What is "High Tea"? vs. "afternoon tea"?

Old May 28th, 2002, 09:18 PM
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What is "High Tea"? vs. "afternoon tea"?

Just a quick question.

What is "high tea" and how does it differ from "afternoon tea"? Also where is the best place to get it in Victoria? I'm looking for more of the sandwiches/"real food" and slightly less so the dessert stuff.

Thank You!

Old May 29th, 2002, 12:30 AM
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I'm no expert, but I always thought they were the same thing. "High tea" was "high" because it was traditionally served high in the afternoon.... not because it was a high class thing to do.

Both are considered kind of like mid-afternoon meals you'd have to tie you over before dinner. But you probably already know that.

As I said I'm not expert when it comes to high tea, but I'm sure there are places where you have a choice of ordering sandwiches or sweets.
Old May 29th, 2002, 05:52 AM
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Traditionally high tea has more to eat, a bit "fancier" than afternoon tea. Usually afternoon tea will offer a small choice of sandwiches and perhaps a sweet or two. High tea may have more choices.
Hope this helps, but I do not know what the teas in Victoria are like.
Old May 29th, 2002, 06:14 AM
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"THE" place to have afternoon tea is the Empress Hotel. Pricey, but considered one of the must do's in Victoria. Reservations are required.

There are other places in Victoria that do it as well.
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Actually, the term has come to mean something different in recent years. The British use the word "tea" to mean a meal. High tea was a big meal - usually an early supper. We now use it as the previous poster said, to mean a slightly more elaborate/fancier afternoon tea.
The Empress is way, way overpriced. Depending on when you're in Victoria, most people prefer the White Heather Tea Room or, if you're there in the summer, Point Ellice House does a lovely tea on the lawn. You should call ahead for reservations. Both places have websites (not sure of the exact web addresses - search on Google and you'll find them). I don't know anybody who recommends the Empress!
Old May 29th, 2002, 11:09 AM
g mitchell
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If you want a "tourist" experience then by all means spend the dollars at the Empress. If you want a good "tea" experience, go to White Heather -- and say Hi to Aggie. Actually, if you listen caefully, you can hear her hearty laugh all the way down to the Empress.
Old May 30th, 2002, 09:23 PM
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He's not fooling about the laugh. The White Heather doesn't have the splendid atmosphere of the Empress and I do wish they'd do something about the acoustics, but you don't pay through the nose for their superior, fresh food either. They have great lunches too. The Empress is the kind of place I'd have to go to once, but I'd go back to the White Heather again and again. Whatever you do, avoid the James Bay Tea Room where the food is awful.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 03:21 PM
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Definitely the Empress!! Sure it's pricey but you have to have the ambiance. Tea you can get anywhere.You're paying for ambiance and impeccable service.
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 11:33 PM
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The Empress by all means. Everyone should try it once held in the beautiful Palm Court, sitting under the stained glass dome. Pricey, yes, but well worth the experience and ambiance. Go for it!

Old Jun 20th, 2002, 11:44 PM
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Explanations of both teas...
High Tea: This is more of a substantial meal which is served later on in the day. Food served would be cold cuts, salad and cake. High Tea more closely resembles supper.
Afternoon Tea: Bread/butter-type sandwiches/wafer thin are served followed by desserts. This tea is always served on linen clothed table, and silver is used.
Hope this helps.

Old Jun 21st, 2002, 06:10 PM
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High Tea originated as a British working class tradition. "High" refered to the way it was taken, sitting atop stools in a tea shop or standing at a counter or buffet table. It was a cross between afternoon tea and supper, and for many it was the main meal of the day.
The afternoon tea idea began around the mid 1700s as a way to ward off the inevitable hunger before dinner. This tradition led John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich to make his famous innovation of putting meats or other fillings between two pieces of bread. The Tea Sandwich was born!
Today, High Tea has become a more elegant affair. Now served in many restaurants and hotels across the world, this affair has become less a working class meal and more of an event. In some cities, High Tea is a "power" business event. Having High Tea with a client is preferred to the more traditional "night out" and offers a much better atmosphere for discussing business.
The high time of the day, around 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon is when the tea is held.

Old Jun 21st, 2002, 07:51 PM
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Then could you tell me where would a good place be in Montreal for high tea?Thanks.
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 09:04 PM
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The Ritz Garden...Hands down!
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