Scones: Featured Snack for the English Picnic!
Par: La belle Excuse
La Belle Excuse
La Belle Excuse

Scones: Featured Snack for the English Picnic! 

Scones are a perfect pairing for hot tea.

(Photo credit:  Viviane Meguerditchian)


Warm weather is making a comeback, and we can’t wait to make the most of the outdoors! For a unique picnic experience, why not go for English tea-time where scones are in the spotlight? 

The La Belle Excuse team spoke with Viviane Meguerditchian from Salon de thé Les Demoiselles for her expert advice. 

Find out about the insights of a seasoned expert in the English tea tradition and its delectable scone pairings. 


Star of the Picnic: Scones! 

An English-style picnic wouldn’t be complete without scones! Although they are enjoyed as a pastry in Quebec, this small traditional treat is primarily considered as a tea-time snack. 


What is a Scone? 

Originally from England, scones are quick breads, seasoned in various ways. Their texture, both soft and crumbly, makes them perfect treats. 


Origin of Scones 

Their origin dates to medieval times when they were baked on a cast-iron griddle over an open fire. Their basic ingredients are simple: flour, butter, milk and sometimes a bit of sugar. 

But they are neither cakes nor cookies, as emphasized by Viviane Meguerditchian: 

“Scones can be sweet or savoury. If they are sweet, they are much less so than a muffin, a cookie or a cake. They are traditionally enjoyed with just a hint of sweetness, with toppings added for flavour.” 

Over the centuries, their preparation has evolved, replacing butter with plant-based alternatives such as olive oil. 


Why Use Olive Oil in Scones? 

Vegan scones with olive oil

Experts have been saying it for years: olive oil has nutritional benefits over other products such as butter. 

Replacing butter with olive oil in some recipes can be a good option even though you’re not vegan.  

Whether for its antioxidant content, to lower your cholesterol levels or simply to give it a different taste, olive oil has many benefits when preparing scones. 


She tested it for us! 
Viviane Meguerditchian tested a new scone recipe with olive oil instead of butter. According to the expert, “The texture is perfect, so much so that I will now be changing all my scone recipes!”  


Other Healthy Alternatives  

Other ingredients can also be substituted to add even more nutritional value to these English snacks or to make them 100% vegan.  

For instance, you can substitute white flour with whole wheat flour and use plant-based milk rather than cow’s milk. 


Ultimate Tip for Successful Scones 

Have you ever baked scones, but found their texture wasn’t exactly what you’d hoped for? According to Viviane Meguerditchian, this is completely normal: 

It’s crucial not to knead the dough! The secret is to delicately use your fingertips, ensuring the dough is homogeneous without kneading it. Being gentle is key,” said the owner of Salon de thé Les Demoiselles. 

Try this delicious snack using our Quebec Strawberry, Lavender and White Chocolate Scone Recipe! 

Scones with Quebec strawberries, lavender and white chocolate


Toppings for Scones 

Strawberry, raspberry, apricot or even fig: any sweet jam is a classic and delicious topping for scones. Choose a jam to your liking and spread it generously. 

Crème fraiche is also spread on the soft rolls as part of the English tradition. Known as Devon or Devonshire cream, this thick cream is a specialty from a county in southwest Britain. You can find it at specialized grocery stores or make it yourself. 

 Devonshire Cream 
Mix equal part cream cheese and 35% cream. Cream cheese can also be substituted with mascarpone.  

To enjoy your scones like the English do, spread a generous layer of Devon cream and top it off with a dollop of fruit jam. A perfect harmony of flavours! 


The Art of the English Picnic 

Location is key when planning any picnic. You want to have enough space to spread out your accessories and have a beautiful view of the area.  

If you are in Lanaudière, here are some idyllic locations for your English-style picnic: 

Jardin Arôme et Saveurs, Sainte-Mélanie 

Maison et jardins Antoine-Lacombe, Saint-Charles-Borromée 

Parc des Cascades, Rawdon 

Parc Régional de l’Île-Lebel, Repentigny 


    As Viviane says, “Food becomes an experience for the heart with the people we love. You want beautiful accessories, carefully chosen cutlery. It truly is a total experience.” 

    A lovely tablecloth, a wicker picnic basket, a few accessories, and voilà! It’s all in the preparation.  

    Riddles and word games are also part of the English tradition. Try preparing a few in advance to liven up your picnic when the conversation starts to lag.  


    Tips for a Sustainable Picnic 

     First, you want to use reusable containers for your food. Not only is it better for the planet, it also adds a touch of style to your picnic basket!  

     Also try to avoid disposable packaging as much as possible. Forget about plastic utensils and bring your own from home. Cloth napkins rather than paper ones are also more eco-friendly.  

    Above all, remember to respect our beautiful environment and do this one simple gesture: pick up your trash! Leaving your picnic spot as clean as you found it helps preserve the natural beauty around you 


    Scones add a touch of indulgence to all events, from a romantic English picnic to brunch with friends.  

    So, go ahead and give these little delights a try—you won’t be disappointed! Remember to share your pictures and experiences with us! 

    Bon appétit! 

    For more recipe ideas, check out our Recipe section. 

    For more relevant and informative articles, visit our Blog 


    Viviane Meguerditchian from Salon de thé Les Demoiselles