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High Tea vs Afternoon Tea?

tjsilverjeep Apr 24, 2010 12:23 PM

What is the difference? I am coming from Canada for the first time to London.

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  1. nanette RE: tjsilverjeep Apr 24, 2010 12:55 PM

    In tea drinking terms, high tea is a more eloborate usually featuring a small warm dish along with all the afternoon tea trimmings. It tends to be enjoyed toward the end of tea hours. A lot of places don't offer high tea. I think Claridges and the Dorchester offer high tea.

    Afternoon tea is the standard cakes, sandwiches, and scones.

    1. pikawicca RE: tjsilverjeep Apr 24, 2010 12:57 PM

      Afternoon tea is tea served with finger sandwiches and small cakes, typically around 4 p.m. High tea is working class terminology for dinner. (Apologize for the classist language, but can't think of a better way to put it.)

      7 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca
        nanette RE: pikawicca Apr 24, 2010 01:01 PM

        North Americans typically refer to afternoon tea as high tea and I've seen places that refer to the additional added warm dish as high tea.

        1. re: pikawicca
          PhilD RE: pikawicca Apr 24, 2010 02:36 PM

          Not totally correct. In better off families High Tea was the meal served in late afternoon/early evening before the children went to bed. It usually had a selection of cold cuts and salad followed by cakes, but no hot dishes (apart from crumpets and tea cakes). In those days Dinner was usually served without children present. I believe the working classes would have simply used the word Tea or Supper for their evening meal, after all they didn't really indulge in Afternoon Tea!

          I don't think you will find the term High Tea used in the UK today, most hotels/tearooms use the term Afternoon Tea which includes sandwiches, scones, cakes etc. When I was young, a hot savoury like Welsh Rarebit would be enjoyed with Morning Tea; often at the now famous Betty's tea rooms in York.

          1. re: PhilD
            pikawicca RE: PhilD Apr 24, 2010 03:26 PM

            Last I was in London, places catering to tourists advertised High Tea. What they served was Afternoon Tea. Back in the 60's, when I was a teenager living in East Anglia, none of my middle class friends had High Tea, and I never saw it advertised. Could be a regional thing, I suppose.

            1. re: pikawicca
              PhilD RE: pikawicca Apr 24, 2010 04:09 PM

              Probably more generational. In the '60s it was only my grandparents (who were from London) who still served it, and they were born in the 1800s.

            2. re: PhilD
              Harters RE: PhilD Apr 24, 2010 03:32 PM

              You see High Tea advertised in places in Yorkshire (although I can't recall anywhere else in the country) - which is why I asked if this is what the OP was looking for. Always seems to include hot food (ham, egg & chips - that sort of thing).

              For example: http://www.westwindsinyorkshire.co.uk...

              1. re: Harters
                pikawicca RE: Harters Apr 24, 2010 03:33 PM

                What time of day is this being served?

                1. re: pikawicca
                  Harters RE: pikawicca Apr 24, 2010 03:36 PM

                  Late afternoon - around 5.

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