Quiz: Have High Tea in the 1800s and We'll Tell You How High Maintenance You Are
Have High Tea in the 1800s and We'll Tell You How High Maintenance You Are
By: Zoe Samuel
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

High tea is a British concept that was originally about hunters returning too late for a regular teatime, typically between 4-5 p.m. As they would come in cold, probably wet, and hungry, they didn't always want to wait until a formal dinner time (usually 7.30 p.m. or even 8.30 p.m.) to munch on something. 

It was also the name of a meal eaten by poorer people who couldn't take a break for teatime and had to wait longer to have their afternoon tea, meaning they needed something a little more substantial. In Scotland, it is more like a regular afternoon tea, but instead of just typical teatime fare, it includes a savory item or too like a cheesy pastry, to fill you up against the damp and cold. It was so popular in England that many people from working-class backgrounds still refer to their evening meal as "tea."

High tea is thus a glorious combination of "low" tea - that is, the kind you eat on comfy chairs or, weather permitting, in the garden - and dinner. It involves a delicious pot of hot tea to heat your chilly insides, as well as teacakes such as Swiss roll and French fancies, and perhaps a couple of scones and some sandwiches. What makes it really amazing is the way it also includes something more hearty, like a meaty pastry, Scotch eggs, or a slice of meat pie.

Time to nosh on your own high tea, and we'll see how hard you are to please!

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