A Guest Blog Post by Krista Davis
High Tea sounds so special, doesn’t it? It conjures up images of ladies in hats, drinking from delicate china teacups. Scones, lemon curd, and silver tea services come to mind.
Wrong! That’s Afternoon Tea! Who knew? Well, the British knew, of course. We Americans heard the word high and understood it to mean special or superior. The sad truth is that high refers to the height of the table.
It seems that on days when the staff didn’t work and the elite had to fend for themselves and eat simpler fare without the full roast and accompanying dishes, they called their evening meal high tea. The working class did the same when they came home after a long day at work. This meal was eaten at a dining table, thus a high table. But it’s really what we think of as dinner.
The lovely tea we look forward to in the afternoon with scones and fancy hats is called Afternoon Tea. It was usually served on what we call a coffee table. The low table led to low tea, which became the Afternoon Tea we think is quite grand!
At the risk of confusing you further, there’s also Cream Tea, which is a modified version of Afternoon Tea, served without the savories and sandwiches.
I find it slightly amusing that some British establishments that cater to tourists now call their afternoon offering High Tea because that’s what tourists think it’s called. The British have always been unfailingly polite.
Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Paws and Claws Mysteries. A self-confessed tea addict, Krista may have had far too much fun writing THE DIVA SERVES HIGH TEA and sampling scones for the recipes in the book. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.
The Diva Serves High Tea
Written by: Krista Davis
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Berkley Adult
Additional Format: e-book
Publication Date: June 7, 2016