Champagne glass eye view
So I had two functions across two different weekends at mine, a high tea with the ladies and morning tea baby shower with workmates.
But I was thrifty about it: you’ll note each function is decorated with the same bunch of flowers. White lisianthus and small green chrysanthemums. When I was getting ready for the baby shower, I cut off another inch of the plant stalks, refreshed their water and got rid of any manky leaves and flowers.
Baby shower all set up
I couldn’t be bothered doing a lot of washing up for the baby shower, so I used bamboo cutlery that I bought from Eco Toys. I bought the cutlery last year, for my birthday party (along with bamboo plates and biodegradable paper cups) and I still have plenty of supplies left: the idea being to be able to use sustainable, renewable, compostable and/or recyclable items when I have BBQs, parties and etc and I don’t want to do a lot of washing up.
After a party catering for 25+ people, 4+ BBQs, a baby shower and a couple of other events – it’s working pretty well so far. And not enormously different in terms of cost compared to the non-sustainable, non-recyclable plastic forks, spoons and cups sent to landfill every year. I just bought in bulk to justify postage (and I bought from a reputable supplier).
All set up for the Baby Shower
I did have to use porcelain side plates instead of bamboo plates, as everyone was seated in the lounge and resting their plates on their laps.
For the Downton-esque ladies high tea there were only 4 ladies, plus a mini me (4.5 of us), with the Editor-In-Waiting bringing her 2 year old daughter. So easier to clean up from – you might recognise some of the decorations from Getting out the best silver.
Champagne eye view, with some height thanks to a portrait orientation.
See The things you can do with Crostini for the recipes of the different crostini featured at both the morning tea and high tea.
Victoria Sponge cake filled with whipped cream and home-made mulberry jam and home-made mulberry syrup.
One interesting fact about the difference between high tea and afternoon tea, is although now high tea has been claimed as refined and classy exercise, it actually originated with the Victorian working classes while afternoon tea was the province of the wealthy upper and middle classes:
The drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself.
This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. A wearied factory worker wouldn’t arrive home until six in the evening, and when he did, he was famished! Thus, in the industrial areas of the UK (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes evening meal evolved: high tea.
So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, high tea was a necessary meal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This traditional high tea still exists for some parts of the North and Scotland.
What is high tea?
Meanwhile, afternoon tea
Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a mini meal to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal at 8pm.
Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into ‘fingers’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. Interestingly, scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.
What is afternoon tea?
Other sources indicate additional differences: High Tea had cooked food and was served at the dining table with people seated at the dining table, while Afternoon Tea was served in the parlour and eaten while seated on the more comfortable lounging chairs.
High Tea: seated at the dining table, featuring cooked savoury items.
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