Author Topic: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids  (Read 1900 times)

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mechtilde

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High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« on: December 05, 2011, 06:51:46 AM »
The Not one of her Bridesmaids thread has led to an interesting discussion- what is High Tea?

My Grandparents kept the tradition of having both afternoon tea and high tea. Afternoon tea was effectively a very elegant snack- a cup of tea with a slice or two of cake, possibly a small sandwich. High tea was a much larger affair with sandwiches, bread and jam, cold meats, pork or veal pies, cakes, trifle etc. served with a lot of tea. It was a meal.

Afternoon tea was served at about 4pm, High Tea was served at about 5.30pm

So- what are other people's experiences?
NE England

123sandy

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 09:16:00 AM »
A hotel in the town used to serve High Tea years ago. You got something like fish and chips, cold meat or salmon and salad, gammon steak etc and a tiered plate with bread and butter and a few small cakes. Tea or coffee. Between 4:30 and 6:30.

Haven't seen anywhere serve high tea in years.   

camlan

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 09:24:16 AM »
I've never experienced high tea here in the US. From reading lots of English novels, it seems to consist of fish and chips and mushy peas. But again, that's from reading novels.

Now, there are places in the US that offer what they call "high tea" but which is actually a formal afternoon tea. Generally with not enough cake and a pretty steep price. Hotels and small restaurants are the worst offenders.
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mechtilde

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 09:46:48 AM »
From reading lots of English novels, it seems to consist of fish and chips and mushy peas. But again, that's from reading novels.

I think there is a difference between tea and high tea. Now I'm right up in the North of England, not that far away from the Scottish Border. Whilst High Tea does mean bread, jam, sandwiches, cakes etc as described in my first post, tea also means an evening meal (Breakfast, Dinner and Tea) although in other areas, tea just means high tea (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
NE England

Thipu1

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 11:09:24 AM »
In my experience, there are teas and there are teas.

When the main meal is served in the middle of the day, the evening meal can be called 'tea' or 'meat tea'.  This can be a fairly substantial meal with leftovers, cold cuts and, perhaps, a simple cake.

High tea, or sometimes 'cream tea' is the fussy little meal with finger sandwiches, pastries and the Palm Court music playing in the background.


Teenyweeny

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 12:02:21 PM »
In my experience, there are teas and there are teas.

When the main meal is served in the middle of the day, the evening meal can be called 'tea' or 'meat tea'.  This can be a fairly substantial meal with leftovers, cold cuts and, perhaps, a simple cake.

High tea, or sometimes 'cream tea' is the fussy little meal with finger sandwiches, pastries and the Palm Court music playing in the background.

High tea and cream tea are not the same thing.

In the UK, 'tea' can mean one of the following:

1) Tea, the drink.
2) Afternoon tea: sandwiches, little cakes, etc, cup of tea, eaten at 4ish
3) Cream tea: cup of tea, scones with jam and cream, possibly also sandwiches, eaten at 4ish
4) High tea: more substantial than afternoon tea, may involve pies, sausage rolls, sliced meat, as well as cakes, sandwiches etc. Rarely seen outside of children's parties and Enid Blyton novels. Served at 6ish
5) Tea. What us folk oop north call dinner (which, confusingly, is what folk oop north call lunch).



lady_disdain

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 12:51:19 PM »
High Tea is dinner. I have also heard the term "meat tea", since a main dish would be served. There is an explanation that high tea would be served on a "high" table (dinner table) while afternoon tea would be served on "low tables", such as a center table or side table. I can't remember the source or if it was very reputable, just that the image stayed in my mind.

ajpika

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 02:51:52 PM »
I live in Scotland and High Tea is very popular here for a weekend meal out.  It is usually served from 4pm-6pm ish - first you get a drink can be tea or coffee but also as most places that do serve alcohol can also be alcoholic (usually wine for me  :D) then once the drinks have been served they bring a plate of toast (with optional butter and jam) at this point they will take orders for your main course - options usually include steak pie, gammon steak, fish and chips and various salads but vary from place to place, once you have had your main course they bring a cake stand full of yummy cakes and scones.

As I say it is very popular here especially on a Sunday.

Nibsey

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 04:57:39 PM »
When I was growing up we had Afternoon tea and Sunday Tea in my Grannys house.

Afternoon tea was served at 4pm during days off school like a bank holiday and consisted of egg, cucumber and ham/chicken finger sandwiches, Scones with jam and clotted cream and tea cakes (those different small cream cakes not the chocolate marshmellow biscuit) and was always served on the tiered stands.

Sunday tea was served at 6pm on Sunday and consisted of different salads (green salad, potato salad etc), cut meats (sliced ham/beed and roast chicken), french bread and followed by larger cakes (Victoria sponge, Ginger cake, Meringue).
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shhh its me

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 08:54:25 AM »
  My husband is English we still on occasion have this conversation....

Whens tea?

Dinner will be ready at 5

I'm already had dinner (him thinking lunch)

Do you want some marmalade toast?(me thinking afternoon tea)

No I just want to know whens supper? (him catching on that he is calling what I call lunch dinner and what I call dinner tea)

I thought you just said you had dinner already? (dinner and supper are the same thing)

Then one time he was actually trying to ask for a cup of tea (he normally drinks coffee)


glacio

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 06:30:15 PM »
My Irish mother will use the phrase "high tea on a low table" when she makes a meal fancier then what it needs to be. For example, she just wants cheese and crackers for a snack in the afternoon, but then gets out the good cheese and all the different meats, and four types of crackers with all sorts of condiments to go with it.

I have no idea if this is normal or just my mom being my mom.

Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: High Tea - S/O from Not one of her Bridesmaids
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 06:32:08 PM »
I'll take the Enid Blyton tea, nonetheless.  I also like the "high tea on a low table".  It's very charming.
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