Afternoon Tea or High Tea is an old British tradition – believed to have begun in the 1700’s.
In India – we have a tradition of ‘chai’ – where a friend or a loved one will welcome you with a cup of tea and light bites or snacks – over conversation.
High Tea can be a stylishly curated ceremony in a fine hotel or restaurant. Or it can be a get together of friends. No matter what your concept of High Tea is – our how-to’s can make this time truly delightful and memorable.
Choosing a venue or setting is your most important task as it creates the mood for the event. You can serve tea inside – but weather permitting – your garden, balcony or terrace can be great options for a pretty setting.
Decorative accents in light, paste shades and floral patterns can set the tone. It’s not necessary to match colours and shades – mix things up ! Choose from contrasting or even mismatched stuff for a quirky twist. Linen in organdy and lace can provide a great base for your table settings. Lightly fragranced tea-lights in elegant holders surrounded by seasonal flowers can add elegance.
Ensure you have plenty of table space for displaying and serving treats, a low centre-piece so your guests can see each other. Leave enough room for guests to rest their teacups and plates.
Great china is everything. Matched sets of crockery including teacups, tea set and serveware can look stunning. But having a mix of crockery is a great way to spice up your party. For a formal English Afternoon Tea, ensure you have a teapot, tea strainer, milk jug , sugar bowl.
Your high-tea menu is most important. High teas normally feature a mix of small finger sandwiches, little cakes and pastries, and scones. Among the most popular sandwich choices are cucumber, egg and cress (or lettuce) and chicken and smoked salmon. You can be most creative with cakes and pastries. Serve cupcakes, macarons, tarts. Scones are a necessity at a high tea. Normally served with jam and cream – experiment with marmalade or even Nutella !
You can give your High Tea a nice ‘ desi’ twist by serving a few Indian snacks that will pair well with Indian tea. Think crisp, bite sized ‘ tikki ‘ or ‘pakora. ‘ Experiment with bite sized servings of the Mumbai sandwich. Or get adventurous and toss up some mildly flavoured ‘bhel’ or ‘sev-puri’ !
Be inspired by our curated selection of tea sets, tableware, serveware, tea cups and mugs. And turn tea times into a fine ritual.