This morning Lonely Planet tweeted the article: The World’s Best High Teas and it seemed like an appropriate weekly travel inspiration given how tea- and Britain-focused An Opportune Moment has been these last couple of weeks.
Only one of the high teas mentioned in their post is in London–Claridge’s–but many of the others are in countries that were once British colonies. Half of them are in Southeast Asia, which I’m tempted to take as a sign that that region of the world should be my next destination after Europe…
But I’ll probably settle for taking a daytrip to New York City once I’m back in the states, to visit Tea & Sympathy, which Lonely Planet also recommends.
My one issue with the article is that they use high tea and afternoon tea interchangeably, when, to my understanding, there is a slight distinction. Afternoon tea includes sandwiches, scones, and cakes, while in addition to these offerings, high tea features savory appetizer-sized dishes, such as welsh rarebit.
In case you’re curious, welsh rarebit is a savory cheese sauce served over toast. I have never tried it, but it’s on my ever-growing list of things to eat, do, and see.
I thought that high tea was more of a final meal of the day for the working class. Afternoon tea was lighter and more apt to be enjoyed by the moneyed class who would be going out in the evening. My interpretation may be colored by the fact that I am watching the original “Upstairs, Downstairs” again!
You’re right about high tea traditionally being the final meal of the day for the working class. I’d forgotten about that. Apparently, afternoon tea was also referred to as “low tea” with the “low” and “high” referring to the height of the table at which these meals were typically served. Nowadays, with less of a class distinction, I’d say the main difference is whether you’re having a hot dish with your tea or just scones, finger sandwiches, and cakes.