Tea v dinner and jam or cream first – the big regional differences across Britain | The Sun

Tea v dinner and jam or cream first – the big regional differences across Britain | The Sun

The 'jam or cream first' debate tops a list of Britain's most hotly contested regional differences, followed by whether 'dinner' or 'tea' is right for an evening meal.

Third place went to the fierce debate over where Britain's 'home of music' is – with Liverpool topping the charts ahead of Manchester and London.

More than four in 10 (41 per cent) have become embroiled in fiery debates over such differences – with others including the bread roll vs barmcake battle, whether ketchup or brown sauce is the top choice and rugby union versus rugby league.

The top chip topping, English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea and the home of the UK’s best curry also featured in the list.

The study of 2,000 adults was commissioned by coach operator, megabus, to mark 20 years of connecting people across the country.

It found these differences of opinion have also led to 17 per cent stopping talking to someone altogether as a result of their heated discussions.


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Mark Venables, managing director at megabus, said: “We have spent the last 20 years bringing people from all over Britain closer together – but we know there are lots of regional differences that shape our nation.

“Whilst we all have our personal preferences on how best to enjoy a scone, or what to top our chips with, we’re excited to bring some of the rival regions across our network together.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone travelling with us to come together and celebrate the diversity across the nation.”

The study found 33 per cent prefer a scone with jam first, but 18 per cent disagree as they enjoy clotted cream as the base ingredient.

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The evening meal debate showed the biggest North South divide, with overall 61 per cent describing the last meal of the day as dinner while 38 per cent describe it as tea. Another 1 per cent were undecided.

Tea was most popular in Yorkshire and the Humber (66 per cent), the North West (60per cent) and the North East (59 per cent) while dinner topped the charts in the South East (82 per cent), London (74 per cent) and the East of England (72 per cent).

When it comes to the quintessential British cup of tea, the perfect partner to a scone, 35 per cent favour an English Breakfast brew over an Earl Grey tea (nine per cent).

And according to 24 per cent of those polled, Birmingham is the ‘curry capital’ of the UK, versus advocates for Bradford (11 per cent) and Manchester’s famous Curry Mile (10 per cent).

Topping chips with ketchup is the preference in London (35 per cent) but for those in the North East, curry sauce came top (25 per cent), while gravy is top for those in the North West (25 per cent). 

Another bone of contention was the correct name for a bread roll, with a ‘bap’ ranking highly for those living in the South East (44 per cent) while ‘roll’ was the most common term of phrase for Scots (28 per cent).

But East Midlanders prefer to use ‘cob’ (36 per cent) and ‘barm’ is by far the most popular term for those living in the North East (60 per cent).

However, it’s not just food debates creating tension between regions as 27 per cent of Brits prefer to follow Rugby Union at its Twickenham home, as opposed to supporting Yorkshire-based Rugby League (16 per cent).

Being proud of where they come from (37 per cent), being brought up ‘this’ way (30 per cent), and their childhood influencing how they do things (21 per cent) were reasons why those polled are so passionate about their preferences.

And 38 per cent admitted to only knowing their way of doing things is different to others after viewing content on social media.


– Sconegate (Cornish vs. Devon Cream Tea)

– The Dinner v Tea Debate

– The Home of UK Music

– Bread Roll v The Barm

– Ketchup v Brown Sauce

– Rugby Union v Rugby League

– The Nation’s Preferred Chip Topping

– English Breakfast Tea v Earl Grey Tea

– The Home of the UK’s Best Curry

Proud East Londoner and TV presenter, Joe Swash, has teamed up with the coach operator to bring these regional rivalries to life by capturing the public’s reactions to these light-hearted debates.

Joe Swash said: “ I love bringing people together by having a good laugh and a joke, so teaming up with megabus to celebrate its 20th birthday felt like a no-brainer.

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"My love for where I grew up and being a proud East Londoner has definitely shaped my own view on music, food and sport – I don’t want to ruffle any feathers but for me I do think the best Balti is definitely from Brick Lane.”

Megabus is offering customers who use the code ‘2003-0000-0000-2023’ on direct bookings between 26 July and 6 August a 20% discount on journeys made between 9th August – 3rd September as it celebrates 20 years of connecting people across the UK

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