Food - Drink
What Makes Afternoon Tea Different From High Tea?
To understand why the seemingly similar traditions of high tea and afternoon tea are treated as separate and distinct, it's important to know how each tradition began and its purpose. Here's a quick look at the socially motivated afternoon tea and its heartier evening counterpart, high tea.
Afternoon tea is also referred to as low tea, can be elegant or casual, but in modern times, it's almost always an indulgence rather than a necessity. The low tea moniker comes from it traditionally being served on low coffee or side tables rather than on higher dinner tables.
A typical high tea, on the other hand consists of meats, fish, breads, and hot dishes such as shepherd's pie or stead-and-kidney pie, with desserts such as sticky pudding or treacle sponge cake eaten at high tables suitable for such a substantial spread.
So there you have it: low tea is light nibbles (and if you're lucky a little gossip) among friends, while high tea is essentially supper, complete with more filling dishes and desserts. Now that you know the difference between the two you'll know what to expect next time you are invited to tea.