Boarding is like a Cream Tea…

Forrest Gump once said that life is like a box of chocolates. I think that life is like a cream tea. And no one makes a cream tea better than our Hazlegrove boarders.

A great cream tea is more than just a scrumptious, fluffy scone – fruit or plain. A delicious cream tea is more than just a scone with a cup of tea. A yummy cream tea is all about the experience – the taste, the flavour, the first bite, followed by a soothing sip of tea; it’s about the company, the ambiance, the location – these are all the proverbial cherry on the scone – apologies for the mixed metaphor; and of course, the obligatory debate about jam on cream or cream on jam!

Our first weekend back after Lockdown 3.0 saw our boarders bake over 150 scones in preparation for our afternoon cream tea. And it was this occasion that made me realise exactly why I have been a houseparent for 20 years. The humble scone and cup of tea encapsulated all that is good about life as a boarder.

First, I saw a kindness that warms the soul, like the eight ovens turned to 190 degrees celsius in the Food Tech room, warmed my cheeks. Older children were helping younger ones measure, mix and roll the scones; and a heart-warming moment, when a group, who remembered that one of our boarders is lactose intolerant, dashed off to the kitchen to get dairy free milk and butter to make a special batch. Kindness in a bowl right there!

Once the scones were piled sky-high into a container, the older children offered to set up the picnic area. Without asking, tables were set, flowers were picked and benches moved. We were setting the events in motion to bring our community together. Next was the production line…cutting, buttering, jam and cream (this was unanimous – after I may have influenced the vote!). Giggling and laughter announced the arrival. Our children made, prepared and served these scones with a warmth and generosity of spirit that makes one feel positive about the world.

A cream tea is more than just a scone and a cup of tea – a cream tea is a ritual – one that is forged in the kitchen of love, and served in a fellowship that sings of a family, a bringing together of friends…

On that lazy Sunday afternoon, I felt that our boarders were living out exactly what their parents and we, at Hazlegrove, hold so dear – family, community, kindness, acceptance and a generosity of spirit that transcends and unites.

A bearded dolphin and a crown may well be our school crest but the humble cream tea is at the heart of all that we do at Hazlegrove boarding. Simple wholesome goodness, added with love and care – that only gets better when shared with others.

If you are ever in the neighbour, pop in for a cream tea – Hazlegrove’s are worth trying – and life enhancing and changing.  

Mr Regan Schreiber



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