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Shhh. Listen carefully. You can actually hear your arteries clanging shut merely contemplating the Devon cream tea. Parents tell their children about them at night if they want them to grow up slim. And I'm addicted to them.

In any cafe in Devon (Exeter does great ones, as does Dartmoor in general, and Sidmouth's are rather fine too), for a modest fee, you can be treated to a pot of tea (does two cups), two scones (pronounced scon, unless you want to sound pretentiously, unreservedly posh and pronounce it to rhyme with cone. No one seriously does it though), a huge pot of jam (strawberry is traditional, although some favour raspberry. Only heathens use blackcurrant), and a huge pot of clotted cream. This is cream that's got thick, cream that's got character, cream that's got attitude - and it's all bad. A teaspoon thrust into clotted cream is likey to be irretrievable without much force and outside assistance. It will bring the pot with it. The trick is to dip it in the hot water pot (that comes to 'refresh' your tea) first. Then you stand a chance of getting it out of the cream pot.

A scone is split, buttered, jammed, and then cream is nudged, persuaded, and guided from the spoon with the little finger. You've got four halves to top. Each half must have more calories on it than the preceeding one so as not to incur the law of diminishing returns. The last half gets what's left. There's usually loads left, as the first three halves are merely preparation for this moment: a half inch scone topped with three inches of pure evil.

Eat lots. Drink much tea. Eat more. You can always diet tomorrow. Better still, buy bigger trousers: elasticated ones are best.

Bliss. Really.

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