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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Thursday, March 8, 2012

High or Low

When it comes to tea many people confuse High tea and Low tea (also known as Afternoon tea). High Tea actually refers to a meal of the working class served at the end of the work day. Low Tea was referred to a a ladies' social in the afternoon, of a dainty meal ~ to get them through to dinner time.



At the end of the workday, generally served around 6 p.m. or a bit later; consisting of heavy foods such as meat and fish dishes; potatoes and other vegetables; other heavy dishes such as casseroles or baked beans and some baked goods, such as crumpets. The meal of course was serve on a high table ~ think dining room table like seating.



Low Tea or what we have embraced today as Afternoon Tea, generally served around 3 p.m. to bridge the gap between mid-morning meal, much like our breakfast and the increasing late dinner time of 8 p.m. or later, among wealthy households. This mid day meal consisted of, finger -sized sandwiches, followed by scones with butter, jam and or cream, then an assortment of cakes, strawberries and wonderful quantities of tea.


When you think afternoon tea, think of our sweetheart queen, Marie Antoinette 
and the lavish teas she hosted!





However, it is Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford whom (according to legend) we need to be thankful to. Traditionally dinner was not served until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. in the evening, and in summer it was served even much later. To help her with the "sinking feeling" she experienced between the morning and evening meals, she ordered a small meal of bread, butter and other niceties, such as cake, tarts and biscuits to be brought secretly to her bedroom.






Have you had a "Traditional" High Tea? I have not, but I will say I am do love my Afternoon Tea!!!

Are you a High Tea or Low/ Afternoon Tea fan?







Don't forget to stop by and visit these fabulous hostesses, this week;

Tea Time Tuesday ~ with Sandi 
Tea Party Tuesday ~ with Trish

Martha's Terri's Tea Time Tuesday
Tablescape Thursday with Susan Betweeb Naps on the Porch

27 comments:

  1. Hello Celia
    I've had both and frankly, high tea has too much food to eat so I prefer low tea. Besides, it's better for the waistline. :-)
    Judith

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  2. Ho Celia! Bless you for your sweet comments on my blog today. I am praying you can find joy in the whirlwind of change in your life - the country is so very refreshing. Gets you back to God's creation and restores perspective and purpose. And, it is nice that - city or country - teatime is proper in any environment. I usually take a low tea upon arriving home from work - but I have wondered at a high tea. I doubt that I could eat many of the traditional selections with all my diet changes the last couple of years. Change - it comes to us all.

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  3. Hi Celia,
    I was just going to stop by and see what you were up to when I saw you had linked up with my tea party. I have had both teas and I prefer the afternoon or low tea myself. In any case, I think tea is lovely any time! Thank you for joining me today and I hope all is well with you, my friend. Hope you have a wonderful week.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Sandi

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  4. I would have to say afternoon tea - I love cucumber sandwiches, with or without the crust, dainty petit fours, yummy tiny delicacies! I was so surprised when I first learned the definition of high tea! I do wish we lived closer together - we would have so much fun, joy and laughter! It's too hard to be proper!!

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  5. As we are older...read over 35...by a lot! LOL! we prefer the lighter tea but it tends to be substituted for a meal for us. We have always loved it and finding a tea room when we are looking for a meal is a great treat for us, here or in the UK. The ambiance, relaxing pace and presentation of even the simplest recipes is a joy. Great post...I know many people don't realize the difference. Our families also further differentiated with "meat tea" from the other if something like roast or a hot dish were served as well...
    Cheers!
    R

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  6. I love tea history. I just like saying "high tea"...sounds so regal!

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  7. It's such a pet peeve to hear people refer to afternoon tea as high tea. It's such an amateur mistake.

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  8. So interesting! Being in the over 50 crowd - i prefer a lighter tea and I love those sweet little cucumber triangle bites :) Perfect!

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  9. I'd have to say I'm a low tea person. Forget the sweet little cucumber triangle sandwiches and just give me the scones, and cakes! LOL

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  10. My great grandmother was English. So tea has been a part of my life, all my life.
    We don't have tea every day but since, as you know, dinner is quite late here in Buenos Aires, an afternoon tea is perfect for tiding you over until dinner.
    In summer, I am more interested in something cool to drink but in cold weather, tea is a must.
    We found a new place that sells amazing tea so I have stocked up ..
    cheers :)

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  11. I never knew that there was a difference, what fun to find out. I have gone to afternoon tea a few times and it's lovely. I think the most fun I had was when we had an afternoon tea party for my daughters 8th birthday. It was so cute to see little girls all dressed up and acting like ladies!! What a fun visit, thank you!! And, thank you for your lovely comments on Sue's blog. They meant the world to me. I'm very happily following you as well! I look forward to getting to know you better through your great site!!

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  12. Dearest Celia,

    Wow, I am a Low Tea fan! Well, we always went according to the French versions of High Tea, guess that is not that heavy. Anyway, afternoon tea is a daily routine for us!
    Laughed at your sign to the side that reads: Keep Calm... Yep, all my followers poofed while I was checking blogs on my iPhone in Curaçao and I thought, oh it's the iPhone. But at home on two different browsers NOTHING showed. Got my Linky too but isn't this sick that Blogger over and over creates such problems. Trying to research it in order to find out more drains our time. I quite. Be it as it is and I can't worry about it.
    Lots of love to you and I'm trying so hard to catch up on things...
    Mariette

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  13. ( Ha Ha) Celia..

    I love your curiosity... Yes... In the early English life there were such definitions as "High" and Low' tea time times... I'm resolved to enjoy ALL pauses for enjoyment and flavours during teatime.... I'm sure you approve !!!! I 'd love to go on a teatime excursion with you for High Tea (Victoria , Canada) .... What fun !!!! ... Hugs

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  14. Love this!! Now I want to watch the movie! Love that movie. I'll enjoy a cup of tea today and think of you!! xo

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  15. I've never experienced a "high tea" but I did once go to a women's only tea :: it was in the afternoon at the Park Hyatt no less and I ate a ridiculous amount of scones. This I remember. ;)

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  16. I never knew the difference between High tea and Low tea. I LOVE this :)

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  17. A friend introduced me to both years back. My favorite is still low tea. The reason some people refer to low tea (afternoon tea) as high tea is because some make the distinction depending on the table it's served on. High tea if it's a sit down table where you place the cup and saucer and other china before you. Low tea if it's a coffee table or side serving table/buffet where you'd have your cup and saucer at hand. But the proper terms are as you have shared.
    Always fun to stop by, Celia.
    Much love.

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  18. I could never eat at 9:00pm, that's my bedtime! lol I love tea and prefer low tea! I never missed tea when I was in England! It was so formal and fun! This was a fun post!
    Blessings My Friend,

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  19. I'M SO GLAD I STOPPED . I didn't know the difference between high and low tea , now I know . I'm a low tea person

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  20. Lovely post. I love having tea when I studied in England, Thanks for sharing Joann Come and follow me back

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  21. Hi Celia,
    I am back to thank you for visiting today and leaving your very sweet comment. The topiaries were alot of work but they do pretty up my mantel. I really should try and do the wreath too.

    My friend, I so admire your spirit! I love it that you didn't give up after your accident and sit around feeling sorry for yourself.
    We have some things in common, you and I, but my life changes came about because of an illness that set in unexpectedly when I was still young and raising my family. It was devastating at the time, but with God's help and that of my family, I was able to finally accept that this was the way my life was going to be and I decided to make the best of it. Of course, there were many changes to be made and I had to learn what my limitations were which was difficult in the beginning. However, I think I'm stronger and more compassionate now because of it. One of the most difficult things for me is to write. I used to have a really nice hand and I used to love sending cards and letters. But the MD has robbed me of that. Oh, but I'm glad I can still type!

    Thank you, dear Celia, for being a constant inspiration to all of us.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Sandi

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  22. I love my afternoon tea as well! Loved that movie and your post! Mrs. S

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  23. hhhh, not sure I can choose Celia, but I have to say I'm more a savory person (not that I don't like sweet) so I'd have to say high. :) thanks to D. of Bedford........who could wait that long for another meal! I'd be famished.

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  24. That is so good to know because many hotels and restaurants call afternoon tea "high" tea. hmmm
    xoxo
    SC

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  25. Love this post. Have a great day!
    Pat

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  26. I love afternoon tea, with Champagne! I thought it was an American/British difference. Americans call it High Tea and British Afternoon Tea? Whatever it's called, count me in :-)
    Di
    x

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  27. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, tea time. It is a soothing end to a hectic day, and every night, Ruben and I have ours. Dearest one, thank you for your kind comment yesterday! Yes, my next goal is to figure out a way to begin the process of making my stay-at-home art and writing dream come true. Be well dearest, Anita

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