Etiquette Pro: What Is the Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea?

Tea season is among us, whether it be a beautiful garden tea party or something more stately and formal. One common mistake people make however, is calling it by the wrong name!

There are two main types of social teas in the Western world, one being “afternoon tea” and the second called “high tea”- so what’s the difference? 

Afternoon tea is the traditional British mealtime served usually between 3pm and 5pm which consists typically of three courses including delicate sandwiches, scones (with jam and clotted cream) and desserts (also called pudding in the UK) such as small cakes. 

High tea is very different, and is actually more of a British supper, traditionally served late afternoon into the early evening and usually consists of a savory meal such as a meat, starch and vegetable with a cup of tea. 

While both afternoon tea and high tea are served with tea as a beverage, as you can see, they are very different! Inviting someone over for a high tea versus an afternoon tea will confuse your guest if used in the wrong context.

Remember, pinkies down when drinking tea! To learn more about afternoon tea etiquette, from how to make and serve tea to what to wear to a traditional tea party and more, click here to enroll into our online afternoon tea etiquette course. 

Must Read

Related Articles