Difference Between High Tea, Afternoon Tea And Cream Tea In Britain


If there's one thing I love more than books, it's tea. Ok..fine..not more than books but definitely as much as books. And my idea of heaven is me cozying up in a library full of books with copious amount of tea. So, it's no surprise that I was more excited about tea when we visited the UK more than anything else. During my research to find the best afternoon teas in the UK, I realized not all afternoon teas are made equal. And that, High tea is not afternoon tea. 

   Thomas Oken Tea Rooms' Cream Tea, Warwick
                                         
I have done the research, so you don't have to :) You are welcome?

HIGH TEA:

This tea is what comes to our mind when we think of British tea time. Those delicate finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other nibbles. That's called afternoon tea. So, if you don't want to come across as a tourist, you wouldn't ask for English High Tea in the afternoon, when you are in London.

So, what is High Tea?

High Tea has all those nibbles and a lot more savoury things like pies, potatoes, vegetables or omelette. Think of it as a meal to keep you from dying of hunger before your actual dinner. High Tea is normally taken around 6. These were mainly for working class in the industrialized Britain, who had to wait for their tea until after work. They were called high tea because they were eaten at a table. And the rich made it more fancy-schmancy and brought in the culture of High Tea.


AFTERNOON TEA:

This is the tea we have come to know and love from Pop Culture that is quintessentially British.  Those delicate finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other nibbles. And this is served normally around 3 till 5, at most restaurants. These are also called low tea because they were taken in low chairs and sofas as opposed to at a dining table.


CREAM TEA:

This is what I had almost every single day I was in the UK. A) Because it was pretty much available at all times unlike Afternoon teas, that were only served during a specific time. B) It was just the right amount of everything and I wasn't wasting any food.

So, Cream Tea is served with a pot of Tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. And I want to take a moment and describe this deliciousness called clotted cream. It's like this perfect room temperature mix that's like whipped cream and whipped butter. Yum. And a little shout out to the best Cream Tea I had:

Thomas Oken Tea Rooms
20 Castle Street Warwick
CV34 4BP
Tel: 01926 499307

A small, independent local business in Warwick, located right behind the Warwick castle. If you are ever there, please visit the place. It's worth it.
Scones, Clotted Cream and Jam 
I read somewhere that non-britishers confuse afternoon tea with High tea so much so that, some hotels use the term "High Tea' to advertise their Afternoon Tea. Now, we don't want to be one of those tourists, do we? ;)

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