What is the difference between high tea and afternoon tea?

While both afternoon and high tea feature tea as a drink, afternoon tea includes light pastries, sandwiches, scones, and cakes. On the other hand, high tea is generally a more filling meal of meat, potatoes, and veggies eaten after a long workday.

High Tea vs Afternoon Tea

High tea is not a luxurious event as its name implies, but rather a meal consisting of meats, potatoes, pieces of bread, and pastries served with tea. High tea was traditionally served at home in the evening as a substantial meal to replace dinner. The term “high” comes from this meal served at a dining table rather than in a more casual setting such as a lounge or low table near the ground.

In contrast, afternoon tea is an elegant affair usually hosted in upscale venues like hotels or tearooms where guests are seated around low tables while enjoying an array of freshly-made sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cakes, and pastries along with their choice of teas. Anna Russell originally created it, Duchess of Bedford in 1840 to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner during long days away from home.

What’s on the Menu?

The menu for high tea typically includes savory dishes like mashed potatoes, boiled eggs, cold meats, deviled kidneys (a type of spicy sausage) or fish served with condiments like butter or horseradish sauce. Meanwhile, afternoon tea offers more sweet treats such as delicate finger sandwiches made with cucumber, salmon, or egg mayonnaise; freshly baked scones topped with clotted cream and jam; macarons; tarts; small cakes; shortbread biscuits; meringues; fruitcake slices; pastries; trifles and jellies – all washed down with your favorite type of tea such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Darjeeling.


So there you have it – everything you need to know about high tea versus afternoon tea! High tea is essentially an informal supper enjoyed at home while afternoon tea is an elegant affair usually seen in more formal venues like hotel lounges or tearooms where guests can indulge in delicious sweet treats along with some very special teas. No matter which one you choose to enjoy though – make sure you take time out to sit back, relax and appreciate all that this wonderful British tradition has to offer!

Where are high teas typically enjoyed?

High teas can be found in homes, tearooms, or other informal settings, while afternoon teas usually occur in more formal venues like hotel lounges or tea rooms.

Which type of tea is best for high teas?

There is no one “best” type of tea that is suitable for high teas, as different people may prefer different styles and flavors. However, some common choices include Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Darjeeling.

When is high tea served?

High tea is traditionally served in the evenings, as a more substantial meal to replace dinner after a long day at work. However, it can also be enjoyed at any time of the day or night. Afternoon teas are often enjoyed in the afternoon or early evening, typically as an elegant social event.

What is served at high tea?

The menu for a high tea typically includes savory dishes like meat, potatoes, and vegetables, along with light pastries and other sweet treats. Other common items may include egg mayonnaise sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cakes or tarts, shortbread biscuits, meringues, or fruitcake slices. It all depends on the individual preferences and tastes of those who are enjoying the high tea.

What is served at afternoon tea?

The menu for an afternoon tea typically includes light sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cakes or pastries, macarons, trifles, and other sweet treats. These are enjoyed along with a variety of different teas, depending on the individual preferences of those attending the event. Some popular choices include Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Darjeeling. Overall, afternoon tea is a more elegant and formal experience than high tea.

Who typically attends high tea?

High tea is often enjoyed by families or friends as an informal social gathering. It may also be attended by business associates or coworkers, especially after a long day at work. Afternoon tea is usually attended by more formal groups of individuals, such as guests in a hotel lounge or members of a social club. Regardless of the type of event, high tea is a quintessentially British tradition that many people love to experience.