High tea and afternoon tea are common in the United Kingdom, and many U.K.-based websites offer high tea menu ideas and recipes. When hosting a high tea or afternoon tea party, it is also important to create the right atmosphere and decorate with items, such as decorative plates, flowers, cake stands and doilies.
High tea originated in the 18th century by the working class, and it typically involved a full meal that included tea, cheese, vegetables, bread and sometimes meat. High tea was taken around a table, whereas afternoon tea was typically taken in the afternoon by the upper class in comfortable chairs. High tea was a necessary meal for the working class, whereas afternoon tea was a luxury for the upper class. Afternoon tea is still common in the U.K., but it is often referred to as high tea by people from overseas.
When throwing a high tea or afternoon tea party, decorating and creating the right atmosphere is the first step to a good party. Put a tablecloth over the table, use a cake stand as the centerpiece and set out tea cups and plates on doilies.
The assortment of teas and the variety of the spread is the next consideration for preparing an afternoon tea party. Make sure to include milk and sugar to pair with the tea, and include different finger foods such as scones, sandwiches, teacakes and buns.