Monday, July 9, 2007

New Article: Afternoon Tea

I've decided to leave the rest of my samples until after I get back from India in September. Right now, I just have too many other things to write about!

Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about British afternoon tea. It has a very interesting history, so I decided to write an article about it. Here's an excerpt:

If you live in the U.S., you have been lied to about high tea. Well, maybe not LIED TO, but you’ve been given incorrect information at the very least. You’ve probably seen a scene in a movie or heard a joke in which rich and snooty women chit-chat over “high tea,” which is portrayed as an elaborate spread of tea, scones, and finger sandwiches served on doilies atop tiered silver trays. In fact, the event being represented is afternoon tea, or LOW tea. The problem is that many Americans equate the word “high” with class and formality. In fact, the word “high” refers to the height of the serving table: high tea is served at a high dinner table, while low tea is traditionally served on low tables in a sitting room.

So, what’s what? High tea is a full meal served at around 5 or 6 PM. It is usually associated with the members of the lower classes, who were hungry after a long day at work (often with no break). Low tea is a light meal traditionally begun at 4 or 5 PM and ending before 7 PM. It is associated with the high class, who saw it more as a social occasion than a meal and used it to stave off hunger between an early lunch and a late dinner. Think of high tea as a meal and low tea as “finger foods.” Or remember etiquette savant Judith Martin’s quip regarding the confusion: “It’s high time we had something to eat.”

Click to continue reading about Afternoon Tea on VeeTea.

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