donuts and bagel display

What Is High Tea And Low Tea – Menu, Table Setting, Decor Ideas

People generally have a very specific mental image in their head when they hear the phrase “high tea.” They see tiny cucumber sandwiches and fruit tarts being enjoyed by a group of elegantly dressed women throughout the afternoon. Nevertheless, this is not the case. The phrase “high tea” conjures up images of a royal gathering, and what could be more refined than an afternoon tea? In Victorian times, tea party meals were served on a low tea table in the drawing room, which is where afternoon tea was traditionally served. This is why afternoon tea is often referred to as “low tea.”

The high dining room table is where high tea was traditionally served, thus the term “high tea.” During the time of the Industrial Revolution, the English working class was responsible for starting the custom. Workers would return home at the end of a hard day of toiling away in the factories, where they would then sit down to a hearty meal and a cup of tea in the evening. In the event that you want to host a tea party supper, it is acceptable to refer to the event as a “high tea” on the invites that you send out. In most households, dinner is eaten between the hours of 6:00 and later in the evening.

The Menu

During the time of the Industrial Revolution, bread, meats, and cheeses were the primary components of the high teas that the working class consumed. Dessert consisted of either homemade cakes or pies baked from scratch. Make plans to offer your all-time favourite food for dinner, or go for a meal that is often served in England, such as shepherd’s pie. While your visitors are sipping their first cup of tea or glass of wine, you should prepare a few appetisers for them to eat on, such as crab melts or cheese and crackers. It is recommended that you serve robust black teas such as English Breakfast with the dinner since they are able to compete with the robust tastes found in supper meals.

The Table Setting

For illustrations on properly setting a tea table, take a look at the page on tea table setting.  For place cards, look for antique picture frames at a flea market or antique shop and insert a piece of cardstock in each frame with the names of guests written in calligraphy.  These place cards can also double as party favors for the guests to take home.  Alternatively, if you are serving wine at the party, you could use the corks as holders for the place cards.


To give the tea table a pop of color, use linen napkins, a table cloth, or a table runner in colors that suit your theme.  Avoid using a very large flower arrangement for the table centerpiece because it can inhibit conversation as guests crane their necks around the flowers to make eye contact.  A bowl of fruit is a simple and functional yet elegant centerpiece.  Pears complement an earthy color scheme and pomegranates are always a lovely fruit to display.  As it will be evening, you could use candles to create an elegant atmosphere.  An arrangement of candles displayed in glass containers with various shapes and sizes, perhaps including some glasses filled with water, flower petals, and floating candles, offers a rich ambiance in exchange for only a small amount of work.

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