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butter scones

butter scones

A cup of Earl Grey tea

A cup of Earl Grey tea

Decorative books

Decorative books

Nothing better than an afternoon tea with a bite of scones and a good read!
Come across an interesting article

Tea Etiquette Faux Pas
Other Misconceptions About Afternoon Tea

It is surprised me to see lots of people nowadays use the term “high tea” while sit in a comfy sofa and have tea over a coffee table. High Tea is often a misnomer. Most people refer to afternoon tea as high tea because they think it sounds regal and lofty, when in all actuality, high tea, or “meat tea” is dinner. High tea, in Britain, at any rate, tends to be on the heavier side. American hotels and tea rooms, on the other hand, continue to misunderstand (or intentionally misconception) and offer tidbits of fancy pastries and cakes on delicate china when they offer a “high tea.”

The drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself.

This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. A wearied factory worker wouldn’t arrive home until six in the evening, and when he did, he was famished! Thus, in the industrial areas of the UK (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes evening meal evolved: high tea.

English High Tea usually involved a mug of tea, bread, vegetables, cheese and occasionally meat. Variations on high tea could include the addition of pies, potatoes and crackers. Afternoon Tea in the other hand is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into ‘fingers’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. Interestingly, scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.

So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, high tea was a necessary meal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This traditional high tea still exists for some parts of the North and Scotland.

Antique Tea cup & dinnerware from Maria’s Farmhouse
Find a tea room in UK, click here
Learn more about British custom of tea, click here

@NightOwlArtdrinktea

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