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Dumb question...difference between 'high tea' and 'tea'? Brown's Hotel question too!

Dumb question...difference between 'high tea' and 'tea'? Brown's Hotel question too!

Jun 10th, 2000, 06:06 AM
  #1  
Lu B.
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Dumb question...difference between 'high tea' and 'tea'? Brown's Hotel question too!

Sorry, for being so silly...but what is the English difference between high tea and tea? Also, does Brown's serve only cakes/scones with their tea? I see that Dorchester also serves egg, cucumber sandwiches, etc. Is that high tea? Please be gentle in your responses, all you experts!
 
Jun 10th, 2000, 06:34 AM
  #2  
TeaLover
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(Without going into the history of tea): 'High tea' generally has more substantial offerings such as sandwiches or other savories as well as scones or biscuits. Sometimes 'high tea' is fixed price. There are also 'cream teas' which are generally tea and scones with Devon or Cornwall double cream. 'Tea' is just tea (the drink) but there are always scone and/or sandwiches available al la carte. Suggestions from British Heritage for tea in London include Brown's Hotel, Fortnum & Mason, The Goring Hotel, Hyde Park Hotel, Louis Patisserie, Muffin Man, Orangery at Kensington Palace, Richoux Cafes, The Ritz, Tea Time near Clapham Common, The Original Maids of Honour at Kew. I've been to some of these but not all. There are many pastries shops in London (usually with French names) that serve a decent pot of tea.

Hope this helps.
 
Jun 10th, 2000, 07:14 AM
  #3  
Sheila
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Slightly different answer (and by the way, there is a thread lurking on this subject, which it is worth searching for)
1. Tea is a drink.
2. Afternon Tea is tea with sandwiches, and cakes
2.a. Cream tea is afternoon tea with cream on at least some of the cakes (usually scones or pancakes)
3.High Tea is a main course with bread and butter, then cakes.

High Tea is a full meal
Afternoon tea is a sort of substantial snack
 
Jun 10th, 2000, 08:21 AM
  #4  
Kathy
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Hello - I was at Brown's for afternoon last winter. First they give you small sandwiches with smoked salmon, egg salad, cucumber, etc. They when you have had your fill of that, they come around with trays of scones, cakes, tarts, etc. Don't fill up too much on the sandwiches or you won't have room for the delicious desserts.
 
Jun 10th, 2000, 12:14 PM
  #5  
candy
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at the risk of calling down insults on my head for daring to suggest that you do a search, i think you would enjoy reading the previous posts on the subject of tea. just search "tea" and you'll get the benefit of many people's experience. unlike others on this forum, i think such a suggestion is helpful, not lazy and condescending. Re Brown's: it is my favorite london tea, so cozy and yet full-service, elegant though comfortable in an old english way, with delicious and ample food. i know you'll enjoy it.
 
Jun 12th, 2000, 05:08 PM
  #6  
hillary
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Is there a certain time for tea or high tea or cream tea? Did I get all of that right? Browns sounds like it would be the full English experience... and sounds wonderful too.
 
Jun 13th, 2000, 04:03 AM
  #7  
elaine
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Hi
not long ago some wise person on this forum suggested the following as a place to learn about afternoon tea.
www.patriciastearoom.com and click on The Lore of Tea.
In my experience, a more formal afternoon teas at hotels and restaurants is served sometime between 3 and 6pm, depending on which place.
I was taught that high tea is as others have said, an "after work" meal, like supper, so would be served after 6pm and is more substantial.
If you're going to Brown's (or the Dorchester, which I like), you should reserve in advance if you can.
 
Jun 13th, 2000, 07:13 AM
  #8  
Lisa
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When I lived in UK, "tea" was what we Americas call dinner or supper. If it was the drink, it was always referred to as a cup of tea, or a "cuppa".
 
Jun 20th, 2000, 09:19 AM
  #9  
Brit
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In the real UK, there is no such thing as high tea.....get out of the upper class London hotels !!!!
Don't you want to see the real country you are visiting ?
BTW in Northern England tea is the evening meal and dinner is at midday
 
Jun 20th, 2000, 12:00 PM
  #10  
Caitlin
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Brit, isn't what you're trying to say, given the preceeding posts, that there's no such thing as afternoon tea? Tea, the evening meal, obviously is just the same as high tea, the evening meal. Americans very often mistakenly call afternoon tea (the hotel kind) high tea, I think because they're assuming high=fancy, where high is actually referring to the later hour. Since, as you say, there is no (afternoon) tea outside the hotels, it makes perfect sense that the evening meal is called tea without a distinguishing modifier (i.e., "afternoon" or "high"). American hotels also serve afternoon tea, and that's what they call it.
 
Jun 20th, 2000, 01:32 PM
  #11  
Sheila
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Actually, whilst I'm not an aficionada, there is tea in the afternoon. Older people of a certain class and background and their kids, if they have been brung up right, will take tea at 4pm, as a half way house between lunch and dinner. Honest
 
Jun 26th, 2000, 09:01 AM
  #12  
David White
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As of two weekends ago, Brown's was not taking advanced (telephone) reservations for tea. They do take names, ask that you sit in the bar, and call you when a space is available. We waited about 15 minutes.

The tea a Brown's is exactly as described by Kathy in her posting.

I will add one negative to an otherwise wonderful tea experience--our tea was disturbed by fellow American tourists who took numerous flash photographs of each other during the meal! One man even wished that they had a video camera so they could record the entire tea being served! We wanted to choke them with their watercress and creme cheese sandwiches.

E
 
Jun 26th, 2000, 11:13 AM
  #13  
sally
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i went to tea at brown's hotel a couple of years ago. it was wonderful. when i get back to london i will no doubt go there again. at that time (and it was a couple of years ago) reservations were required. thank goodness there were no american "tourist" also there.
 
Jun 26th, 2000, 11:15 AM
  #14  
judy
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I called Brown's two weeks ago and got a reservation for a Thursday afternoon tea. We're really looking forward to it

Judy
 
Jun 26th, 2000, 01:06 PM
  #15  
Lu B.
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Yes, Brown's will take reservations for weekdays only. Not weekends. They are very pleasant on the telephone!
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 08:51 AM
  #16  
Michele
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Were at Brown's for tea on the 14th (2 weeks ago). We arrrived at about 5:30p, rather late, but had no problems being seated and a few other business men arrived after us and were served tea too.

Tea included the sandwiches, scones (the best ones we had!), clotted cream, cake and cookies and tea of your choice. I thought the atmosphere was much more appealing that the teas we had at Fortnum & Masons and Richoux--warm wood-toned walls, big comfy couches with coffee tables and a "living room" feel. We ate there before going to the theatre and had no problems getting a taxi afterwards that took us to the theatre. Really it was a very nice experience and afternoon, and the food was plenty.

The hotel itself is very charming and in a nice location on a side street. If you've got the budget, the hotel looks like a very nice place to stay.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 08:54 AM
  #17  
Michele
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Forgot to mention that at Fortnum & Mason's, they gave you a choice between afternoon tea and high tea. High tea consisted of a hot entree, whereas the afternoon tea was just the cold sandwiches, scones, etc. They were both served during the same time period.

It was not as charming as Brown's but was a nice stop after shopping and before the theatre performance of Reduced Shakepseare (a real kick!).
 
Jul 11th, 2001, 08:26 AM
  #18  
Sheila
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topping
 
Jul 13th, 2001, 06:26 AM
  #19  
Earth Mama
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I'm always amused by the way Americans ask for "hot tea" in restaurants.

It sounds like there's some other kind!

Or it sounds like they're implying the restaurant serves tepid tea.

When you're here and want a cup of tea (as opposed to iced tea, which we hardly have over here), just ask for *tea*. It will be hot; don't worry.

And don't ask for restrooms. Ask for the ladies' or the gents'.

BTW - tonight we're having curry for tea. ;-)
 
Jul 13th, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #20  
sylvia
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I'd agree that afternoon tea has pretty well vanished in England. Most people are working at 4 o'clock. I have noticed the confusion with Americans thinking that "High tea" means posh.
For a really good high tea go to Yorkshire. My grandmother was a Yorkshirewoman and the table at tea time groaned with cold meats, meat pies, cakes and biscuits and tea you could trot a mouse across. Another place for real high tea is Scotland where the savory bit of the tea will usually be something cooked. In both places it is a substantial meal and certainly not a dainty affair with tiny sandwiches and cake forks.
 

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