What we know as high tea the British refer to as afternoon tea. This classy and formal way of elegant dining that we know isn’t exactly how it originated. High tea began back in the 19th century as a means to fill the gap between meals. Back then dinner wasn’t served until around 8 pm leaving a long stretch between their first meal and the evening meal. While the upper class often still enjoyed scones and cakes, now, the treats are much more luxurious.
Back in the day, the upper class would often enjoy high tea in the garden between 3 and 4 o’clock hence where the term afternoon tea originated. While the lower and working class didn’t have the luxury of pausing midday for an afternoon lunch. Thus they would have their tea later around 5 or 6 o’clock when work was complete, and this is where the term high tea came from. Now in modern-day, we refer to high tea as a luxurious treat and sometimes as a formal event. So let us raise our teacups and toast to eating and drinking like royalty with these stunning recipes.
When I envision a high tea it always makes me think of cake tiers full of sweet treats, decadent china or glassware and scrumptious sandwiches. These lemon lavender cupcakes would be a lovely addition to the table for high tea.
They’re colorful and full of luscious flavors. The two flavors are very light yet vibrant and will have you dreaming of warm weather. The floral flavors provided from the lavender buttercream are nicely complemented by the tanginess of the lemon cupcake. These cupcakes will surely capture everyone’s attention.
http://thecakeblog.com/2017/02/lemon-lavender-cupcakes.html PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE CAKE BLOG
Earl Grey is a popular tea choice that you will most likely have at high tea so it is no question why the same flavors would work great in a cookie. Shortbread cookies are a savory cookie due to their buttery, dense yet delicious taste.
This recipe uses real early grey tea leaves in the batter. This provides them with a unique and authentic flavor. There is also hints of lemon from lemon zest providing these cookies with a light and bright taste that you’ll love. The cookies are then topped off with a lemon icing drizzle. They have a lot to offer so you’ll definitely want to make them for high tea.
https://thebusybaker.ca/earl-grey-shortbread-cookies/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE BUSY BAKER
When you’re setting up the cake tiers with treats it’s fun to have a variety. Doing this provides a variety of flavor, dimension to the trays, and a lot of options for your guests. Tarts make another great addition to a high tea. More specifically mini tarts because they’re already in a single-sized portion for convenience.
These tarts take a couple shortcuts and simplify many complicated tart recipes. For starters, you’ll use frozen ready-made tart shells, that alone will save you a lot of time. Then the rhubarb filling only calls for 3 simple ingredients. To continue with keeping things simple you can top off these tarts with store-bought whipped cream. They’ll only take you 20 minutes to make and will save you a lot of time and effort.
https://noshingwiththenolands.com/super-easy-rhubarb-tarts/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: NOSHING WITH THE NOLANDS
Summer is a fun time of year because for those who experience cold winters this means warm days filled with sunshine and fresh in-season fruit. This recipe takes fresh summer berries and turns them into these delicious macaroons.
They’re also raw so that means no baking time required and no hot kitchen (you’re welcome)! They’re made gluten-free and dairy-free so almost everyone can eat them. They’re so simple to make and considering you don’t need to bake them they’ll be done in a jiffy! They’ll store in the fridge for days so you can make these in advance for your high tea and save some of that time for setting up or making other delightful treats for your tea party.
http://www.forkly.com/recipes/summer-berry-raw-macaroons-gfdfvegan/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY
Cookies make another great high tea food idea. There are so many cookie recipes out there and it can be hard to decide which ones to have at high tea. These lemon cookies have a delicate texture that pairs nicely with tea making them a perfect choice.
They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious that might just surprise everyone how flavorful they actually are. They are also aesthetically pleasing so don’t be surprised when they get snatched up quickly.
http://www.glorioustreats.com/2017/01/lemon-high-tea-cookies.html PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: GLORIOUS TREATS
Crumpets originated in the UK and were first introduced as a more pancake-like delight that was cooked on a griddle. However during the Victorian era is when they became the soft and spongy crumpets we know and love.
While you could buy pre-made crumpets from the store there is nothing like fresh baked goods for high tea. Everyone will appreciate you for it too. Keep them warm and serve to your guests for a real English treat.
https://culinaryginger.com/english-crumpets/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: CULINARY GINGER
Along with cake, scones are a very popular item that is served at high tea. Scones can come in many shapes and sizes but they all have a light, fluffy and flaky texture that makes the perfect food to enjoy with a British favorite like clotted cream and jam.
English scones are different from American scones as they often have less butter and sugar. This is due to the fact that they are often slathered in clotted cream and delicious jam. These English scones are very easy to make and will have everyone dreaming of England just by eating them. They will freeze well too so if you’re pinched for time you could make them far in advance before your high tea event.
https://platedcravings.com/recipe-easy-scones-with-clotted-cream-and-jam/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PLATED CRAVINGS
While the name alone might sound interesting to those who haven’t had it, clotted cream is indeed a British delight that is often served on scones or biscuits and served at afternoon tea.
Many will claim that high tea is not complete without clotted cream, so while this may take a bit of effort to make, it will be well worth the time to treat your guest to an authentic British high tea experience.
https://culinaryginger.com/clotted-cream-for-afternoon-tea/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: CULINARY GINGER
How much or how little effort you put into cucumber sandwiches will determine what kind of outcome you will have. I’m sure many of you have been there and have experienced a bland cucumber sandwich at a bridal or baby shower that permanently turns away from what can be an elegant delight.
If it is done right you’ll have a lovely sandwich that everyone will remember. This recipe lets you in on 3 secrets to making the perfect cucumber tea sandwich. The secrets lie within the spread, the cucumbers, and the bread.
http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2015/08/cucumber-tea-sandwiches-3-spreads-3-ways.html?m=1&epik=0h_wGEvIWX7t9 PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE KITCHEN IS MY PLAYGROUND
All of your guests won’t have the same taste in food so when it comes to the finger sandwich department it would wise to have a variety of choices. Finger sandwiches will help your guests feel full but it also offers a good balance and allows the savory to compliment all the sweets that will on the table.
Egg salad is a classic and traditional recipe that is popular on the high tea tables. These sandwiches are slightly unique because they take on the flavors of a deviled egg, another timeless recipe! It follows the same method of splitting the yolk and the egg white and adds paprika for extra flavor. To garnish the sandwich this recipe used a tied chive to make the sandwiches look lovely.
http://www.pinchmeimeating.com/deviled-egg-salad-finger-sandwiches/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PINCH ME I’M EATING
If you want to eat like royalty at your high tea you’ll definitely want to make these mini Victoria sponge cakes. Traditionally speaking, the Victoria sponge cake is a sponge cake that is sandwiched together with raspberry jam and is finished by dusting caster sugar on top.
These little cakes represent an English teatime treat that became very popular during the reign of Queen Victoria. They’re fairly easy to make and the actual cakes only call for 5 simple ingredients. They offer a light and fluffy texture and when they’re all put together are an oh-so-sweet-treat!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1379570/Recipe-Mini-Victoria-sponge-cakes.html PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DAILY MAIL
These glazed fruit tarts are a colorful, light and a summery treat that would fit in nicely at your high tea. They start with store-bought pastry puff which cuts the work in half for you. The custard filling, however, is homemade. The custards require a small handful of ingredients and are simple to make.
Your guests will appreciate the beautiful flaky layers that these pastries have to offer. The pastries are also customizable, you can put any fruit toppings you love on top! To complete these pastries you’ll want to drizzle them with honey for a shiny glaze but also an extra sweet flavor.
https://thebusybaker.ca/honey-glaze-fruit-tart-vanilla-custard/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE BUSY BAKER
Macarons may be known as a delicate French dessert but they have made their way, deservingly, to the high tea table. They’re a light, flaky, mildly crunchy and sweet treat that everyone will love. They can also come in a large variety of colors that contributes a pop of color to the table.
High tea is a time to sit back, enjoy and socialize and that is why you’ll want these mimosa macarons at your high tea. They have light flavors of mimosa and orange making a great edible cocktail. When I think of mimosa’s I always think of celebrations, and high tea is a time to be celebrated, quality time with people you care about.
https://bakingamoment.com/mimosa-macarons/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: BAKING A MOMENT
You will definitely be serving tea at your high tea but it’s a good idea to have other beverage choices too. Although your guests are attending high tea it isn’t safe to assume they all love tea. So having other beverages like water or cocktails might be a smart choice.
These edible flower ice cubes can dress up an ordinary glass of water, or champagne whichever you choose to serve at your high tea. They can be a little tricky but if you follow this recipe it’ll let you in on several secrets to get the perfect edible flower ice cubes. They’re absolutely stunning and all your guest will surely be impressed that you made them yourself.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/flower-ice-cubes/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE VIEW FROM GREAT ISLAND
Along with champagne and tea, you will definitely want to have infused water at your high tea too. It might be a big trend as of late but for a good reason. Infused water is stunning and has lovely flavors. Water is great on its own but there is something about infused water that makes drinking it more fun!
This infused water has hints of roses, lemon, and strawberry. It’s fragrant yet light enough that it’s still extremely appetizing. This water is infused with real ingredients, no artificial flavors allowed in this drink! Once you and your guests drink it, it will make your tea party feel like you were transformed into the garden.
http://wallflowerkitchen.com/rose-lemon-strawberry-infused-water/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: WALLFLOWER KITCHEN