If you're a fan of leisurely afternoons, delightful pastries, and a touch of elegance, then high tea is the perfect way to spend your day. But what exactly is high tea, and where did this charming tradition originate? Join us as we delve into the world of high tea, where refinement meets relaxation.
What is High Tea?
Contrary to what some may believe, high tea is not just a fancy name for an afternoon tea party. In fact, it is a tradition with humble origins. High tea, also known as "meat-tea" in certain regions, emerged in 19th century Britain as a hearty meal enjoyed by the working class. It was called "high tea" because it was served at a high table or dining room table, rather than the lower coffee table where afternoon tea was served.
The Afternoon Tea Connection:
Now that we've shed some light on high tea, it's worth mentioning the differences between high tea and afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is a lighter affair, typically enjoyed between 3 pm and 5 pm. It consists of a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, jam, and a variety of sweets and pastries. On the other hand, high tea is a more substantial meal, served between 5 pm and 7 pm, making it a great option for those looking to have a late lunch or early dinner.
The High Tea Experience:
What sets high tea apart from others is its emphasis on savory offerings. Picture a spread filled with delectable dishes such as quiches, pies, meat cuts, and vegetables. This heartier fare is then complemented by a selection of freshly baked bread, cheese, and, of course, tea. The tea served during high tea is usually stronger and more robust, such as Assam or Earl Grey, to perfectly balance the substantial flavors.
Setting the Scene:
To truly immerse yourself in the high tea experience, the ambiance plays a crucial role. Traditionally, high tea is enjoyed in cozy tea house or elegant hotels, adorned with beautiful table settings, fancy tableware, and sometimes even live music. However, in recent years, the trend has extended to home gatherings and cafes, where people can enjoy the comfort and elegance of high tea in a more relaxed setting.
Bringing High Tea Home:
While nothing beats the atmosphere of a tearoom, you can absolutely recreate a high tea experience at home. Invite your loved ones over, arrange a beautiful table setting with fine china and fancy tea cups, and indulge in a selection of savory and sweet treats. Don't forget to brew a pot of your favorite tea, and consider adding a splash of indulgence with a glass of champagne or prosecco.
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High tea is a delightful tradition that combines the best of both worlds - a delectable meal and a refined social gathering. Whether you choose to indulge in an opulent setting or create your own intimate high tea experience at home, it's an occasion that will leave you feeling both satisfied and pampered. So, go ahead, gather your friends, put the kettle on, and embark on a journey of culinary delight and sophisticated relaxation.
Don't forget to grab some loose leaf tea for the ultimate experience!