Afternoon Tea vs High Tea

Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015

Patisserie Valerie Afternoon TeaThere's a common misconception between Afternoon Tea and High Tea, where they originated from and which was formed for the upper class, and which for the lower. Well, we've done the research and here we explain the difference between the two.

As we spoke about in our History of Afternoon Tea blog post, in the nineteenth century Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn't eat their evening meal until 8pm or 9pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal' in itself.

This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. Thus, the working classes evening meal evolved: high tea.

English High tea usually involved a mug of tea, bread, vegetables, cheese and occasionally meat. Variations included additions of pies, potatoes and crackers.

So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, high tea was a necessary meal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The addition of the word ‘High' is believed to differentiate between the Afternoon Tea served on low, comfortable, parlour chairs and worker's High Tea which was served at the table and seated on high back dining chairs.

Patisserie Valerie offers Afternoon Tea for two nationwide. Find out more here.

Afternoon Tea | traditional afternoon tea | high tea | Patisserie Valerie

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