Know Your Tea Service

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Whether you travel to London, the UK or across Ireland, the Afternoon Tea Expert, Eileen, is your go to tea connoisseur. She is best known for recommending great afternoon teas which receive her personal seal of approval. In addition she holds group and private afternoon tea events in London and the surrounding area where you can learn all about afternoon tea and the correct etiquette. Welcome Eileen as she explains the difference between afternoon tea and high tea.

Did you know that in the U.K high tea isn’t what you think it is?

Inside the U.K, what North Americans would consider to be ‘high tea’ isn’t the same as what the British consider. In fact, ‘high tea’ to us is ‘afternoon tea’ to them! It’s important for you to know this as venues based in the U.K which advertise ‘high tea’ are, in some cases, trying to appeal to the overseas market and could be a tourist trap.

What’s the difference between afternoon tea and high tea?

Afternoon tea is a lighter meal served at around 4pm in the afternoon which consists of sandwiches, scones and cakes. And of course tea! It was traditionally served on low arm chairs and a low table.

High tea on the other hand is what the upper classes would have had as the equivalent as their evening meal. It still would have had some of the elements of afternoon tea but it had much more substantial items too like you would find at dinner time. It was also served at a dining table so you can see the contrast in table heights.

Working classes of the time wouldn’t have had the luxury to have ‘high tea’ but as their evening meal consisted of a mug of tea you often hear people describe their evening meal as their ‘tea.’

Don’t be confused by the difference! If you are looking for afternoon tea venues and see it described as ‘high tea’ then make sure you check the reviews first.

If you enjoyed Eileen's expert advice, then you will want to follow her afternoon tea journey on her website, Afternoon Tea Expert, where you will find recommendations, news and events.

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Pam Smith