just 13 % of people choosing the sandwich in their top three.

The poll, of 2075 adults in the UK, reveals that the most popular sandwich filling is egg mayonnaise with 43% of respondents picking it in their top three. When asked about their preferred tea blend nearly half (47%) of people picked English Breakfast as their favourite.

Findings have been released by UK anti-poverty charity, The Trussell Trust, to gauge opinions on the most loved afternoon tea choices to promote Tea for Trussell, the charity’s new fundraising event sponsored by Waitrose. The invitation to have a hot drink with a volunteer who has time to listen can make all the difference when someone in crisis walks through the doors of a foodbank. The significance of the cups of tea and chats, which take place in foodbanks nationwide every day, is reflected in ‘Tea for Trussell’ – which encourages people across the UK to hold an afternoon tea to help stop UK hunger.

The top 10 afternoon tea favourites:

  1. Scones with clotted cream and jam (51%)
  2. Victoria sponge (34%)
  3. Egg mayonnaise and cress sandwiches (32%)
  4. Ham and mustard sandwiches (26%)
  5. Shortbread (21%)
  6. Cupcake (21%)
  7. Chocolate digestive (20%)
  8. Tea cakes (18%)
  9. Iced buns (16%)
  10. Cucumber sandwiches (13%)

Somewhat unsurprisingly Welsh afternoon tea fans picked Welsh cakes as their second favourite afternoon tea staple (41 %), while more than one in four (27%) adults in Northern Ireland picked iced buns in their top three.  Over one in four (27%) respondents in Scotland picked shortbread as a favourite afternoon tea treat.

Egg mayonnaise and cress was the most popular sandwich filling with 43% of people choosing it in their top three. Tuna mayonnaise (41%), cheese and pickle (40%), ham and mustard (34%) and chicken mayonnaise (34%) completed the top five sandwich fillings. The traditional cucumber sandwich languished in eighth place with just 17% choosing the filling as one of the top three sandwich choices.

“We know that sitting down for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat can make all the difference to somebody facing hunger, because of a crisis, when they visit a foodbank. Tea for Trussell is the perfect way for people across the UK to get together with friends, family and colleagues and support our work to help stop UK hunger,” says Mark Elling, Events Manager at The Trussell Trust.

“Whether you choose to spice up your sandwich fillings, or stay true to tradition with a classic spread of sandwiches tea and scones, every penny raised will help The Trussell Trust be there to support people who need us.”

The Trussell Trust is a UK charity with a 420-strong network of foodbanks, which provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. Last year (2015/16), the charity gave 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Money raised through Tea for Trussell will enable The Trussell Trust to help more people break the cycle of poverty.

People can host a Tea for Trussell afternoon tea at work, at home or at school to help The Trussell Trust stop UK hunger. Visit  for more information, and to register for your free fundraising pack.





Elana McIntyre, PR Manager: [email protected] or 020 3137 3699


Notes to Editor:


The Trussell Trust:

  • Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy or bereavement to welfare problems or receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. The Trussell Trust’s network of over 420 foodbanks provides three days’ emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK.
  • In 2015-16, Trussell Trust foodbanks provided 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Of those helped, 415,866 were children.
  • Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional like Citizens Advice, housing associations and children’s centres.
  • Trussell Trust foodbanks do much more than food: they provide a listening ear and help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis either through signposting onto relevant local charities or providing on-site immediate support, such as debt and money advice.
  • Find out more at


Populus interviewed a sample of 2,075 UK adults aged 18+ from its online panel between 27-28 July 2016.  Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at