The term ‘High Tea’ is frequently misused and mistaken as ‘Afternoon Tea’. Hotels and the likes are becoming more aware of the true meaning & differences between ‘Afternoon Tea’ & ‘High Tea’
Let us help clarify this for you today.
Afternoon Tea was a social creation of Anna Russell, Duchess, of Bedford in the early 19th Century… continue reading about the Duchess
The drinking of tea not only became popular with the upper class but the working class too. As the working class did not usually finish their working day until around 6pm & were famished by this time, they wanted something more substantial than dainty sandwiches & cakes. So around 6 or 7pm they would have ‘High Tea’ which was more of a family meal than a social gathering. They had this in lieu of dinner so it was a heavier meal than the upper classes ‘Afternoon Tea’ which they had as well as their dinner. ‘High Tea’ consisted of a mug of tea, pot pies, bread, vegetables, cheese, & occasionally meat,
‘High Tea’ was served & eaten at a high table whilst seated on high back dining chairs, this is where the name ‘High Tea’ comes from.
Afternoon Tea which is also known then as ‘Low Tea’ was more of a social occasion for the upper class with its own rules of etiquette. This was served in middle of the afternoon on low tables with lace table clothes & doilies, with low comfortable parlour chairs, sofas or whilst relaxing in the garden.