NOT ONLY IN THE COMMONWEALTH
Indulgence with history that fits perfectly in time
Four good reasons to invite friends over for high tea this weekend, especially in the fall, but rain and beside are not prerequisites.
I. Savoury and/or sweet
One loves the classic coffee table in the afternoon. The other is not at all enthusiastic about it and prefers savory. The classic high tea consists of sweet bites and savory snacks.
High Tea is therefore ideal to spend a nice afternoon with friends, whatever their taste preferences. Everyone can indulge their individual preferences. If you don’t like cake, stick to the savory sandwiches and vice versa.
II. Interval fasting no problem
Intermittent fasting has become so common that inviting many friends to breakfast or brunch does not please them, on the contrary. Those who fast in intervals usually want to skip meals in the morning and usually also at early noon. At high tea, which is traditionally served on etagères, everyone decides for themselves what and how much they eat. Thus, many other diet variants can also be continued without interruption.
The old English tradition thus fits perfectly into our time.
III. candlelight instead of sunshine
When we say goodbye to the sunshine in autumn, when the days become shorter, foggier, rainy and cooler, an atmospheric round with candlelight in the late afternoon, with good conversations over good tea is well suited not to miss the sunshine too much and to enjoy the autumn season.
If the high tea is celebrated as a Royal High Tea, a glass of champagne belongs to it. Who wanted to say no to such a beautiful tradition?
What is the story behind High Tea?
In earlier times, high tea represented a snack between lunch and dinner in wealthy households in England. At that time, dinner was served from 20.00 at the earliest.
If high tea was a social event that was held in a salon and thus on the lower cushions and chairs available there, it was referred to as afternoon tea.
In less affluent households, the combination of sweet and savory represented the actual evening meal, taken at a comparatively high table compared to the salon furniture, together with a large pot of strong black tea – hence the name High Tea.
This is classically found on the afternoon tea etagere
There are no limits to creativity at high tea, as long as there are sweet and savory trifles to be found. Traditionally, the following is served at high tea:
A selection of small cake pieces, classically including a Lemon Cake and a Chocolate Cake.
Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Clotted cream, however, is not that common outside of England. Mascarpone stirred with whipped cream still comes closest to the cream of clotted cream. But, do not worry. A good Breton salted butter or curd are not still, but taste just as good as a layer between the preferably still warm scones and the jam.
In England, too, strawberry jam is increasingly being replaced by raspberry jam. The stylish Englishman would never cut the scones with a knife, but divides them in two with his hands.
Finger Sandwiches: Small rectangles, without edges, portioned so that they can be elegantly eaten out of hand. In the home country of high tea, these are usually cucumber sandwiches, sandwiches with egg, mayonnaise and watercress, sandwiches with smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard sandwiches and sandwiches with chicken meat, gladly as Coronation Chicken Sandwich, where mayonnaise and curry may not be missing.
Of course, other types of sandwiches can be served – but it’s worth knowing the classic sandwiches should you be expecting a decidedly Anglophile guest and want to please him or her.
Black tea such as Darjeeling, Earl Grey or Assam are classic combinations and optionally sugar and/or milk.
The treats are stylishly arranged on etagères. The sight of the etagères belongs in any case to an Afternoon Tea. If you do not want to invest, the etageren also supplies a dish rental service.
How about, take a look at your schedule and invite to high tea. Since everything can usually be prepared at high tea, you only have to leave the stimulating conversations to get supplies for the tea cups and champagne glasses. Doesn’t that sound relaxed?
Many stylish hotels offer HighTea or Royal High Tea in the afternoon – a nice gift. Timing-wise, high tea is also ideal before a visit to the opera or theater, as most restaurants were not yet open in the late afternoon. If you have tickets to the Royal Opera House in London, an Afternoon Tea at the Savoy Hotel there beforehand goes well with the more traditional productions of the opera there.