Tuesday, August 29, 2017

High Tea - Low Tea

This creative display was discovered while on a garden tour and shared by our NY sister. One of the questions we frequently hear in the tea room is 'what's the difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea?'. And the other question we frequently get asked, 'Do you serve High Tea?'.

Low tea is Afternoon Tea, whereas High Tea is actually the workingman's supper. Afternoon Tea will have all the delicate little tea sandwiches, scones, and sweet little desserts and is served late afternoon, 4:00 pm. High Tea is served much later, and would include heartier food such as meat pies, beef stews, and such. The farmer would come in from the field and ask his wife, 'what's for tea?', and he would be asking about supper. Tea of course would also be served. One other distinction, as this photo demonstrates, high tea was typically served at a high table and low tea, afternoon tea, was served at a low table. The Dorchester Hotel in London serves their Afternoon Tea around low tables in the lobby.

Over the years, as Afternoon Tea became more popular and slightly Americanized, and hotels wanted to feature tea as an option, they adopted the name 'High Tea' in order to sound more elegant and upscale, thus adding to the confusion in the States as to the difference between the two.

At Sweet Remembrances, we serve Afternoon Tea. One year, we featured a High Tea as a special event, and served High Tea as the supper meal. Our guests were all disappointed that it was not Afternoon Tea and that there were no tea sandwiches, scones, or little desserts. That was a learning curve for all of us!

1 comment:

Marilyn Miller said...

Good explanation. I once many years ago took a class at our community college on high tea and I also was disappointed there were no little sandwiches. However, that always stuck in my head and I did enjoy the class. I bet your guests will never forget that lesson.