Hey, tea enthusiasts and foodies! Today we are looking at the wonderful world of high tea! Take a seat and get comfy as we explore the wonders of this tradition. A cherished custom that brings together friends and loved ones to indulge in delectable treats and savour aromatic teas in a cozy, elegant setting.
The Origins Of High Tea
High tea originates in 19th-century England, where it had very humble beginnings. Initially, it was a working-class meal that was served in the early evenings to refuel tired hungry workers. Back then high tea was a substantial and hearty meal that bridged the gap between lunch and dinner. Workers would enjoy their meals accompanied by a strong pot of tea. And the meal was called high tea because it was eaten at a high dining table. But over time, it evolved into an elegant and social event enjoyed by the upper classes and usually served between 4-6 pm.
While high tea is traditionally associated with British culture. Nowadays it is enjoyed in many settings around the world. You will find that many luxury hotels, tea rooms and restaurants serve their own unique versions. Mixing traditional elements with a touch of modern flavour.
The Art Of High Tea Etiquette
High tea etiquette has evolved over time, and today it is much more relaxed than in days gone past. Of course, it’s still nice to observe some traditional etiquette practices. But the emphasis now is more on enjoying the experience in a beautiful and relaxed environment.
High tea is a fancy affair so it’s a perfect opportunity to dress up and make the event feel even more special. As it is not an everyday event, dressing up can make the occasion feel even more unique and memorable.
- You can go classic chic in a knee-length dress or skirt paired with classic pumps or dressy flats.
- If vintage glam is more your style. Then why not wear a retro-inspired flared skirt with sling-back heels and a small cute clutch?
- If you prefer contemporary elegance then you could wear tailored pants in a neutral colour. Then pair this with ankle boots and a stylish elegant top.
- Wearing a floral or pastel-coloured sundress will give the experience a garden party vibe. And would also be a perfect outfit for high tea in Spring.
When pouring, hold the teapot handle with one hand and support the bottom with the other. Stirring your teacup with a teaspoon is perfectly ok these days. And no longer frowned upon as it was in the past, just try to avoid too much clinking. But don’t stress if you do clink, clinking is perfectly fine too!
Sipping In Style
Keep it classy by taking small sips-no need for slurping or blowing on your tea! Taking small dainty sips is also a perfect way to make sure that you are enjoying the flavours. you don’t need to have your pinky up in the air as you sip but just remember to place your teacup back in the saucer to avoid any spills.
No need to panic about what cutlery to use and in which order as Julia Roberts did in ‘Pretty Woman’. But if you really want to stick to tradition then you can start with the outermost cutlery and work your way in. Otherwise, just focus on using utensils in a way that allows you to enjoy your food while still maintaining good table manners. And remember to pop your napkin on your lap.
Delectable Treats And Tea Selection
Now, the highlight and the most delicious part: the treats! Here are some traditional delicacies that you will often find served at a high tea.
- Scones: Delicious fluffy scones served warm with clotted cream and jam.
- Finger sandwiches: High tea is all about the dainty crustless sandwiches full of mouthwatering fillings. Such as smoked salmon, egg and cress, cucumber and cream cheese or chicken and tarragon.
- Pastries and cakes: Prepare to indulge in mini delights such as petits fours, macarons, sponge cupcakes, eclairs and tarts.
- Variety of tea: You can choose from a variety of traditional tea flavours like English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Darjeeling. Or if herbal options are more appealing then you will also find that you can choose from many different aromatic herbal and fragrant green teas.
- Alcohol-infused indulgences: Some high tea experiences may even offer tea-infused cocktails, champagne or sparkling wine to add a touch of celebration to the special occasion.
In a world that moves at a frantic pace, indulging in a high tea experience will give you a welcome respite. It’s a chance to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures. Such as indulging in delectable treats, aromatic teas and the joy of conversation in good company. So why not go ahead and make a date to dress up and embrace the elegance and charm of this delightful tradition? High tea is a perfect opportunity to treat yourself to delicate sandwiches, sweet treats and fragrant teas. And maybe a glass of bubbly too!