Ask Colin: Lifestyle
High tea vs. afternoon tea, which teatime is the elegant affair?
The chicest people I know often get this wrong. From world traveler to party planner extraordinaire, I have heard the formal teatime be referred to as high tea again and again. I’ll admit that high tea does have an elegant ring to it but it’s actually afternoon tea at 3 or 3:30pm that is the traditional tea for the well heeled. High tea was originally a working class meal served after 5:30pm. It is typically served in a mug and with a hearty meal such as welsh rarebit sandwich, no lace doilies here. On the other hand, afternoon tea was traditionally a fashionable pastime of high society. For afternoon tea, tea is served in fine china cups and saucers and is accompanied by dainty foods such as madelines fresh from the oven, delicious scones with clotted or Devonshire Cream, and petite crustless finger sandwiches like cucumber, watercress and creamy egg salad.
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