Friday, 29 march 2024
How lucky we are to have the space between lunch and dinner filled with the delight of a beloved Afternoon Tea– or a High Tea? What are the differences between the two? 

Before booking into your next Afternoon Tea or High Tea experience, demystify the differences in each that set them apart from one another, and how these cherished customs have grown to be one of the most popular ways to unwind before the sun sets. 

What is Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is traditionally served in the mid-afternoon. It’s a time-honoured, elegant ritual featuring a sophisticated selection of delicate sandwiches, scones with whipped cream and jam, and an assortment of dainty pastries and cakes. 

Tracing back to the early 19th century in England, Afternoon Tea emerged as a fashionable social ritual among the upper echelons of society. 

While its exact origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery, it’s often said that Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, is said to have introduced the custom to combat the "sinking feeling" she experienced between lunch and dinner. 

As the story goes, she began requesting tea, bread, and butter to be served in her room during the late afternoon, eventually inviting friends to join her. The trend quickly caught on, and over time has evolved into a sophisticated event characterised by beautiful tea sets, hosted in grand rooms around the world. 

Afternoon Tea continues to be celebrated globally as a timeless get-together with friends or family, offering a moment of quiet amid our busy lives.

What is High Tea?

Contrary to popular belief, High Tea is not the same as Afternoon Tea. Unlike its more refined counterpart, the tradition has more humble origins. It was served later in the day, around dinnertime, and consisted of a heartier meal that was substantial like meat pies, quiches, savoury tarts, and sandwiches. 

Rooted in the working-class culture of 19th-century Britain, High Tea refers to the tall tables at which the meal was traditionally served. Originating in the industrial heartlands of Northern England and Scotland, it was an evening meal enjoyed by labourers, miners, and factory workers after a hard day at work. 

Unlike the delicate finger sandwiches and pastries of Afternoon Tea, High Tea came with the heavier bites, providing much-needed sustenance to those returning home from a hard day of work. It has since evolved into a now long-standing affair, enjoyed by all. 

Afternoon Tea at Bistro Guillaume
Afternoon Tea at Epicurean
Afternoon Tea at Silks
High Tea at Lobby Lounge
High Tea at TWR

Best of both worlds at Crown Perth

Afternoon Tea and High Tea can be experienced at any of the select venues at Crown. Expect smoked Salmon Bagels, Crab Tacos, Angus Beef Sliders, and more at TWR, Chicken Waldorf Champagne Baguettes and Duck Pithiviers at  Bistro Guillaume, or if you’re planning on continuing into the night, High Tea packages with flowing drinks from Lobby Lounge to kick off the weekend. 

It’s all about embracing tradition and celebrating contrast. Whether you prefer the refined elegance of Afternoon Tea or the heartier notes of High Tea, Crown invites you to indulge in the timeless charm of both. 

Every moment shared over a steaming cup of tea is one to remember, especially when chowing down on savoury delights and comforting classics that promise to satisfy even the most discerning appetite.

Images are for illustrative purposes and are subject to availability.