Saturday, October 9, 2021


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 and offer tidbits of fancy pastries and cakes when they offer a “high tea.”

The term ‘high tea’ was first used in 1825. The British tradition of High-Tea began in the mid1700s as an afternoon meal usually served between 3 and 4 pm. Most tea rooms today serve tea from three to five o’clock.

Initially, it was a meal for the working class, taken standing up or sitting on tall stools, thus termed ‘high’.

High-Tea, also sometimes called “meat tea” was much more substantial meal served on a kitchen or dining table, and included savory meats, soups, puddings and sweets and lots of robust tea. In the 19th century, having High-Tea was a graceful event, governed by a complex set of rules and etiquette.

For the ‘Leisure Classes’, High-Tea served a practical purpose, allowing Ladies and Gentleman the opportunity of a substantial meal before attending the theatre or playing cards.

The custom became widespread in the 1840s, around the time that John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, had the idea of placing meat and other fillings between two slices of bread. Thus, the High Tea sandwich was created.

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