Have you ever wondered about the origins of the indulgent High Tea? It was one of Queen Victoria’s closest friends, Duchess Anna who had a hand in creating the afternoon tea. Anna complained of having “that sinking feeling” one late afternoon. She wanted something small to satisfy her hunger until dinner time. And so the afternoon tea was born.
When the rest of the high society women became aware of this new event, which was perfect for eliminating their afternoon ennui, they took it upon themselves to transform it into a serious affair. They would come to afternoon tea dressed in long gowns, gloves, hats, and have their tea served to them in opulent drawing rooms between the hours of four and five o’clock.
When summer came around, the wealthy ladies took their afternoon tea outside to their beautifully manicured gardens. This piqued the interest of the lords and men of the house, where they quickly joined the ladies in this activity.
Tea was a rare and expensive beverage at this time and was only accessible by the upper-class. The people sipping the tea wanted the whole world to know that they were wealthy enough to partake in this extravagant delicacy. This resulted in the lords and ladies having their portraits painted, showing off their fine china, luxurious teas and their high fashion.
The whole world wanted to be like the upper-class and as more and more people started partaking in this afternoon activity, it eventually progressed into the high tea we have come to know and love today, filled with sandwiches, cakes, scones, beautiful outfits and of course premium tea.
Today’s High Tea is still a luxurious activity. People travel great distances to sip tea at renowned locations such as Kensington Gardens or The Goring Hotel in London.
However, the newest trend is to host your own High Tea. Why not try to recreate this classically elegant and quintessentially English event in your own home? We have a range of premium quality teas and tea wares to create your own exquisite High Tea. Shop our full range here.
English Afternoon Black Tea
The classic English tea that pairs well with the afternoon treats.
Aussie Earl Grey Black Tea
For a more patriotic twist on the High Tea, try this unique Aussie bergamot tea with notes of hibiscus.
Milk Oolong tea
This sweet and creamy Chinese tea will create the perfect High Tea experience with its complex flavours.
Oriental style Aizome Souka Tea Set
Give your High Tea a fun theme with this blue and white set.
Ensure no leaves fall into your steeped tea with this pretty vintage tea strainer.
Red Sunflower Teapot and Tea cups
Opt for a pretty and bright tea set to become the centrepiece of your High Tea.