I had the most amazing experience having high tea in an old vintage tea room this week. I sat in a warm, cozy room filled with antique tea pots, flowery wall paper and the smell of freshly baked cakes. A three tiered white serving dish sat at the center of my table, covered in finger sandwiches, scones, cake and macaroons. Needless to say, I fell in love with the idea of drinking tea and eating fancy, delicious foods from adorable dishes. Unfortunately, back home in California, high tea is not nearly as popular as it is here in England. Which means when I return home in 5 weeks, my heart will have an high tea void that needs to be filled.
For those who do not know what high tea is, and I definitely didn’t until I came to England, here is a vague explanation. Drinking tea in England is not only a way to quench thirst, it is also a social outing. High tea, or now commonly called afternoon tea, started out as a bridge between meals because dinner wasn’t eaten until around 8. To be honest, the history of it is not what is important to me, the food and the company you have with you is.
So, I decided to make a guide on how to have your own high tea at home. It is full of some amazing recipes that I found from my favorite food bloggers. I included a lot of options as well, just incase a few recipes don’t hit the spot for you or your guests.
The structure of high tea is simple, and if you don’t have a three tiered dish like this one, just use separate pretty plates or dishes!
The bottom tier
Finger Sandwiches: This tier is all about variety! Choose a few recipes and have one (or two) of each. Here are some of my favorite recipes.
- This delicious option combines the deliciousness of avocado with the famous egg salad sandwich. Yes, it is a spicy avocado egg salad sandwich, and you will LOVE it.
- Now, one for the meat lovers. These mini Italian club sandwiches will have you reaching for more.
- For those who are more traditional, these cream cheese tea sandwiches are delicious and adorable.
The middle tier
Scones with clotted cream and jam: This is the essential part! Of course sandwiches are delicious, but the scones make for the classic high tea experience.
This is my scone after I added clotted cream, but before I added jam. I inhaled it after I added the jam and my camera wasn’t quick enough to get the picture 😉
- For the fun and fruity scone lover in your life, these dark chocolate cranberry scones will be everything you could want, and more.
- If you’re looking for the traditional scone recipe, you cannot go wrong with this easy and delectable option.
Clotted cream: If you have never heard of clotted cream, you are missing out! And I don’t just mean missing out like you missed a shooting star, it’s more like you missed your BFF’s birthday party and Beyoncé showed up. It is basically a thick and soft cream. Not quite cream cheese, but not quite sour cream. The taste is mild, but the cool texture of the cream on the flakey scone is THE BEST. It isn’t likely you’ll find it in your grocery store if you live in the States, so try making your own! Or… you can import it.
You will also need your favorite jam! If you are serious about this and want to make your own… more power to you. But I am OK with picking up an apricot spread and spending my time on the clotted cream.
The top tier
Dessert (AKA cake and macaroons): The final stage! Unless you are my grandma and eat the cake first 😉 Either way, make it a good one!
- Carrot cake is very popular out here in England, and sorry America… but it is so much better here! Luckily, when I go back to the states I’ll have this recipe to go off of and make sure I can have it whenever I want.
- Want those famous macaroons, but aren’t sure if you can make them yourself? Look no further, because you CAN! Not only can you make these salted caramel macaroons, you will lick the bowl when you’re done.
The easiest, but most essential part is choosing your tea. Grab some of your favorite tea bags and put them into the cutest tea pot you own. If there is one thing you get out of this post it should be to PUT MILK IN YOUR TEA. Yes, I’m yelling. If you haven’t tried it, please please please do! Disclaimer: If you are drinking green tea, I won’t yell at you to add milk… because that would be gross 😉
Now go off, gather your friends and enjoy great food and even better times. Let me know how it goes. 🙂