high tea

What is High Tea? – A Guide to British Traditions

When is your favorite time to savor that hot cup of tea – the morning or evening? Tea drinking can also seem like a social gathering, which brings different people together. Late afternoon or early evening is a favorite tea time that brings friends and peers together. Whether you are a college student or an office worker, you may have definitely gone out with friends and colleagues to enjoy tea around this time. 

What is High Tea?

High Tea is a British tradition of drinking tea in high-backed chairs at a table with extensive meals. You may ask the very specific question – What time is high tea? Usually, the time between 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm is considered High tea, where tea is served with dinner in traditional English houses. Though you may change the time to suit your needs or the season, the use of high-backed chairs gave the name ‘High Tea’. 

It is very important to note that high tea is very different from afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is consumed mostly with lunch, whereas high tea is served with dinner. Also, unlike high tea, people consumed it sitting on low chairs or comfortable sofas. Afternoon tea is more of a social event, whereas high tea is a traditional necessity.

How did High Tea acquire its present status?

what is high tea

In modern times, high tea is very desirable among people due to its popularity. But a lot of them do not actually know about its brief history. This tea was actually consumed by the royals. In old England, tea was too expensive for the common people to enjoy it often. 

But, what initiated its present form was the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. It was at this time that high tea became accessible to the working class. They had it as an evening meal to satisfy their hunger after work. Later, the upper-class people made their own variations of high tea. By the 19th century, high tea had acquired a very different status among the aristocrats and the working class.

Various restaurants in the UK serve afternoon tea, which may be called high tea in other parts of the world. Many special restaurants also serve a special high tea menu with additional savory items like cookies, cakes, and pies.

Where to find High tea?

High tea was mainly available in industrial areas of the UK like northern England and southern Scotland. This traditional high tea can still be found in some parts of the North UK and Scotland. Most noble houses perform the High Tea custom regularly, so the tradition is quite popular. 

Since we learned about high tea in the UK, you are surely wondering how you can enjoy high tea at home. ‘Where do I find High Tea near me?’ is the obvious question on your mind. The good news is, you can enjoy high tea at your home. All you need is a high-backed chair and the proper cutlery for your tea. You may also enjoy the authentic experience at many English-themed restaurants in your city. 

The High Tea custom has gained popularity across the world, and everyone wants to enjoy it.  Since it is available worldwide, we will tell you about the best places to enjoy your high tea from.

6 Best Places Worldwide for High Tea

This classic British tea is mouth-watering and has its own pleasant vibe. Luxury hotels are probably one of the best ways to enjoy traditional English tea, unless you are nobility, or are invited to attend a nobleman’s party. Let us look into 6 places that serve the best traditional high tea

Rosewood, London

One among the best places to have your high tea. Besides high tea and afternoon tea, you can also enjoy sandwiches and freshly baked scones at the Rosemary. You can also enjoy the special desserts and purchase loose leaf teas for yourself.

The Russian Tea Room, New York

You can enjoy the most extensive and luxurious meals in this place. Delicacies like sandwiches from Turkey, shrimp salad, smoked sturgeon, and cupcakes are a great match with your cup of tea. 

Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong

Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong has a special ‘High tea’ menu which includes a long list of delicacies.  Prawn and cucumber sandwiches, lobsters, white asparagus, and dishes with fresh fig are a favorite among food lovers. The ice cream counters and live dessert stations would surely be a treat for your sweet tooth.

The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Besides its high tea, The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is known for its Orchid blossoms. The specialized Tea Lounge is a great spot for savoring your delicious cup of tea. You can also enjoy finger sandwiches and scones with your tea. 

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

To have one of the best high tea experiences you should definitely visit this place. Situated inside one of the world’s tallest buildings, with marble and mosaic decor, its beauty is unraveling. It has to offer you delicacies from around the globe along with an enticing tea and cocktail menu.

Sea Lounge, Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

With gourmet Mumbai street food and impressive high tea, this place is perfect for a luxurious tea party. You can sit in the booth and look at the stunning Gateway of India while enjoying your meal. Added cherry to the pie is the great variety of Indian confectioneries and pies available.

Final Words

Culture is attached to every food we have. It is no different for high tea. But what is surprising is that along with culture, high tea has a lot of health benefits too. It can boost your metabolism as well as keep the blood sugar level under control. This is because it can break the cycle of bad food habits you have. It is beneficial for your body and also gives your tastebuds the touch of age-old culture.

To enjoy this delicious tea with extensive meals and the added health benefits, hop on to your nearest cafe. We would love to know how you liked high tea and your favorite place to enjoy it.

Leave a Comment