OAKHURST — High tea has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the 18th century when working-class families in England’s industrial towns enjoyed a substantial meal after a long day’s work. Over time, it has evolved into a more sophisticated affair, enjoyed by people of all social classes. Now you can experience and enjoy high tea at The Elderberry House in Oakhurst.
Date & Time: Sunday, April 30, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$85 per guest.
Reservations are required. Please click here to reserve your table.
The Elderberry House
48688 Victoria Lane
Oakhurst, CA 93644
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A Short History of High Tea
High tea is a tradition that has been popular in the United Kingdom for centuries. It originated during the Industrial Revolution as a way for working-class families to enjoy a substantial meal after a long day’s work. Over time, high tea has evolved into a more sophisticated affair, enjoyed by people of all social classes.
The origins of high tea can be traced back to the 18th century, when the working-class families of England’s industrial towns began to consume a heavier meal in the evening. This meal was often referred to as “tea,” which included a combination of meat, bread, and tea. This was in contrast to the more elaborate afternoon tea, which was enjoyed by the upper class and consisted of light refreshments such as sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
The term “high tea” itself did not come into use until the mid-19th century. It was during this time that Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, began to invite her friends to join her for a late afternoon meal of tea, sandwiches, cakes, and pastries. This became known as “afternoon tea” and was enjoyed by the upper classes. The working-class families continued to enjoy their heavy evening meal, which became known as “high tea” due to the fact that it was eaten at a high table.
High tea became increasingly popular during the Victorian era, as it was seen as a way for families to come together and enjoy a meal after a long day’s work. It was typically served between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and consisted of a variety of savory dishes, such as meat pies, cold cuts, and cheeses, along with bread, butter, and jam. Tea was also an essential part of the meal and was served in large teapots, along with milk and sugar.
High tea was not only a way for families to enjoy a substantial meal, but it also served as a way for employers to provide their workers with a hot meal at the end of the day. Many factories and mills had their own tea rooms, where workers could enjoy a meal and socialize with their colleagues.
As the 20th century progressed, high tea began to lose its popularity as more people began to work shorter hours and had more leisure time in the evenings. However, it has remained an important part of British culture and is still enjoyed by many people today.
Today, high tea has evolved into a more sophisticated affair, with many hotels and restaurants offering traditional high tea menus. These menus typically include a selection of savory sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of cakes and pastries. Tea is still an essential part of the meal and is often served in fine china teapots.
Check out this video on the difference between afternoon tea and high tea!