Afternoon tea (The traditional 4 o’clock tea)
This is a small meal, not a drink. Traditionally it consists of tea(or coffee) served with either of the following:
- Freshly baked scones served with cream and jam (Known as a cream tea).
- Afternoon tea sandwiches – thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
- Assorted pastries.
Afternoon Tea today
Afternoon tea is not common these days because most adults go out to work. However, you can still have Afternoon tea at the many tea rooms around England. Afternoon tea became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago, when rich ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea. They started offering their visitors sandwiches and cakes too. Soon everyone was enjoying Afternoon tea.
High tea (The traditional 6 o’clock tea)
The British working population did not have Afternoon Tea. They had a meal about midday, and a meal after work, between five and seven o’clock. This meal was called “high tea” or just “tea”. Today, most people refer to the evening meal as dinner or supper. Traditionally eaten early evening, High tea was a substantial meal that combined delicious sweet foods, such as scones, cakes, buns or tea breads, with tempting savouries, such as cheese on toast, toasted crumpets, cold meats and pickles or poached eggs on toast. This meal is now often replaced with a supper due to people eating their main meal in the evenings rather than at midday.
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